Vermont Naturalists of the Year: Let the Contest Begin!

From drop of the ball on January 1 to the twinkle of stars on December 31, hundreds of naturalists are scouring fields and fens, mountains and meadows, lakes and lawns to discover as many species in as many Vermont places as possible in 2013. Thanks to one of our project partners, Northern Woodlands, the top Vermont naturalists in 2013 will earn a subscription to their informative magazine. The naturalists that discover and report the most species, record the most observations, or help others identify the most species on the project will be crowned at the end of 2013. Only one prize per person, so three naturalists will be honored. The observations have to be from 2013, so get out there and explore, discover, and share with the Vermont Atlas of Life!

Posted by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland, February 14, 2013 08:33 AM

Comments

2179-thumb

Darn, no retroactive 2012 contest? Well, I'm in anyway.

Posted by charlie almost 2 years ago (Flag)
317-thumb

Indeed, we actually call that the "charlie" rule! Level playing field in 2013!

Posted by kpmcfarland almost 2 years ago (Flag)
2179-thumb

hahahahahaha! Well, I still have a shot at it... maybe :)

Posted by charlie almost 2 years ago (Flag)
6624-thumb

another competition! you know how to prey on our obsessions.

Posted by joannerusso almost 2 years ago (Flag)
2179-thumb

not too likely to get the highest number of species though... too many types of insect and bird! It will be fun to see how many I can find though.

Posted by charlie almost 2 years ago (Flag)
317-thumb

A fine case of mutualism in nature Joanne!

Posted by kpmcfarland almost 2 years ago (Flag)
11792-thumb

How about showing some love for legacy observations, since I just loaded it up?!

Posted by kylejones almost 2 years ago (Flag)
11792-thumb

Oh yeah, there's still Charlie...

Posted by kylejones almost 2 years ago (Flag)
2179-thumb

ha! yeah, I saw all of those. You may still beat me on number of species, since I mostly only log plants.

Posted by charlie almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Well, you do bring up a point Kyle. But the legacy leader gets all the glory on the home page already. And you are going to have to dredge a heck of a lot more to catch King Charles I.

Posted by kpmcfarland almost 2 years ago (Flag)
11792-thumb

I have no intention of (or ability to) knock the King from his throne. I guess I'd better get outside. These warm winds are likely blowing something up from the south!

Posted by kylejones almost 2 years ago (Flag)
6624-thumb

what are legacy observations?

Posted by joannerusso almost 2 years ago (Flag)
11792-thumb

Old observations. I'm not sure there is a real definition. Let's make one--any observation prior to 12:01 AM 1/1/2013. You have a lot of them!

Posted by kylejones almost 2 years ago (Flag)
317-thumb

"old" or legacy observations are VERY important. So I hope everyone keeps pouring them into the database here, or on eBird or eButterfly!

Posted by kpmcfarland almost 2 years ago (Flag)
2179-thumb

Well, I am all out of legacy observations... so from here on out I will have only new ones. I need to start adding at least a few insects, mammals, and (shudder) birds to stand a chance. Not waking up at 5 AM though!

Posted by charlie almost 2 years ago (Flag)
11792-thumb

Awesome Charlie, the saw-whet owls will be calling soon. Ready for an all-nighter?

Posted by kylejones almost 2 years ago (Flag)
2179-thumb

I do like owls. We went out and tried to call some in a couple of years ago in Centennial Woods. It was around 5 degrees out and the owls were like 'heck no'.. they were smarter than us and were not out.

I know the Barred Owl's call so have a good chance of picking up an observation of those... though probably without a photo since I only have my iPhone camera.

Posted by charlie almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Could we have a tutorial on the best use of tags in iNaturalist? I'm not sure I'm using them properly. Or is that addressed somewhere and I'm too lazy to find it?

Posted by susanelliott almost 2 years ago (Flag)
2179-thumb

I've been lazier still and haven't used them much at all. I think the extra fields can be useful in some cases but after creating some I haven't used them much either

Posted by charlie almost 2 years ago (Flag)
317-thumb

Tags and extra fields seem to be confusing folks for sure Sue. Tags are keywords you can add to an observation to make them easier to find. For example, you find tracks of a deer in snow. You might put "track" as a tag. But, you could just as easily use the More Fields feature, type in track in the box and you'll find that a field exists call "Track or sign" You can add "track" to that and it is in the database too. Which one to choose? Well, for working with data, it is always a bit easier for us to use a bonafide field for something. So, I always like to try to use fields for things like flowering phenology, fruit phenology, roadkill, etc etc. I use tags to track anything I might like to group or search things under. Well, actually, I rarely use tags here. Clear as mud?

Posted by kpmcfarland almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Actually I think I get it. I just tried it with an easy one - an animal track - and it was easy so I'll try to use them more. I guess I was thinking that if there is a photo, not much else was needed, but now I see why it would be helpful. Now, can I put in a field for "ID is driving me crazy?"

Posted by susanelliott almost 2 years ago (Flag)
317-thumb

Sue, yeah, adding as much information in fields just makes it all the more useful now and far into future. The photo could disappear and it would take someone a long long time if there are thousands of records with photos to go through and score them for something like Flower Phenology. I try to go back to my old observations when I have time and beef them up with things like that. Yeah, I have a lot of stuff I can't ID. I am starting to think that naturalists should have 9 lives. THat's about how long it would take me to learn all the groups I am interested in!

Posted by kpmcfarland almost 2 years ago (Flag)
2179-thumb

Kyle is about to pass me in total species observed, even with my head start. I know many of these also weren't observed in 2013, but still... I think my specialization in plants is going to work against me in this regard!

Kent, if it is easy to do we should definitely set up a scoreboard for just 2013. There is one for the entire website, but it would be neat to have one for this project. I am assuming anything I put in when I visit California this spring won't count for my total :)

Posted by charlie almost 2 years ago (Flag)
11792-thumb

Don't worry Charlie, I usually can't keep up with this stuff in the summer, when there is more to be found. Kent and I had a brief off-line exchange about 2013 tracking. Not as easy as it seems like it could be.

Posted by kylejones almost 2 years ago (Flag)
2179-thumb

That's too bad. Well, we can still see the overall stats easily. And, I will also be busy this summer, hopefully, with work-related field work that will probably have little or no iNaturalsit crossover, but still hope to be out there documenting lots of neat stuff.

Posted by charlie almost 2 years ago (Flag)

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