Carrie Seltzer iNaturalist Staff

Joined: Jun 15, 2012 Last Active: Dec 13, 2018

Since February 2018, I work for iNaturalist! As the Stakeholder Engagement Strategist, I manage the international iNaturalist Network and assist with other organizational relationships.

From September 2016- February 2018, I was an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation working on open data policy. Prior to that, I worked at National Geographic on BioBlitzes with collaborators in the National Park Service. I live in Washington, D.C. but have traveled quite a bit.

I help coordinate the DC area participation in the City Nature Challenge (look how well we did!). If you want to be involved in DC or Baltimore for 2019, please join the Google Group that we use for coordination.

My advice to new users:
-Look for other users in your area. Comment on their observations, favorite the cool ones, and add IDs.
-Not many users in your area/expertise? Recruit others! Organize outings. Give presentations (use mine!)
-Help other users! Add and confirm identifications for species you are familiar with. There are always plenty of observations that don't have any id at all and in that case even adding "plant" or "insect" is helpful.
-This is a social network, so the more you interact with other users, the more likely other users are to interact with your observations.
-Be the kind of user you'd want to interact with. Basically, be a good iNaturalist citizen (helpful, friendly, kind, firm but polite when necessary).
-If you're the kind of person who is anxious about being wrong, don't be so afraid of being wrong. We all make ID mistakes sometimes. That's part of learning. (I'm looking at you, professional biologists who are especially self-conscious because of your credentials.)
-Join relevant projects and add your observations to them. I'm always trying to get more people involved in AfriBats!
-You get out what you put in.

In general, I take mediocre photos, like commenting to welcome & encourage new users, and am not very good at birds. I previously managed National Geographic's Great Nature Project. Before joining National Geographic, I got a PhD in Ecology (I studied seed dispersal by fruit bats and giant pouched rats in Tanzania). I'm a proud graduate of Earlham College which has a long history of training field biologists. I love meeting other iNaturalists (supernaturalists!) and learning how to find and identify new things.

Next known travel destinations:
-None!

Contact me if you want to meet up!

View All