Posted in biology, communication and networking, education

Track crickets with your iphone

Okay, this has nothing to do with art, but it’s interactive, and it’s communal, and it’s a way to connect with your environment and perform science for the weekend. And show off your iphone. And I just love the idea of the entire population of New York City going out on a warm, muggy night and listening for cricket song.

NYC cricket crawl
NYC cricket crawl

Read more about the NYC Cricket Crawl:

If you’ve got a cellphone and a good pair of ears, you can help with the first-ever comprehensive cricket census of New York City.

On Sept. 11, biologists from the US Geological Survey are asking citizen scientists from the Big Apple to help them track the city’s cricket and katydid population. Participants in the NYC Cricket Crawl will go out between dusk and midnight to record cricket calls for one minute, and then immediately send their results and location to the scientists by cellphone.

The researchers are hoping to find evidence that the Common True Katydid, once plentiful in New York City but now rare, is still thriving in some regions of the city.

“This katydid is essentially the most countable thing in the world,” said USGS biologist Sam Droege, who’s leading the Cricket Crawl project. “Under the conditions of a warm night and no rain, it basically calls all the time and never stops.”

 Wired News story

*9/14/09 Edit*: We’ve found them! Read the update at Scientific American.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.