Journal archives for February 2019

11 February, 2019

Lifers! iNaturalist makes traveling more fun. :)

iNaturalist is freaking awesome.

I'm sure that people did bird watching before binoculars, folks gazed up at the stars without a telescope, and people looked close at stuff without magnifying glasses/microscopes. However, because of those tools, the activities were amplified by a tremendous amount!

iNaturalist is a tool that makes traveling so much more fun. I went to Florida last month, and I was blown away by how different it is than Texas -- the wildlife was so unique and amazing. I took photos of a whole slew of things that I had no clue of their identity. However, I knew that when I uploaded them onto iNaturalist, I'd be able to find out the names (or at least get an idea of how to search for them).

I'm extremely grateful to all of the naturalists that spend time going over observations and give ID's. It's such a welcoming act of sharing your knowledge about a taxon or location. It makes the data better, and it is definitely appreciated by the naturalists making the observations! It feels good to know what to call something. :)

I actually like the concept of 'lifers' too -- this is a species that I hadn't seen before (or at least, one that I hadn't documented before). It's likely pretty silly, but I enjoy seeing a critter or plant or fungi for the first time. That organism has existed on the planet for millennia, and I'm fortunate to see it! I'm challenging myself to not just learn the name of a 'lifer,' but to learn a bit more about it -- the stuff it's related to, how it lives, the various adaptations it has, and where all it's found. The name is the first step of the learning process.

Another neat thing about iNaturalist is that one doesn't have to travel far to go exploring! :) Even when I go to a new park, I realize that there's going to be new stuff for me -- even if they're species that I've seen before, I hadn't seen them before in that exact area or that exact time. What fun to explore! :)

So yep, iNaturalist is pretty cool. I'm super lucky to use this tool and be part of this community.

Quote from @scottking 's great new book (
"Names introduce species to humanity... All awareness, conservation, and research starts with the question: What species is that?" ~K.D. Dijkstra

Posted on 11 February, 2019 05:01 by sambiology sambiology | 7 observations | 3 comments | Leave a comment

20 February, 2019

A great page for iNat tips and tricks -- thanks, cassi!

@bouteloua is a rockstar. :)

cassi put together this great page that shows some of the tips and tricks on iNat. I highly suggest you check these out:

Now, we just need to convince cassi to come down and visit us in Texas some day! :)

Posted on 20 February, 2019 05:29 by sambiology sambiology | 10 comments | Leave a comment