The Ragweed Finder was developed in 2017 by the Austrian Pollen Information Service at MedUni Vienna (Research Group Aerobiology and Pollen Information).
The Ragweed Finder consists of four components:
The most important data such as location, population size and symptoms can be entered quickly using the specimen report. Uploading a photo is mandatory, otherwise a reported specimen cannot be verified. Users can decide whether to report by name or anonymously (only via email address).
Already verified specimen reports of ragweed are listed herein within the current season. The number of symbols amounts to the number of reports displayed on the map. The colouring around the specimen sites indicate the symptom intensity.
What is ragweed? Where does it grow? What is known about ragweed pollen allergy? What can be done? These and other questions are answered in this compilation of the most important information about ragweed.
Some ragweed pollen allergy sufferers do not know their allergy trigger and may walk along an infested field without recognizing the plant. However, in order to report ragweed, a reliable identification of the plant is required. Many photos as well as a short instruction on how to take convincing pictures turns the interested citizen into a ragweed expert.
First of all, the specimen reports have to be evaluated. Each verified report is then transferred to the distribution map. Users will be informed about the evaluation of their specimen report via e-mail. The verified specimen reports are forwarded once a week to the responsible institutions/federal state governments. This enables the authorities to set appropriate corrective actions (e.g. mowing) and locate ragweed hotspots.
Project management: Supervision of the project, organisation and communication with potential and existing project partners, further development of the project, support and financing of the platform.
Project assistants: Communication with the Citizen Scientists, verification of reported specimen.
Citizen Scientists: independent search for ragweed, photo documentation, reporting of specimen.