Journal archives for January 2017

January 01, 2017

An awesome iNaturalist year!

iNaturalist was one of my favorite things in 2016. I made a secret resolution to myself a year ago to try and make an observation every day, and then I promptly failed at that right away (missing January 4). Still, I tried to make observations on as many days as possible, and did manage every day in July (then blew that streak when I my iPhone was stolen in August).

I made 2313 observations this year of 809+ species (to all of you who manage to do more, I am super impressed! I'm not sure I'll be able to do as many in 2017). Exactly 1000 were made on National Park Service lands for the 2016 Servicewide NPS BioBlitz. I helped plan a ridiculously large BioBlitz in Washington, D.C. (but made only a few observations during that one), went to the Masonville Cove BioBlitz, attended BioBlitz Korea and spread the word about iNaturalist, and visited Acadia National Park for their longest-running NPS BioBlitz. But my most observation-full trip was a 10-day RV trip in June with my husband, daughter, and parents visiting National Parks in Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. I haven't spent much time in deserts so most everything was new. My philosophy was to photograph everything that was blooming, moving, or dead.

At the end of August, I left my job at National Geographic to start a fellowship at the National Science Foundation. My new job is 100% inside (instead of just 95%!), but it has taken me to Qatar, France, Belgium, and California in the last 3 months, so I've tried to take advantage of that as best I can (really kicking myself for failing to make an observation during my 24 hours in Belgium).

There are so many things to love about iNaturalist, but I love the people the most. I am so excited about the newcomers who joined this year, especially the ones who came in through BioBlitzes. There are too many of you to tag—even just those I know personally! I have also loved getting to know some of you as Facebook friends, even though we haven't (yet!) met in person. I am very appreciative of CalAcademy's continued support of iNaturalist so that the awesome staff can continue to support and grow this community. I visited San Francisco earlier this month and saw all the iNaturalist staff at CalAcademy—@tiwane, @loarie, @kueda, @alexshepard, and @joelle (with a virtual sighting of @pleary). While in the Bay Area I also got a late night tour of Oakland with @damontighe and went tide pooling (for the first time in ages) with @rebeccafay, @kestrel, @robberfly, @dpom, and @reallifeecology.

To my DC area iNaturalists, I'm excited to see more of you in 2017 if we can get a monthly meet up going. I'm planning the first one on January 7th at my house—bring your laptop and some food or drink to share. (Chime in on this post). Are any other cities currently having regular meet ups? Anyone else want to start?

Thanks to all for a great iNaturalist 2016 and cheers to more observations, identifications, and new naturalist friends in 2017!

Posted on January 01, 2017 12:02 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 6 comments | Leave a comment

January 09, 2017

DC January (indoor) iNaturalist gathering report

We had a small gathering at my house yesterday with @muir, @maryeford, @danbeaupre, @stsang, and @jackcamino. Good food and drink were consumed (including delicious flan made by Jack!) and iNaturalist knowledge was shared. I meant to take more photos of people, but I got distracted.

Below (left to right): @jackcamino (eating flan), @maryeford (getting ready to leave), and @stsang (looking at bats)

It was a little chaotic with the 3 year olds, but they had fun too (they argued over things like whether or not a plastic sea lion needed to swim in the dog's water dish and who got to wear a cat costume).

Below: @muir with his son and my daughter.

Unfortunately, my whole household came down with some kind of flu in the ~12 hours afterwards, so I sincerely hope that no one else picks up what we have.

Who wants to plan for February? March? April? I know several of you expressed interest in future events. Pick a date and location that works for you and let's make it happen. @treegrow do you still want to do winter tree ID in Rock Creek Park?

Tagging several who are interested: @laura_sebastianelli @katzyna @calopteryx @ecologyelise @mattluizza @judygva @timbir5

Posted on January 09, 2017 02:05 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 8 comments | Leave a comment