When we first introduced Dr. Albert Yu-Min Lin in our Adventurers of the Year feature story last November, we were all blown away by his groundbreaking archaeological quest in northern Mongolia—you even gave him the Readers' Choice Award. Now you can literally be part of his expedition team with our new Field Expedition: Mongolia website.
By conducting a noninvasive archeological survey as never before—with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flyovers, ground-penetrating radar, remote sensors, satellite imagery, and even a 3-D virtual reality chamber—the team has redefined exploration and conservation. And while solving the 600-year-old mystery would, of course, be amazing, Lin's ultimate goal is to help preserve the region's significant cultural heritage (see a photo gallery from their previous expedition).
To do that, Lin's crew is currently on the ground in Mongolia's "Forbidden Zone" to continue their search—with some new tech toys, such as their "oktokopter" UAV (see it nearly crash into Lin in this video). But all the technology in the world can not make up for the skill of the human eye, so they are asking for your help. Think of it as a citizen science expedition team of 1,000 or 10,000 or as many people as we can recruit. The potential for discovery is astounding.
On the Field Expedition: Mongolia website you can examine real-time satellite photos to spot irregularities that the scientists on the ground should investigate. Lin's team will then report back with their findings. This crowd-sourcing technique has been used before—perhaps most notably in the search for Steve Fossett's lost airplane. We are hopeful that you will have a hand in helping preserve Mongolia's most sacred heritage. Follow their blog and sign up for newsletter updates.