Project Title

Geography of Birders: Spatial Connections Through the Lens of Birdwatching

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Ulrike Ingram

This project utilizes publicly available data and does not require the use of human or animal subjects.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Birdwatching is a fundamentally spatial pursuit connected to both physical landscape and spatial perceptions. In 2002, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology launched their eBird citizen science program which allows birders to track and share their species observations. That is has since become one of the largest biodiversity related citizen science projects in existence points to the significance of the relationship between birdwatcher and bird, as well as the space in which it exists. This project utilizes the eBird basic dataset and includes observations made in Georgia in 2016. ESRI basemaps, US Census Bureau data, and GIS layers from the Atlanta Department of City Planning provided avenues for geospatial analysis of eBird’s tabular data. Analyses of the location of observations, locality types, and observation protocol types offer insight into how birds and birdwatchers share human environments. The data show a high degree of interaction in populated areas, at home, and even along roadways. These observations are of particular importance, as they represent interactions which occur during everyday life. It shows that birds are bridging this gap between human spaces and wilderness, creating rare opportunities for humans to foster connections with nature—something that is crucial to the future of conservation.

Project Type

Poster

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Geography of Birders: Spatial Connections Through the Lens of Birdwatching

Birdwatching is a fundamentally spatial pursuit connected to both physical landscape and spatial perceptions. In 2002, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology launched their eBird citizen science program which allows birders to track and share their species observations. That is has since become one of the largest biodiversity related citizen science projects in existence points to the significance of the relationship between birdwatcher and bird, as well as the space in which it exists. This project utilizes the eBird basic dataset and includes observations made in Georgia in 2016. ESRI basemaps, US Census Bureau data, and GIS layers from the Atlanta Department of City Planning provided avenues for geospatial analysis of eBird’s tabular data. Analyses of the location of observations, locality types, and observation protocol types offer insight into how birds and birdwatchers share human environments. The data show a high degree of interaction in populated areas, at home, and even along roadways. These observations are of particular importance, as they represent interactions which occur during everyday life. It shows that birds are bridging this gap between human spaces and wilderness, creating rare opportunities for humans to foster connections with nature—something that is crucial to the future of conservation.