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Mazda are running a competition on their ‘Mazda Rebels’ website. Our very own Rob Simpson is in the running and, if he wins, he plans to use the Mazda grant to create a Zooniverse ‘First Responders’ program. The aim is to use the power of the Zooniverse to help during a major humanitarian crisis, such as a future natural disaster. Together we’ve made major contributions to scientific research, from marking bubbles in the Milky Way to marking giraffes in the Serengeti. We think exploring and tagging images taken by satellites, and from the air, could provide similarly useful results in an humanitarian crisis, assisting organisations and first responders on the ground, who need more accurate information about where help is needed. This is something we’ve been working on for a while, in an effort led by Galaxy Zoo researcher Brooke Simmons, and now we’re ready to give it a try. As a global community coming together during a crisis, the Zooniverse could provide rapid assistance and even, possibly, save lives.

If you’re interested, go and watch the videos and vote for your favourite project at