Mapping the Mangroves (MTM) is an exciting and innovative way to promote public involvement in conservation and scientific studies of mangrove forests, a critically important ecosystem. Mangroves provide many benefits: as nurseries for aquatic species and as protectors and stabilizers of shorelines. Mangroves are also incredibly efficient at removing carbon from the atmosphere and reducing the threat of global warming. MTM was developed to meet the needs of scientists, educators and environmentally minded citizens who wish to understand and protect this vital resource.
In January 2013, Qatar Foundation International awarded a grant to
environmental science educators in Costa Rica to build a companion
curriculum, for the MTM mobile APP. Students helped designed educational
activities and programs to raise understanding and awareness of these
unique habitats, including the importance of mangrove estuaries, habitat
exploration, and estuary rehabilitation.
Launched by Qatar Foundation International in partnership with Conservation International, Mapping the Mangroves started as a mobile app that allowed anyone with a smart device to identify mangrove species, analyze biodiversity and plot field observations onto a real-time map. MTM has been used by school groups and scientists in Qatar, Brazil, Costa Rica, the United States, Palau, Australia and Malaysia.
MapWorks Learning, a newly created independent educational organization based in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to advancing the project and deepening MTM’s capabilities as a tool for education and environmental monitoring. Crowdmapping is a key element of MapWorks Learning’s education practice and reflects the organization’s dedication to student-centered hands-on learning and knowledge-sharing. Learners produce content, share it with others and shape it in new ways. When applied to the natural environment, crowdmapping can have immense implications in the way it engages the public and connects them--and
Logo for Mapping the Mangroves