Onward! To Wherever We're Going!

Happy New Year, everyone! Let's hope 2022 is better than 2021 and 2020.

I love to make plans. Carrying out those plans - maybe not so much, but making the plans is great fun. So, I am going to set out here some plans, goals, ideas for 2022.

First, let's note where I was this morning in terms of iNat statistics: I'm up to 23,131 observations, 44,686 identifications for others, and 2,362 species in total. Off-iNat, I made 83 reports of state-listed or uncommon plants and animals to the Massachusetts Natural Heritage Program, and one or two similar reports to Vermont's Natural Heritage. (By the way, except for rare occasions, I don't post observations of MA-listed species on iNat. Uncommon, non-listed species - yes.) I am happy with those numbers, especially because I had an absolute ball going all over the place this past year.

Now, numbers like these don't mean much in terms of appreciating the natural world or contributing to Real Science, but they are easy to track, so here are my goals for 2022: I'd like to make 10,000 more observations (so 33,131 in total). I'd like to make twice as many identifications for others as my own observations, so that's a goal of 66,262 IDs in total by the end of 2022. That means I need to make 21,576 IDs this year, or about 60 a day. (This is where carrying out my plan starts to get tricky.)

I'd like to do more moth trapping this year - moth-attracting, really, since I very rarely collect specimens. Last year, after the wash-out that was July, I hardly attracted anything to my trap, so I kind of gave up on the end of the season.

I bought a new tent in the spring of last year. Did I use it at all? No. That is going to change in 2022. Ditto the kayak I haven't paddled in at least a decade. Think of all the fun floating around in a pond, photographing aquatic plants and damselflies that alight on the boat and the occasional turtle who pokes their head up.

I want to make more day trips to other New England states and to New York, since trips farther afield are still likely to be on hold because of COVID. I went on four or five such day trips last year, and they were fun. Feel free to tell me where to go!

I'd like to begin to learn fungi. I've started by learning that slime molds are no longer part of Fungi, as they were half a century ago when I learned basic biology; now, they are part of Protozoa.

I've gotten lazy about plants. I know some, but I've stopped carrying field guides into the field and looking up, say, how to tell the ashes apart. Or the elms. Maybe I'll tackle asters or goldenrods this year. And someday, I will learn once and for all how to tell Carpinus from Ostrya (maybe). I should make a list of plants (and other species, for that matter) that I've never seen and make an effort to go find them. Green Dragon, for example.

Finally, I'd like to encourage and train other iNatters how to make IDs on other peoples' observations. Go read iNat's blog post from May of 2020 on the occasion of iNat reaching one million observers, here: https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/35758-we-ve-reached-1-000-000-observers Note especially the part where they say, "To put in perspective what a small fraction of the iNaturalist community of identifiers is, ... 51% of users have posted an observation (blue and yellow), but only 4% have made identifications for other people (yellow and pink). Nonetheless, these 107,000 identifiers have generated 53 million identifications for other people compared with 43 million observations generated by 1,265,000 observers (from now on I’m [the writer] counting all observers, not just observers of verifiable observations as I prefer to do because the data were easier to fetch, but the patterns are the same)."

To that end, I'm going to start with running an ID-a-thon for New England plants towards the end of February. Give me a couple of weeks to get organized, but after that, I'm going to make some journal posts in the project about how to make IDs - not how to tell plants apart, but walking the reader through the mechanics of the clicks and such that make up an ID. Feel free at any point to ask me questions, even questions you think are stupid questions, because, trust me, it was a bit of a learning curve for me, too.

And I plan on having fun. Going places I've never been before. Maybe meeting - safely, in the field, no huddling over field guides - other iNatters. Eating more ice cream than I should. Finding weird galls and leafminers. Watching eagles and Somatochloras soar overhead; ditto for fish and turtles under my kayak. It'll be grand. I hope to see you out there!

Julkaistu 1. tammikuuta 2022 20:56 käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper


Happy new year, Lynn! Those sound like fun plans. I look forward to seeing the observations that you post in this new year, and I look forward to meeting you out in the field one of these days. Best, Tom

Lähettänyt tsn noin 1 vuosi sitten (Lippu)

Nice post, Lynn, and Happy 2022. Thanks for all you do! Yes, Green Dragon is a worthy goal and an astonishing plant when in flower or fruit. Your posts might be a good place to mention that people can and should make a financial contribution to iNat so it can retain and maintain the efforts of you and everyone. I made my first contribution. Eventually, it is likely NSF funds won't be available for iNat, and so building a donor base will be essential to the long term future of all these records.

Lähettänyt wernerehl noin 1 vuosi sitten (Lippu)

Happy New Year, Lynn! This is great. You know I like a good plan :)

Lähettänyt acveinotte noin 1 vuosi sitten (Lippu)

Thanks for this post, Lynn. I appreciate the tone of adventure, service and just having fun. You don't know me, but you helped ID some of the first observations I made, and that helped introduce me to iNaturalist as a community. I like your plans for 2022, they all sound like good goals to me. If I can help with the ID a thon, let me know. There are quite a few plants I know, and lots that I don't, but I'd be happy to share what I can. Thanks!

Lähettänyt tobo234 noin 1 vuosi sitten (Lippu)

@tobo234, oh, thank you! What a nice thing to say! And, as it happens, the ID-a-thon starts in a week. Go join here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/new-england-plants-id-a-thon-feb-25-27-2022. I hope you can have fun with us.

Lähettänyt lynnharper noin 1 vuosi sitten (Lippu)

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