Year of iNaturalist... A really good year.

If there is one word that I would use to describe the year 2015, it would be “iNaturalist.”

Within me was an explorer, and iNaturalist has brought this out and nourished a genuine curiosity of the natural world. It feels like I’ve devoted more time doing iNat than anything else this past year, and to be quite honest, I feel as though it has all been time well spent! I observed so many amazing organisms and the vast majority of them were found right here in Dallas/Fort Worth. I learned so many names, and from learning the name, I found out more about the organisms themselves. I went out actively looking for the organisms that I hadn’t seen before, and in some cases, found some things I didn’t even expect. It’s been a great year.

Inspired by @jmaughn , I decided to spend every day exploring, if just for a little bit. I’d go outside during lunch or find a new spot during the weekend to flip over rocks, look up for birds, and of course, document every plant that has flowers or fruits. Every single day I interacted with organisms – I wanted to show that through iNaturalist.

It’s been a big year! I added around 9000 observations of almost 1900 species in 2015… Next year… double that! Well… maybe not quite double… but I’ll hopefully still be out exploring every day!

Something else that this year has encouraged for me – relationships! I have developed some amazing friendships with fellow iNatters… Many of these folks I’ve never even met in person, but I consider them close friends. When I went down to the @greglasley ’s Texas iNat gathering, it truly felt like I was going to a family reunion – I was so excited. Silly, I know, but the companions that I’ve met here on iNat are quite meaningful to me. We all share that same explorer instinct, I think. Maybe this is the strongest aspect of iNaturalist… It fosters relationships among people with similar interests.

VERY grateful for this community and network. Excited for 2016.

~Sambiology, naturalist. :)

Posted on 30 December, 2015 22:31 by sambiology sambiology


9,000 species! Now that is a very big year. Always interesting to read the ramblings you post here. Hope the new year is full of great discoveries and busy cameras.

Posted by wildflowerenthusi... almost 8 years ago

Sam, that is so fantastic!!! If you send me your e-mail list I would be happy to send you our publication on our personal bioblitz project on iNaturalist. My e-mail is All the best for 2016!

And my motto for 2016 is the same as 2015: Find wonder in all things, even the most commonplace. Carl Linnaeus said that.

Best wishes,
Lena Struwe

Posted by vilseskog almost 8 years ago


Posted by mikaelb almost 8 years ago


Posted by charlie almost 8 years ago

Yay Sam! You bring a lot of joy to others too. :)


Posted by susanhewitt almost 8 years ago

9000 observations! What am I doing with my time :)
I enjoy your dialogue and observations, here is to 2016 being even a bigger iNaturalist year.

Posted by damontighe almost 8 years ago

Agreed Sam, and your enthusiasm is an inspiration to us all. I have noticed as well how much time I have spent on I-Nat and it is a worthy effort. Imagine all this important natural history information not being available or being lost with us or on a crashed hard drive. One of the things that needs to be discussed is a true achival record being produced of these 2.5 million observations (and growing!). Here's looking forward to another productive year of learning and reporting. Best, Gerry

Posted by gtsalmon almost 8 years ago

You not only do a great job of consistently recording observations, but IDing, guiding others, and all around iNat promotion! Great job, Sam!!

Posted by kimberlietx almost 8 years ago

Glad I talked @kueda into joining me in Texas this year. That meeting showed us all...lunatics abound....throughout the Nation he and @loarie have created. Your passion is infectious, Sam. Some of the more...high-functioning don't have your charm. We are all, however, smart and this world...makes us. Pleasure to meet you as well. I vote you Head Cheerleader of Team iNat.

Posted by robberfly almost 8 years ago

Great post, Sam! Agree with all your sentiments. Here's to 2016!

Posted by billdodd almost 8 years ago

I'm humbled and amazed that anything I've been doing would inspire you, Sam. I'm also inspired in turn by the 9000 observations you made in 2015. My goal in 2016 will be to try to keep pace with you! Well, that and maybe to try and get at least a half dozen of my identifications correct the first time out...

Your fellow lunatic,

Posted by jmaughn almost 8 years ago

Cheers Sam !
We enjoyed meeting you this year too, and thanks for all your kind comments and ID suggestions on my observations !
All the best to you for the New Year and we hope to spend some more time with you in 2016.
Lang may yer lum reek !
Richard and Shannon

Posted by rehb almost 8 years ago

9,000? Wow! Congrats!

Posted by cosmiccat almost 8 years ago

Thanks everyone -- that number wasn't put on there to brag, it was more of an admittance of my true addiction! :) It's a wonderful addiction, and my life is so much richer because of it. I hope I never become an expert, so I'll always be learning new things and finding organisms that make me go, "Whaaaa?!?" Almost every day was filled with "Whaaaa's" with either my own observations or many of yours. :)

Again, I'm so fortunate to be a part of this network -- I'm still thinking about where on my body I'll put the iNaturalist tattoo. Neck tattoos are still fashionable, right?

Posted by sambiology almost 8 years ago

Well, I'm pretty sure if three or four iNatters got together we'd qualify as a gang in certain jurisdictions...

Posted by jmaughn almost 8 years ago

well, they did supposedly try to make citizen science illegal in wyoming.

Posted by charlie almost 8 years ago

What would we call such a gang?

Posted by wildflowerenthusi... almost 8 years ago

The Sharks ( dang! Already in "West Side Story" ) :/

Posted by robberfly almost 8 years ago

Sam, your learning is our learning. Thanks for sharing and happy new year!

Posted by oz4caster almost 8 years ago

Cheers Sam. Thanks for being a big help and Teacher!

Posted by ntc almost 8 years ago

Wonderful post, Sam. Need to add lots of plants to come closer to your amazing tally. Perhaps some of us obsessives would be iNutters.

Posted by krancmm almost 8 years ago

Great post Sam, and it was a pleasure corresponding with you all year and especially having the chance to explore your neck of the woods with you in person. You are a great contributor to the social aspects of this site as well, which I can learn from and spend more time doing (as one of the probable "high-functioning obsessives" with less charm that @robberfly mentioned). ;-) Keep up the great work!

Posted by jaykeller almost 8 years ago

Way to go Sam. I feel much the same as you and have been very happy with the new friendships that iNat has fostered for me. I do look forward to meeting in person so many of the people that I correspond with here on iNat and for whom I have deep respect for their knowledge of the natural world.

Posted by finatic almost 8 years ago

Awesome Sam! Looking forward to another great year of Natural History.

Posted by loarie almost 8 years ago

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