In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN), the U.S. Department of State’s Eco-Capitals Forum, and the Wilson Center are launching Earth Challenge 2020 (EC2020)—a global citizen science initiative that will demonstrate how small digital acts of science can add up to global change.

Using mobile technology and an open source citizen science data infrastructure, EC2020 will get a pulse on our environment and empower people around the world to help monitor and improve environmental and human health. EC2020 mobilizes the existing citizen science community while building capacity for individuals around the globe to collaboratively address the world’s most pressing challenges.

As a global call to action, Earth Challenge 2020 can become a nexus for collecting and harmonizing one billion data points in any research areas that impact environmental and human health. At the same time, the “core” research questions identified through a public call offering practical opportunities for communities to collaborate on.

The dual objectives of the challenge support an integrated strategy for engagement and particpation.

  • Increase the amount of open and interoperable citizen science data to help answer more complex, global questions than any dataset could address alone.
  • Through a public call to action, volunteers will use the Earth Challenge 2020 application, mobile app framework, and hardware tools to collect new data. Information will be used to create a data catalogue and API-enabled data integration platform to facilitate discovery and access of existing citizen science information.

Taking a creative approach to discovery and engagement there will also be a series of videos by Wilson NOW available on the platform. Filmed in Washington the series features brief, incisive conversations with leading experts that make sense of today’s headlines and the forces behind them.

In the first Wilson NOW, John Milewski, speaks with Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, and The Wilson Center’s Alison Parker about; how the campaign will engage millions of global citizens to aggregate and collect more than one billion data points from areas including air quality, water quality, biodiversity, pollution, and human health. 

In the subsequent Wilson NOW, John Milewski discusses the potential of citizen science initiatives with Landon Van Dyke, Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, and Anne Bowser, The Wilson Center’s Director of Innovation.

Follow the Earth Challenge 2020 Community @EarthDayNetwork, @Earth_Challenge, and @WilsonsSTIP

BEJournal will be supporting EC2020 and you can contribute story ideas or follow us @EarthEndeavours


We all follow different paths, go our own ways—what this looks like for #SalmonWMN is utterly inspiring. This video is more than a media campaign for clothes designed by and for women, it is a celebration of diverse definitions and spirited female explorers.

Let go, of rigid concepts and embrace a new definition of what it means to be a woman, an adventurer, an athlete, a part of nature.

Inspired by #SalmonWMN, BE created a Stoke your Spirit list of Insta’s—women of every age, from every corner of the globe, their paths are all different. Some have run up mountains, others prefer to climb, they all rebel the notion “I can be defined”, instead choosing to be led, by the adventures ahead!

Emelie Forsborg @tinaemelie

Courtney Dauwalter @courtneydauwalter

Lucy Bartholowmew @lucy_bartholomew

Mira Rai @mira.rai

Mireia Miró @mireia_miro

Kajsa Silow @kajsasilow

Sara Hattar @sarahattar

Annelie Pompe @annelieadventures

Shelby Stanger @shelbystanger

Celine Cousteau @celinecousteau

Ami Vitale @amivitale

Cristina Zenato @cristinazenato

Jody MacDonald @jodymacdonaldphoto

Nadia Aly @nadia.aly.photo

Cristina Mittermeier @cristinamittermeier

Alison Teal @alisonsadventures

Kate Nelson @plasticfreemermaid

Julia Bradbury @therealjuliabradbury

Siananna Lewis @sianannalewis

Phoebe Smith @phoebersmith

Sophie Radcliffe @challengesophie

Pip Stewart @pipstewart

Daisy Gilardini @daisygilardini

Kiko Matthews @kikomatthews

Randi Skaug @skaugrandi

Nina Williams @sheneenagins

Sasha Digiulian @sashadigiulian

Matilda Söderlund @matilda_soderlund

Emily Harrington @emilyaharrington

Denna Kastor @denna8050

Renata Chlumska @renatachlumska

Shauna Coxsey @shaunacoxsey

Hilaree Nelson @hilareenelson

Sanni McCandless @sannimccandless

Steph Davis @highsteph

Savannah Cummins @sv.cummins

Kristine Tompkins @kristine_tompkins

Lizzie Carr @lizzie_outdside

Victoria Pendleton C.B.E @victorilou

This list comes with a wish to all gutsy girls: Let adventures dance in your head making sweet dreams as you head off to bed! Rest then Rise, Explore, and Live Full Lives!

BirdGenie™ is a breakthrough app that helps anyone with an Apple® or Android® smartphone or tablet accurately identify birds in the backyard, local park, or on the nature trail—all with the tap of a button! It’s like Shazam® for birds—just hold up your phone, record the bird singing, and BirdGenie™ helps you identify the species. The app’s highly developed sound identification ability and expert matching system enable bird enthusiasts to achieve an accuracy unheard of in the birding field. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about the birds around them.

BirdGenie™ includes up to two hundred vocalization types for one hundred species: literally all of the birds likely to be encountered in a backyard or local park, or on a hike, in North America at any time of the year. And the app is easy to use. Just point your smartphone or tablet at a bird, and tap the screen when the bird starts singing. The app’s automatic pre-record feature ensures that you won’t miss the beginning of the song and BirdGenie’s™ patented, highly accurate expert system matches the recording to the closest species. The app’s sophisticated noise-reduction feature means that even in noisy environments, where there is conversation or traffic, you can discover what bird you’re listening to.

Beyond specifying a bird species, BirdGenie™ provides sample songs and spectrograms to compare with your own recording and to guarantee a confident match. The app also includes pictures of all plumages, information about habitat and behavior, and links to further reading. It even has 3-D models for some of the species so you can match different views of a bird. You can share your recordings, photos, and matches with friends and other users, and if you’re so inclined, you can anonymously share recordings to a scientific database to help researchers learn about birdsong variations. No internet connection is required for anything but sharing, making the program accessible everywhere. Perfect for anyone who wants to know what birds are singing around them, BirdGenie™ takes bird identification to a whole new awesome level.

With BirdGenie™ You Can

  • Quickly identify most birds just by recording their songs.
  • Look at vivid images of the bird—some in 3-D!
  • Listen to samples of the bird’s various songs and compare them with your recording.
  • Keep a log of all your recordings.
  • Share your recordings, matches, and photos with friends and family.
  • Browse the built-in catalog to learn about local species, their other songs, their habits and diet, and much more.
  • Use the app anywhere, as no internet connection is required!

Important features of BirdGenie™

  • The matching expert system beats anything in the market today.
  • Easy-to-use guided user interface.
  • Effective noise-reduction system helps users make identifications in less-than-ideal environments.
  • Complete species accounts with multiple photos for all plumage types (some with 3-D models).
  • Comprehensive spectrograms (voiceprints of songs).

Technical Specifications

  • Requires iOS 10 or later. Compatible with all iPhones after iPhone 6 including 7, 8, X and iPad, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch.
  • Requires Android 5.0 and above. Compatible with most common Android phones and tablets.

Software written by Tom Stephenson, Stephen Travis Pope and Scott Whittle. BirdGenie™ is a trademark of Princeton University Press.

Shazam® is the registered trademark of Shazam Entertainment Limited and is not affiliated with Princeton University Press in any way.

Great Bear Rainforest is a Spirit Bear Entertainment film presented by Seaspan and directed by Ian McAllister (PacificWild.org), produced by Jeff Turner and executive produced by Kyle Washington and Byron Horner. Distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films.

A Magical Environment. Unchanged for 10,000 years…

Journey to a land of grizzlies, coastal wolves, sea otters and the all-white spirit bear — the rarest bear on earth — in the film Great Bear RainforestHidden from the outside world, the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the wildest places left on earth. Found on Canada’s remote Pacific coast, it is the last intact temperate rainforest in the world—a place protected by the region’s indigenous people for millennia. Now, for the first time ever, experience this magical world in IMAX and giant screen theatres, and discover the land of the spirit bear.

What is a Spirit Bear?

The spirit bear is a subspecies of the North American black bear that has white fur due to a rare genetic trait. Spirit bears are only found in the Great Bear Rainforest. No one knows exactly how many spirit bears there are, but estimates range from 50 to 100. They truly are the rarest bears on earth!

Guardians of the Forest

Since the last Ice Age, First Nations people have lived among the bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. Their living history is inseparably connected to the vibrancy of the rainforest, which they have protected for thousands of years. Today, indigenous youth are coming together and taking responsibility for this place they call home. Learn more about their work in Great Bear Rainforest.

For Educators

Invite your students to have a learning experience they won’t forget! Book a field trip to see Great Bear Rainforest and become immersed in the biology, geography, environmental sciences and other key school curriculum. Download the Educator Guide for hands-on activities aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core ELA and Social Studies. Schedule your field trip now by contacting your local IMAX theatre for information about special group programs.

Filming in the Rainforest

Filming in the remote Great Bear Rainforest presented a unique set of challenges for filmmakers Ian McAllister and Jeff Turner. Over the three years it took to make this film, the crew faced everything from extreme weather, unpredictable wildlife, and the daily rigors of being in a rugged environment far removed from modern conveniences. But this also pushed the filmmakers into fresh creative territory where every shot was carefully planned out and new filmmaking techniques were deployed. Learn more in this interview with director Ian McAllister, who has worked and lived in the rainforest for 30 years. Read the Interview with Ian.

Learn more

To learn more about the Great Bear Rainforest and how you can help protect the spirit bears and their ancient forest home, visit PacificWild.org.  Each of us can make a difference in helping preserve this unique environment, one of the last truly wild places on earth.

In this video you can hear from Fellows with the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) first-hand on what conservation photography means to them and why they devote their lives to this effort. They explain the behind-the-scenes work that goes into capturing compelling images.

iLCP supports visual storytellers in a shared mission of furthering environmental and cultural conservation through ethical photography and filmmaking.

iLCP is best known for its Conservation Photography Expeditions that connect local, national or international organizations, our Conservation Partners, with one or more of their Fellows. The objective of these intensive documentary efforts is to produce a body of images that fully captures the threats and opportunities faced by communities whose physical environments, fauna, flora, and/or cultural traditions are in peril from human activity. With their deep and varied skill sets in all areas of science and years of experience working in the field, iLCP Fellow Photographers do far more than simply take pretty pictures. Rather, they capture visual narratives that give compelling evidence of the need to protect these special places. Through their extensive network of media, conservation, and policy contacts, iLCP help amplify our Partners’ existing advocacy campaigns to bring about positive conservation outcomes.

Learn more about iLCP @ conservationphotographers.org

Principles of Success learned through the Pursuit of Adventure, an animation by Ray Dalio. A short film with wide application to life and work.

“Whatever success I’ve had in life hasn’t been because of anything unique about me—it’s because of principles that I believe anyone can adopt. I created this animated series to share them with you”. —Ray Dalio

In 1975, Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Over forty years later, Bridgewater has grown into the largest hedge fund in the world and the fifth most important private company in the United States according to Fortune magazine, and Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way Dalio discovered unique principles that have led to his and Bridgewater’s unique success. It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio, that he believes are the reason behind whatever success he has had. He is now at a stage in his life that he wants to pass them along to others to do whatever they think is appropriate to do with them.

Learn more about Ray’s Principles @ principles.com

Spirited Women Explorers

by Inga Yandell Adventure & Exploration

We all follow different paths, go our own ways—what this looks like for #SalmonWMN is utterly inspiring. This video is more than a media campaign for clothes designed by and for women, it is a celebration of diverse definitions and spirited female explorers. Let go, of rigid concepts and embrace a new definition of what […]

Read the full article →

Issue 47 A Tribute To Trees

by Inga Yandell Featured

Attempting to acknowledge all that makes trees amazing is impossible—humans often forget this—as trees are fairly ubiquitous, at least for now that is! But with the help of some tree-loving stewards and ambassadors, we reveal hidden secrets which make trees more than just a feature on the landscape!

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A Great Mirrorless for Mastering Photography

by Inga Yandell Gadgets & Gear

Planning to sneak a few extra days over Easter? Most of us relish the thought of extending the long-weekend into a ten-day-break. For some, it can be the perfect opportunity to up-skill a hobby—transforming their passion into a promising new career. Photography is a hobby with wide appeal, it is both universal and unique. The […]

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App Helps You Identify Birds By Their Song

by Inga Yandell Environment

BirdGenie™ is a breakthrough app that helps anyone with an Apple® or Android® smartphone or tablet accurately identify birds in the backyard, local park, or on the nature trail—all with the tap of a button! It’s like Shazam® for birds—just hold up your phone, record the bird singing, and BirdGenie™ helps you identify the species. […]

Read the full article →

New Year Fitness Can Be A Pain

by Inga Yandell Health and Fitness

Good intentions and the initial actions with which we begin a new year are often noble but not always sustainable or more accurately…strategic! We bound into hard graft with positive goals and the energy to support them, yet how many of us subscribe to a formula for achieving our lofty fitness aims? The mind is […]

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