27. tammikuuta 2022

Open space in Duncanville -- check it out!

So, there's an open space in Duncanville that's pretty dang sweet. It's around 40 acres with some cool open limestone spots and Ten Mile Creek that runs right through it. The land is open to the public and it's owned by the City of Duncanville. Here is some more info about the land:
https://www.focusdailynews.com/ladd-preservation-advocacy-a-hot-topic-for-duncanville/

Anywho, there's been some talk about development, so we're wanting to actively use the observations made on the land to show that there's not just biodiversity but also a naturalist community that seeks out open green spaces like this. It is well worthy of preserving.

If you find yourself in southern Dallas County, be sure to stop by the Ladd Land and make some observations -- they're especially useful! :)

The address is 609 W Danieldale Rd, Duncanville, TX 75137
and the GPS is 32.634893, -96.921227

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=178712&subview=map

Lähetetty 27. tammikuuta 2022 01:07 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 5 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

28. joulukuuta 2021

Fundraiser for iNat

https://donorbox.org/inaturalist-community-fundraising/fundraiser/sam-kieschnick

My 40th birthday is coming up, and this year, I'm hoping for some funds to be donated to iNaturalist. I'm about as bonkers as one can get about this resource. It's a database, it's a community, it's a lifestyle! :) Seriously, I have engaged more deeply using the tool of iNaturalist than anything else. It's broadened my interests in nature -- I explore the ecosystem thoroughly. Each time I go outside, I take iNaturalist with me. :)

No obligation, but if you're able to, iNat is well worthy of funds. I've set a goal of $1k, and here's the site:
https://donorbox.org/inaturalist-community-fundraising/fundraiser/sam-kieschnick

So grateful for this tool -- I've met with some of my absolute favorite people, in real life or virtually (with hopes to meeting so many of you in the near future). :)

Looking forward to using iNaturalist for the rest of my life!

Lähetetty 28. joulukuuta 2021 22:34 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 5 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

22. joulukuuta 2021

Anyone have any video footage of bioblitzes (Texas-stuff preferably)?

Hey all,

Just tossing a request out there... So, TPWD is working on a bioblitz/citizen science/uses of iNaturalist video, and we have a bit of footage, but I'm curious if anyone has any that they have that we can use too! Ideally, we're looking for Texas bioblitzing in action.

If you have some that you're willing to share, we'll give credit to you, of course. You can reach out to me here or at my email: sam.kieschnick@tpwd.texas.gov

The video will be put together by @olivetree. Here is her last video (and she has another one that will hopefully come out soon on small urban green spaces):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGRqeN3PCNw

Lähetetty 22. joulukuuta 2021 02:40 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

11. joulukuuta 2021

Year in Review -- soooo cool to see this data! :)

I love it when the iNat folks do the year in review. It's so awesome to see the stats for all of iNat in the year, and then to get the personalized results too.

Here are the site's stats for 2021 (so far!):
https://www.inaturalist.org/stats/2021

Here are my stats for this year:
https://www.inaturalist.org/stats/2021/sambiology

It was another year of just doing Texas travels (hopefully next year I'll be able to go a bit more north than TX), but I'm really happy that I was able to observe lots of critters and organisms this year. So far, about 3700 unique taxa in around 16k observations. Fun! And the little daily streak continued for this year too -- I've been super lucky to get to go outside every day for the past several years to make iNat observations. :)

You should check out your stats for this year! How did you do?!? And the numbers are irrelevant when compared to the engagement -- hopefully you engaged with nature a bunch this year!!! :)

Lähetetty 11. joulukuuta 2021 01:54 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 5 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

20. marraskuuta 2021

Reminder post: BioBlitz at Indian Creek Ranch - May 6-8, 2022

Jo Roberts is organizing a super gathering at Indian Creek Ranch on May 6 - 8 next year. 10k acres!

It's on private property, so it's a bit different than the previous gatherings in public areas. Chime in on that post if you're wanting to come! :)

https://www.inaturalist.org/posts/59386-bioblitz-at-indian-creek-ranch-may-6-8-2022

Lähetetty 20. marraskuuta 2021 23:00 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 3 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

15. lokakuuta 2021

Blacklighting at LLELA! October 21

Hey all!

On Thursday, October 21, we'll do some black-lighting at LLELA. We'll be by the greenhouse with a whole slew of black-lighting stations!

Here's the exact GPS: 33.06272635238685, -96.98885902094148
It'll be off of the Jones St. entrance -- basically the first right that you can take as you get into LLELA.

You do not have to be a master naturalist to join this event! It is one of the pre-conference field trips for the Texas Master Naturalists, but any and all can come to this without any sort of registration.

LLELA is a great place for mothing/black-lighting. Here are the moths that have been documented at LLELA so far:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=63542&taxon_id=47157&view=species&without_taxon_id=47224,47654

Hope to see you there! :) Let me know if you've got any questions or concerns.

~Sam

Lähetetty 15. lokakuuta 2021 18:13 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 25 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

18. syyskuuta 2021

2021 Victor Emanuel Conservation Award Celebration Honoring Greg Lasley

SAVE THE DATE
October 8, 2021 at 6pm, A Virtual Event

https://travisaudubon.org/2021-vecal

2021 CONSERVATION HERO GREG LASLEY
AUSTIN, Texas– Travis Audubon announces the selection of the 2021 Victor Emanuel Conservation Award Hero.

Every year Travis Audubon honors an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to promoting environmental conservation, education, or advocacy. These heroes are recognized at our annual Conservation Award Celebration, named after legendary birder and conservationist Victor Emanuel. The honorees are influential leaders who have inspired us to greater community involvement and environmental awareness through their work.

The Board of Directors of Travis Audubon is honored to announce that the 2021 Conservation Hero is Greg Lasley of Dripping Springs, Texas. The Board unanimously agreed that no one is more qualified for this award than Lasley, who accepted the honor before his death on January 30, 2021. Lasley will be honored posthumously at the virtual 12th annual Victor Emanuel Conservation Award Celebration on October 8.

Greg Lasley was a force in birding and conservation for more than forty years, but he was a student of nature all his life. He began with snakes—venomous snakes—and as a teenager, worked in the herpetology collection at the Atlanta Zoo milking the snakes for antivenom. Lasley kept snakes until his mid-twenties. He was even a falconer for a time, but it wasn’t until he moved to Texas and saw Painted Buntings at his backyard feeder that Lasley became a birder.

Everyone who knew Greg Lasley felt he was one of the most caring and generous people they had ever met. Those characteristics were evident in his work as a policeman and as a naturalist. Even before retiring as a Lieutenant with the Austin Police Department in 1997, Lasley had dedicated himself to wildlife photography. Lasley first pointed a camera at a bird in 1971 (a Horned Lark at Great Salt Lake, Utah) while he was in the U.S. Air Force. Since then, several thousand of his images have been published in hundreds of books, magazines, and websites. In 2000, he and photography partner Larry Ditto won the prestigious Valley Land Fund South Texas Shootout contest. His legendary photographic skills served as a model of technical craftsmanship and opened a window to the complexity of bird behavior and the natural world. A self-described “birder gone bad,” Lasley’s expertise as a naturalist, photographer, and mentor extended far beyond ornithology and into the world of dragonflies, damselflies, moths, and many other creatures.

Over the last decade, Lasley was a prodigious contributor to iNaturalist, the online citizen-science database, and he recognized the immense value of such efforts to understand the natural world. Lasley verified more than 450,000 observations from around the world, gaining a reputation as not only a knowledgeable naturalist but also as a skilled and patient teacher. Over the last forty years, few people have promoted birding and conservation in Texas—and the world—more than Greg Lasley.

Lasley gathered and shared data on birds in many other ways as well. If he came across a dead bird, he took it to Texas A&M to be part of their collection. He participated in various Audubon Christmas bird counts, a birding tradition that, over the last hundred years, has gathered more data on birds than any other effort in the world. His long editorship of the Texas column for American Birds magazine (and its various incarnations, 1970s-1990s) added keen insight into the data collected by Texas birders. In the late 1970s, he almost singlehandedly re-invigorated the Texas Bird Records Committee of the Texas Ornithological Society, elevating that committee and its work. Throughout his life, Lasley kept a list of every bird he saw and the numbers of each species and submitted this huge amount of data to Cornell’s eBird project. This data helps raise awareness of conservation needs, and Lasley devoted his life to sharing such data about the natural world.

Perhaps Lasley’s greatest conservation legacy is the countless people he inspired and encouraged to learn about the natural world. Lasley was a role model and inspiration to many—especially those just getting started in birding, wildlife identification, and photography. A true ambassador for birding in Texas, he was a kind and welcoming teacher, always willing to share his knowledge and skills. As a long-time birding-tour leader with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, he had a direct role in introducing birders to the beauty and diversity of birds both in Texas and around the world. Greg Lasley is a model for us all when considering the impact that just one life can have on so many.

Lasley’s accomplishments will be celebrated virtually at the 2021 Victor Emanuel Conservation Award Celebration on October 8. We hope you will join us for this wonderful celebration of Lasley’s passion and dedication. Sponsorships will be available soon.

Lähetetty 18. syyskuuta 2021 15:16 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 4 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

8. elokuuta 2021

East TX gathering! Gus Engeling, Richland Creek, and Neches River NWR! Oct 1 - 3

Hey all,

Been a bit delayed in getting this scheduled (been busy!), but we've got another little gathering planned for East TX! There are three spots that we'll check out on Oct 1 - 3:
Richland Creek WMA
Gus Engeling WMA
Neches River NWR

We've got permission to blacklight in both of the WMA's, but not the NWR. So, here's my general plan:
Explore and blacklight at Richland Creek on Friday, Oct 1
Explore and blacklight at Gus Engeling on Saturday, Oct 2
Explore Neches River NWR on Sunday, Oct 3

Richland Creek WMA -- we can set up blacklights at the north unit, right off of hwy 287. Here:
31°58'14.0"N 96°05'02.6"W
31.970556, -96.084056

Camping is at that location as well.

Gus Engeling WMA -- we can blacklight at this really nice prairie unit here:
31°57'05.4"N 95°53'24.3"W
31.951500, -95.890083

Camping is a little off the beaten path, here:
31°56'29.8"N 95°52'50.5"W
31.941611, -95.880694

Neches River NWR has some closed units for hunting, but we do have access to the "Dead Water Unit." This is south of Hwy 79, here:
31°53'35.4"N 95°25'42.7"W
31.893167, -95.428528

No real itinerary or schedule with any of these -- just exploring some of the areas and then meeting for some blacklighting at night!

Palestine is probably the closest spot for hotels and stuff.

No electricity at any of the blacklighting spots, so bring those portable units!

Let me know if you're planning on coming! Here's my cell as well -- toss it in your contacts: 214 215 5605
:)

Lähetetty 8. elokuuta 2021 13:44 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 69 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

3. elokuuta 2021

Upcoming events in DFW! :) I'll update with more as I hear about them!

Mark those calendars! Here are a few events going on in DFW:

August 13 -- black-lighting event at Ten Mile Creek Preserve in Lancaster

September 4 -- black-lighting event at Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake
September 5 - 11 -- DFW-wide socially distant bioblitz! Competition just like last years.

October 1 - 3 -- east TX gathering at Gus Engeling, Richland Creek, and Neches River
October 21 -- black-lighting at LLELA

If you know of others that need to be added to the list, let me know! :)

Lähetetty 3. elokuuta 2021 18:15 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 19 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

29. heinäkuuta 2021

Positive Feedback Loop of Identifications -- it's a big deal!

Encouraging others, through words or actions helps to inspire and encourage you in return. You are helping others exactly the same time you are helping yourself. ~Nasreen Variyawa

I'm in a really lucky position to interact with lots of naturalists and nature enthusiasts. When we talk about iNaturalist, we talk a lot about the community. We speak of the great observations from around the world, some of the magnificent observations (which, the observation of the day and observation of the week highlight as well ), and the folks that make these observations. Most of all, we talk about the identifiers and experts that dedicate so much time and energy to welcoming us all to the community.

This process of adding identifications is a positive feedback loop. When we add on an ID to an observation, we welcome that observer to the community. Yes, we make the entire database better, we train the AI to give better suggestions, and we learn a lot when we ID. But, I think that the welcoming part is the most relevant and meaningful.

In my very biased opinion, this is the real power of this tool -- iNaturalist is all about engagement for me. We engage with nature, and we engage with the community of naturalists. Those are really meaningful experiences! When I'm outside, I feel like I'm traveling around with others -- other naturalists and other species! It's always fun to find a 'new' species for me, and I have some fun researching to try to figure out the name of my 'natural neighbors.'

I am in awe of the taxon experts that give the tremendous gift of their time and energy to adding in ID's. It's freaking amazing how talented these folks are -- and how generous they are with their knowledge. Some day, I hope that I can get to that level of experience with a particular group of organisms. In the meantime, I'm simply in awe of these amazing people.

I tend to be a 'regional ID'er' -- the vast majority of my time ID'ing is focused on north central TX... I'm far from an expert, but I've learned so much from helping folks learn the names of species. And yes, I've made thousands and thousands of mistakes on ID's -- it's ok. How do I know they were mistakes? Well, they were corrected by someone else! This is all part of the process -- I've learned a lot from these mistakes too. I still make them sometimes, but I'm still learning as well. :)

So, ID'ing is such a valuable part of this process of welcoming a naturalist to the community -- it inspires them to go out and make more observations, learn a little more, and engage again with nature. I love it -- it makes me so happy. :)

Inspiration is given to inspire. We give what we receive. ~David O. Mears

Lähetetty 29. heinäkuuta 2021 15:53 käyttäjältä sambiology sambiology | 14 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti