City Nature Challenge, April 27-30, 2018 -- DFW competing with like 75 other cities too!

iNaturalist and real-life friends,

So, there has been a lot of planning going into the next City Nature Challenge. Some of our cameras are still smoking from this past one, but we'll be doing it again in 2018! The dates are in stone: April 27 - 30, 2018. Four intense days where we'll try to document as much as possible throughout the metroplex (anywhere within the 9 counties around Dallas/Fort Worth). Are you ready?!?

I want to make sure that you all know the dates, go ahead and pencil it into the calendar. This time, we'll try our best to have more opportunities to gather, and we'll be having at least one "ID party" after the event to go through observations. This last time, that didn't really happen, and too many observations just rested at "unknown." Again, any and all observations made within the DFW area will count -- check out the area and the observations from the last city nature challenge:

Also, I want you all to know just how often I use the information from the past City Nature Challenge. I emailed the results to many city councils, park boards, city mayors, and city managers throughout the metroplex. They know that not only is there biodiversity in the urban environment, but there are folks that actively want to seek it out. This sort of thing influences policy! If urban planners figure out that we care about nature, they will actively devote spots for natural habitat.

Let's show them again this upcoming year just how biodiversity exists here and how many folks care about it! :)

Competition will be intense this year... like crazy intense. So far about 75 cities around the world have shown interest in participating. Texas will have 7 urban areas playing along: Amarillo, Austin, DFW, El Paso, Houston, Lower Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio. Lots of partners on board already. Soooo, it will be a major challenge to maintain our lead like last year!

Also, just FYI, more guidelines will be drawn up on the kinds of observations we'll be using and how the competition will be evaluated. Stay tuned -- more details coming up.

Make sure to put it on your calendars! Tell your friends too! :)

Tagging many folks in DFW:
@taogirl @cgritz @kimberlietx @annikaml @bob777 @naturenut @walkingstick2 @wildcarrot @suz @tfandre @denver @andyk @itmndeborah @mchlfx @charley @brentano @zooga1961 @tadamcochran @butterflies4fun @dfwuw @jblinde @cwd912nb @kalamurphyking @daniel112 @atassin @galactic_bug_man @rmorgan @squaylei2000 @melindawpajak @aguilita @rehb @alchemist2000 @mustardlypig @fiddleman @cameralenswrangler @catenatus @gaberlunzi @mertmack1 @griff @genebem @lkholt @taharms48 @jwn7882 @oddfitz @picklepastures @phlank @cindylcobb5 @brenledbetter @spqnancy @sy25805 @nativefishnic @lulubelle @drtifflipsett @chuckd @katelyn3 @andrewbrinker @juliayl @miscelaineous @lpenn @briang @donaldhapp @lbullington24 @karinsaucedo @nerdywithnature @taosit @ryan3 @jillnugent @brennan3909 @aynhart @birdsbatsandbugs @postoak @sarahg @mnbrewer @danimal @ntc @sara39 @spteng @wilddallas @kimberlywalks @fratto @rmarusak @sammyjames @missypelican @diatomwu @littlebitt_of_nature @karen115 @wlhwildlife @jaquiring @amynature @apcorboy @laurastracke @flowerfreak @lseman @cosmiccat @betsymarsh @allopatry @lovebirder @valt @abigailmm @k8thegr8 @justjenny7 @cmoret @naturemom @gregfw @eangler @magatr0n @joshmols @caseyp @schylerbrown @elisewalkerolc @bogslogger @troutlily57 @stephaniehughes @chuckwilliamson @marcie12h @txstack @cdroz105 @perkpenn @dagmar @sandrahorton @juliethibodeaux

Posted on 17 November, 2017 16:42 by sambiology sambiology


Wow, I feel like I just recovered from the last one LOL Looking forward to it. The competitor in me is already twitching at the starting line :)

Posted by tfandre almost 6 years ago

Its on my calendar!!!

Posted by zooga1961 almost 6 years ago

Feeling left out being stuck here in Lubbock. @sambiology, who is the Amarillo contact? Maybe I can drag @ellen5, @dare2bloom with me and we can give you guys a run for your money (Kidding. DFW iNatters outnumber us 50:1)

Posted by amzapp almost 6 years ago

Thanks for looping me in, Lena. Making a reminder on my calendar. I'd enjoy doing Amarillo, but could use help choosing a venue. Perhaps @jsiegma wants to participate?

Posted by ellen5 almost 6 years ago

GAH! I'm out of town 3 of those 4 days! :-(

Posted by tadamcochran almost 6 years ago

I'm rearranging my whole life, including quitting my job, so I can be actively exploring DFW nature during those days. And I will make sure to get a lot of sleep the night before it starts. 😀 Looking forward to the ID party too, great idea!

Posted by annikaml almost 6 years ago

Thanks for letting us know in advance so we can build to it. I'm actually teaching an inaturalist class tomorrow and will mention it to get people ready. @heardmuseum

Posted by butterflies4fun almost 6 years ago

Looking forward to this !

Posted by rehb almost 6 years ago

Thanks for the dates! I'm planning ahead this time and taking vacation time on the weekdays. FYI Sam, DFW is going DOWN next year :)

Posted by nanofishology almost 6 years ago

New York City will do its best, but late April is still very early in the spring this far north... You guys far south are really fortunate.

Posted by susanhewitt almost 6 years ago

I am going to schedule that time off and make a plan of locations in multiple counties! I do think an ID party or 2 is much needed and I hope we have lots of turn out for that!

Posted by lulubelle almost 6 years ago

I'm in.

Posted by k8thegr8 almost 6 years ago

It's been on my calendar for a while. I might have even crossed off the days afterward for ID and recovery.

@amzapp You can come help us win again! I've got plenty of room at my house :) Would love to see you again, too! @tadamcochran You can go out of town, but your mothing equipment cannot. @annikaml Way to set the bar high!! @brentano @brentano @brentano Just making sure you see this. :)

Posted by kimberlietx almost 6 years ago

We want to have a moth night at Mockingbird Nature Park in Midlothian on one of those days, and I hope we work out a moth night at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center during that time, too!

Posted by cgritz almost 6 years ago

@kimberlietx I would love to lend it to you, but I'm going to Big Bend and other parts of West Texas. I'ma be mothin'! :)

Posted by tadamcochran almost 6 years ago

I am going to have to see if I can get something going in Colorado. Don't know if there are any iNatters around Delta.

Posted by taogirl almost 6 years ago

Well, it looks like us folks in or near the Austin Metroplex need to get busy! Put it on your calendar!
@kcs78602 @kathymcaleese @alisonnorthup @nanofishology @phyllis6 @jtejasrgv @gcwarbler @greglasley , et all...

Posted by connlindajo almost 6 years ago

definitely :-)

Posted by alisonnorthup almost 6 years ago

@kimberlietx was there something you wanted me to know about? LOL
I'll have it on my calendar. And spend every free moment with camera in hand.

Posted by brentano almost 6 years ago

I'll be participating but at a reduced pace. The CNC coincides with the dates for the Balcones Songbird Festival during which I will be leading a couple of birding tours. My efforts will be sandwiched around those efforts.

Posted by gcwarbler almost 6 years ago

Thanks Sam! I am marking my calendar. I am totally excited! Is it spring yet?

Posted by walkingstick2 almost 6 years ago

Need to add Bosque and Hill Counties to that DFW list!

Posted by bosqueaaron almost 6 years ago

Thanks for the update. It’s on my calendar.

I was in Los Angeles last year stuck inside working on my thesis during the city nature challenge, but I still I managed a few observations and several IDs.

Something to consider to improve local participation: create local competitions at the same time. In LA, we had USC vs UCLA trying to get the most observations for the city challenge. The key is assigning a few key sites to each organization, then get the instructors to promote the events to their students, reminding them they don’t want to get beat by the other school. Maybe it worked so well in LA because the schools have such an intense rivalry.

Posted by observerjosh almost 6 years ago

@tadamcochran Other cities are participating also. Maybe you can help with the local effort where you’re visiting.

Posted by observerjosh almost 6 years ago

Thanks for the update, Sam. I hope to be out figuratively beating the bush this year!

Posted by chuckwilliamson almost 6 years ago

@jaquiring I'll see who's in this year! Thanks for the recommendation.

Posted by tadamcochran almost 6 years ago

I’ll be competing for Portland Oregon this year!

Posted by txlorax almost 6 years ago

@sambiology I've got several locations I can help with! LOVE the moth night idea. I can host a few at WRL and BPCA!
DFW for the WIN! -also @sambiology ck your inbox.

Posted by drtifflipsett almost 6 years ago

On my calendar! Hoping to up the participation in the Flower Mound area, so having the dates will help us plan a couple of iNat classes ahead of time. @phlank , @sy25805 , @hawkilitle , @william41 , @skiester - let's up our game in FloMo/DO/Lantana and get a few meetups scheduled for those days. I'll plan a couple of classes to get new users.

Posted by naturemom almost 6 years ago

Thanks Sam! CNC2018 is on the calendar. Maybe our Friends group can host advance iNat training session at SWNP. After-ID parties are a great idea!

Posted by postoak almost 6 years ago

On my calendar!

Posted by troutlily57 almost 6 years ago

Southwest Nature Preserve is on board and ready to up our game.

Posted by joshmols almost 6 years ago

Putting this on my calendar- I might even take a day of annual leave and hang out at LLELA from open to close. That it's not on Easter this year is also a bonus.

Posted by jblinde almost 6 years ago

@connlindajo Don't worry, it's already on the calendar in sharpie and all caps :)
@gcwarbler Does this mean I actually have a chance at #1 in Austin this year?! We'll miss you, hope those birding folks realize how lucky they are!

Posted by nanofishology almost 6 years ago

Don't count me out! I just won't be putting in the kind of insane effort I made this past CNC. In my free moments, I hope to sneak around to some special places on Balcones Canyonlands NWR to pad the Austin list with some endemics, however!

Posted by gcwarbler almost 6 years ago

Excellent! I'm planning to get a bunch of things from Hays and Bastrop county in addition to Travis.

Posted by nanofishology almost 6 years ago

Can't wait!! It's on the calendar, and look forward to hearing more about the guidelines. Didn't participate last year. Thanks!!!

Posted by txstack almost 6 years ago

I can't wait!

Posted by spqnancy almost 6 years ago

I should do a few. Grad school has eaten up most of my free time.

Posted by spteng almost 6 years ago

Holy moly. It's 5 months away, and there's already this much excitement?!? Wowsie. I have a feeling there is going to be some intense competition! :) I've also got a feeling that the folks in CA recognized how much TX brought it this past year -- they're going to be on top of their game, me thinks... @lhiggins @smartrf @kestrel

I do hope that each 'place' will have some ID parties planned. Last year, that was the only major downside. So many of us were so focused on observing that we neglected a lot of the ID'ing -- this year, we'll all try better on this., yeah?

I also hope that folks focus a lot on public areas -- parks in particular. Again, I've gone back to the numbers and data from the past City Nature Challenge to get the attention of many city councils in the DFW metroplex. When they see not just the diversity of critters and plants but also the diversity of folks that go to places to see them, that gets their attention! City Nature Challenge (in my mind) is about policy change. So, we should convince everyone we know to go out and observe as much as possible!


Posted by sambiology almost 6 years ago

Oh boy Sam, you have no idea. I'm going to work with city/county/state parks plus the public libraries and science museums to see about setting up fun activities for families to participate in the blitz. I know people at Travis Audubon, and they have a great outreach/education program started up, especially with their partnership with Westcave. It will be a ton of fun!

Posted by nanofishology almost 6 years ago

Way to go! @nanofishology

Posted by connlindajo almost 6 years ago

Sam, you've convinced me, and I'm determined to make sure we document some of our local parks in hopes the powers that be will see the value in leaving parts natural and not "groom" every last inch of them. Thanks for being such a great advocate for our urban nature!

Posted by naturemom almost 6 years ago

While adding today's observations, @kueda @sambiology @marshamay @kcs78602, @timarcus I remembered how I screamed about changes to the iNat entry updates.

My concerns were graciously addressed and I have adapted.

I now appreciate the map that shows observations in Texas: DFW, Houston, Austin, El Paso areas seem to have a plethora of observations in Texas....
Perhaps a future emphasis on Texas counties with none or few observations can be a future focus... I will do my best to fill in the blanks.

Posted by connlindajo almost 6 years ago

I'm planning to head to Lockhart over the weekend to see how many things I can rack up. Trying to scope out good places for events LPMN can have there!

Posted by nanofishology almost 6 years ago

Excited and on the calendar!!!

Posted by denver almost 6 years ago

Chisholm Trail Park in SW Ft Worth needs to be on the itenerary, just talk with Michelle VF from FWNC and she’ll give you many reasons why...... especially since the CNC dates coincide with the park’s art installation unveiling where the mayor of FW will be present!!!

Posted by aynhart almost 6 years ago

I've since moved to Houston. I'll be your friendly competition :)

Posted by allopatry almost 6 years ago

I'll be sure to observe for as many hours as possible in the Austin area this year. 😁

Posted by beschwar almost 6 years ago

Hey friends,

Lots of excitement brewing for the City Nature Challenge 2018! The final list of cities is 65 all around the world. Check out the map:

Make sure to mark your calendars for these dates (April 27 - 30, 2018), no matter where you are (even if you're planning on dominating somewhere other than DFW!). ;)

If you need doctor's notes to get out of school or work...or family obligations..., message me and I'll put together something for you.

This person MUST be out observing nature during these dates ;)

Places where folks can gather with others will be worked out soonish -- stay tuned! We're creating the projects now -- DFW has been created so far, and all of the others in TX will be created in the new few weeks:

You don't have to join the projects to participate -- any and ALL observations made with the 7 urban areas in TX will count. If you do join the projects, you can get the journal updates, locations of gatherings, and results.

I'm super excited. Again, with these sorts of things, you can actively influence policy. Show others that we not just care about nature, but that we seek out areas of biodiversity even within the urban area. City councils and park boards recognize it when a good chunk of folks act like this. It's not anecdote -- I've seen it -- and it's pretty dang powerful!

Yippee! :)

Posted by sambiology almost 6 years ago

Mockingbird Nature Park in Midlothian is officially on the calendar for Friday, April 27! More information to follow as the time nears!

Posted by cgritz over 5 years ago

Looking forward to it!! Count me in for Northwest of the metroplex.

Posted by taharms48 over 5 years ago

Is there a complete list of events in the DFW area for the CNC? I think there was an Excel spreadsheet with all the info last year - anything similar this year?

Posted by annikaml over 5 years ago

Sorry, just found the list on the project page.

Posted by annikaml over 5 years ago

California is killing us on observations.. Maybe many people have a lot to upload. Do we get strategic and look for species we know are here in the area that have not been ID'd? Seem like nature is behind as I don't have an many insects with flowers not out .. Guess I need to get the sweep net out today. Also I have gotten very few moths so far as well. Good Luck to all.

Posted by butterflies4fun over 5 years ago

San Franscisco has almost 400 people participating this year. We are doing good to keep up with our almost 100 people

Posted by zooga1961 over 5 years ago

My phone camera died on me. I am sorry I can't do more...

Posted by spteng over 5 years ago

@butterflies4fun I think a lot of the very heavy iNatters are planning to do most of their uploads after they finish observations. I know I'm sitting on observations numbering up in the thousands range. We have until the end Thursday to do uploads and IDs, but only until the end of tomorrow to take photos. I've been going from dawn to dusk and then some every day so far. Hoping for at least 300 species, but we'll see. I'm pretty sure there are a few things nobody else in the challenge has found.

California beats Texas with number of people, but they've been doing this for three years at this point, and when I did calculations last year, they had a very low average observations per person.

Posted by nanofishology over 5 years ago

You go! @nanofishology and others from the Austin Metroplex.!
I was thinking many local observers were sitting on their photos until the time window expired.

It is not over until it is over.

Posted by connlindajo over 5 years ago

Just finished getting my photos transferred from my cards to computer. 2,786 to go through. And still one day to go through. So definitely ain't nothing over yet.

Posted by brentano over 5 years ago

I finally finished! I was 24 observations from my goal... Y'all keep rocking it!

Posted by k8thegr8 over 5 years ago

I don't know about anybody else, but I wouldn't say I was sitting on anything the entire four days... :D

Posted by nanofishology over 5 years ago

The sitting part starts today @nanofishology. :P

Posted by kimberlietx over 5 years ago

I'm getting close to being able to upload Saturday LOL All I have on so far is Friday. And I did not sit at all.

Posted by tfandre over 5 years ago

I was up at 7 AM Friday walked all day about 17 -18 miles until 7 PM. I uploaded to Inaturalist until 5 AM. I am not as smart as the rest of you wonderful identifiers so I had to get a jump on it. Slept for two hours. Went to the part of Arcadia I did not get to on Friday. Then home uploaded until we hours again. Sunday my honey and I got up went to Cedar v Hill. Did that park all day. It was a busy park lots of bikers on the same path with the walkers. Not very safe. Home around 6 , showered uploaded til the wee hours again. Monday up for Eagle Mountain Park. Love that place, first time going. We had the place to our selves. Home and started uploading . It was so fun! Overwhelming a little.! New things and old things took a while to find to Identify correctly. Some, I was still lost with. I needed help with those. Thanks to All of you for helping me. I am not good with remembering names of stuff. I am still uploading as I text this.🤪😛😳😩😬😴😲😤 😂😂😂My many moods for missing a good shot due to the quick get away from the many animals and insects also the bikers that almost ran us over quite a few times due to narrow paths and jumping in poison ivy was not a great option and lack of sleep due to excitement, which makes me silly and more hyper then I already am. I hope we all knocked this bioblitz out of the ball park!

Posted by walkingstick2 over 5 years ago
Posted by annikaml over 5 years ago

@sambiology (or anyone that knows for sure) Can you remind us (here or on the project page) about what ID level is necessary for the "Number of Species"? Do you know if Genus level counts or does it have to be species level? Doesn't have to be Research Grade, right? Do casual observations count? Trying to focus my time and energy on impactful observations.

Posted by kimberlietx over 5 years ago

@kimberlietx I am wondering the same thing. I am trying to search and ID all the mothing night stuff in hopes it helps the species count...but some of them are a little tricky...

Posted by drtifflipsett over 5 years ago

Actually I would like to know the same thing.

Posted by susanhewitt over 5 years ago

Now that I have finally moved to Colorado, can't help you with the DFW bioblitz but sure hope I can drum up some interest for future years around this location. DFW has such a great group of citizen scientists.

Posted by taogirl over 5 years ago

I stink at moths and flies are so hard. I'm still uploading. I'm halfway through Sunday now but once I'm done, I want to try to get all my stuff ID'd. Would be nice if there were some experts in moths and flies that could lend a hand with all of our stuff.

Posted by tfandre over 5 years ago

@tfandre Once I have uploaded all my stuff I can take a look at your moths - and maybe you can help with my plants! =)

Posted by annikaml over 5 years ago

@annikami LOL Oh sweetie, plants are SO off my radar. I had to force myself to remember to take a few during the challenge. Anything else I can help with, let me know :)

Posted by tfandre over 5 years ago

@tfandre and @annikaml I have tomorrow scheduled just to help with IDs all day! Let's figure out what level ID counts and let's get our species count higher!!! I can help with plants and many moths (though my moths are testing my patience this evening).

Posted by drtifflipsett over 5 years ago

@drtifflipsett awesome! I still have 1200 photos to go through but hopefully I'll manage to get them all up tomorrow.

Posted by tfandre over 5 years ago

I spent way too much time in prairies with plants and grasses, neither of which I'm good at. Plus they don't photograph well, so it's harder to see them. And I can't get to uploading and identifying until late Wednesday afternoon! Cramming about 900 photos to process, upload, and get IDed by Thursday.

Posted by naturemom over 5 years ago

Lots of you DFW-ers up late last night blasting out observations. Go get 'em!

Posted by amzapp over 5 years ago

So, for "species," they use the phylogenetic species concept... So, the 'end of the branch' is a "species."

If something only gets to genus (and no one else observes the same genus that can get down to species), then it is +1 species. :)

Clear as mud, yeah? :)

Posted by sambiology over 5 years ago

If the DFW species count beats out Austin, I'm going to call for some DNA barcoding challenges on every plant and moth ID that was added. ;-)

Posted by gcwarbler over 5 years ago

You know, the taking was SO much more fun LOL I'm completely spent and still working on Sunday. Jeez! But ask me if I'm having a good time??? Yup, I'm a total nutter!

Posted by tfandre over 5 years ago

@gcwarbler Didn't you get the memo? TPWD offered free handheld field DNA devices. We made sure everyone in DFW got one. So sorry you missed out on that! Now if only there was a way to link that data to the observation....

Posted by kimberlietx over 5 years ago

@tfandre, I think the epithet is "Natter"!

Posted by gcwarbler over 5 years ago

LOL Yes, perfect!

Posted by tfandre over 5 years ago

I walked about 16 miles- I didn't get as many observations as I had planned because work obligations interfered with my plans to take Friday off, but I did find three new lifer birds and got some cool observations including a great photo of a sora, so I am pleased with that. Also, my husband thinks I'm nuts. Moths and plants are not a strength but I'm trying to help with ID's where I can.

Posted by jblinde over 5 years ago

Stick a fork in me...I'm done. It's noon on Wednesday, and I have to pack for a long weekend trip to Alpine and Big Bend. Sorry I can't get to more IDs. This has been a GREAT CNC!! Please tag me for specific questions (moths or plants) and I'll check iNat once or twice this evening.

Posted by gcwarbler over 5 years ago

Soooooo....I didn't really get to participate in the CNC this year because I was out of town, but luckily my girlfriend's car broke down along I20 on the way home Sunday; just inside the DFW CNC boundary. During our 4 hour wait for a tow truck I was able to get a whole SIXTEEN observations along the roadside and they are now uploaded. I have no doubt that my contributions will give us the win for CNC 2018.

Posted by tadamcochran over 5 years ago
Posted by walkingstick2 over 5 years ago

Can anyone help me navigate the logistics of the IDs? I have some folks, who I think were trying to help, but have ID'd some items that were plants (and iD'd as a bug)- so clearly just letting the algorithm search the image... and these are on my own images... I can't override the suggestion at all- so how do I take it off since my request to remove it isn't working. The only option for a drop down is to flag it... Thanks for your help! I am LOVING seeing our species count go up!

Posted by drtifflipsett over 5 years ago

Wonder how many observations are still out ... we are now within 500 of moving into second place.

I only made thirty - I can hardly walk now, which is a real drag. But a third of them are ID'ed to species level but have never garnered any confirmations to get research grade. I'd sure appreciate it ...

Posted by abigailmm over 5 years ago

Two observations behind San Diego right now!

Posted by annikaml over 5 years ago

We're ahead by 56 obs! Woohoo!

Posted by k8thegr8 over 5 years ago

HAHAHAHA. True Story. I'm getting the kids to bed so we can DO THIS before midnight!!! We have this!!!!! We have FIVE hours.

Posted by drtifflipsett over 5 years ago

I like the dedication, @drtifflipsett

Posted by annikaml over 5 years ago

Go DFW! How does SD look in your rear view mirror?

Posted by amzapp over 5 years ago

We have gone ahead of San Diego County and are solidly in 2nd place in observations. But no way are we going to catch San Francisco. However I thnk the deadline is nine tomorrow morning.

Posted by abigailmm over 5 years ago

SD is only 230 observations behind us. I wouldn't bring out the champagne yet. Instead I'm hounding my non-iNatter friends (yes, I have friends like that!) in DFW asking them if they took any pictures during CNC and forcing them to sign up and post them! :-)

Posted by annikaml over 5 years ago

@annikaml You go Girl! Round them up and fast!

Posted by walkingstick2 over 5 years ago

If anyone is bored and has nothing to do for the next hour, I have so many plants and so little ID skills when it comes to plants. Help!

Posted by naturemom over 5 years ago

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