New Tree App Builds Partnerships Between Citizens and Scientists
Univ. of Kentucky News (July 20, 2017)

TreeSnap, a new phone app developed by the University of Kentucky Forest Health Research Center and the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology for Android and iOS cell phones, is designed to connect scientists with foresters, landowners and interested citizens in an effort to protect and restore the nation’s trees.

A team led by Bert Abbott of the UK Forest Health Research and Education Center and a University of Tennessee team led by Meg Staton developed the free app as a part of a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program. The partnership is part of a larger collaboration with Washington State University and the University of Connecticut.

One of the team’s objectives in developing the app was to explore how they could engage the public with online resources scientists use for research, explained programmer and UT postdoctoral scholar Bradford Condon.

Every day, American forests fight for their health against invasive species and pests. The app will provide scientists with more eyes in the field, giving them a greater reach to locate resilient trees that will advance their studies, whether they are working on breeding efforts or genomics to help in forest restoration.

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