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Students and staff develop Whiteknights Biodiversity App

Staff and students at the University of Reading are designing an app that will record biodiversity data on the Whiteknights Campus. 

The student-led project will focus on gathering long-term data sets using a standard protocol that will provide a database for students and staff to monitor long-term changes in the local environment that will develop over time.

The app itself has been branded ‘KiteSite’ and users will be able to record photographs, notes, extra information as well as being able to link it to particular projects.

Users will also be able to include a date, time and location of what data they are collecting, which will be fed through to a database that can be mined to generate maps, detect phenological patterns and much more.

The project also aims to support other projects at the University, such as Whiteknights Phenology. 

The app will be used to support teaching as a part of the curriculum in several modules in Biological and Environmental Science courses and the app development process will be shared on the ‘Enhancing Fieldwork Learning’ on-line resource site which reaches a large network of fieldwork practitioners.

Funded by the Teaching and Learning fund, the project allows six students from different disciplines to work on the development of the app. 

The students who are working on the project are: Liz White, Liam Basford, Mark Wells, Stephen Birch, Jonathan Tanner, Phillippa Oppenheimer and represent the departments of Agriculture, Biological Sciences, Computer Sciences, Enviornmental Sciences and Typography.  

The students got involved in the project after roles were advertised  within their departments and the Teaching and Learning fund offers a £400 bursary for taking part in the project. 

Once finished, although the app will be based in and around the University of Reading campus, it will be available for anybody to access. 

The team are hoping that the app will be available on both of the iOS and Android platforms.

Part of the project includes modifying and developing the EpiCollect application in order to produce a bespoke application.

The team are currently in the testing process of their app and putting the finalising touches to the way it looks and interacts and will be hoping to finalise it in the near future. For all the latest information and to stay up to date with this project, visit their blog at blogs.reading.ac.uk/whiteknightsbiodiversity/

About Daniel Mitchell

dan.mitchell.777@hotmail.co.uk'

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