About This Project
We would like to develop a mobile app that will allow users to identify insects that they encounter in the urban or agricultural setting. Most people want to know what the "bug" they've found is, and, if there was a reliable mobile app to provide that answer, I think just about everyone would use it. As an entomologist who has designed and produced mobile apps in the past, I can get this one created and available to every curious person out there!
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What is the context of this research?
Insects are ubiquitous. Because they are everywhere, they can impact everyone on a daily basis. Wouldn't you like to know more about the insects you encounter every day? The first question asked about an insect by everyone is "what is it"? If there was just an app for that! The research question proposed here is "can we design a mobile app that will be able to assist users in identifying insects using easy-to-use pictorial format"? There are web-based sources for insect identification, but most are not mobile- or user-friendly.
What is the significance of this project?
Just about everyone has a mobile device. Most of us carry smartphones with us everywhere we go. So, when you encounter an insect in your daily life and need or want to identify it, you have all of the hardware in your pocket to get the identification done. However, are you just going to search online and try to find a matching picture of the insect? How long will it take you to identify the insect? Or, are you going to call your friendly, neighborhood entomologist and describe it to them? Don't know any entomologists? Well, what about opening that cool app that guides you to the identification of the insect in question? There is not a good app for that yet, but there can be.
What are the goals of the project?
Although this is not the typical "experiment" with a well-formed hypothesis and experimental design to address the problem, it is an ambitious project that will fill a great need in our society. The overall goal of this project is to produce a mobile app that users can use to identify insects they encounter around the home or in an agricultural setting. All that is needed to do this are experts on insects (check), experts on writing software (check), and interest by the public (up to you). Work on this will begin immediately after the project is funded. This can be accomplished with the expertise our team has and with the support from interested people. We will offer the free app on iOS and Android platforms and should have a version available before the end of 2016.
Funding will be mostly for programming costs (wages for time spent writing code, designing artwork, publishing the apps, etc.) that will be done at our institution (Clemson University) by our mobile app team. All other time spent on developing the app will be "donated" to the project by the project investigator and cooperators that will assist.
Meet the Team
Numerous experts will be involved with the development of this app for insect identification. Furthermore, our mobile app team at Clemson University will also be involved. http://www.clemson.edu/mobile/
I have produced two successful mobile apps with them already. Those are called "Calibrate My Sprayer" and "Mix My Sprayer" and are available on iOS and Android platforms and can be found at: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/mobile-apps/
Jeremy K. Greene, Ph.D.
I am a professor of Entomology at a major university on the East Coast. I work on insects important in agriculture, specifically insects that are pests of cotton and soybeans. I run a research and Extension program that seeks to emphasize principles of integrated pest management (IPM).
Eric P. Benson, Ph.D.
At Clemson University in South Carolina, Dr. Benson has responsibilities for research and education programs concerning household and structural pests in South Carolina. For 14 years he could be heard on the SC
Educational Radio Show, Your Day, answering call-in questions about bugs.
Pat Zungoli, PhD
I am an urban entomologist at Clemson University where I have responsibilities for teaching, research and Extension with a focus on household and structural pests. Our lab conducts research on the ecology and management of cockroaches, ants, termites, and other insect problems in non-agricultural environments.
Some of the best solutions to problems are simple. I love making use of basic technology to make systems that work for people. Having a background in both insects and diseases of plants as well as a good understanding of technology has helped me to bring those two worlds together to help create powerful solutions for all our partners.
Phillip Roberts, Ph.D.
Phillip Roberts is an Extension Entomologist located on the Tifton Campus. Primary responsibilities include developing and implementing comprehensive extension education programs in integrated pest management (IPM) for cotton and soybean production systems. Additionally, applied research and on-farm demonstrations are conducted to advance the state of the art for IPM systems.
Francis Reay-Jones, Ph.D.
I am an entomologist at Clemson University with responsibilities in ecology and management of insect pests of crops. Our lab conducts research on insects in corn, sorghum, cotton and soybean, with an ultimate goal of developing environmentally friendly management recommendations using principles of integrated pest management.
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