May 3, 2017. By Lisa Anderson, volunteer with the Coastal Research Volunteers.
What an amazing opportunity it is to be a part of the Picture Post community!! What is Picture Post? It is a program using digital photography to monitor certain environmental areas. The best part? Anyone can take part in it! All you need is a cell phone or camera, internet access, how-to directions, and you're good to go! Using the photos collected through Picture Post, scientists (or anyone else, because the photos are all available online!) can study the long term environmental changes in an area. The Coastal Research Volunteers posts are located in Hampton Falls and Seabrook, and you can follow these links to see all the photos that have been taken at each post.
Working as a volunteer through NH Sea Grant and Coastal Research Volunteers, I stumbled upon this opportunity to be part of a very big picture (no pun intended!). You don't have to be a designated volunteer in order to get involved; this is a project that is open to the general public. Citizen science at its best!! As more people become curious about these little posts, perhaps more people will become involved.
The reason I became involved is because I love the marsh, the ocean, the tides, the coast. Even though I live over an hour away from it all, I can still be involved! It's easy to do. Instructions are provided at the individual post or, for the two posts installed by CRV, follow these links to instructions for the Hampton Falls Post and the Seabrook Post. If you install and use the iPhone app called "Picture Post," it walks you through every step to take and submit your photos, as easy as can be. Choose your post, click "Take New Picture Set," and it will take you through all of the photos that need to be taken.
The next step is to upload the pictures onto the Picture Post website. Instructions should be posted at the Picture Post, in case you need a reminder, but the app will also walk you through each step. It is up to you when you upload the photos. You can do it at the time of taking the photos, if you have access to the internet, or you can simply wait until later and go to the Picture Post website to upload your photos.
Why is this important? With the information that will be collected through Picture Post, the scientists will be able to interpret the health of the area (in this location, salt marsh), as well as the impacts of climate change and sea level rise over time. This will help them determine what needs to be done to help preserve our marshes. Over time, this monitoring can continue to detect fluctuations and trends in the health of our marshes.