Year: 2017 – 2018
Lead Designer: Geoff Campbell

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With bumble bees, honey bees and other important pollinators facing population decline, there is a growing need for data that will help scientists determine the density and diversity of pollinators across different environments. But there are only so many scientists, and so much ground to cover. If only the public could be enlisted to help monitor these important species….

With this in mind, chART Projects helped create Insight, the first smartphone app dedicated to citizen science initiatives in the field of pollinator research. Launched as a project in 2015, Insight makes it easy for any member of the public to participate in essential research and learn about the different types of pollinators.

With the help of Cameron Cartiere and chART Projects, the Insight citizen science app was designed by Geoffrey Campbell at Emily Carr University of Art + Design with assistance from Matthew Fritter of UBC Okanagan. This effort is part of Border Free Bees, a three year long SSHRC-funded art and design initiative focused on promoting the health of wild pollinators.

In addition to the app, Insight features printed and downloadable guides to pollinator identification. These handy and easy to use guides allow people of all ages to recognize the different kinds of pollinators, from the many species of bees to flies, wasps, butterflies and birds.

Such a citizen science program has been remarkably successful in advancing scientific knowledge and engaging the public in collecting large quantities of data across space and time, while allowing participants to gain additional knowledge of the environmental issues at-hand and enhancing their feelings of responsibility towards the environment.