If you're into iNaturalist/citizen science, you MUST listen to (or read) this clip -- inspiring!

Please listen to this. Share with friends too. Oh, and then go outside and observe! :)


Josh Tewksbury, "I feel that it's an incredibly exciting time to be a naturalist, perhaps the most exciting time to be a naturalist that has ever existed on this planet. And I think the opportunities for naturalists today far exceed what they have ever been in the past, and that the possibility of discovery today is far greater than it ever has been in the past. We have still only scratched the surface of what's out there, most of the work that needs to be done is natural history and the urgency of that work is increasing every year. It's becoming more and more relevant to policy, and to culture and to the future of our societies and that's becoming more clear.

The other point I want to make is just that we are now able to do incredible things by being small. I can have my observation of these 16 or 20 or 50 plants that I've observed here, combined with hundreds then thousands then tens of thousands of other peoples' somewhat meaningless observations, to become very meaningful. Because suddenly the casual observation of the grizzly bear in the Park is accompanied with a digital photo on an iPhone, which changes Park management. Never possible before that, already happened here.

The same kind of thing is going to happen in species discovery, in range discovery, in changes of ranges because of climate change, and it's going to be citizens with technology that are now the leading edge of natural history. The line between scientist and citizen is going to start blurring, what is an expert will be changing and you will no longer have to have a PhD to be an expert in your field, because the means of communication and identification are no longer go to the white-bearded expert with a PhD. It's go to the social network where the answer is."

Posted on 16 March, 2015 16:38 by sambiology sambiology


I think PhDs will have to enter the digital era and start working side by side with citizens around the globe! I prefer being called a Naturalist than a PhD. :)

Posted by aztekium almost 9 years ago

I think there are some great opportunities to partner with schools and bring in the next generation as well. Such a need exists to get children excited about and involved in science and the natural world, and kids are so great at using technology, it seems like a good fit.

Posted by jblinde almost 9 years ago

This is great! Thanks for sharing this. Josh Tewksbury has been such a great voice for the importance of natural history.

Also, here's his profile:

Posted by carrieseltzer over 8 years ago

Cool -- thanks, Carrie! He has another follower now. :) Although, I guess he's not on iNat too too much these days.

Posted by sambiology over 8 years ago

I tweeted to him and commented on one of his observations in the hopes that he'll come back :-) Sent him a link to this too.

Posted by carrieseltzer over 8 years ago

You're good, Carrie. ;)

Posted by sambiology over 8 years ago

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