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[Yosemite]

Nerds for Nature

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Nerds for Nature

Postby balzaccom » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:10 am

Our recent trip to Preston Falls took us right through the area burned by the massive Rim Fire of 2013. In fact, this area had been closed to all hiking for a while. But now it's open, and slowly recovering from the fire damage.

Along the trail, we were charmed to see some signs erected by "Nerds for Nature" that encouraged us to place our camera in a bracket on side of the sign and take a photo. We were then asked to send that photo via various social media platforms to their attention, and help them track the recovery of the forest.

Image


First of all, we love the name Nerds for Nature. Secondly, we love the idea of using camera phones and social media to monitor the forest. And third of all, we love the fact that these nerds got out into this area and put the signs up to make this all happen.

And yes, we took photos. Now all we have to do is join Twitter, Instagram, or Flicker...hmmm.

Here's the photo, at any rate:

Image

And here's a link to Nerds for Nature:

http://nerdsfornature.org/index.html
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Nerds for Nature

Postby Phil » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:56 pm

I guess I can relate to that, but honestly, is it really necessary? It looks like a recovery that's going well on it's own...pretty standard. Can we "Like" it? If not, and it doesn't get enough up-votes, do they re-burn it for Version 2.1? It strikes me as more a point of interest than of being of any real benefit.
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Re: Nerds for Nature

Postby balzaccom » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:07 pm

They're not asking anyone to "like" this program. They're using the photos to track the forest's recovery---cheaper than placing time lapse cameras in all these locations.
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Nerds for Nature

Postby Phil » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:22 pm

Maybe I'm just being too results driven, but to what end? I can understand bringing resources to bear on something, but what does it actully do besides offer people access to time-lapse sequences? There may indeed be something that comes out of it, but it strikes me as more just another hashtag for a Meetup group. Wouldn't you guys have been more impressed by a bunch of Silicon Valley execs out there clearing brush and replanting trees for the weekend?
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Re: Nerds for Nature

Postby balzaccom » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:44 pm

I'm not sure we would have wanted them to be clearing brush--I think that's a bit too much like gardening for a national forest.

As for Silicon Valley executives, I think would make a bigger difference if they contributed funds to nature organizations, rather than a few hours work. And I am sure some do.

But the main point here is that this is not "just another meet-up group." In fact, It is the collection of data via photographs, and I've always thought that the collection of data was a key part of science.

My brother is a university professor (now retired) who studies old photographs to learn about society when those photos were taken. So this project seems like something that could provide the same kinds of results. Without data, you are always guessing. Will the forest grow back? Sure. Will it grow back the same way in wildly different places? Nope. And the difference can help us learn a lot about "reforestation." I'm all in favor of trees, but I think there is more to running a national forest than just growing trees.

Not sure why you object to this. The USFS often puts up signs to protect habitat that has been overuse, for example, or to protect endangered habitat. These aren't any different.

The scientists I've heard from about this seem to think it's a pretty clever way to avoid some of the funding issues that the USFS and forestry studies often face.
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Re: Nerds for Nature

Postby Phil » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:36 pm

I see your point, on all the issues. I just think we need to be very careful and proceed accordingly. This could be a great technological tool, but it could also become a situation like in the book The Circle..."Privacy is theft." We all need a place to escape to, not to never escape from...we have plenty of those already. Also, commercialization and control has a habit of seeping into places where we least want and expect it. DNCY would be a good example of unintended consequences running amok. The basic tenets of stewardship and public trust became distorted by believing that what they had was instead ownership and an entitlement that came with the territory.
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