Can we do better than 50% Research Grade??

Thank you to everyone for contributing to the 2016 National Parks BioBlitz! Thanks to all of you, we surpassed all of our Centennial goals - and we beat most of them by Founders Day on August 25!

With more than 140,000 observations of over 13,000 species, this effort represents a tremendous contribution to the National Park Service (NPS) state of knowledge about our parks. By utilizing the iNaturalist platform for the 2016 National Parks BioBlitz, NPS ensured the results were inherently accessible to the NPS as well as the public and our partners. However, in order to ensure the NPS is able to put this information to good use, we are making a coordinated effort to review and process the data.

In order to do this, NPS will cross-reference species observed as part of the BioBlitz with species listed in the official NPS species list database (NPSpecies). Observations that represent potentially new species to the park will be reviewed carefully by NPS resource staff and partners. If verified, these observations will be used to update NPSpecies. Additionally, if observations are flagged that are of other significance such as a range expansion, or presence at an unexpected time, or early detection of an invasive species or a new species to science, these observations will also be reviewed and highlighted so NPS staff is aware of the findings.

Before starting the review process, NPS would like to have observations identified to the greatest degree possible given the available evidence so we capture the best representation of the data.

As of February 28 - 143,121 observations have been loaded. Of these, 126,425 are verifiable. Of those verifiable observations, 68,869 observations are qualified as research grade.

That is 54.5%!

The question now is...can we do even better?

Tomorrow is March 1. I will post again on March 31 and we will see if we are any closer to 65%!

Kelly

Posted by kellycoy kellycoy, February 28, 2017 09:26 PM

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Looking at the bird pictures, it would be easier to increase that percentage if people didn't take so many distant, blurry phone camera shots of distant birds. My brain hurts looking at the awful shots of tiny specks they are calling birds.

Posted by vermfly over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Some of the best observations, especially range extensions and new species, are the ones which never receive research grade. I hope you will encourage experts to join this site and confirm IDs, in order to really benefit not only the scientific community but also the cause of the NPS.

Posted by silversea_starsong over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I noticed that. Someone had entered a record of the Lesser Sand-Plover from the Point Reyes National Seashore. I confirmed that identification based on the great picture from Aaron Maizlish.

Posted by vermfly over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I was able to bump a few things up to Research Grade yesterday evening by checking coastal observations in other parts of the East Coast.

Posted by susanhewitt over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Great point @silversea_starsong! We are encouraging park staff to actively help identify and verify observations, look for significant observations (with or without research grade status), and encourage their scientific and academic partners to help as well. We have developed guidance to get more park staff familiar with the process of contributing identifications in iNaturalist and the potential this site has for benefiting the scientific community and the NPS mission. All observations that are used to inform management decisions or update species lists will be verified by NPS staff and scientists, but the more input we have from the iNaturalist community, the better!

Posted by kellycoy over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Please tell the park staff, that if they come across an observation that seems very remarkable or curious in some way, they can of course write a note on here, a comment on the observation page, asking whomever observed it anything that they might want to know.

Posted by susanhewitt over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Here is the direct link to the identify page of verifiable observations in this project that still need ID's:
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?place_id=any&captive=any&projects=6810

Posted by sambiology over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I just wanted to give a HUGE shout out to @silversea_starsong for being FAR AND AWAY the #1 identifier for this project. You are awesome.

Posted by carrieseltzer over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I will try to increase the percentage!

Posted by red_wolf over 1 year ago (Flag)

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