Päiväkirja-arkisto kohteelle lokakuu 2022

lokakuu 26, 2022

I'm getting a little burnt out on making IDs

So I thought I'd discuss making identifications here in a journal post and see if any of you want to comment.

A year or so ago, I committed to making lots of IDs for other people on their iNat observations. Currently, I've made over 80,000 IDs, almost all on Needs ID observations (rather than on observations that are already at Research Grade). Yay, me!

But the combination of winter coming on here in New England, no fun trips on the horizon, and the daunting prospect of enormous piles of observations needing IDs has got me down. So, this is a plea for help. Not help in the sense of my mental health, but in the sense of asking you to help with making IDs.

I'm curious: if you've never made IDs for others, why not? Do you think you need to be a expert to help? Nope, you don't; I'm certainly not an expert in anything. (Which reminds me - thank you to everyone who corrects my mis-identifications!) Are you just too busy with work/school/family/the day to day detritus of life? OK, you're excused; go play outside whenever you do get a chance. Are you just ... anxious about making IDs? I hear you - I'm just beginning to learn to ID an easy fly and I'm all worried I'll screw it up. But, really, a few mistakes do not matter.

If you'd like to try making IDs and want some hand-holding, I am more than willing to help. Just send me a private message or comment on this post and I'll do what I can.

Another thing you can do to make the lives of identifiers easier is to improve the quality of your observations. I'm not just talking photo quality here, although photos in focus are always appreciated. I'm talking about remembering to add an initial ID when you upload an observation. Even a very general ID like Birds or Mosses will get your observation in front of bird and moss IDers more quickly, and it means generalists like me don't need to spend time adding a general ID to observations that are labeled Unknown.

It also helps if you can do a little research, on or off iNat, about what characters are needed to ID certain species and then try to remember to photograph those characters when you encounter the species. For example, I learned that one of the identifying characters of Black Oak is the hairiness of the vein angles on the undersides of the leaves. Now, I try to remember to photograph not just the overall shape of the leaves, but also a close-up of the vein angles on the undersides. Again, if you're new to all this, feel free to ask me (or, indeed, most IDers on iNat) what resources to use to ID an organism to species level. (Hint: for plants in New England, use Go Botany.)

Keeping up with the ever-increasing flood of new observations needing IDs is something a lot of hard-core identifiers discuss often in the iNat forum. Right now, there are close to 1.8 MILLION observations just in New England that are at Needs ID. Sure, many of them can never reach Research Grade, but I bet at least half of them could be IDed to species. Indeed, around 750,000 are already at species level, just needing an agreeing ID to reach Research Grade (or a disagreeing ID, if the species ID is wrong).

So, think about helping. I'd love it if you have any comments on this, either publicly on this post or privately via message. Thanks!

Julkaistu lokakuu 26, 2022 01:13 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 11 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti