OspreyWatch - new nest formOsprey-Watch.org home pageAlison and Carl out banding osprey with Libby Mojica of the Center for Conservation BiologyAlison with two osprey. They are transported from the nest to the boat via these boxes.Rob and CCB's Libby Mojica, banding an ospreyRob checks out an osprey nest. Don't try this without official supervision, people!Alison loved helping out with the osprey banding!2013 osprey banding with Alison, Carl, and the Center for Conservation Biology's Libby MojicaAlison holds ospreyBanding osprey, with Libby Mojica & Alison, 2013


The Project

OspreyWatch is a citizen science application developed for the Center for Conservation Biology for global reporting on osprey nests. Osprey are one of the very few truly global sentinels for aquatic health, and the mission of OspreyWatch is to collect information on a large enough spatial scale to be useful in addressing three of the most pressing issues facing aquatic ecosystems including global climate change, depletion of fish stocks, and environmental contaminants.
Using the simple tools of OspreyWatch, a global community of observers can add nests, log activity reports and upload photos.

The Work

The challenge: create an application that is both economical and scalable, and also enable non-developers to update supporting non-application content using WordPress.
We chose to use the Ruby on Rails framework to create the OspreyWatch application. The team at CCB had a very defined scope for the app, including clear requirements for functionality and data to be tracked. This enabled Solertium staff to work on site with them to quickly scaffold the app and get it to a functioning, testable state. There was also a request to use WordPress to manage all the non-application content and styling (about pages, photo gallery, news stories, etc.).
OspreyWatch is made possible by the great open source projects Ruby on Rails and WordPress, and hosted by Heroku, Flickr and BlueHost. Map visualizations are made possible by Google Maps and Google Fusion Tables. OspreyWatch was designed by Howell Creative Group. Content organization and creation was done by CCB. Application development was provided by Solertium.

The Partners

Bryan D. Watts, Marie Pitts, Libby Mojica, Kathy Howell, John Thomas, Will Laurance, Rob Heittman, Alison Heittman, Center for Conservation Biology, Howell Creative Group, Solertium