A CITIZEN SCIENTIST is anyone willing to observe and record the world around them for the purpose of enhancing out collective understanding. The goal of The Diving Bell Society is to increase our ecological understanding through the collection and archival of immersive images. These images will allow anyone to still and observe an ecosystem that they may not be able to get to because of distance or because it no longer exists. These virtual references will serve people around the world through education and guidance in future restoration. You can contribute by simply going out into nature, recording VR footage, and uploading your work to the archive. To do so you’ll need a few support items beyond the VR camera. We’ve provided a list of items that you’ll need and a step by step guide on how to record the desired footage and supporting data. Become a Citizen Scientist today, and together we can create a blueprint for the future.


  1. VR Camera  – We suggest either the Samsung Gear 360 or Nikon’s KeyMission 360
  2. Monopod with feet
  3. Smart Phone
  4. Compus or Compus App
  5. GPS Unit or App – we like Locus Map Pro right now
  6. A measuring tape, at least 12ft.

Additional Items (Not required but suggested)

  1. Plant ID Book and/or App – Both PlantSnapp and LeafSnap have been useful.
  2. An empty toilet paper roll
  3. A Cruise Angle or other tool for measuring Basal Area.


Capturing important visual and quantitative data is simple. From start to finish it should take about 25 minutes to complete a site. Here are the steps you’ll take once you are at your location.

  1. Clear your site of any garbage. Bag it up and take it home with you if you can do so safely.
  2. Set up the camera at the center of your desired location
  3. Record the GPS coordinate of where the camera is standing.
  4. Ensure the monopod is standing roughly 5ft tall.
  5. Film for 10 mins. Make sure that you are out of the view of the camera for this amount of time.
  6. Take you 12ft measuring tape, lay it out from the base of the monopod and extend it NORTH till it extends the full 12 feet.
  7. Take at least 1 still 360 photo from the same spot with the measuring tape in place.
  8. Identify as many plants as you can and write down the names. The goal should be all plants in the circle that your camera capture. If you need to look some up when you get home take a few pictures with your phone for easy reference.
  9. Record some basic notes on the landscape.

For those of you looking to go above and beyond we could use a few more things.

  1. Measure the canopy cover.
  2. Record the basal area.
  3. Record the DBH (diameter at breast height) of each tree identified.

Once you are back at a computer with wifi you can fill out the survey and upload the images. And just like that critical data and immersive images of your site have been archived for the benefit of everyone. Not bad for 25 minutes.