An Interview with @gcwarbler

I know it’s the end of June, but I’d like to bring you back to the early days of April, 2018 if I may. A group of iNat users met up in Del Rio, Texas to hang out and “iNat” together in some spectacular country. I was lucky enough to represent the iNaturalist staff and finally get to meet, in person, some real luminaries of the site.

I’ll write a longer post about the meet-up at a later date, hopefully not too far in the future. Today I just wanted to share a short video interview I conducted with Chuck Sexton (@gcwarbler), a naturalist who is deeply generous with his time and his vast knowledge of Texas flora and fauna, and was a real treat to have as a guide in this new-to-me place.

Although he’s retired, Chuck’s curiosity and work ethic are still strong, and he has recently directed his energy to the study of Cisthene moths, in part using images from iNaturalist. Last year he posted on iNaturalist a rough identification guide as several journal posts, then took this work and collaborated with lepidopterist @hughmcguinness on a more scholarly version, which was published in Southern Lepidopterists News this past December.

I spoke with Chuck about his work and his thoughts on iNaturalist, which you can watch below. iNaturalist is truly lucky to have such an incredible, inspiring community.

An Interview with Chuck Sexton from iNaturalist on Vimeo.

The older Cisthene work Chuck cites is: Knowlton, Carroll B. 1967. A revision of the species of Cisthene known to occur north of the Mexican Border (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae: Lithosiinae). Trans. Amer. Ent. Soc., 93(1):41-100. Link to pdf copy available on BugGuide:

Posted on June 22, 2018 05:54 AM by tiwane tiwane


Chuck is a true naturalist in all aspects. Many of us tend to concentrate on one thing (or just a few) in the natural world, be it birds, butterflies, beetles, wildflowers, etc. Chuck, on the other hand, has always had a strong interest and knowledge in everything! He is one of the most knowledgeable birders in Texas, and his expertise on butterflies, moths, wildflowers, grasses, trees and shrubs, geology, you name it...far exceeds what most people ever learn. I cannot count the number of times I have been in the field with a group of folks and we will find some plant, tree, butterfly, etc., and start debating what it might be when someone will comment "We need to ask Chuck." Chuck and I have been tromping around Texas together (as well as other states and Mexico) for more than 40 years now, so I am one of the lucky people who have learned from Chuck for a long time. We have co-authored many articles and papers, discovered a few significant rarities in the bird world, and have hiked and driven all corners of Texas together. I look forward to many more years of natural history observations and discoveries with Chuck.

Posted by greglasley over 5 years ago

This makes me so freaking happy. Only through iNaturalist have I gotten to know some of these naturalists -- so phenomenally thankful for this community. I'm tagging some folks that went to the Del Rio gathering or have met Chuck through iNat, so be prepared to get flooded with notifications about how great Chuck and the iNat community is! :)

@nathantaylor7583 @kimberlietx @connlindajo @scottbuckel @finatic @charley @jwn @james5 @nanofishology @bouteloua @tadamcochran @alisonnorthup @amzapp @cosmiccat @hydaticus @wildcarrot @bogslogger @butterflies4fun @ptexis @silversea_starsong @psyllidhipster @annikaml @bosqueaaron @briangooding @tfandre @brentano @gpstewart @cameralenswrangler @mako252 @itmndeborah @ellen5 @pfau_tarleton @krancmm

Posted by sambiology over 5 years ago

Who doesn't admire this person? That insight comes from rigor -- lots of careful attention over many many hours. Perfect role model!

Posted by ellen5 over 5 years ago

The fame and fortune from this video will now support me in the lifestyle to which I want to become accustomed. ;-)
Now, where did I put my car keys....?

Posted by gcwarbler over 5 years ago

Great interview with an iNat icon who shares his passion for exploration with all of us, in brilliant but humble ways.

Posted by itmndeborah over 5 years ago

I have only known @gcwarbler for a few short years but have always been impressed with how he always takes the time to respond to an amateur who has asked lots of pretty basic question and with responses that even I can understand. Really appreciate the opportunity to be an iNater with Chuck and all.

Posted by gpstewart over 5 years ago

Bravo, Chuck! This is fantastic!

Posted by tadamcochran over 5 years ago

What a great interview of a great guy - Chuck loves iNat - it is truly his community! He loves the challenge of identification, being able to contribute to science , and helping others - it's a win-win!

Posted by mksexton over 5 years ago

A tip of the hat and a bow to the great Chuck Sexton! Thanks for sharing this wonderful interview, Tony! Chuck, don't ever stop doing what you're doing. We are all indebted to the help, wisdom, and insights you provide. Thanks for everything.

Posted by amzapp over 5 years ago

This is an awesome video and I had no idea Chuck had done this much with moths. I'm so excited to get to hang with Chucks and others on our expeditions. .

Posted by butterflies4fun over 5 years ago

Great interview with a great naturalist! Hoping to join y'all again for more adventures.

Posted by hydaticus over 5 years ago

What a great interview! Such awesome work. Thank you for all that you do to help others learn more about the world around them. I hope to meet you one day, Chuck!

Posted by carrieseltzer over 5 years ago

Chuck is amazingly knowledgeable about so many organisms... He is also an incredibly kind, generous, and helpful resource for for all of us on iNaturalist! And he and his wife are so much fun to tromp around in nature with. I can't wait for the next time:-)

Posted by beschwar over 5 years ago

Also, @tiwane nice job with the filming and editing! I especially like when Chuck is describing how iNaturalist "drew him in", and you cut to a POV shot of a moth being drawn in to the blacklight setup.

Posted by hydaticus over 5 years ago

Thanks @hydaticus! All due to the great folks I was with.

Posted by tiwane over 5 years ago

I'm a bit late to this, but great work Chuck! Also, I think you left your keys at my place. I'm not sure how they got up here though. :)

Posted by mamestraconfigurata almost 2 years ago

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