The goals of Luminous ID are to a) increase citizen engagement at the Long-Term Ecological Research site on Niwot Ridge, and b) build up a geographic and photographic dataset of plant species, in order to record how species’ geographic distributions and phenology (timing of flowering) are shifting with climatic changes.

Design and development

This website and app was designed and developed during a two-year collaboration between the Computer Science Department, the Environmental Studies Program, and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The species in the field guides are a representative, but not exhaustive, list of species growing at the University of Colorado’s Mountain Research Station and Niwot Ridge.

Developers aka "The Garden Club"

Ryan M. O'Connell
Chase Springer
D’Vreux Fontaine
Brian Larson
Kevin Rau
Jennifer Baumann

In collaboration with

Nathalie Chardon
Jane Smith


This project has been made possible with support from the National Science Foundation via a Long Term Research in Environmental Biology grant to DF Doak and WF Morris and the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program at Niwot Ridge.


Image Use: Images included in this website and app have been made freely available by their owners for education and research purposes. Contributors retain the full copyright for their images. Images may be used only in unmodified form for personal or educational use and are NOT available for commercial use unless permission is first obtained from the copyright holder. Any image used in a non-commercial publication, report, or as a web link, must credit the photographer or artist, as well as the name of the website hosting the image.

Illustration Credit: All illustrations included in the Luminous ID app were created by Jane G. Smith.

Photo Credits:

*Biopix: A. Neuman, J.C. Schou | http://calphotos.berkeley.edu

William D. Bowman

*CalPhotos Photo Database: B. Anacker, B. Breckling, R. T. Hawke, S. Matson, K. Morse, A. Schusteff, D. Wm. Taylor, A. Trnkoczy | http://calphotos.berkeley.edu

N. I. Chardon

*R. H. Mohlenbrock, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database | USDA NRCS. 1992. Western wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. West Region, Sacramento.

*SEINet data portal, Arizona - New Mexico Chapter: P. J. Alexander, T. Ayers, B. Gratwicke, L. R. Landrum, M. Licher |http://swbiodiversity.org

J. G. Smith

The New York Botanical Garden

*USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database | E.G. Hurd, N.L. Shaw, J. Mastrogiuseppe, L.C. Smithman and S. Goodrich. 1998. Field guide to Intermountain sedges. General Technical Report RMS-GTR-10. USDA Forest Service, RMRS, Ogden.