The City Nature Challenge was a huge success.

The City Nature Challenge was a huge success.

Many of us in Dallas/Fort Worth are worn out, but I do hope it’s a good kind of worn out! I was out quite a bit with fellow naturalists throughout the weekend. On Easter, I even went out a bit by myself. I explored, noticed nature, and thoroughly enjoyed myself as I documented all of the living things around me. I was frequently reminded of just how many other creatures I share the planet with. It’s a wonderful experience. With iNaturalist, I have a tool that can help me learn the names of these plants and animals, and it connects me with other naturalists around the world. In DFW, I wasn’t alone in using this tool – almost 500 fellow citizen scientists joined me in this! Around 24000 observations of about 2300 species were documented during just 5 days (April 14 – 18). Amazing.

But what about the data? Well, let me tell you how I will use the data that we all accumulated during the city nature challenge. As an urban wildlife biologist, I am fortunate to have a direct line with many municipalities and policy makers. I work with city councils, park boards, landowners, and every day citizens. I already knew that there were people that cared about nature, but with the numbers from the city nature challenge, I have a tangible piece of evidence of just how much people care. This is significant!

Not only do these numbers show that diversity exists in the metroplex, but it also shows that there is an active constituency that wants to go to these areas with this diversity. It shows that if a city maintains areas that are good for wildlife, the naturalist community will come and enjoy it. This naturalist community will be stewards of it as well! Now, that is powerful. That is something that can change policy for future generations. That is good for wildlife and people.

I will be using these numbers and data for years and years to come.

If you’re looking for the ‘winners’ in this, let me be frank: nature won. Learning the names of the plants and animals that live here with us is the first step in learning all about them. The benefits of this challenge will be experienced for years to come! Share it with others!

Even though the City Nature Challenge is complete, I encourage you to continue to participate in citizen science! Exploration doesn’t end here – there are many more living organisms to appreciate in Dallas/Fort Worth. I encourage you to keep exploring and keep documenting. I challenge you to examine the observations of others as well as your own – ask for guidance, provide guidance, and learn from others. Stay in this naturalist community – it’s a welcoming one!

Congratulations to everyone that participated in this competition. I am mighty proud of my fellow naturalists here in the DFW metroplex. Great job. :)

Posted by sambiology sambiology, April 22, 2017 17:46

Comments

Thumb

I had a blast here in Houston and encouraged many of my friends with cameras to participate :)

Posted by artemis224 about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

I cannot stress how important projects and tools like these are, in an era of declining funding for basic science. We need to enlist enlightened Citizen Scientists to help grow and expand our knowledge of the natural world around us.

If you ever had doubts as to the power and usefulness of this movement just look at the amazing results from this one project.

Robert J. "Bob" Nuelle, Jr. AICEZS
Citizen Scientist
Research Associate in Entomology and Botany
Sam Houston State Natural History Colections

Posted by rjnjr about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

My small contribution, on April 15 at Southwest Nature Preserve, was great fun! Sam, your point is so right about how this shows the constituency for nature and the energy and commitment that people will put into it. Not to mention the amount of data that becomes available. There would never be enough graduate students to be able to cover that much ground and submit that much data on all species, common and uncommon. Citizen scientists really can make a contribution.

Not only that, but leaders, facilitators, and teachers like you are essential - thank you!

Posted by drawntoscales about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

We had a wonderful time! Thanks to all who participated, and a special Thank You to all of you who took the time to help with ID's, it was a fantastic group effort!

Posted by slbarnes about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

I am glad to hear that this wonderful data is being used. I hope it is as well out here in New England!

Posted by kellyfuerstenberg about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

You did an amazing job of motivating observers while continuing to teach at events and helping with ID's.

Posted by suz about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

Nature Won! Nice to hear that.

Posted by sy25805 about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

It was great fun!

Posted by mewaters about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

It was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun. By the way I changed my name from Galacticbirder to Thebugman I decided change it because a few reasons. You might have seen the post on Facebook. But yes I had a lot of fun doing this thing and I really made a ton of new memories with my friends and my family. I enjoyed hanging out with you @sambiology, @brentano, @kimberlietx, @briang, and the rest of the Texas Master Naturalist crew. I had a lot of fun and found a few new bugs and things too add to my ever growing life list. It was quite memorable. And yes I do agree Sam nature won no denying that my friend.

Posted by galactic_bug_man about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

Well said!

Posted by laurenjansensimpson about 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

Wonderful!

Posted by bosqueaaron about 3 years ago (Flag)

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments

Is this inappropriate, spam, or offensive? Add a Flag