My vision... And how I can achieve it with iNaturalist. :)

"Some people can see with their eyes but have no vision." ~Helen Keller

[When asked about what we can all do] "This world is our world; it is our home. We are all living here together." ~Malala Yousafzai

"I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down." ~Nehemiah

I attended a little Leadership meeting a while back, and there were several presenters that were broadcast (Payton Manning, Seth Godin, Ed Catmull, Rudy Guiliana, Malala Yousafzai), and I got quite a bit to chew on from the messages I heard. This leadership thing was mostly about business and being the head of a company or whatever, but it gave me clarity on what I'm doing and what I'm striving to do.

There were two big questions from one of the presentations:

  1. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field... but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business?
  2. What breaks your heart?

My answer to the second question is "apathy towards nature" and my answer to the first question is changing the second! With iNaturalist, I truly believe that people will become more interested in nature. It is integrating something that everyone is into (technology and modern gadgets/tools) with our environment and the organisms all around us. The simple question of "what is this?" is asked by everyone when they're outside. If they learn what it is, I think they will start to like it.

I thought a lot about the recent trip that I went on with the other folks that are iNaturalist masters (greglasley, robberfly, cullen, maractwin). I thought about what all they do with iNaturalist and how they have and are impacting others. In my job, I get to lead kiddos around a nature park and get to answer the "what is this?" question a lot. iNaturalist provides me with an even greater reach and impact. Sure -- with each new person that joins and adds observations, it'll mean more time invested in helping them with ID's, but it's worth it! Perhaps they will reciprocate the ID help (as best they can, as I do).

So, I'm going to continue to share iNaturalist with everyone I meet. I hope you do too! Also, don't be scared to help someone with an ID. You don't need to be an expert. "I think it's ____..." is a great way to provide some guidance. It tells that person, "Hey, this is a valid contribution to the database. Neat that you found it! Thanks for contributing!" :)

I'm really passionate about this thing because I believe in it. I believe it can dramatically change an apathetic view of nature. That's pretty meaningful. :)

Posted by sambiology sambiology, May 12, 2015 20:19

Comments

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Great comments, Sam. I agree and certainly hope more people will start to see the world around them in a way they realize how important it is to take care of! Thank you.
Greg

Posted by greglasley about 5 years ago (Flag)
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Beautiful writing from the heart, Sam. INat has had a radical effect on many of our lives. Yes, I love being out there alone with my curiousity. But then I meet others, like that day we all had recently at Hornsby, and I wonder...how do you INat...pure joy? Go forth, my new friend.
Liam

Posted by robberfly about 5 years ago (Flag)
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working on iNaturalist tattoo now

Where should it go? On my neck? ;)

Posted by sambiology about 5 years ago (Flag)
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SAM, on your forehead! I,too, am attempting to change the world with INat! ( or at least my little local area of it!) When a neighbor asks' why is there only grass? I thought there was supposed to be Bluebonnets in the Park?' my answer is look at this link, there are 276 species of plants and beasties within that little area of 'only grass' with more to be found and documented. All of them depend on each other and us to survive. It has discouraged several people from asking for the park to be mowed a more evenly or being as worried about the long, boring grass. That would not have been possible, or as easy to do, if it were not for all of you above! ( and many others!) giving your time and expertise to a complete novice in Texas flora fauna (Me!) to Id my observations and donating(really good) advice on how to improve my documentation techniques. Between us, maybe we are winning!

Posted by andyk about 5 years ago (Flag)
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Great comments. I am always nervous about making an ID for someone else, unless it's something I am absolutely sure about. I don't like to be wrong, lol...I'm even nervous about guessing on IDs for my own observations. But the more I learn, the more I see...and the more I see, the more I want to learn. And that's what it's all about!

Posted by jblinde about 5 years ago (Flag)
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Ditto on what Greg and jblinde said....ljc

Posted by connlindajo about 5 years ago (Flag)

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