Friday, May 28, 2010
NEW IPHONE APP HAS HIGH HOPES FOR HELPING HAITI
The vibrant painting of Haiti’s national bird, the Hispaniolan Trogon, glowing on the iPhone screen and its “cock-crow” call rolling from the speaker offer a stark contrast to the aftermath of January’s disastrous earthquake in Haiti. But the partners that joined together to create The Birds of Haiti and the Dominican Republic iPhone and iPod Touch application hope that a bit of avian beauty will raise much-needed funds for humanitarian aid in Haiti.
“With nearly 100 million birders in North America alone, we hope this will be a way for all of us to easily contribute to Haitian earthquake relief efforts and learn about the island’s amazing birdlife at the same time,” said Vermont Center for Ecostudies biologist Kent McFarland, who hatched the idea.
The app features 58 bird species and subspecies that are unique, or endemic, to the island of Hispaniola, the birthplace of John James Audubon. With comprehensive information on each, strikingly detailed paintings, and an astounding library of bird songs and calls, The Birds of Haiti and the Dominican Republic is an insightful look into some of the most remarkable bird habitats on the planet. At the same time, it provides a powerful tool to support the rebuilding efforts of a nation in great need.
This project was wholly underwritten by the partners,” said Green Mountain Digital Creative Director Charlie Rattigan. “Not a single penny will be charged for our time, effort or materials. All of the funds we raise from the sales of this app will go to help Haiti.”
Most of the material for the app came from the popular Princeton University Press field guide, The Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, while the recordings of bird songs and calls were provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Macaulay Library, the world’s largest archive of natural sounds.
“It was an easy sell to convince each of the partners to contribute,” said McFarland. “From the artists and authors to the publishers, designers and software developers, all leaped at the opportunity to help Haiti.”
With materials in hand from the other partners, Green Mountain Digital, creators of natural history guides for mobile devices, and Brisk Mobile, a Canadian mobile application developer, designed and developed The Birds of Haiti and the Dominican Republic app.
100% of the app sales will go immediately to relief efforts in Haiti led by Partners in Health and Habitat for Humanity. The funds will directly support on-the-ground efforts to provide medical care and critical supplies to those affected by the earthquake, as well as to long term strategies to rebuild stronger and more sustainable communities in Haiti.
“We chose these two organizations because they have a long history in helping Haiti and have been doing amazing work there since the earthquake -- they really need our help,” said National Aviary biologist Steve Latta, lead author of the Princeton University Press field guide.
Partners In Health (PIH) has been working on the ground in Haiti for over 20 years. They urgently need your support to help those affected by the recent earthquake. The work of PIH is inspired by three primary goals: to care for its patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world. Based in Boston, PIH employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, including doctors, nurses and community health workers.
Habitat for Humanity has 26 years of experience serving families in Haiti. It has provided more than 2,000 families with housing solutions through a variety of initiatives including projects for new home construction, progressive building, and home improvements. It also builds capacity in construction skills, disaster mitigation and financial literacy, and works in coordination with community and government representatives. Habitat has responded to Haiti’s current crisis by addressing both immediate relief efforts and long-term shelter solutions for low-income families.
You can find the app on iTunes:
Partners of The Birds of Haiti and the Dominican Republic iPhone and iPod Touch app:
Green Mountain Digital
A digital media company that designs, develops, and publishes interactive programs with emphasis on nature and field guides.
Brisk Mobile is a full service mobile development house focusing on providing development services on all major mobile platforms with extensive experience on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
Dedicated to the understanding and conservation wildlife, VCE promotes conservation practices to benefit biodiversity. With a reach extending from northern New England through the Caribbean to South America, VCE’s work in wildlife research and population monitoring unites people and science for conservation.
The Department of Conservation and Field Research at the National Aviary focuses on applied conservation problems linked to the impact of human population and resource consumption on birds, environment, and environmental sustainability.
Princeton University Press
Our fundamental mission is to disseminate scholarship (through print and digital media) both within academia and to society at large. Material for this app comes from the field guide, The Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, published by PUP.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology Macaulay Library
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology uses the best science and technology--and inspires the widest range of people and organizations--to solve critical problems facing wildlife. The bird vocalizations in this app come from the Macaulay Library, the world’s largest archive of animal sounds.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Without Borders Program
Conserving international wildlife and plants for future generations.
Barry Kent MacKay
www.metalorchids.com/artists-detail.php?artistid=13 A naturalist, writer and illustrator, Barry portrayed all of the endemic birds of Hispaniola in the field guide, The Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and shared them here.