Jennifer Rycenga

I am an academic (in the Humanities) and a birder, whose world has been expanded by iNaturalist. I am President of Sequoia Audubon Society, the local Audubon society for San Mateo county, California - and am an avid proponent of Bio-Blitzes. The ongoing bio-blitz partnership between Sequoia, iNaturalist, the California Academy of Sciences, and the San Mateo County Parks is something I am very proud of co-facilitating.

I have come to recognize that there are many things I don't know, and, at my advanced age of 59, lots of little bits of information that my brain stubbornly refuses to retain. All the same, I am trying to learn all taxa, and allow my curiosity to take me further into that study. I often place pictures and sightings here on iNaturalist in a kind of escrow account, waiting for that future day when I delve into lichens, or dive into mollusks.

I administer four projects here on iNaturalist. The first three are the San Mateo County Bio-Blitz, Charlotte County Comprehensive (Florida), and Monroe County (NY) Biodiversity. This type of county-wide project, in my opinion, helps both the data base and the users, as the accumulation of records builds a sense of local abundance and distribution. Please participate if you are in these counties. Also, please check out the San Mateo county site guide for birding that I edit at http://birding.sequoia-audubon.org . The fourth project I administer is for my campus, San José State University. An urban oasis, with a host of introduced trees and plants, having this project gives me a reason to learn my work environment at a micro-level.

iNaturalist has improved my life. It grows knowledge, wisdom, and networks of friendship. But even more importantly, recording your sightings is something simple and positive that anyone can perform for the environment: documentation! iNaturalist has also saved the lives of many insects, as I am now more interested in snapping their pictures than crushing their exoskeleton. All-in-all, life is better with iNat!

View all