Journal archives for March 2021

March 25, 2021

Spring into Spring Challenge Updates

Hi everyone,

Thank you to all that participated in our Spring into Spring Challenge last week! As of today, during the week of 3/14/2021 - 3/21/20201, we had a total of +1100 observations and +120 observers! We are impressed with the work that this amazing community has done so far since the launch of our Fire Followers website - thank you all!

As a quick update, we have the five winners from our first raffle! Congratulations to @keirmorse, @maddiesmit, @rogerpasadena, @raphaela_fb, and @lglevanik! I have already messaged the winners, please respond by the date which I specified.

Additionally, if you made observations for MARCH 14-21, please upload your observations by this Sunday MARCH 28! Winners will be announced in our next journal post which will have details on our next challenge. Stay tuned for that!


Posted on March 25, 2021 17:40 by jaesparza11 jaesparza11 | 1 comment | Leave a comment

March 10, 2021

Become a California Fire Follower!

In 2020, California experienced the largest fire season in recorded history. Fire is as much a natural part of California as earthquakes, and can be as destructive: buildings leveled, lives lost, places dramatically changed. But fire is also a necessary part of nature, often awakening sleeping seeds and providing a light blanket of ash to nurture fresh growth. Plants dependent on fire are an important part of California's natural diversity we call “pyrodiversity.”

The Fire Followers project seeks to record the response of plants in areas burned in the 2020 historic fire season. With your help, we can compare plants seen before and after fires, increase understanding of pyrodiversity, and provide crucial information on species of concern to aid in recovery and conservation efforts. Plants are often faulted for wildfire and targeted for removal. This project will increase our understanding of the reciprocal relationship between plants and fire. In addition to the scientific value that Fire Followers offers as a community science project, it empowers individuals of all backgrounds, especially those historically excluded from conservation and outdoor spaces, to engage with the community, science and their local environments.

We are excited to announce that the CA Fire Followers Project is ready for you to help add and identify observations! Check out our website for more about the project and other ways to get involved. Everyone who joins and trusts the project before March 14 will be entered in our raffle for a chance to win CNPS and Fire Follower merch!

About our Project
As I am writing this, we have nearly 5,000 plant observations of 859 species and 437 identifiers making over 8,150 identifications! You’re tagged in this post because you are among some of the top observers and/or identifiers, and we hope that you are willing to take part in documenting and observing the incredible pyrodiversity in California. If you live near a burned area that is safely accessible to the public, feel free to venture out on your own or follow our website here to find out about more ways to get involved. Also, feel free to share this project with your networks and community! All of your observations made within our burned area boundaries throughout California will be aggregated in our California Fire Followers Project here on iNaturalist. The 28 largest burned area boundaries, along with one “Single Fires” (composed of 61 locations) are in the California Fire Followers umbrella project.

We created a draft guide of fire-following flowers here--we’ll want your help in editing it!

Can’t wait to see all your contributions!


Posted on March 10, 2021 21:22 by boschniakia boschniakia | 16 comments | Leave a comment

March 30, 2021

April Challenges

I hope everyone is doing well and has had an opportunity to visit some of the many burned sites throughout California. As we approach the end of March and jump into April, we are excited to bring to you a few new challenges to start the new month!

Usually the saying is “April showers bring May flowers,” but our season starts early: March showers bring April flowers! So starting April 1st, we will be holding our first month-long challenge! The April Flowers Challenge will start on Thursday, April 1 and finish on Friday, April 30. The person who makes the most plant observations in April will be rewarded with a Fire Follower Shirt! The winner will be announced the following week on May 7th, so don't forget to upload your observations by the end of the day on Friday!

Second, starting April 1st, we will also be holding our new April Fools challenge! A lot of us can be fooled by the good-looking computer-aided suggestions, but check again! Is the plant suggested even found in that region? This challenge will reward the top 3 plant identifiers--non-redeemable bonus points for weeding out those foolish computer-based identifications. Our April Fools Challenge officially starts April 1st and will conclude on Sunday, April 11. Winners from this challenge will receive a Fire Follower Pin!

Good luck and help us identify during these challenges! We understand that not everyone has access to burned sites and it might be difficult to venture out at the moment. Identifying is something that everyone can help with.
1) There are currently approximately 63 plant observations with no ID at all. Even if you do not know the species, you can help by identifying the observation to a finer level such as identifying the family, which is extremely helpful for others. Also, feel free to use the comment section to let others know what you're thinking!
2) There are also approximately 3846 plant observations that still need help with IDs. You can help by confirming IDs that have already been made, refining IDs from general to more specific and correcting mis-identifications. The Suggestions tab will offer similar plants seen in the area--make sure you check it’s a good match.
3)To find likely mis-identifications, look at the Species tab of one of the fire areas you know pretty well. Scroll down to the bottom and look at the plants that only have one or two observations. Check on any out of range observations or plants you know are ornamental.

To learn more about making observations, check out this iNaturalist tutorial!

As a reminder, winners will be contacted via iNaturalist messages, so keep an eye out for any messages from me in case you win!

Posted on March 30, 2021 16:57 by jaesparza11 jaesparza11 | 15 comments | Leave a comment

March 12, 2021

Spring into Spring!

Hello everyone,

Thank you for the overwhelming support in joining the project and sharing this with your networks to help us continue to grow. We hope that you are all staying safe and healthy, and are able to enjoy nature to some capacity. As a quick reminder, daylight savings begins this Sunday 3/14! As the first day of spring approaches, we are excited to see what observations people make between when we “spring forward” and the arrival of spring!

We encourage everyone who has access to burned sites to go out and make as many observations as you can between Sunday and the beginning of spring (3/21/21). During this time, we will be holding our first of many challenges! At the end of the week, we will be recognizing our top three observers and rewarding them with Fire Followers shirts!

If you do not have access to burned sites or cannot go out to make observations this week, do not worry. We will be holding various challenges over the coming weeks to allow everyone to have a chance to win. More information to come in future journal posts!

Additionally, those who have joined and trusted the project by 3/14/21 will be entered in a raffle to earn some stickers! We will announce five winners for this later this week, but in the meantime, continue to share the project with your family, friends and community members!


Posted on March 12, 2021 19:04 by jaesparza11 jaesparza11 | 5 comments | Leave a comment