'Herp-spotting': Crowdsourced Science With Reptiles And Amphibians

May 6, 2014

Ehn! Red efts are one of the many creatures volunteers are looking to spot during this year's New Hampshire Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program.
Credit Distant Hill Gardens via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/wyw4U

Crowdsourcing is all the rage on the web these days – people coming together to contribute money or knowledge to projects or initiatives they care about.

Well, biologists were crowdsourcing before crowdsourcing was cool. Citizen science projects, as they’re called, have been in the works for years in New Hampshire, and with spring underway, there are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors while you’re contributing to the body of scientific knowledge, including the New Hampshire Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program. It's informally known as "herp-spotting," the "herp" referring to herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians.

David Brooks writes the weekly GraniteGeek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and granitegeek.org. He's also involved in a number of citizen science projects, and he tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the many projects underway in the state this year.