Journal archives for December 2015

December 13, 2015

Identifying for others... My two cents.

"ID please?"

One of the big selling points of iNaturalist is the help from the community in identifying organisms that you may not know. I like to tell people that their single act of "learning the name of something" actually adds to the global understanding of that organisms' existence in space and time... So, it's a pretty cool thing.

I must admit, I really enjoy ID'ing organisms for others, but I have been wrong many, many, MANY times. Anytime I've ID'ed one of your observations, I highly suggest that you double check me -- google images can be wrong sometimes, but a simple google search of the species name (not necessarily the common name) can lead to some quite reliable sites.

I also try to use the comment section on observations, although, not nearly as much as I should. In my opinion, it's good to put in an "ID based on _____" and backing up the ID with some website or source that the observer to look at.

I think it's ok that people ID organisms that have already been ID'ed several times before. I have done this and continue to do it -- it helps me learn some of the variations in the organisms. It may clog up the dashboard of the power-users, but this is something we need to get over. :)

Now, a challenge: as soon as you learn a new organism, I dare you to look through iNat at the other observations of that organism! That repetition is great for learning. :)

What do you think of ID'ing?!?

Posted on December 13, 2015 18:42 by sambiology sambiology | 11 comments | Leave a comment

December 30, 2015

Year of iNaturalist... A really good year.

If there is one word that I would use to describe the year 2015, it would be “iNaturalist.”

Within me was an explorer, and iNaturalist has brought this out and nourished a genuine curiosity of the natural world. It feels like I’ve devoted more time doing iNat than anything else this past year, and to be quite honest, I feel as though it has all been time well spent! I observed so many amazing organisms and the vast majority of them were found right here in Dallas/Fort Worth. I learned so many names, and from learning the name, I found out more about the organisms themselves. I went out actively looking for the organisms that I hadn’t seen before, and in some cases, found some things I didn’t even expect. It’s been a great year.

Inspired by @jmaughn , I decided to spend every day exploring, if just for a little bit. I’d go outside during lunch or find a new spot during the weekend to flip over rocks, look up for birds, and of course, document every plant that has flowers or fruits. Every single day I interacted with organisms – I wanted to show that through iNaturalist.

It’s been a big year! I added around 9000 observations of almost 1900 species in 2015… Next year… double that! Well… maybe not quite double… but I’ll hopefully still be out exploring every day!

Something else that this year has encouraged for me – relationships! I have developed some amazing friendships with fellow iNatters… Many of these folks I’ve never even met in person, but I consider them close friends. When I went down to the @greglasley ’s Texas iNat gathering, it truly felt like I was going to a family reunion – I was so excited. Silly, I know, but the companions that I’ve met here on iNat are quite meaningful to me. We all share that same explorer instinct, I think. Maybe this is the strongest aspect of iNaturalist… It fosters relationships among people with similar interests.

VERY grateful for this community and network. Excited for 2016.

~Sambiology, naturalist. :)

Posted on December 30, 2015 22:31 by sambiology sambiology | 24 comments | Leave a comment