Journal archives for September 2016

September 18, 2016

My work flow with iNaturalist... Aka "How to be inefficent but extremely accurate!"

So, a few folks have asked me how I get lots of observations up in no time. Well, "no time" is relative. I spend lots and lots of hours on iNat every day (time well spent!)... But it also inspires me to spend more time outside to go out and explore more! :) So here's my workflow from the time I step out the door...

1. Take camera and some extra camera batteries and memory cards
2. Look for a place that I haven't been before -- a park usually, or at least different areas/places in a familiar spot
3. Take pictures of EVERYTHING! I try to just get the plants with flowers or fruits, but any bugs or birds or fungi, I do try to get. iNat has dramatically changed me in this way. I used to be solely focused on plants that I would be oblivious to all other things... With iNat as a tool, I feel like I'm truly exploring the complete ecosystem. :)
4. Get worn out and go to AC or water -- exploring can wear me out!
5. Crop pics on camera -- @gcwarbler yelled and yelled and yelled at me to crop stuff, so now I do it all the time! :)
6. Get home to and transfer pictures to computer.
7. Use the old photo uploader (sorry @kueda @tiwane @loarie -- I'm a creature of habit!)
8. Manually put in location and narrow down accuracy circle to around 4 m. I don't use the GPS on my camera as I've had some trouble with it before -- and when I photograph a bird waaaay far away, I want the observation to show exactly where the bird was. Anyways, old school, but I just manually put in my location. I rarely obscure observations, especially when in a public park. If I'm on private land, of course I obscure, but I'm not a big fan of the obscured observation -- they end up making my map look messy.
9. Put in a little narrative on the observation of where and why I was there. This doesn't have any scientific value, perhaps, but it does personalize my observations. I like that. :)
10. I don't always add a specific ID right away -- I feel that it's ok to not know exactly what it is that I saw before I upload it.
11. "Save and add another" -- rinse and repeat! I'm usually up to about an observation a minute or so... So, 50 observations uploaded in an hour, give or take.
12. Work on ID'ing! I sometimes upload stuff first, and then come back to it later on to work on ID's. I'm super thankful for all of those that help me out with ID's. I try my best to reciprocate that for others. I do mis-ID a lot, but I'm continually learning too. In the big scale of things, I think engagement is more important than being "correct." :)

So, that's pretty much my regular work flow when it comes to uploading observations. It's definitely not super efficient, but I like that it's pretty dang accurate.

Posted on September 18, 2016 00:36 by sambiology sambiology | 8 comments | Leave a comment

September 23, 2016

Continue to add observations -- each one is valuable. :)

Every single observation of an bug, bird, plant, or fungi continues to be valuable to this project and our understanding of the flora and fauna of Tandy Hills. With all of these observations, we're updating the species guides. Take a look:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?project_id=4985&place_id=any&verifiable=any&captive=any&view=species

If you want to know what butterflies and moths have been observed at Tandy Hills, go here:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?captive=any&place_id=any&project_id=4985&subview=grid&taxon_id=47157&verifiable=any&view=species

What kind of plants in the sunflower have been documented? Well, here you go:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?captive=any&place_id=any&project_id=4985&subview=grid&taxon_id=47604&verifiable=any&view=species

You can search for groups of things with this digital field guide -- fungi, frogs, moss, or beetles... Whatever you want!

So any and every time you go out to Tandy Hills and make observations, your findings are helping to create a wonderful guide to other explorers. Please continue! :)

Posted on September 23, 2016 19:21 by sambiology sambiology | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 28, 2016

BioBlitz on Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 9 am - noon!

Dallas Park & Recreation BioBlitz

What is a BioBlitz? A certified Wildlife Biologist, Master Naturalists, and scientists will help community members locate and identify different species of vegetation and wildlife within the park using the iNaturalist app. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. What to Bring: Water bottle, backpack, binoculars, hiking boots, sunscreen, insect repellent, smartphone with iNaturalist app downloaded, and your curiosity!

Parking available along Arborside Drive.

Texas Pollinator BioBlitz

This is part of a larger effort from Texas Parks and Wildlife to identify pollinators throughout the state.
Texas pollinators need our help.
#savethepollinators

The monarch population across the Eastern United States, Canada, and Mexico has declined by nearly 80% over the past 20 years. Besides monarchs, 30 native pollinator/flower-visiting species (bees, butterflies, and moths) are designated as Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Pollinators (butterflies, bees and moths, bats, hummingbirds, wasps, flies, and beetles) sustain native plant species, human food crops, and even crops for livestock. Let’s help each other learn about pollinators and pollinator habitat. Let’s encourage planting of native, nectar-producing plants and pollinator gardens in communities, schools and backyards across Texas.

Posted on September 28, 2016 17:56 by sambiology sambiology | 17 comments | Leave a comment