September 18, 2018

Sept 20 Workshop at Cope Environmental Center in Centerville, Indiana

I'll be visiting my alma mater Earlham College this week, and while I'm there I'll lead a short workshop at Cope Environmental Center.

Thursday, September 20
1-3 PM
Cope Environmental Center
Details here:

This post is mainly to tag those of you who have been making observations in Wayne County, Indiana. I know some of you definitely aren't local, but I'm tagging you anyways so you can tell your friends :-)
@heelsplitter @matthias55 @jamesjbond @damontighe @anne_royer @jimhoff @coachwhipbooks @abookb @eliana @andromidary @leah127 @danr_m @emilysmith2 @tbeele01 @aprilpegg @dholly89 @jmfreem @aarwigg @catspit @evelyn31 @barbetsmith @chris472 @haggfann @hlerner @orangevity @prosanta @supurdueper @baileymosey @brennamarie @bugboy74 @chestnuthill @daniel80 @derekgdalton @kwaddle @lemmj000 @mglerner @micrathena @mrtreenerd @picturepoker51 @pinonbistro @roseorange58 @someclams @tara22 @tjrivard @travis93

I'd really love to see more iNaturalist activity in the area, especially among Earlhamites!

I know I'll see at least a few of you this weekend. Hope you have fun exploring with iNaturalist, no matter where you are!

Posted on September 18, 2018 01:22 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 07, 2018

The First ESA iNaturalist Mixer!

Thank you to everyone who attended the iNaturalist Mixer during the Ecological Society of America meeting in New Orleans! It was great to meet so many of you (more than 40 people attended!) and I'm sorry I didn't get to talk to everyone.

For fun, I created a little project to see how many observations are made in New Orleans during ESA (and to motivate myself too!). Check out the iNaturalist during ESA2018 project. Presently, @vireolanius is leading followed by @bmtranchina and @cwarneke. I need to upload a few tonight!

2018-08-06 19.34.13-2

Did I get these labels right? *Please* help me fill in the usernames to faces below!

1 - @jmheberling
2 - @tom_carlson
3 - @johncarlson
4 - @dataecologist
5 - @laurskizi
6 - Daniel Park (username?)
7 - @jzeldin
8 - @enjing @jane518 (Do you have two accounts?)
9 - @kevinlove (???)
10 - @andy71
11 - @ ???
12 - @tkoffel
13 - @ ???
14 - @ajm1993
15 - @mjsaver @matthewsarver (Do you have two accounts?)
16 - @cypseloides
17 - @dlnarango
18 - @accordiongordon
19 - @shrike2
20 - Wade Bishop
21 - @ ???
22 - @elsitakiekebusch
23 - Libby Ellwood
24 - @onjarazafi
25 - @sue_meiman
26 - @acknaturenerd
27 - @parker_hopkins
28 - @vireolanius
29 - @ ???
30 - @carrieseltzer
31 - Julia Drapkin
32 - @ ???
33 - @beccamadsen
34 - @lizardeve
35 - @ ???
36 - @ ???
37 - @krstphr
38 - @kkucera

Not labeled (or maybe not pictured?):
Emma Deleon
Hilary Rollins
Hannah Greenberg
Robert Logan

Not pictured:

If you're at ESA and still want a sticker, let me know! I have more. I'm going on the crosstown walk field trip on Thursday morning if anyone would like to join.

Thanks again and have fun exploring!

2018-08-06 18.06.51

Posted on August 07, 2018 05:33 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 6 comments | Leave a comment

July 12, 2018

Meet up in New Orleans on August 6! And stickers!

Next month I'll be giving a talk about iNaturalist at the Ecological Society of America's Annual Meeting in New Orleans. It's part of a session called Natural History in the Digital Age on Monday, August 6 at the Convention Center.

That evening, I've reserved space for folks to meet up at a place nearby called Coterie. We'll have some appetizers and there will be a happy hour menu for you to buy drinks and other food.

135 Decatur Street, French Quarter, New Orleans
Monday, August 6
6:30-8 PM

Also, stickers! I'll have the very first (official) iNaturalist stickers.

iNaturalist stickers have so far only been spotted in captivity, but will be released into the wild in New Orleans with the help of enthusiastic observers.

I'm tagging the top 10ish observers in the state of Louisiana, along with the top 10(ish) in Orleans Parish, then folks from a bounding-box search of southern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and western Florida. Then a few ecologists I know mainly outside of iNat who I know/think will attend. I know some of you tagged here are likely too far to make it, but I wanted to be inclusive, especially in case you're coming for the meeting anyways. Please tag others in the region who may want to attend!

@royaltyler @matthewherron @zoology123 @cypseloides @ilouque @kgardner @amberenergy @reallifeecology @jameswbeck @henicorhina @elliotgreiner @audubon23 @kevinmcdunn @supersecretspyguy @brmaldo @terrapinjoe @natureguydev83 @mdurham @johncarlson @eustatic1 @nolafrog @mmacphe @monicap @ehjalmarson @janetwright @misspt @collin_st @kdg @kchiasson @kenbosso @terit @mcferny @mmcmasters @howard_horne @hholbrook @teresa45 @justinscioli @thehaplesshiker @gigirose @tewksjj @davidcarr @haldre

Please comment if you plan to attend!

Posted on July 12, 2018 10:18 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 34 comments | Leave a comment

June 07, 2018

Visiting NV, AZ, and UT this month

At the end of next week I'm headed out for a RV trip with my husband, 5 year old daughter, and six nieces & nephews ages 13-25. We did a similar (but slightly longer) trip with my parents in 2016, which inspired us to propose this trip with our awesome niecephews.

I'm looking forward to exploring these areas more, which are really very unfamiliar to me. When I turn on my iNaturalist eyes, I'm basically looking for things that are reproducing (flowers/fruits/mushrooms), moving (animals), or dead (easy to photograph!). I almost always use my iPhone 6S (with 10-15x macro if needed), but sometimes my husband will also have a camera with some longer lenses. I tend to focus on plants (like documenting everything I see blooming, ideally) and opportunistically observe other things as well.

We have a pretty tight schedule, but if anyone happens to be in these areas and it worked out to meet up, that would be fun. Also willing to train our 9 pairs of (novice) eyes on any taxa of special interest.

June 15- arrive in Las Vegas.
16- Neicephews arrive, pick up RV, camp at Valley of Fire SP.
17- Drive to Grand Canyon (North Rim). Stay at North Rim campground.
18- Explore North Rim.
19- Drive to Antelope Canyon & go on a tour. Stay in Page.
20- Drive to Zion NP (stop at Toadstool Hoodoos?). Stay in Zion NP/Springdale.
21- Explore Zion (hike The Narrows)
22- Explore Zion, drive back to Valley of Fire SP.
23- Leave early. Niecephews fly out, return RVs.
24- We depart Las Vegas early in the morning.

Tagging some folks who have made observations in/near the places we're going in case you have tips or are local:
Valley of Fire State Park: @lonnyholmes @tiwane @damontighe @jpalladini
North Rim: @lagoondon @isaac_krone @bosqueaaron @rlawrenz and @mapduck
Page, AZ area: @philippwickey @codyhough @abr @drjakuna
Zion National Park: I guess I don't need so many tips here since we were there 2 years ago, but here's what I saw there last time and let me know if there are other things I should keep an eye out for! @sea-kangaroo @thesunisbig @natureali @ryancooke @asemerdj @jay

Suggestions welcome!

Posted on June 07, 2018 03:34 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 6 comments | Leave a comment

March 02, 2018

Your thoughts on how the iNat team can best help the community grow and thrive

Hi iNaturalist community members,

I am excited to share that this week I joined the iNaturalist staff! I am thrilled to help this community continue to grow and connect more people to nature while enhancing our collective understanding of biodiversity.

Next week there will be an iNat staff retreat to plan future iNaturalist development. In preparation for that, I would love to hear your thoughts about how the core team can best support you in your efforts to grow participation in your area (be it geographic, taxonomic, or otherwise).

I would appreciate if we keep the focus of this thread on the generation of ideas, without extensively repeating discussion of previous feature requests or changes from the Google Group (I've also posted this same query there if you want to read that conversation), and without criticizing other people’s ideas.

Other ways to think about this prompt:

-How can we help you be a better, more effective multiplier of iNat activity?
-What can we do keep new, returning, or occasional users engaged?

Comments by the end of the day on Monday will be most helpful.

Thanks for all that you do to make iNaturalist an awesome, productive, and welcoming community.


Posted on March 02, 2018 04:32 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 26 comments | Leave a comment

July 06, 2017

Advice for people running projects—what do you want to know/tell?

I posted in the Google group about this last night but thought I'd try here too since not everyone is in the Google group.

For while I've thought that the Help section could benefit from more advice/tips specifically for projects and many of the regular readers of this group have experience with organizing/running/curating projects in iNaturalist. If you're a site curator you could theoretically edit the html of the help page, but since that's a much higher bar to contribution I thought I'd start a Google Doc for drafting.

So if you know a thing or two about iNaturalist projects, what do you think other people should know if they want to start a project? Or do a better job with the project they already have? Anyone should be able to edit using this link:

I started with a few questions and sections, but please jump in and edit/revise/expand. Then after we've got something more substantial we can get it in the Help section on iNat.

This community has a wealth of knowledge to help each other be more effective with projects! Let's get more of it out there.

Posted on July 06, 2017 05:02 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 17 comments | Leave a comment

January 09, 2017

DC January (indoor) iNaturalist gathering report

We had a small gathering at my house yesterday with @muir, @maryeford, @danbeaupre, @stsang, and @jackcamino. Good food and drink were consumed (including delicious flan made by Jack!) and iNaturalist knowledge was shared. I meant to take more photos of people, but I got distracted.

Below (left to right): @jackcamino (eating flan), @maryeford (getting ready to leave), and @stsang (looking at bats)

It was a little chaotic with the 3 year olds, but they had fun too (they argued over things like whether or not a plastic sea lion needed to swim in the dog's water dish and who got to wear a cat costume).

Below: @muir with his son and my daughter.

Unfortunately, my whole household came down with some kind of flu in the ~12 hours afterwards, so I sincerely hope that no one else picks up what we have.

Who wants to plan for February? March? April? I know several of you expressed interest in future events. Pick a date and location that works for you and let's make it happen. @treegrow do you still want to do winter tree ID in Rock Creek Park?

Tagging several who are interested: @laura_sebastianelli @katzyna @calopteryx @ecologyelise @mattluizza @judygva @timbir5

Posted on January 09, 2017 02:05 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 8 comments | Leave a comment

January 01, 2017

An awesome iNaturalist year!

iNaturalist was one of my favorite things in 2016. I made a secret resolution to myself a year ago to try and make an observation every day, and then I promptly failed at that right away (missing January 4). Still, I tried to make observations on as many days as possible, and did manage every day in July (then blew that streak when I my iPhone was stolen in August).

I made 2313 observations this year of 809+ species (to all of you who manage to do more, I am super impressed! I'm not sure I'll be able to do as many in 2017). Exactly 1000 were made on National Park Service lands for the 2016 Servicewide NPS BioBlitz. I helped plan a ridiculously large BioBlitz in Washington, D.C. (but made only a few observations during that one), went to the Masonville Cove BioBlitz, attended BioBlitz Korea and spread the word about iNaturalist, and visited Acadia National Park for their longest-running NPS BioBlitz. But my most observation-full trip was a 10-day RV trip in June with my husband, daughter, and parents visiting National Parks in Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. I haven't spent much time in deserts so most everything was new. My philosophy was to photograph everything that was blooming, moving, or dead.

At the end of August, I left my job at National Geographic to start a fellowship at the National Science Foundation. My new job is 100% inside (instead of just 95%!), but it has taken me to Qatar, France, Belgium, and California in the last 3 months, so I've tried to take advantage of that as best I can (really kicking myself for failing to make an observation during my 24 hours in Belgium).

There are so many things to love about iNaturalist, but I love the people the most. I am so excited about the newcomers who joined this year, especially the ones who came in through BioBlitzes. There are too many of you to tag—even just those I know personally! I have also loved getting to know some of you as Facebook friends, even though we haven't (yet!) met in person. I am very appreciative of CalAcademy's continued support of iNaturalist so that the awesome staff can continue to support and grow this community. I visited San Francisco earlier this month and saw all the iNaturalist staff at CalAcademy—@tiwane, @loarie, @kueda, @alexshepard, and @joelle (with a virtual sighting of @pleary). While in the Bay Area I also got a late night tour of Oakland with @damontighe and went tide pooling (for the first time in ages) with @rebeccafay, @kestrel, @robberfly, @dpom, and @reallifeecology.

To my DC area iNaturalists, I'm excited to see more of you in 2017 if we can get a monthly meet up going. I'm planning the first one on January 7th at my house—bring your laptop and some food or drink to share. (Chime in on this post). Are any other cities currently having regular meet ups? Anyone else want to start?

Thanks to all for a great iNaturalist 2016 and cheers to more observations, identifications, and new naturalist friends in 2017!

Posted on January 01, 2017 12:02 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 6 comments | Leave a comment

December 13, 2016

iNaturalist DC gatherings in 2017—let's meet in January!

Fellow naturalist neighbors, I’d love for us to gather on a regular basis to learn more about iNaturalist and DC nature from each other. We could gather outdoors to explore generally, or focus on a more targeted group of organisms (like a mini BioBlitz). We could also gather indoors with our laptops to upload observations (if you’re behind like me), add identifications, or plan our next outdoor adventure based on taxa that haven't yet been recorded from the area on iNaturalist.

I will kick off this local effort off by hosting an indoor gathering at my house in Northeast DC on Saturday, January 7th from 1-4 pm. Kids welcome. I’ll send my address to attendees personally if you plan to come (I live in Brookland, near the Red Line. Should be plenty of on street parking.). Bring your laptop and some food or drink to share!

Who wants to plan something for February? Doesn’t have to be at your house—that just happens to be the easiest place for me to organize people.

Tagging some DC/MD/VA folks to get this rolling—please tag others! @muir @treegrow @briangratwicke @calopteryx @grizzlypieper @maryeford @jbrown @laura_sebastianelli @dossification @nloewen @ehurme @katzyna @csavy @jfrancis @danbeaupre @anneanderson @blairrowan @alonsoabugattas

Posted on December 13, 2016 12:10 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 20 comments | Leave a comment

November 15, 2016

Where I've been and where I'm going: Qatar, France, Belgium, and San Francisco

Between losing my phone in August and changing jobs in September, I fell behind on observations and haven't managed to catch up yet! I also haven't been able to spend nearly as much time on iNaturalist lately, but I try to check in at least once a day to keep up on notifications.

Really this is just a quick post because I'm going to be in Paris and Brussels at the end of the month and I'd love to meet up with other iNaturalists if the stars align. Tagging a few people at the top of the leaderboards for France and Belgium (and a couple of others of you who I "know" a little better) just in case anyone will be in Paris on 27-29 Nov or Brussels on 30 Nov: @guille @fabienpiednoir @zanskar @tkoffel @annetanne @purperlibel @speedy @jakob @dhobern @kcopas

Then in December, I'll be at the American Geophysical Union meeting if anyone wants to meet up at that. Sounds like there will be several sessions on citizen science. Unfortunately I am going to be so tied up at AGU that I really won't have much time to explore the bay area, but of course I'll try to get in a visit to iNaturalist.

Last month I visited Qatar and met some nice naturalists (and of course did some iNaturalist evangelizing!) but I haven't had a chance to post my observations yet. Oh, except this myna I posted when demonstrating how the app works.

There's more travel in 2017 but I'm not sure where and when yet, beyond the Citizen Science Association meeting in Minneapolis May. Visitors welcome in DC—had the pleasure of meeting @eraskin when he passed through DC and looking forward to meeting @bouteloua when she comes in January! I love meeting more of this social network in real life.

Posted on November 15, 2016 05:02 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 1 observations | 4 comments | Leave a comment