Ben Armstrong Curator

Joined: Jul 24, 2017 Last Active: Oct 31, 2020

I cordially invite you to join the iNaturalist Discord server, a chat community for naturalists. There's always something new from this diverse and enthusiastic group. We have special events such as voice chats with notable iNaturalist personalities & naturalists on social media. We help each other level up our skills, sort out tricky ID's, and engage in group efforts to improve iNaturalist data. Dronefly bot helps us achieve this with ease. You can learn more about the bot below. Please join with this link: https://discord.gg/C57VKVU

My current favourite taxa include bees, syrphids, beetles, spiders, arthropods in general, lichens, and birds. I'm not an expert in any of these, but am eager to learn & take on new challenges.

The Dronefly Discord bot is a tool we use in our daily discussions there to interact with the iNaturalist platform. It has a rich command set including some commands to do things you can't directly do on the iNaturalist website or app (like related to find the nearest common parent in the taxonomic tree between two or more taxa). It focuses on social features that fit into our daily discussions about what we're finding, like tabulating and linking to all observations by several people for a given taxon, or doing the same with several places instead. It's a richer way to use & enjoy the iNaturalist platform than just the web & app alone. I'd encourage you to join with the link above and try it out.

Dronefly has been on ongoing project that I lead which started late in the summer of 2019 and is steadily being developed with new features on a week by week basis. If you're interested in checking out our code, keeping tabs on new feature releases and bugs, or perhaps contributing to the project in some way, please visit the project page on GitHub: https://github.com/synrg/dronefly


Thanks to my parents for encouraging us as kids to be curious about the natural world!


I serve on the board of the Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization https://wrweo.ca/ as secretary & tech guy, and am active as a volunteer steward of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail, our most important work. iNat helps involve our trail users & provides data for research in this area. See: https://inaturalist.ca/projects/the-bluff-wilderness-hiking-trail

BugGuide is pretty much the place for insects and their relatives. I recently joined but haven't contributed much yet: https://bugguide.net/user/benarmstrong

For many years, I volunteered as a developer for Debian GNU/Linux. Dronefly bot runs on this operating system.

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