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Jepson iPhone App Prototype

Visual design of iPhone App Prototype of the Jepson Manual of Higher Plants of California

The “Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California” is the definitive field guide for vascular plant identification in California. In 2010, I accompanied botanists in the field and observed the Jepson’s massive size limiting their work. Rare and endangered plants often cannot be collected, so botanists need a portable version of the Jepson for use in the field. In this self-initiated project, I created a Jepson iPhone app prototype to address this need. Shown below is botanist Rebecca Stubbs hiking up to elevations over 10,000 ft in search of specimen from the Polemonium genus — obviously, hauling a 10 lbs. book is not practical in these circumstances.

Rebecca Stubbs, botanist and The Jepson Manual of Higher Plants of California

Here’s a typical excerpt from the printed Jepson

The book is essentially a huge repository of decision trees, “keys,” which allow scientists to identify a plant down to the species level. Here is the key for the species Pinus jeffrey, the Jeffrey Pine, which I’ve used in my mockups and prototypes

Sample page from The Jepson Manual of Higher Plants of California

30-Second Video of Functional Prototype (no audio)

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