By now, most people have a smartphone, ipad or other device that allows them to download apps. Hopefully everyone has a version of the Monterey Bay Aquariums Seafood Watch App (there are similar apps such as “Fish First” for the Windows Phone) Apart from those, there are a surprisingly small amount of marine/ocean related apps in comparison to other topics. We have searched far and wide and found the really good ones you may not have heard about for apple, android and windows phones. Here is part 1 of the 3 part series. These apps made for Apple are useful for marine conservation efforts, educational, fun or an amazing combination of the three!
Brought to you by the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary Foundation SeaPhoto gives you a virtual photo tour of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. From the smallest algae and invertebrates to the largest fishes and mammals, along with varying ecosystems and seascapes. There are over 1,300 images (one below of a newborn sea otter) depicting over 550 species to explore and discover (130 of which come with detailed ecological information) and all can be permanently stored for future access! These photos can be shared through twitter and email or just enjoyed by yourself. We think this app is great because it helps to spread awareness of the immense diversity found in the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. Awareness is the first step in conservation, and encourages people to help protect areas in the future! The best part? It’s FREE! If you don’t have a smartphone, you can even view all of the photos here!
Brought to you by the folks at the NOAA Marine Debris Division and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (Faculty of Engineering at University of Georgia), Marine Debris Tracker is a beach cleanup organizers dream! This app allows the user, who registers with the app, to log what they find and the GPS point it was found at (so it does use your location information). This does not have to be done in real time, but can be saved and submitted at a later time to avoid people from tracking your exact location (the GPS location of the submission is not recorded). This information can then be accessed through an online database where it simply shows the username, city and state the trash was found in. You can access your own data or look at what other people have found. We think this is a great app because it spreads awareness about marine debris, while encouraging people to share what they find, and think about marine debris! This app is FREE and also available for Android phones! You can learn more from their website.
Brought to you by the scientists at Stanford University and the worldwide collaborative research of the GTOPP (Global Tagging of Pacific Predators) , Shark Net allows the user a glimpse into the lives of Great White Sharks!
This app follows the lives of previously tagged Great Whites as they pass by underwater acoustic listening stations and wave gliders off the coast of California, transmitting real-time data (within 5 minutes!) to the user. In addition, the app provides interactive 3D models of individual tagged sharks, buoys and wave gliders and a history of the shark and where it has been. It also includes educational photos, videos and information about the sharks, along with the option of double-tapping the 3D sharks to see them bite! The app itself is FREE, but there is the option to pledge $0.99 which benefits continued shark research at Stanford University and gives the person who pledges exclusive access to all the information for a shark named “Scar Girl.”
Brought to you by the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health (in conjunction with the National Park Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the University of Florida’s Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants IveGot1 allows the user to immediately identify and report invasive species (animals and plants) in Florida. On top of reporting, there is a website with direct access to invasive species reports and a hotline to instantly report live animals (1-888-IVEGOT1). Similar to the Marine Debris Tracker, this app uses your location to report the GPS coordinates of the find, but it can be saved and sent in at a later time. Like the others, this app is FREE!
Invasive and/or exotic species are becoming a major economic and ecological problem in Florida, with a subtropical climate which allows for many exotic plants and animals to not only survive, but to thrive and take over the native landscape. These species may effect the health of an entire ecosystem and are important to to be aware of. I have also included this app because Florida has an ever-growing list of exotic marine species, including the lionfish, a number of angelfish, surgeonfish and maybe even the humpback grouper! The only way to know about these species and the extent of the invasion is if people that witness these animals in the wild while diving or fishing report them to the proper authorities. This app makes it very user friendly and even lets you submit pictures so that proper identification can be determined if you are still unsure whether something is native or exotic.
Brought to you by iHome Educator, iLive Math: Oceans made this list because it not only helps kids with math, but it does so using ocean creatures! Designed for Kindergarten through 6th grade, this app includes over 30 marine species with educational links and videos so you can learn more about your math problem!
Most kids don’t care too much about math because, lets face it, lone numbers can be a bit boring. By associating numbers with marine creatures via photos links and videos, this app helps to make math more engaging and encourages kids to explore the type of creature or behaviors their math problem describes (check out a sample question to the right). With over 1 million randomly generated word problems for addition, subtraction, fractions and geometry there will always be something new for your child to learn! This app even allows student teacher collaboration using twitter, email or blogs to provide the student with immediate feedback. Unlike the other apps, this one is a bit pricey at $4.99, but can you really put a price on your child understanding and maybe even enjoying math while learning about the ocean?
*This App was hard to find, did not show up in my search for marine related apps and I just found out about it as I was finishing this article, but it deserves mention. Check out the Rippl app from Ocean Conservancy! Great way to keep on track of adopting a more green lifestyle!*
Know about any other great apple apps that we missed? Share in the Comments below!
Stay tuned for part 2 (Android) and part 3 (Windows) if you do not have an apple product!