Gulf-wide, hundreds of grassroots groups monitor environmental conditions in their local areas. Often there’s no mechanism to share that information with management agencies or organizations that could make real-world use of it.

Citizen volunteersGCOOS is working to change that through our new citizen-science data portal, which is designed to help make some information that citizen-science groups collect more accessible to a wider audience. The data portal was launched in March in coordination with the White House Water Summit.

The citizen scientists we’re working with to pilot this new data portal — from the Florida Aquarium and the Nature’s Academy in Florida and the Galveston Bay Foundation in Texas — were featured in a recent issue of Ranger Rick magazine, thanks to Dr. Chris Simoniello, director of Outreach and Education for GCOOS. She worked with the editors and photographers at the magazine to put together a feature article looking at how the kids are learning science, learning about the environment and sharing their findings with others.

GCOOS’ unique position as a data aggregator allows us to address inherent challenges in integrating diverse datasets collected with different methodologies and instrumentation so that managers can have confidence in the information.

If you’d like to learn more about the possibilities of having your citizen scientist data from your organization included in the GCOOS data portal, please contact Dr. Chris Simoniello.