cassi saari Curator

Joined: Aug 19, 2012 Last Active: Sep 18, 2018

iNat Tips & Tricks:


  • It's totally ok to just leave an identification at a broader level, like "sunflower family" or even just "plant." If someone helps identify something further, don't "agree" with the ID until you've confirmed the identification seems correct. Otherwise observations may become "research grade" mistakenly.

  • Take the automated species identifications with a grain of salt. Sometimes it provides suggestions for organisms that are only found halfway across the world!

  • Turn off "confirming identifications" in your account settings (only receive notifications about identifications that don't exactly match your own). It greatly reduces the number of unnecessary notifications you receive. You'll still get notifications if there is a comment attached to the agreeing notification.

  • Bookmark the iNaturalist Blog.

  • Join the iNaturalist Google Group.

  • View recent comments (search all comments -- typing your username there is one way to search for mentions).

  • View recent journal posts.

  • Search identifications, e.g. all my identifications of Nabalus albus.

  • Search observations based on identifications with ident_user_id, e.g. Nabalus observations where I added an identification.

  • Show scientific names first, set your preferred common name place, or completely hide common names in your account settings.

  • Find species observed by others, but not yet observed by you, with URL qualifier "unobserved_by_user_id", e.g. flowering plants not yet observed by bouteloua in the state of Illinois.

  • Search for observations within a group but without a specific member of that group with the "without_taxon_id" search qualifier, e.g. identify Silphiums, but not S. laciniatum, S. terebinthinaceum, S. integrifolium, or S. perfoliatum or search for milkweeds, but not common milkweed. You can do the same thing with places with "not_in_place" and projects with "not_in_project."

  • Use the Data Quality Assessment section to mark observations as cultivated, that they lack evidence of an organism, or that the community can't improve them based on the photos provided. A few of us have prepared some frequently-used responses for new users and problematic content.

  • View "Marked Atlases" - species that have observations falling outside of their known distribution (read more about Atlases).

  • You can always download iNaturalist data and manipulate it as you please.

Don't hesitate to reach out to me, help@inaturalist.org, or the Google Group if you have any questions/feedback about iNat.

Curating Needs

There's a lot you could help out with as a member of the iNaturalist community. Besides uploading observations and helping others identify theirs, there is also a need for volunteers to help with curating the site's taxonomic database and help resolve various issues that come up. If you're interested in becoming a curator, read through the iNat Curator Guide and shoot an email to help@inaturalist.org.

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