Päiväkirja-arkisto kohteelle helmikuu 2023

helmikuu 1, 2023

The 2023 New England Plant ID-a-thon, Feb. 24-26

You all are invited to join the second annual New England plant ID-a-thon! Link here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/2023-new-england-plants-id-a-thon-feb-24-26

Like last year, we'll spend 48 hours, from 7 PM Friday night to 7 PM Sunday night, identifying Needs ID plants in New England and helping to clear out the backlog of observations before the next field season . Not to mention spending a cold winter weekend immersed in the greenery we all miss at this time of year! (Surely it's not just me who is sick of winter already?)

Head on over to the project link, join up, and I promise we'll have a good time!

Julkaistu helmikuu 1, 2023 03:14 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Welcome to the 2023 New England Plant ID-a-thon!

Welcome, everyone, to the 2023 New England Plant ID-a-thon! We had such fun – and such success! – last year that we’re doing it again this year. (Here’s the link to last year’s project: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/new-england-plants-id-a-thon-feb-25-27-2022) So, reserve 7 PM, Friday, Feb. 24, to 7 PM, Sunday, Feb. 26, for 48 hours of intensive plant identifying. Think of it as getting ready for the field season!

Please actually join the project; here's the link to the project home page, where you'll see the Join button toward the upper right: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/2023-new-england-plants-id-a-thon-feb-24-26. Joining the project is the only way you’ll get notifications of these vital and scintillating journal posts I make, in which I will give some hints on how to identify efficiently, make some predictions, cheer us on through the 48 hours, and compare our results with a “normal” weekend of identifying. And if anyone wants to write a post about, say, identifying pondweeds or Rhynchospora or even hybrid oaks or whatever, just let me know. I am happy to share.

Unlike most iNaturalist projects, we won’t be adding observations to this project, neither automatically nor one-by-one manually, unless they are particularly beautiful photos or you’d like some assistance in identification.

Here, I’m going to invite everyone who joined last year, or who makes a lot of plant observations or identifications in New England, or is a friend of mine in real life whom I want to bring into the plant identifier fold. If your name isn’t on this list, you are absolutely welcome anyway, and everyone should feel free to invite anyone else. And feel free to ask questions, too, either as comments to this post or to me personally via private message.

@adamkohl, @agave6_tomwalker, @amandammvt, @anaturalfocus, @apgarm, @arethusa, @azik, @berkshirenaturalist, @bmvig, @brothernorbert, @bryanconnolly, @bryanpfeiffer, @btk, @carl291, @cbuelow45, @ceaustin, @ceiseman, @cgbb2004, @charlie, @choess, @cschorn, @danlharp, @davidenrique, @deb59, @deparia1950, @dogwoodvalley, @donlubin, @dorothy, @doug_mcgrady, @ellsp, @ericpo1, @frousseu, @gpalermo, @greensnake879, @guidobrusa, @jackcadwell, @jformanorth, @jljones, @judyasarkof, @julie_richburg1, @karenlombard, @karro_frost, @kcbowmanphd, @kebsearcy, @kpmcfarland, @margaretcurtin, @maryah, @mcharpentier, @mikeakresh, @mjpapay, @mnerrie, @mohale, @moxiel, @mradik, @mtjones, @natemarchessault, @nebotany, @nick2524, @nmes, @nsharp, @ntepper, @patswain, @peakaytea, @petersmj, @polypody, @radbackedsalamander, @rherold, @rynxs, @sally_jacobson, @slamonde, @someplant, @srall, @stephanieradner, @tarpinian, @thomashulsey, @threepogonias, @tmurray74, @tomaszavada, @trscavo, @tsn, @vicki_l, @vickidoo, @wanderingeden, @wernerehl, @wojciech

Julkaistu helmikuu 1, 2023 03:18 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 15 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

helmikuu 14, 2023

So, What are We Doing Here, Anyway?

Hello, everyone! It's so exciting to see so many of you signed up for this project already - thank you so much!

In this post, I'm going to go into a little more detail on what we'll be doing, and I'll also give some advice to those who may be just starting out on iNaturalist (in which case, welcome!).

So, as the title says, what are we doing here? Well, we are hoping to make a visible dent in the backlog of plant observations in New England that are still "Needs ID," meaning the observation has neither reached Research Grade nor been determined to be a Casual observation. Here's the link to all of the Needs ID New England plant observation right now: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=52339&quality_grade=needs_id&iconic_taxa=Plantae

As I write this, the number of Needs ID New England plant observations is right around 758,000. Yikes, that's a LOT of work to do! But don't feel overwhelmed; in later journal posts, I'm going to show you ways to filter these observations and get down to a much smaller set of observations that you can tackle.

Our collective goal is to move as many of these Needs ID observations as possible to either Research Grade or Casual status, by confirming identifications (which move an observation towards Research Grade) or determining that the observations should be Casual (because they are cultivated plants or not identifiable to species or genus, among other reasons). (More on all that later....) We are not aiming to tear through these observations recklessly, just trying to "get rid of" as many as possible; we're trying to use our knowledge for two purposes: to add to the body of knowledge about New England plants; and to provide feedback to the observers and help them engage with the natural world. So, please remember that all of these observers deserve your respect. They may not know anything whatsoever about biodiversity - they may not be able to tell a wild plant from a cultivated one, for example - so assume the best about everyone.

Now, if you're just starting out with iNaturalist or just starting to make identifications for other observers - well, hooray and thank you, first of all! iNaturalist has a bit of a learning curve when you first start out, so if you're new to iNat, I highly recommend you read iNat's own Getting Started materials here: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/getting+started. Try making some observations of your own and please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. (You can reach me by adding a comment to this journal post or by going to my profile page here: https://www.inaturalist.org/people/1371047 and sending me a private message by clicking the Message button just to the right of my user name.)

If you're new to making identifications for others on iNaturalist, look at the Identifying Observations tab on the Getting Started page I linked in the paragraph above. iNat also has some helpful videos for both people who are new to iNat and those who are new identifiers, here: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/video+tutorials

Thank you for reading all this, and please feel free to ask any questions or make any comments you have by replying to this journal post. I'll be back again soon!

Lynn Harper

Julkaistu helmikuu 14, 2023 04:37 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

helmikuu 20, 2023

Can We Make an Impact?

The short answer: Yes. See last year's wrap-up journal post for details about how we made an impact last year: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/new-england-plants-id-a-thon-feb-25-27-2022/journal/62396-final-numbers-and-some-thoughts-and-questions

Frankly, I'm still astounded by what we accomplished a year ago. But can we do it again? (Now for the long answer.)

Well, last year we started the 48-hour ID blitz with 28 project members and ended up with 42 members. This year, a week ahead of the event, we are already at 36 members. Yay, and thank you all for joining! So, we're on track to have enough identifiers, I think.

Last year, we started the marathon with 271,844 observations of plants in New England that were Needs ID and already down to the species level (meaning not stuck at genus/family/kingdom levels). We focused on that class of observations in 2022. Right now, at 7 PM on the Sunday before the ID marathon starts, there are 347,496 such observations. That's an increase of more than 75,000! Why the change? Now, I know many people have been working HARD at identifying New England plants in the last year - thank you especially to @tsn and @peakaytea! - so why haven't we kept up? The exponential growth in iNaturalist observers and observations, that's why.

Such growth is great, of course - more people are getting outside, learning about and appreciating local biodiversity via iNaturalist - but it does mean the identifiers are getting swamped. And that's one of the reasons why I started this project.

Last year, I estimated the "normal" rate of plant identifications in New England by checking the statistics on iNat for the weekend before the ID-a-thon. I estimated that the total of New England species-level plant observations needing IDs decreased by about 600 over that weekend a year ago. (And then we all smashed that by shrinking the pile of species-level observations needing IDs by over 10,000 the weekend of the marathon!)

This year, the "normal" rate is .... well, dismal. The number of New England plant observations at the species level and needing IDs actually INCREASED this current weekend by 28. Oh, dear. Oh, my. On the other hand, all that means is that we need to shrink the pile even a little and we will have made an impact.

Anyone want to venture a prediction as to how much we'll shrink the pile of species-level observations? Last year, I hoped for 1%; this year, that would be about a decrease of 3,500 Needs ID observations over next weekend. I think that's entirely feasible.

I'll be back soon with more posts leading up to next Friday. Thanks for reading this!

Julkaistu helmikuu 20, 2023 12:19 AP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti

helmikuu 21, 2023

New to All This?

This post is for people who are new to iNaturalist or new to making identifications on iNaturalist. Both groups of people might be feeling a little confused right about now and I'm hoping to give you some pointers on how all this works. Please feel free to ask questions at any time; the easiest way to ask is just to comment on this post.

New to iNaturalist
The New England Botanical Society has been kind enough to advertise this identification blitz to its members - thank you, NEBS! - so I suspect some of you may be new to iNaturalist in general. If so, welcome! I recommend you read over iNaturalist's Getting Started materials here: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/getting+started and watch one or two of their video tutorials here: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/video+tutorials. Note that iNaturalist has both an app and a website; the website has many more features than the app, which was created to make taking and uploading observations easy. We'll be making identifications on the website. After you've looked over the introductory materials, poke around on the website, click on buttons and observations, and meander amongst everything iNat has to offer. You can't break it! Then, go outside and try making and uploading an observation or two yourself, whether from your smartphone or a camera. Don't feel stupid if you can't figure it all out right away; there is quite a learning curve to iNaturalist and I'm still learning about parts of the whole system after using it intensively for more than four years.

New to Making Identifications on iNaturalist
I'll confess that one of my ulterior motives in running this project is to get more people comfortable making identifications for others on iNaturalist. So, if you're new to making IDs, hooray! The whole iNaturalist system really runs on the volunteer efforts of all of the identifiers, in my opinion. As more and more people join iNat and make observations, we need more and more identifiers.

You really don't have to be an expert to be an identifier for iNat (I'm certainly not an expert!). You don't have pass some exam by stern botanists with Ph.D.s and 30 years' worth of experience in New England plants. You can just start by IDing easy plants: "Hey, here's an observation where the observer called it Chicory and it certainly looks like Chicory to me. I'll click Agree" and boom, you're an identifier!

One of the great things about making identifications (and observations, too, for that matter) is that the process prods you towards being a better botanist. Whether you ID "easy" plants like Chicory or prefer to puzzle out more difficult plants like Potamogetons or sedges, there will always be a challenge waiting for you on iNat. Plus, when it's a dreary February, see-sawing between early spring and late winter, it's really fun to look at photos of blooming hepaticas and Marsh Marigolds.

As to the mechanics of making IDs, I'll point you to the (long) (sorry about that) journal post I made last year for this project: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/new-england-plants-id-a-thon-feb-25-27-2022/journal/61944-how-i-make-identifications These instructions use the Explore tab in iNat; you can also use the Identify tab, which will definitely speed things up, but I recommend new identifiers start in the Explore tab.

I'll be back soon with more on how to filter to get down to manageable chunks of observations to work on. It's only three and a half days till we start!

Julkaistu helmikuu 21, 2023 04:15 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

helmikuu 23, 2023

Suggestions for Your Efforts (and Info on Filters)

Tomorrow! We start tomorrow night! I hope you get all dug out from this storm and can make it to the store to lay in supplies of snacks and your choice of refreshing beverages to keep your strength up for our marathon/sprint of identifying.

In this post, I want to point out three areas where focused effort can really make a dent in the pile of Needs ID observations. Along the way, I'll explain how I use filters to make identifying easier and faster. (And I apologize for the length of this post; I am trying to make things as clear as I can.)

Observations at Species Level
First, as we did last year, a major group of observations to focus on can be the observations that are already identified at the species level and just need one Agree click to push them into Research Grade. That's assuming you can, in fact, agree with the existing identification. Remember, if it's obviously a cultivated plant, mark the observation as not wild in the Data Quality Assessment; that will push the observation to Casual, out of the Needs ID pile. If you disagree with the current ID, add your ID (perhaps with an explanation of why you disagree). That will keep the observation as Needs ID, but you can then either add it to this project, so other members can easily find it, or tag someone else in a comment (by using @harperlynn, for example) to help out.

Here's the link to this set of observations: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?hrank=species&iconic_taxa=Plantae&lrank=species&place_id=52339&quality_grade=needs_id. If you click on the Filters box towards the upper right of the page, you can see I chose these filters: Verifiable; Needs ID; Plants; Any for date; and New England for location. Importantly, I also set the Rank filter to Species for both high and low ranks; that discards everything except the observations already at species level.

If you choose to work on this set of observations, you might want to choose a particular species by using the Species Search box near the top center of the page. Or you can set the view to Species, like this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?hrank=species&iconic_taxa=Plantae&lrank=species&place_id=52339&quality_grade=needs_id&view=species. Either way makes it easy to pare down to a relatively manageable group of observations.

Observations at Genus Level
For a second set of observations to focus on, you can set the Rank filter to show only observations stuck at the Genus level, like this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?hrank=genus&iconic_taxa=Plantae&lrank=genus&place_id=52339&quality_grade=needs_id&view=species. This URL shows you the observations in the Genera view (which iNat calls Species View; it's really Taxon View). Here, you can go through your favorite genus and move observations to the species level; again, if you then add the observation to this project or tag someone, the observation has a good chance of getting to Research Grade this weekend.

On the other hand, you may find there isn't enough evidence to move a Genus-level observation to Species level. For example, you might be able to tell the plants in the photos are Solidago, but there aren't the kind of photos that would allow you to ID them to species confidently. Then, what you can do is agree with Solidago AND, down at the bottom of the Data Quality Assessment, mark the observation as "No, it's as good as it can be" in the question that reads "Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved?" Doing so will move a Needs ID observation to Research Grade (but only when the Community Taxon is at the sub-family level or below; above that, the observation will go to Casual). Now, this option needs to be used judiciously. Only use it when you are really very sure the ID cannot be improved. Also, pay attention to your notifications; if the observer asks you to remove the "as good as it can be" vote, please do so politely. The observer may have very good reasons or preferences for wanting the observation to stay at the Genus level in Needs ID.

I hear you saying, "What???" Well, in iNaturalist-speak, a Maverick is when three identifiers disagree with, for example, the observer's initial ID. Here's an example (with apologies to the observer!): https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/149471326. You can check to see if any of your own observations are deemed Mavericks at this URL; just substitute your user name for mine: https://www.inaturalist.org/identifications?user_id=lynnharper&category=maverick. If you're an expert, you might well disagree with the three other identifiers. In that case, leave your ID; you have what is called a Proud Maverick. (You can also leave a comment explaining why you think it's Species A, not Species B; that may sway the other identifiers.)

A Pre-Maverick is when two identifiers disagree with an existing ID, and the observation needs one or more identifiers to come along and weigh in on the evidence. User @jeanphilippeb has worked some wonderful magic with the iNaturalist database and come up with a set of Pre-Mavericks for identifiers to use; you can read about all this in his project here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/pre-maverick

I've filtered out New England plants from his set of all Pre-Maverick observations in this URL: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?captive=any&place_id=52339&project_id=156949&quality_grade=needs_id&iconic_taxa=Plantae. Note that I filtered for a particular project in this case. I added a few of these observations to our project just to give you a flavor of what they look like. Focusing on these can probably make a noticeable dent in the giant heap of Needs ID New England plant observations.

So, there are three areas where we can focus our efforts this weekend. Tomorrow, just before 7 PM, I'll re-post the relevant URLs and note the starting number of observations in each group. As always, please feel free to ask questions or make comments.

Julkaistu helmikuu 23, 2023 03:29 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

helmikuu 24, 2023

Time to Identify!

Here we are, a few minutes before 7 PM on Friday night, all dug out from the snow/sleet/ice/freezing rain/whatever you got, and ready to put our botanical minds to work on the mountain of Needs Id observations, right?

If you want to work on the observations that are already at species level, here's the URL: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?hrank=species&iconic_taxa=Plantae&lrank=species&place_id=52339&quality_grade=needs_id. Right now, there are 347,491 such observations.

If you'd rather ID at the genus level, here's that URL: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?hrank=genus&iconic_taxa=Plantae&lrank=genus&place_id=52339&quality_grade=needs_id&view=species. Currently, there are 242,515 observations stuck at the genus level.

If the idea of Pre-Mavericks intrigues you, here's your URL: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?captive=any&place_id=52339&project_id=156949&quality_grade=needs_id&iconic_taxa=Plantae. That pile has only 4,134 observations.

Overall, there are 1,783,621 Verifiable plant observations in New England at this moment, 756,383 of which are Needs ID. Just a little work to do ...... Enjoy yourselves!

Julkaistu helmikuu 24, 2023 11:37 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

helmikuu 25, 2023

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Well, I am, at least. I am working through the Pre-Mavericks, finding lots of easy-to-ID observations, like mix-ups between Trifolium and Oxalis. It's making me feel productive! If the observation still needs one or two more IDs to kick it to Research Grade, I've added it to this project in case you want to help out. If anyone wants to volunteer to help with this, tell me and I'll tag you in the observations. And please feel free to tag me in return.

And we are already having an impact! The numbers of Needs ID observations at the species level has decreased by about 460 since we started. At the genus level, the number is down by about 100. Pre-Mavericks are down by about 200. We could quit right now and we would have done better than last weekend!

But we're not going to quit, are we? I'm going to go make myself a second cup of coffee and then get right back to work!

Julkaistu helmikuu 25, 2023 02:22 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 5 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

helmikuu 26, 2023

The Half-Time Report

I won't bore you with all the details, but here's the overall picture: we have cleared just under 3,400 observations from the mountain of Needs ID New England plants. Great work!!

Julkaistu helmikuu 26, 2023 12:15 AP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 3 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

Three Hours to Go

A quick update: The number of Needs ID observations has decreased by 6,474, while 858 observations were added since 7 PM Friday. Assuming I can still think straight, that means we've added at least 7,332 identifications so far. Plus we've made other IDs that don't move observations all the way to Research Grade or Casual (yet).

Fantastic work!!!

Anyone want to hazard an estimate as to how much the Needs ID pile will shrink in the next three hours?

Julkaistu helmikuu 26, 2023 09:03 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti