10 de febrero de 2024

New master naturalist classes -- and their projects! Any ID/comment is most welcoming! :)

I'm super lucky to get to work with the Texas Master Naturalist program. And some of the absolute BEST iNatters in Texas are Master Naturalists! There are lots of chapters of this dedicated volunteer group throughout the state. If you're not familiar, here is the website: https://txmn.tamu.edu/

Anyways, there are a couple new classes here in the DFW that have iNaturalist projects just for the new students! Please don't feel obligations, but if you're able to identify or comment on observations (even a little message of "cool critter!" or "great photos!" can be super meaningful), that'd be awesome.

Here's the North Texas Master Naturalist Class of 2024 project page:
And here's the ID page with verified observations included:

Here's the Blackland Prairie Master Naturalist Class of 2024 project page:
And here's the ID page with verified observations included:

I mention a little bit about the 'feedback loop' of ID's here on iNat. No doubt, it takes a bit of energy and time to identify things here on iNaturalist, but that's one of the most beautiful parts of the community -- each ID/comment is a "Welcome to the naturalist community!" sort of message! :)

Publicado el febrero 10, 2024 08:21 TARDE por sambiology sambiology | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de febrero de 2024

Events coming up in DFW -- winter and spring 2024! :)

So, I'm going to start to accumulate a list of the gatherings/bioblitzes/surveys here in DFW. If you know of others, please toss me a message! And I'll try to toss more details on this post as I get them.

Feb 24 - Trinity River Audubon Center macroinvertebrate bioblitz!

March 23 - Bioblitz at Benbrook Lake Richardson Tract Limestone Prairie

March 30 - South Dallas/Bonton area bioblitz
March 30 - Blacklighting at LLELA

April 6 - Bioblitz with Texas Nature Trackers at Post Oak Preserve in Dallas

City Nature Challenge - April 26 - 29!
April 26 - blacklighting at Mockingbird Nature Park in Midlothian
April 27 - Walsh Ranch Pocket Prairie Bioblitz in Parker County
April 27 - Bioblitz and blacklighting at Frisco Grand Park

There are some other state-wide bioblitzes coming up too -- check out @pfau_tarleton 's journal post:
I'm hoping to go to some of these too!

Publicado el febrero 4, 2024 01:10 MAÑANA por sambiology sambiology | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de enero de 2024

TPWD iNaturalist video -- lucky to be part of the community!

I'm sooooo dang lucky. Lucky in many ways -- lucky to be in relatively good health, lucky to live in an area where there's ample wildlife year around, and lucky to have a job that I love! I'm also super lucky that I'm allowed to utilize iNaturalist both personally and professionally.

Last year, I was part of a little iNaturalist video that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Show put together. Well, it's up on youtube now!

I hope the biggest takeaways from the video are not about me, but about the tool and the community here on iNaturalist. In the midst of a lot of bad news all over the place, this community is a good reminder of hope -- lots of folks engaging with nature around the world. And that's pretty dang cool. :)

Publicado el enero 29, 2024 07:07 TARDE por sambiology sambiology | 22 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de enero de 2024

Observing plants without reproductive structures...

So, I'm changing. :)

Early on, I would get really bent out of shape when folks would observe a plant on iNaturalist and not include the reproductive structures (flowers/fruits/seeds). I remember doing a copy-paste message that I would put on observations of just the leaves or stems... "Wait until the flower/fruit!" It was probably pretty annoying...

When I worked in the herbarium (Botanical Research Institute of Texas), a plant specimen was only valid if it had those flowers/fruits... Without those, it could not be used in the herbarium as exchange. This was hammered into me big time, and I guess it carried over into my iNat observing and identifying.

Anyways, I'm changing! I no longer get upset if an observation doesn't include reproductive structures, and I too am going to be observing plants without reproductive structures. I'll try to do this infrequently -- I still think that reproductive structures are the best way to observe a plant and get the most accurate ID. But honestly, it may not be all that necessary. Especially with the phenology, it may even be just as valuable to document when a plant is not blooming/fruiting.

Plants are spectacular to observe with iNaturalist -- they stay put, and it's quite simple to get multiple photos of the different parts of the plants. With ALL plant observations, I get AT LEAST two photos. If it's one that I'm not too familiar with, I think getting even more photos of different parts of the plants.

As I visit Saudi Arabia in a month of so, I will likely be observing a lot of plants that lack reproductive structures -- I may not get back to Saudi... ever... but I still do want to try to find as many different organisms as I can. Hopefully some of the vegetative characteristics will be unique enough to narrow down an ID.

So, I'm loosening up a bit when it comes to plant observing -- and that's a good thing! :)

Publicado el enero 19, 2024 07:28 TARDE por sambiology sambiology | 21 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de enero de 2024

Goals for 2024 on iNaturalist...

So, last year, I was super lucky to drive around and visit some of the eastern part of the United States -- several new places for me, and that was great! I observed a lot of new for me species ('lifers'), and overall, just had a great year full of nature!

In 2024, I'm planning a bit of the same -- only this time, a bit more on the western part... at least western part of Texas! I'm planning a road trip to Colorado, perhaps, so that's a bit more west! Then, the trip to Saudi will be filled with new things (soooo excited about this!). Hopefully I'll still be able to get some daily observations and find some time to explore outside every day.

I've had to narrow down my ID'ing to my region... The exponential growth of iNat here in Texas is magnificent, but I've only had the energy to sometimes look at just Dallas/Fort Worth observations... I'll keep doing as many ID's as I can!

One of the new goals that I'm creating for myself is to interact with more folks from around the world here on iNat. The observations of the day and the week are so freaking inspirational (big time thanks for these write-ups, @tiwane!), so I want to engage with more of the global community on iNaturalist!

With the global growth of iNaturalist, the community of iNatters grows along with the observation/species number. I'm planning on corresponding more with folks from around the world -- even with my repetitive message of "woah, cool observation" or "neat-o photo," I think these can be kinda encouraging and welcoming. They're genuine too -- there are soooo many cool observations being made daily here on iNat. And hey, it feels good to know that someone else is enjoying your photos/audio recordings/nature experiences. :)

So, that's my main goal for 2024 here on iNat -- connect more with other iNatters! :)

Publicado el enero 3, 2024 02:34 MAÑANA por sambiology sambiology | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

01 de enero de 2024

My biggest year ever! It's been a good one. :)

What a great 2023!!!

I was incredibly fortunate to get to go outside every day during 2023 -- no doubt, I'm lucky to live in a place and in a position where I can do this. I've kept up with my daily observation streak, (inspired by @jmaughn !) and focused this year on trying to find some species that I'd not seen before. @muir also inspired me to pursue a bit of a 'big year!' I'm frequently inspired by so many here on iNat -- folks I've met and folks I've not yet met!

In 2023, I was able to see and engage with around 4556 unique taxa -- more than I've ever documented before! I was able to take a few road trips, travel to different spots in the US for conferences, and even look closer at some of my frequently visited parks close to home.

Here is my Year in Review:

In 2022, I was able to document 4032 taxa.
In 2021, it was 3818.
In 2020, it was 3626.
In 2019, it was 4012 (this was the year I went to Costa Rica!)
In 2018, it was 2683.
In 2017, it was 3369.
In 2016, it was 2430.
In 2015, it was 2270.
In 2014, it was 976.
In 2013, it was 486...
(all these numbers may change a bit as they're curated or ID'ed or corrected!)

Each year, I've been so dang lucky to explore and engage with nature each year and each day. Also, I'm extremely lucky to be able to use iNaturalist to engage with the community of naturalists! Next year, I'm super excited to travel a bit further than I've ever traveled before (Saudi Arabia!), and I look forward to seeing even more new things!!!

Happy 2024!

Publicado el enero 1, 2024 01:42 MAÑANA por sambiology sambiology | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de diciembre de 2023

Saudi Arabia and Dubai -- huge trip planned for early next year! :)

It'll be my very first trip over seas... I'm super excited!!!

So, my brother-in-law, sister, nephew, and niece currently live in Dhahran, just outside of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. They've lived there for like 7 years or so, and I've not had the chance to ever visit...until now!!! I'm planning on visiting them on 26 Feb - 9 March.

My sister gifted me the "Field Guide to the Biodiversity of Dhahran" (https://www.deslegte.com/field-guide-to-the-biodiversity-of-dhahran-2352286/) last year, so I've been thinking about it for months! Anywho, I'm extra excited to visit the Kingdom of Saudi as well as Dubai.

On the 27th, I'll get to Dubai for a 9 hour layover. Fortunately, there's a nice park not far from the Dubai airport -- Mushrif National Park (https://www.visitdubai.com/en/places-to-visit/mushrif-national-park). I may be able to meet up with a couple other naturalists, @ahmed_almansoori , @broobas , and @khalidalastad, to explore a bit of the park. Super excited about this.

Then, I'll fly from Dubai to Dammam. My sister has a few places that we'll visit while I'm there. We'll do some desert camping at Judah Thumb (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/judah-thumb), we'll go to the beach by Half Moon Bay, and then walk around the Dhahran area quite a bit (which does have a few parks). Not sure exactly where all else we'll go -- although, probably not too too far away from Dhahran/Dammam.

Of course, I'll try to iNat EVERYTHING. I'm super excited about all of the new critters and plants that I'll see, and there aren't a ton of observations in the specific area (especially of the plants and bugs) -- maybe there will be a few new species for iNat!

Buuuuut, I do have a question to whomever has read it this far -- how long have you been on a plane, and what all did you do to stay sane?!? My flight will be 14.5 hours from DFW to Dubai, and this is what I'm most anxious about! Hopefully I can catch some sleep, but I've never really slept on a plane before (never had a trip this long though).

Publicado el diciembre 18, 2023 10:41 TARDE por sambiology sambiology | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario

02 de diciembre de 2023

Year in Review! Generate your stats!!! :)

I looooove the iNat year in review. You've got to check it out:

Such incredible numbers.

Then, you can generate your own stats for this year too!!! At the end of year, I'll do a journal report on mine:

Publicado el diciembre 2, 2023 01:04 MAÑANA por sambiology sambiology | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

Biosurvey at Fort Worth Botanic Gardens -- a spot about to be treated with goats!!! :)

Posting this on behalf of my friend @kreichy ! :) I'm planning on being there next Saturday too. :)


Hey All!! I work at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and we are planning on having goats come to the garden in the Spring of 2024! The goats are going to help us control some of the invasive species present and we are super excited!! Before the goats come however, we want to collect some data on the forested area they will be grazing. So we are hosting a BIOBLITZ!!! Come one, come all to FWBG on Saturday December 9th, 9a-12pm. We will gather at the main entrance and proceed to the designated area as a group! Hope to see you all there! Feel free to shoot us any questions you may have.

One word of caution: there are areas of dense poison ivy so please wear long sleeves, long pants and closed toed shoes!

Earn volunteer hours in VMS under Citizen science/data collection (Tarrant County)

For any comments questions or concerns you can contact : : Karen Shuback (kshuback@fwbg.org), Sebastian Alarcon (jalarcon@fwbg.org) or Iris Cervantes (Icervantes@fwbg.org)

Publicado el diciembre 2, 2023 12:49 MAÑANA por sambiology sambiology | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

07 de noviembre de 2023

Short notice -- afternoon bioblitz at Ladd Nature Preserve in Duncanville! Thursday, Nov 16, 2-5 pm!

Hey all!

A bit of a short notice announcement, but we're planning on a bioblitz/biosurvey next week Thursday (Nov 16) at Ladd Nature Preserve in Duncanville. Two of the new urban wildlife biologists from Austin and San Antonio are coming up, and we're wanting to show them how we conduct and participate in a biosurvey. They're relatively new to iNat as well, so some of it will be just showing how to use the tool.

If you're able to come, cool! It is during somewhat odd hours -- 2 to 5 PM on Thursday... I fully recognize that it won't work for everyone, but if you've got some time free and watch to come and catch some bugs or look at plants or chase after birds with us, please come!

Also, it looks like it may be rainy -- we'll still plan on doing it in the rain (bring boots and umbrella)! :)

If you have any questions or concerns, let me know. It's open to anyone and everyone!

Publicado el noviembre 7, 2023 05:26 TARDE por sambiology sambiology | 8 comentarios | Deja un comentario