Journal archives for January 2016

January 22, 2016

The Great Nature Project comes to a close

I am sad to share that the Great Nature Project will be discontinued next month. Our portal into iNaturalist,, will be shut down in February. This decision was made to allow our small team to focus our efforts on BioBlitz in 2016 and beyond. If you’ve ever logged in on our site, you should receive a similar announcement via email.

The good news is that your observations will still be available on The project will remain accessible here on iNaturalist, but I will no longer monitor it closely like I have for the last several months.

As we plan for what’s next in citizen science at National Geographic, we would love to get your feedback on this short survey.

For the last six months or so, I’ve worked especially hard to try to reach out to each and every new user who added observations to the Great Nature Project. I’m sorry if I didn’t reach out to you! I won’t be doing that for this project anymore, but I challenge each of you to engage with the larger iNaturalist community and encourage each other to explore biodiversity.

Posted on January 22, 2016 04:52 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 18 comments | Leave a comment

Goodbye Great Nature Project, hello BioBlitz!

In case you didn’t see my other post, the Great Nature Project is ending. I have loved getting to think about how to get more people observing biodiversity and sharing their observations as part of my job. I loved overseeing the integration of with to make our site a portal into this community in order to build on what already exists rather than reinvent the wheel. We had plans to truly extend iNaturalist’s functionality in a unique way rather than just duplicate it, but our limited capacity prevented us from putting these plans into action.

The good news is that I will be able to apply what I have learned about iNaturalist and this community in my new role as “scientist wrangler” for the National Parks BioBlitz - Washington, D.C. happening in May 2016. National Geographic Society and National Park Service have been working together for the last 10 years to do BioBlitzes in different national parks. This year, the premier event will be here in DC, with hopefully more than 100 other parks around the country holding events around this time. I am working closely with staff from the National Park Service and iNaturalist to ensure that we get a high volume of high quality observations submitted to iNaturalist at all of the BioBlitzes.

We are currently recruiting people like you (naturalists!) to lead inventories in and near Washington, D.C. If you’re interested, check out the FAQs (pdf) and registration. The deadline is February 15. Sign up here if you want to get reminder emails about that deadline.

Don’t worry, I won’t be a stranger here. I might be a little scarce in the lead up to BioBlitz but rest assured it’s because I’m working my tail off to get more people on board. I still can’t wait to see what you find!

Posted on January 22, 2016 04:54 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 3 comments | Leave a comment