GrowsAtGriffith garners outside attention


  • VC Ian O’Connor will unveil a new app designed by Griffith next month that is already garnering attention from outside educational institutions.

Griffith’s new app, GrowsAtGriffith, allows users to access an attractive, easy-to-use and concise flora database of the common vascular plants found on Griffith University campuses, in south east Queensland and in areas specific to Griffith(eg. the Toohey Forest).

Created by Associate Professor Catherine Pickering and and PHD student Mark Ballantyne of the SEET School of Enviornment, in collaboration with the INS Learning and Teaching SEET Team (Educational Designer Gary Tischer, Application Developer Michael Speirs, and Graphic Designer Oleg Estrin), Grows@Griffith was originally designed to be particularly beneficial to the university’s School of Environment undergraduate students. However,  the GrowsAtGriffith app is useful to anyone wanting to identify plants in six different plant communities – traditionally this would require a number of guidebooks to identify plant species and communities, but GrowsAtGriffith allows for field work and identification on-the-go.

PHD student Mark Ballantyne and Assoc. Prof. Catherine Pickering testing out GrowsAtGriffith

PHD student Mark Ballantyne and Assoc. Prof. Catherine Pickering testing out GrowsAtGriffith

Michael Speirs, Oleg Estrin and Gary Tischer show off their fantastic work

Michael Speirs, Oleg Estrin and Gary Tischer show off their fantastic work

By incorporating a site-specific species, search engine and database of photographs, the app allows users to enter features about the plant they wish to identify. By selecting plant characteristics such as flower colour or leaf shape, or which campus the plant is growing on and the time of year, users can refine their search and produce a concise list of possible matches in the field within seconds. The search engine contains over 200 species of plants found across all five campuses including both native and exotic species and over 500 photos between them.

It’s not just the University that is excited about GrowsAtGriffith. The Toohey Forest Environmental Education Centre has praised the App and will be incorporating its use into a number of their programs, while adjusting some of their own plant ID programs to align with Griffith’s App. The Ecocentre will direct students to download the GrowsAtGriffith app prior to their visits.

In addition, both the Natura and WasteWatch Programs have distributed GrowsAtGriffith as a resource in their work with local schools on the Gold Coast. These programs are provided to between 35,000 to 40,000 school children.

GrowsAtGriffith is available for download from the App store and Google play. To date, the app has had 569 downloads (and counting!).

You can find out more about this fantastic app by visiting the Grows@Griffith webpage.



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