Nature's Interactive Almanac – Connecting People To Their Environment

Smarter, Greener Space

IBM and Mohonk Preserve have joined to create Nature’s Interactive Almanac
- a Web-based tool for nature study, fact-finding, and education for students,
teachers and citizen scientists. Part of IBM’s “Smarter Planet”
vision, this initiative promotes “smarter, greener space” with Mohonk
Preserve, one of the largest nature preserves in the U.S. and one of the oldest
land conservation organizations in New York’s Hudson Valley Region.

Making the Connection

In this era of rapid environmental change, solutions to ecological problems rest
on people understanding how the state of the Earth’s living species, land,
air, and water is linked to their everyday lives, health, and well-being. Parks,
nature preserves, and other protected green spaces, such as Mohonk Preserve, offer
opportunities to capture data on the Earth’s systems and then to “translate”
it into information that helps people connect with nature, strengthen and support
scientific research, and inform policies to improve environmental conditions.

Creating Change

Worldwide, demand is rapidly growing for answers to global environmental challenges
such as stabilizing a changing climate, maintaining the quality and availability
of cleaner air and water, and reducing stress on wildlife and their habitats.
With Nature’s Interactive Almanac, IBM and Mohonk Preserve are tapping
the burgeoning field of green technology and green business service solutions
to help create an informed and motivated citizenry and, in turn, protect the
natural environment for current and future generations.

Science-Based Information

Mohonk Preserve is one of the nation’s premier sites for the long-term collection
and interpretation of scientific data on weather, landscape change, and species.
Preserve staff and research associates from collaborating institutions have continued
to add to what is now a continuum of over 80 years of natural and cultural history
records and 113 years of daily weather data—all collected uninterrupted
and with methodological consistency over time. A portion of these records, which
make up the oldest and most extensive natural history record in the U.S., is now
available to students and the public through Nature’s Interactive Almanac,
helping to extend classroom and online learning into the outdoors.

Putting Green Tools to Work

IBM is working with Mohonk Preserve to use intelligent and integrative technology in three key ways to:

  • generate Earth monitoring for scientific applications
  • facilitate the use of information for nature discovery and way-finding in
    age-appropriate environmental education settings (both actual and virtual)
  • advance organizational knowledge and efficiencies in ways that enhance both visitor services and long-term land protection.

Nature's Interactive Almanac is a unique product of this collaborative effort. In addition to benefiting the Preserve, the Almanac will also be replicable in other parks and natural areas regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Going Global

Nature's Interactive Almanac is designed to help share Mohonk Preserve's scientific
and educational resources with scientists, scholars, students and citizens worldwide.
It can be used in three major ways:

Scientific Applications. As essential study and monitoring sites, Mohonk
Preserve and other green spaces provide data on species, weather, air, land,
and water systems that can then be gathered, analyzed, and translated into intelligence
for a more sustainable world.

Environmental Education. Key to classroom and public engagement is access
to "smart" systems such as Nature's Interactive Almanac, that take scientific
information and translate it into universal formats, providing teachers and
students with flexible data access while helping green spaces to attract new
audiences and build support for their conservation goals.

Citizen Science Education. Citizen scientists' curiosity and nature
observation skills are tested and honed through such tools as Nature's Interactive
Almanac. Information on species and their environment, as well as weather and
phenological conditions (timing of events in nature) leverages educational content
to support citizen science projects. As a visualization tool, the Almanac assists
with translation of scientific data for hands-on educational purposes. This
innovative collaboration between IBM and Mohonk Preserve is designed to help
make the world work better, more efficiently, and more productively.

Go back to the Interactive Almanac