How to use the Skipper Science App

Download and Print our observation guide below and throw it in your pocket or keep it on your boat as a handy cheat sheet for how to upload observations.

I. Registering for the Program

  • Go to the Skipper Science web form and sign up: https://skipperscience.org/sign-up/
  • Receive a welcome email as well as an email with your username and password setting prompts. 

II. Downloading the app to your smartphone

Go to Google Play store or the Apple App Store and search for “Indigenous Sentinels Network Sentinel app”.  This is the app we are currently using for Skipper Science for recording observations.  It is available for download on the Google Play store and the Apple app store.  Sign into the app with your username and password to start recording data!

III. Making Observations

What to collect: There are three main types of information that should be

Context or General Data
• Date, time, observer details
• Weather details including estimates of wind speed and direction,
visibility, precipitation
• Sea state, tide, and water temperature (if possible)

Observation Detail Data
• Species or environmental phenomena observed (or best estimate).
Note: do not attempt to overstate your reliability on species
identification (i.e. if not sure always say so)
• Number of fish or wildlife (or best estimate), including age and sex class
if possible to identify reliably
• Behavior of animals: general categories are usually best (e.g. active,
resting/inactive) unless they are doing something specific and
identifiable (e.g. fighting, nursing, foraging)
• Condition of animals: (e.g. entangled, branded, dead)
• Interactions with other species. The interaction field can also be used to
record prey species identified in the stomachs of fish caught

Photo Documentation
• Whenever possible, take photos or video
• Take as many photos as needed to document the observation including

IV. Recording / Uploading Data Collected

Enter all observations into the ISN Sentinel App. Observations that are not recorded right away are often lost forever – don’t let that happen to you!

What to do:

Recording Observations using the ISN Sentinel App
• Open the ISN Sentinel App and log in using the Username and Password
provided for your account
• Press the “+ New Observations” button.
• Enter the General (Context) Information in the appropriate fields.
Note that the fields marked with a * are required fields. Next, go to the “Database Actions” section and press the “Save” button to continue with your observation.
• From the main landing page press the +Add Observation Details button
to enter the Observation Details of the species or environmental
phenomena you are recording. Note that multiple Observation Detail
entries can be made for a single observation period or context data section.
• When all the Observation Detail data has been added go to Database “Actions” and press the “Save” button. Your observation will be saved to your phone regardless of internet access.
• When all data has been entered go to the main landing page of the ISN
Sentinel App and press the “Upload now” button. The upload time will vary depending
on the number of images being uploaded. Note that your device must be connected to the Internet to upload data.
• Contact your program coordinator to verify that all data is uploaded if
there is any doubt.

Uploading Photos
• Photos taken with mobile devices (e.g. iPads or Android tablets) can be
uploaded directly with an observation by going to the Images section of
the App:

→ Use the “Add picture” function to take a photo directly from
within the App. This will open the device’s camera
and the photo will automatically be included and uploaded with
the observation.

→ Use the “Select from gallery” function to add a photo from the
image gallery of the device.

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