Carrie Seltzer Curator

Since September 2016, I am a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation working on open data policy. Prior to that, I worked at National Geographic on BioBlitzes with collaborators in the National Park Service. I live in Washington, D.C. but have traveled quite a bit.

My advice to new users:
-Look for other users in your area. Comment on their observations, favorite the cool ones, and add IDs.
-Not many users in your area/expertise? Recruit others! Organize outings. Give presentations (use mine!)
-Help other users! Add and confirm identifications for species you are familiar with. There are always plenty of observations that don't have any id at all and in that case even adding "plant" or "insect" is helpful.
-This is a social network, so the more you interact with other users, the more likely other users are to interact with your observations.
-Be the kind of user you'd want to interact with. Basically, be a good iNaturalist citizen (helpful, friendly, kind, firm but polite when necessary).
-If you're the kind of person who is anxious about being wrong, don't be so afraid of being wrong. We all make ID mistakes sometimes. That's part of learning. (I'm looking at you, professional biologists who are especially self-conscious because of your credentials.)
-Join relevant projects and add your observations to them. I'm always trying to get more people involved in AfriBats!
-You get out what you put in.

In general, I take mediocre photos, like commenting to welcome & encourage new users, and am not very good at birds. I previously managed National Geographic's Great Nature Project. Before joining National Geographic, I got a PhD in Ecology (I studied seed dispersal by fruit bats and giant pouched rats in Tanzania). I know some plants and animals from mid-Atlantic and midwestern U.S., some Afrotropical plants (especially fruits and seeds), most East African fruit bats, and some other African wildlife. I'm a proud graduate of Earlham College which has a long history of training field biologists. I love meeting other iNaturalists (supernaturalists!) and learning how to find and identify new things.

Next known travel destinations:
-Montreal in September
-Earlham College (Indiana) in October
-Sao Paulo, Brazil in November
-New Orleans in December

Contact me if you want to meet up!

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