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Using Citizen Science to Analyze Underwater Videos in the Great Lakes

The goal of this project is to evaluate a web-based citizen science approach to analyzing underwater videos in the Great Lakes to determine substrate type and for presence/absence of invasive species, such as round gobies (fish) or dreissenid mussels. A citizen science approach to underwater video analysis is cost-effective and allows for individual videos to be analyzed by multiple viewers. Multiple analysts increase the precision of the analysis and reduces bias but is more expensive if done by trained professional analysts. Citizen scientists will be trained and tested for accuracy using a subset of underwater videos. The relative precision, accuracy and cost-effectiveness of the citizen science approach will be compared to expert video interpretations.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: National participation, video & photographs from Great Lakes

Project Status: Active - not recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Classification or tagging, Identification, Observation,

Start Date: 8/1/2017

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

EPA logo

Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Animals, Ecology and environment, Ocean/water and marine

Intended Outcomes: In addition to increasing our understanding of habitat characteristics and invasive species in the Great Lakes nearshore, this project aims to address the following questions - A) Can a citizen science approach to underwater video analysis meet the information needs of managers? B) How does the data produced by citizen scientists compare to the data produced by experts in terms of precision, accuracy, and relevancy to management needs? What effects if any does video quality and attribute selection have when comparing analysis of experts and citizen scientists?