Journal archives for October 2015

October 06, 2015

You can lead a person to iNaturalist...

...but you can't make them upload.

Person on a listserv (paraphrased): I saw this interesting thing that I'd like help identifying. Can anyone look at it for me and explain the behavior?

Me: I recommend submitting it to and adding it to any regionally or taxonomically relevant projects to help it get noticed. Email me your user ID and I'll try to help tag some people who might be helpful.

Person: Thanks for your suggestion. Would you be able to put me in direct contact with anyone who could help with the ID? It would be great if I could talk directly with a specialist, since I have a number of questions about the behavior I observed.

Me: I have one idea of an iNat user who does a lot of macro invertebrate monitoring who might know more. Hopefully on iNaturalist you'll come across a specialist and can ask. After all, it's a social network for naturalists. :-)

Person: Hello--were you able to find anyone who might be able to help me identify this species from the photo I sent?

Me: Did you upload it to iNaturalist yet?

Person: I appreciate the suggestion, but I'd much rather contact an entomologist who works with the group--I was hoping you might be able to recommend someone.

Me: headdesk

I should have just sent him to BugGuide.

Posted on October 06, 2015 06:21 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 8 comments | Leave a comment

October 21, 2015

People, projects, and pages you should follow

National Geographic's Great Nature Project

This is my job, so I have to plug this one :-) Also, I look at everything added to this project. If you want me to see your observations, make sure you add them to the Great Nature Project shortly after you add them to iNaturalist (or add them directly on, but if you're reading this journal post, then I'm guessing you'd rather add them on the iNat website or mobile app).


Are you following iNaturalist on Facebook? They've started sharing an Observation of the Day.


AfriBats, created by @jakob 

I did some work with Tanzanian fruit bats (but mostly the plants they disperse) during grad school, so Jakob recruited me to run a Facebook page for AfriBats. You should follow us!


Sam aka @sambiology 

He's a frequent iNaturalist journal writer and avid iNaturalist evangelist.


Ken-ichi Ueda aka @kueda 

He probably has more followers than anyone else! He was a co-creator of iNaturalist and is still the lead programmer. 


Cheryl Harleston aka @magazhu 

She lives in an apparently magical forest in Mexico and captures beautiful plants and animals with her photography. I think I've given her more "favorites" (you're using that feature too, right?!) than anyone else!


Marcello aka @marcello

Gorgeous insect photos.


Nicolas Olejnik aka @nicoolejnik 

He lives in Argentina and sees some exciting wildlife, including the most favorited observation to date on iNaturalist (in case it changes later, it's this one).


Paul Cools aka @paulcools 

Paul came in through the Great Nature Project in May and I am continually impressed by the quality AND quantity of his observations. 


This list of people could get quite long, so I'm going to stop here for now!


iNaturalist stats! 

Check out graphs of trends in iNaturalist use. You can see the effect of the global snapshot of biodiversity in the number of observations and users. In September, a similar surge occurred following some high-profile coverage of Naturalista in Mexico (see here and here, thanks @carlos2!). 


iNaturalist journal posts 

I check on this occasionally to find interesting new-to-me projects and users. 


iNaturalist Google group 

For really nerding out about iNaturalist. It's a good place to get help too for questions that might be answerable by the community rather that just iNat admins. 


Who/what else should I be watching? Please add your suggestions in the comments!


Posted on October 21, 2015 06:30 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 6 comments | Leave a comment