Field Research Apps for Field Biologists

10 December 2015 by RJ Jacques

For field biologists, collecting data in the field is just another day at work. Traditionally, most field biologists carry around notepads or clipboards to take notes, document habitats, and make measurements. In addition, they need to carry cameras and GPS devices for taking photos and videos of flora and fauna in the wild, and plotting these locations.

However, after their field data collection wraps up, another mountain of time-consuming work is waiting for them at the office: rekeying all the data they just wrote down, and organizing it into a useable form. This is a massive undertaking, and prone to mistakes such as transcription errors, missing pages of notes, and merging their data into larger collections seamlessly.

Fortunately, we at Fulcrum have had the opportunity to work with a number of educational institutions, environmental researchers, and field biologists, and have built a number of great apps designed to make field data collection easier and faster for those out in the field.

First up is the Land Cover Survey, which allows biologists and arborists an easy way to identify and map out locations such as wetlands, shrubland, arable land, and more with GPS points, geotagged photos, and field notes. Like all of the templates and apps on the Fulcrum platform, you can export data into a multitude of formats, including CSV, Microsoft Excel, Esri shapefile, and much more.

Another great feature of Fulcrum field apps is the ability to configure and customize our template apps to fit your specific needs. For example, our Gopher Tortoise Survey App is a great app for tracking and documenting the locations of found tortoises & burrow holes for conservation purposes. But if you are a ornithological researcher instead of a tortoise researcher, you can configure this app in just minutes to conduct a similar surveying of your particular bird species.

Lastly, tracking events such as fish kills and red tide might require a team to collect data over a large area. In these cases, standardizing your collection procedures will save hundreds of hours of time sanitizing and organizing data from many different contributors. In cases like this, Fulcrum is the optimal tool for crowdsourcing your large-scale field research. Simply select a template like Fish Kill Reporting or Red Tide Survey, configure your form, and simply add the emails of the users that will be assisting you with the project. Each team member will receive an email with a link to download Fulcrum, and a login and password that will allow them to contribute to your project using their smartphone.

Dealing with field research data doesn’t have to be a pain anymore with our easily configurable Fulcrum field research apps. If you have any questions, or would like to speak with someone about designing an custom app for your project, just drop us a line at

About the author

RJ is the Director of Marketing for Fulcrum. He oversees our advertising, outreach, and marketing operations and programs.

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