Joseph MDO

Joined: Oct 12, 2016 Last Active: Sep 20, 2018

Currently targeting areas near me that aren't well-represented on iNaturalist (especially local parks but also residential areas). My main goal is to fill these areas with the more common species of birds, plants, insects etc. to make it easier for anyone in the area to identify whatever they observe. Birds were the gateway species into my obsession with iNat and I hope peppering Miami-Dade County with observations will help anybody who is curious about nature to go out and explore! I admit I have a huge bias, like many others, towards bird observation so if you're like me, the following article is really worth a read. It's short and sweet, bueno, bonito y barato: http://www.waysofenlichenment.net/public/pdfs/Goward_1994_One_percent_naturalist.pdf Keep it in mind the next time you're out and about!

I've started snorkeling with my little $130 Ricoh WG-30w camera. If you're into snorkeling, I really recommend this camera...with a little practice the pictures come out decent in the right conditions and it's also a nice camera for tiny insects (macro).

Trailcam account: https://www.inaturalist.org/people/joemdotrailcam

About me: Born & raised in Miami, Fl. I teach Portuguese & Italian at a high school and mostly get around on a bicycle.

Trying to make iNat a better tool:
-Remember it's best not to agree with someone's ID if you are not familiar with what you observed and don't have a way to confirm the ID yourself! Sometimes the user that ID's your observation might make a mistake so it doesn't make sense to multiply a mistake and push an observation to research grade if you don't have the expertise to identify something. If you were totally off, you can always withdraw your ID so that the identification provided by the other user stands (and it will count as a species for you).

--I make a conscious effort not to photograph any plants/trees that look like they might have been landscaped (even if they may have been planted 50 years ago, they didn't get there on their own...for example, the lined up oak trees at your local park). I also flag lots of observations as "not wild" since iNaturalist isn't meant to showcase cultivated plants or any pets. Remember to flag any observations you see that aren't wild to help keep the search free of clutter.

--I've also learned to crop my pictures... it makes for a much better experience for those that are trying to ID what you find and need to browse through many observations. It takes a little more time but improves the iNat experience for everyone :-D (sometimes it's good to include an uncropped pic in there too to show the environment or context of the image though!)

--Spread the word! iNaturalist is still very underrepresented in many parts of the world. Tell your neighbors, tell your friends, tell your family, tell the people you meet when you travel!

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