Her app had just been featured in a video in front of thousands at Apple's
Marine Debris Tracker was one of those apps.
"I click the link (in the email) that takes me to a tweet by the tech columnist for
"He says, '#Paper, Instagram, Tumblr,
She spent several hours verifying the message Graham had posted on
Toward the beginning of the five-minute "Apps We Can't Live Without" piece, oceans advocate
"Marine Debris Tracker," Penn said in the video, "allows you to enter the debris that you find into a global database so that we can start to build up a bigger picture of this problem around the world. I think these apps are essential for us to be able to bring change to what's going on in the ocean.
"The ocean, for me, is the lungs of our planet. The health of the ocean is absolutely essential to the health of us, as human beings."
When the video was over, "Bodey turned to me and said, 'Mommy, your app is making the world better,'" Jambeck said. "I pretty much lost it then."
Jambeck developed the Marine Debris Tracker app with
Designed to allow its users to track and report trash and other debris found anywhere, the app has been downloaded 10,000 times and currently has close to 700 registered users, 15 to 20 who report debris on a near-daily basis. Its 32,899 data points--entries which total about 345,000 individual pieces of trash--include anything from 15,500 cigarette butts found by users on
When users submit an entry, the smartphone automatically adds GPS coordinates, which help give Jambeck a more accurate picture of where her "citizen scientists" are reporting from, she said.
"It's one of the best citizen scientist apps that exists," Johnsen said. "We're building community around a particular topic."
Since Penn mentioned the app on
"One of the things I like to emphasize is that we're not just tracking ocean debris," Jambeck said. "Any litter can make it to the ocean, and some of our more recent data came from
The free app has the capability to run on smartphones or tablet devices. It was designed as an outreach and education piece, Jambeck said, with the hope that people who were using it would be less likely to contribute to the growing global trash problem.
As for Penn, the oceans advocate featured in the Apple video, Jambeck has been in
"You have this idea and you hope that it grows and you hope that it resonates with people," Jambeck said. "To have it presented to the world by Apple is incredible. We want to be a hope and inspiration to address this issue--and the issue is only going to get bigger."
Marine Debris Tracker is a joint partnership of the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative, located within the
Apple's "Apps We Can't Live Without" video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBSU9KaCYP4.
Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EBSU9KaCYP4
TNS 30TagarumaMar-140606-4759312 30TagarumaMar
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