An Interview with @greglasley

If you have posted a bird, dragonfly, or damselfly observation to iNaturalist, odds are that former law enforcement officer and lifelong nature enthusiast Greg Lasley (@greglasley) has added an identification to it. With over 262,000 IDs made for over 13,000 users, Greg is iNaturalist’s current top identifier (@aguilita is a close second) and he has shared a lifetime of knowledge and experience with our with iNaturalist community. The humility and generosity of many in the iNaturalist community really is wonderful.

I had the opportunity to interview Greg this past April during the “Southwest Texas iNat-a-thon” and we discussed his experience with nature photography, how iNaturalist has changed the way he photographs wildlife, and about his ID contributions. A humble man, Greg didn’t have too much to say about that last topic but it was great to hear how he has found a home for decades worth of photographic slides and how documenting species for iNaturalist has changed his habits and objectives when out in the field. Check out the interview below, and look for @briangooding, iNat’s top Odonata identifier, in a brief cameo).

An Interview with @greglasley from iNaturalist on Vimeo.

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And here are some related links:

- Greg’s professional nature photography page.

-  An Observation of the Week post we wrote about Greg in 2016.

- A Texas Parks and Wildlife video that features Greg at about 3:30.

Posted by tiwane tiwane, July 13, 2018 10:10 PM

Comments

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Super video Greg and was a surprise to see it here, didn't know it was coming :)

Posted by ericisley 5 months ago (Flag)
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@greglasley is awesome!

Posted by pisum 5 months ago (Flag)
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It's too bad you weren't a TPWD Game Warden. You could have been in law enforcement without having to hide your nature enthusiasm. :P

Thanks for all your advice and IDs.

Posted by star3 5 months ago (Flag)
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Greg the interview was wonderful! I am very grateful for all your help and wisdom. I hope you keep at it. Your photographs are beautiful! You have paved a way for many to hopefully follow. Thanks again!☺️

Posted by walkingstick2 5 months ago (Flag)
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kudoes. can't contribute more to what was already said.

Posted by jay 5 months ago (Flag)
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I have learned so much from @greglasley: photography + nature. He is an amazing citizen scientist aka profesional superstar! Thanks Greg for sharing so much of your time and wisdom.

Posted by metsa 5 months ago (Flag)
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Great feature on Greg. Really appreciate Greg's input and comments on my observations!

Posted by paul_prappas1 5 months ago (Flag)
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Great spirit and enthusiasm expressed by a true naturalist!

Posted by chlorophilia 5 months ago (Flag)
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Excellent feature! I've learned a lot from Greg, too.

Posted by cgritz 5 months ago (Flag)
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Great interview with an all around good guy, the real deal Boy Scout! Thanks for all of your guidance.

Posted by itmndeborah 5 months ago (Flag)
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Great interview @greglasley!

Posted by myelaphus 5 months ago (Flag)
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With his knowledge and generosity, Greg has opened up big areas of the natural world to me. Thanks Greg!

Posted by muir 5 months ago (Flag)
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Greg has been advising me on odonates and other insects for several years now and definitely improved me as a naturalist for those critters I never paid any attention to before. His dedication to documenting records is amazing and important. As a wildlife biologist myself, I know how under-documented many species of mammals are, so I give him a lot of credit for those roadkill pics that he posts which even I won't always stop for. He's definitely made iNat a more useful and reliable resource for understanding faunal distributions.

Posted by jnstuart 5 months ago (Flag)
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Great interview! Importantly, pointed out all the valuable attributes of the records provided by iNat users for science and tracking populations geographically.

Posted by katharinab 5 months ago (Flag)
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Greg, I truly appreciate what you do and I am inspired to continue my nature studies.

Posted by denniswross 5 months ago (Flag)
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Texas Highways magazine hired me as photography editor in 1992. I quickly learned that the magazine's readers were a lot sharper than me when it came to identification of birds, bugs, plants and other things in our natural world. I also soon discovered Greg as an incredible resource for nailing identification, especially on birds; in addition to being a darned skillful photographer. He, and other subject experts, became my "go-to" advisors; keeping me from using sometimes erroneous identifications supplied by photographers.

When my wife and I converted our family ranch west of Austin from agricultural use to wildlife conservation in 2000, Greg proved invaluable with our spring breeding bird surveys. He's continued to help us over the years, and wound up compiling an odonate list for our property. He continues to visit and photograph what he finds and thus adds to the known species list over time. These lists, along with a comprehensive vegetation list compiled by "plant guy" Bill Carr, aided us in obtaining a conservation easement on the property this year.

A public shout out to Greg: THANK YOU Very Much!

And, IF you're a dedicated iNat member and would like to access our property, feel free to contact me. We're always open to observation and documentation of any aspect of our natural world here.

Posted by mikmurphy 5 months ago (Flag)
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Thanks everyone for the nice comments. The iNat community is like a very large and diverse family scattered worldwide, but we have a great deal in common. The spirit of helping one another with learning about nature is inspiring for all of us. @mikmurphy and I have been friends for many years and, as he mentioned above, he and his wife Julie have allowed me to visit their wonderful 400 acre property for many years. I have taken a number of fellow iNat folks out there such as @robberfly @annikaml @gcwarbler @sambiology @maractwin @brentano @kueda and @mchlfx have, I believe, all spent at least a little time there. Mike and Julie are very generous and allowing naturalists to visit gives them great pleasure and satisfaction.

Posted by greglasley 5 months ago (Flag)
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Beyond your knowledge of nature and outstanding photography, you've got a heart of gold. One of the finest human beings I've had the pleasure to know. I'm so glad iNaturalist brought us together!

Posted by mchlfx 5 months ago (Flag)
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Greg is awesome. He is probably the main reason I got addicted to iNat.

Posted by connlindajo 5 months ago (Flag)
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Wonderful stuff! Thanks so much Greg!

Posted by susanhewitt 5 months ago (Flag)
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I have been doing iNat seriously for about a year and I have come in contact with a number of new heroes for me, Greg Lasley is chief among them, already helping with bird and odonate IDs. I appreciate very much learning from the iNat community. BTW, Greg and I have a connection in that I took Cullen on his first bird walk. Thanks Greg.

Posted by russh 5 months ago (Flag)
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Greg is awesome! Back in 2015, he and his wife invited a lot of us to his home to meet other iNaturalist and get faces to to attach to the iNaturalist names - although I still can't remember peoples real names, only their iNat name. :) It was a lovely gathering where we not only socialized but went out to the farm Greg mentions above - and this was the start to iNaturalists from Texas, and also other states, meeting up for various bioblitzes or just small outings to explore nature around Texas and learn from each other. I entirely enjoy the friendships I made with fellow iNaturalists, so thank you @greglasley for that and all the knowledge you provide to us "youngsters"!

Posted by annikaml 5 months ago (Flag)
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Well, where do I start... no one’s mentioned his glorious,, brilliant wife Cheryl, their clowder of cats ( lead by my buddy Jericho) and the extraordinary warmth and hospitality that is extended to anyone lucky enough to stay in their guest room. His legendary charm is off-the-charts here in this little film. Nice job, @tiwane ! Ive been fortunate enough to have made a handful of roadtrips with Greg. His melodic cadence and fantastic storytelling makes long hours in his truck fly by. Can’t wait for next.

Posted by robberfly 5 months ago (Flag)
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This is a wonderful feature on the people behind the iNat handles. Keep them coming! :)

Posted by mldelfino 5 months ago (Flag)
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Greg transformed my iNat hobby into an addiction when he invited me to tag along with him, John Abbott and his wife Kendra in 2015 when they were searching through bogs in Deep East Texas and Western Louisiana in search of the Sarracenia Spiketail, a rare dragonfly whose host plant, Sarracenia alata, is only found in these ecosystems. He continues to educate and encourage me with IDs and comments.

Posted by lauramorganclark 5 months ago (Flag)

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