The Crag Collective is a community science app for rock climbers to reduce environmental degradation of ecosystems at climbing crags by encouraging participation and action through data collection, education, and involvement.
The sport of rock climbing is alluring but in the past was limited by proximity and geography. With the initiation of climbing gyms, the sport became increasingly popular. As a result more people than ever have been taking their skills outdoors to test their limits. With this has come rapid and devastating environmental degradation within unique ecosystems where climbing is popular. Many efforts to stave off this degradation have focused on reactionary programs, educating the public once the issue has already arisen. The Crag Collective puts forth a system for educating, involving, and changing climber's behaviors before they even approach the crag through the use of community science.
The Crag Collective is unique in the way it utilizes community science. This platform often asks those in the public to gather data and return this data to scientists which provides information for larger conservation initiatives. While this is great, it leaves behind the many other benefits that participating in community science provides, which the Crag Collective looks to build upon. Participating in real life scientific work increases scientific literacy, better connects individuals to nature, and may possibly influence behavior. The app creates suggestions for climbers on how to change their own behavior before reaching the crag and educates them on the ecosystem needs of the area they are entering. In turn, they create real time change.