Mushroom Data Demystified

*
Accepted Session
Short Form
Beginner
Scheduled: Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 11:00 – 11:45am in B301

Excerpt

Mushroom Observer is a tool for logging and mapping fungus sightings. Beginners and professionals collaborate to produce a comprehensive data set, which has contributed to the burgeoning science of mycology. While this talk focuses on Mushroom Observer, it will be an overview of usefulness of open source amateur contributions to scientific research.

Description

Mushroom Observer is an open source community logging and mapping fungus sightings created in 2006 by Nathan Wilson. Sightings, often submitted by beginners, are rapidly analyzed and classified by a community of experts and enthusiasts via an innovative weighted voting system.

Mycology is, in many ways, a fledgling science a century behind botany. The result of the Mushroom Observer’s collaborative process is a highly accurate and comprehensive data set which has contributed significantly to the burgeoning field of Mycology, where current studies estimate less than 5% of species are known. A skilled mycologist has just to walk a few feet into the woods to find several new species. Because fungi are still quite mysterious, beginners can make a significant contribution to mycology and open source data is valuable to experts.

While this talk focused on Mushroom Observer, it will be an overview of usefulness of open source amateur contributions to scientific research.

At the end of the presentation, Lauren Hudgins will lead interested parties on a short field trip to log nearby mushrooms, or bring some in to photograph and log. (Depending on the cooperation of local fungi.)

Tags

amateur research, beginners, mushrooms, fungi, mycology, scientific research, Creative Commons, Mushroom Observer

Speaking experience

Led a Pedalpalooza trip on food foraging. Masters defense. Social media class at Reed College for students.

Speaker