iNatting With Friends!

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to write a snippet about the benefits of "iNatting" with others, which can be an enlightening learning experience and one that tends to contribute positively to the number and diversity of submitted observations, which I will explain in a moment. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Sam Kieschnick (aka "sambiology") while on a business trip to his home area of north Texas where we explored a local natural park together and found a gob of interesting species. I'm only somewhat familiar with Texas fauna and flora from my past trips there, so meeting a local expert was a fantastic experience not only from a personal perspective, but also from a pure learning opportunity. Sam's knowledge of the area is extensive and appreciated by me, and I feel like I took a significant leap forward knowledge-wise there. Thanks Sam!

As I mentioned earlier, iNatting with friends also tends to increase the diversity of organisms submitted to iNaturalist. From my many outings with fellow SoCal local BJ Stacey (aka finatic), I have been struck many times by the times when he simply notices that obscure plant or insect that I had walked right past only moments prior. I often return that same type of favor. Therefore, the overall impact is a more complete "bioblitz" of the area and more species we're both able to see. It is interesting to note that when we explore areas separately, we tend to observe an overall less abundance of creatures.

A few weeks ago, another iNatter, Susan Hewitt (aka "invertzoo") visited my local patch and BJ and I were fortunate to be able to visit a local beach to sample the many Mollusks there, a group in which we are both really just starting to immerse ourselves. We learned so much from that experience that has allowed us to more confidently document these creatures in our travels since.

So in summary, my recommendation is to reach out to others in your local patch or even farther afield if you are comfortable in doing so, to go on expeditions together. You will not only likely learn a lot, but you will quite simply see more of the life bounty that nature has to offer.

Jay Keller

Posted by jaykeller jaykeller, October 09, 2015 03:14

Comments

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Great comments, Jay. The iNat communitty is an amazing set of folks with such an incredible knowledge base. How can one not learn a great deal when out with some of them! Glad you and Sam got together!

Posted by greglasley over 3 years ago (Flag)
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I agree -- it was GREAT fun! There is quite a bit of potential in iNat being a "meet-up" sort of thing. Granted, it's quite enjoyable to go out solo and explore for yourself, but the species discovery/recognition is amplified when you go out with someone! I can't wait to come over to CA to learn the flora from you! :-D

Posted by sambiology over 3 years ago (Flag)
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I agree too. Having an iNat buddy (or more) is of value not only to yourself but hopefully to the person with whom you are iNatting. I've been fortunate to have spent time in the field with many people from the community and each has brought me some knowledge.

And I too have walked right by an interesting organism only to half to walk back uphill (it's always uphill in these cases) because you found something.

To take things a step further, the identification of unknown organisms can be worked on by both parties. There have been many things that I've photographed for which I have no idea and you've come up with a species level ID. I hope that I've offered the same service to others too.

Posted by finatic over 3 years ago (Flag)
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Three hearty cheers for this journal post! iNat-ting with others is the way to go - in fact, it can form a kind of mini-Bio-Blitz environment. @robberfly , @dpom and @leslie_flint and I did this along an under-iNat-ted stretch of SR84 in San Mateo county back in July, and it was an incredible sharing experience, where we were learning from each other while also having a great time. We are learning so much as an entire iNat community, and the idea behind iNat includes (at least for me) balancing our computer time with our outdoors time, reconnecting to the natural world while also documenting it (for the future, and to better protect it). We should see ourselves as a living community, too. Thanks, Jay!

Posted by gyrrlfalcon over 3 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks for the kind words Jay. When I come to SoCal (Encinitas) this year, which I think will be in September, I am very much looking forward to seeing you and BJ, and possibly anyone else who wants to learn a bit more about mollusks. :)

Posted by susanhewitt over 3 years ago (Flag)
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Well said, Jay. Thanks for taking the time to write this post. I hope to get more people from my area on here!

Posted by marknenadov over 3 years ago (Flag)

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