Saint Mary’s College of California and Lindsay Wildlife Museum partnered on an independent study research course offering at Saint Mary’s College that focused on the development of a mobile app about wildlife in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Professor Steve Bachofer, Co-PI on the SENCER-ISE partnership says, “Saint Mary’s School of Science students and professors utilize their creativity and skills to develop the app which allows Bay Area residents to increase awareness of animal habitats and to protect local wildlife and this app represents first product of our partnership.”
The course was set up as if the students were part of a start-up company producing mobile apps for clients. The goal was for students to learn programming code and apply it to a real-world situation. Professor Weiwei Pan, instructor for the course says, “As a faculty member, you try to take a background roll when possible, to let the other team members actually do the work and develop their own ideas.”
For Lindsay Wildlife Museum, the goal of the mobile app is to engage local residents with their wild animal neighbors, and increase awareness about the museum. Lindsay Wildlife Museum developed and provided the content and images, as well as general direction and feedback regarding the style and use, but the creative direction of the mobile app can be attributed to the student programmers.
Michele Setter, Director of Animal Encounters/Interim Director, Wildlife Rehabilitation at Lindsay Wildlife Museum and Co-PI of the SENCER-ISE partnership, states, “This has been a very rewarding experience for me, both professionally and personally.” She does on to say, “I am very proud of the work done by the students – they really listened to their client, were very engaged in the project, and were a pleasure to work with. This is a great tool for our community to connect with our wild animal neighbors and we are very excited to share the app with the public.”
Marco Avalos, a Saint Mary’s School of Science student, reflected on the experience, saying, “We were able to help each other in this app-building process. If one of us got stuck, another would step up and help us figure it out. It was a great learning experience.”
Watch a video about the making of that app and hear more from Michele Setter, professor Weiwei Pan, and Saint Mary’s School of Science students.