06 de junio de 2022

Thanks for coming to Kingman & Heritage Islands today!

Thank you to everyone who came out today!

Group photo of iNaturalist enthusiasts

I'm tagging everyone signed in
@electricjones @tiwane @danielled83 @jeffdc @hisiheyah @mmmmbugs @imasongster @margaritanoir @izafarr @lizallan @graytreefrog @bruzzone @copasetikncool @edenea @theglobetrotter @penguinflu @zdanko @riset @bugzilla @esummerbell @potomacriverannie @sln3410 @dbarber

Here's a link to observations today from Kingman Island. Kudos to those of you who've gotten observations up! I might not be able to add mine until later this week.

If anyone wants to suggest a time and location for another event like this, I'd be happy to help spread the word even if I can't personally attend.

Publicado el 06 de junio de 2022 a las 01:28 AM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 13 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de junio de 2022

iNaturalist Meetup at Kingman & Heritage Islands on June 5

Come explore the biodiversity of Kingman & Heritage Islands in DC and meet some fellow iNaturalist enthusiasts!

Sunday, June 5
2-4 pm
RSVP & more details

My colleague @tiwane from California and I will be there with iNaturalist stickers and a few iNaturalist t-shirts.

We'll set up a table and a few chairs on Heritage Island. Grab a name tag, some swag, and then explore the island trails along the Anacostia River. Feel free to introduce yourselves to other iNaturalist enthusiasts who you encounter on the trails.

What biodiversity will you see? Here's the species recorded from Kingman & Heritage Islands in the month of June so far. Hopefully this informal meetup will be able to add to this list!

Getting there:
It's accessible by bus, streetcar, bike trail, or car (it's a 1+ mi walk from a metro station). You should be able to navigate to "Kingman and Heritage Islands Park". Here are more detailed directions of how to get here. If you drive, park in RFK lot 6 (beyond the elevated metro tracks and close to the river).

Please note: the only restrooms are located near the parking area. Once you're on the islands, there won't be any available.

Thank you to the Friends of Kingman & Heritage Islands and Living Classrooms for their support of gathering in this space.

Tagging some locals (?) who might be interested
@ana_kaahanui @maryeford @stella20009 @dbarber @jorbogmont @dossification @imasongster @izafarr @graytreefrog @krosenthal @jmgconsult @ashley_bradford @judygva @treegrow @birderkellyk @naturepix999 @mefisher @belyykit @capitalnaturalist @mjwcarr @peggyo @edhass @ronwertz @hholbrook @stephen220 @jane41 @jeffdc @cmciv @davidenrique @zhelicarol @liztrain @telbill @jgingold @treichard @tomarata @zdanko @calopteryx @emilio_c @edanko @jacobogre @wearethechampignons @djweyer @wildlandblogger @udcmrk @dtread1 @arbiess @bertharris @rosalie-rick @mellis @botanygirl @elliotgreiner @tminatbe @annagypsy @sholtz @ecologyelise @sharonforsyth @bugzilla @mdnaturalist @erininmd @woodcut55 @mmmmbugs @tlit46 @nanjemoycreek @tca12345 @lotteryd @romainclem @margaritanoir @mjmwx @tkirk304 @gwh @bruzzone @onertwons @ccworkman11 @mjsarver @vincent12 @serenella @anarchofundalist @copasetikncool @dms215 @lippis @meeraconnors

And out-of-towners @muir and @aztekium will hopefully be able to make it too!

Publicado el 01 de junio de 2022 a las 03:13 AM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 18 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de diciembre de 2021

68 new-to-me places I explored in 2021

At the beginning of 2021, I set a goal of 52 new-to-me hikes. But really, my definition of “hike” is more like “explore an area where I haven’t made any iNaturalist observations yet.” And the area could be tiny and didn’t necessarily need to have a trail (e.g. small urban parks). I also revisited many parks I’d been to before, but hiked new trails. The idea was to average one new place each weekend so it kept me motivated to go outside, especially during the first few months of 2021.

I exceeded my goal and explored 68 new-to-me places in 2021! Where did I explore?

I did the most hikes in DC (31), followed by Maryland (20). Surprisingly, I only did one new-to-me hike in Virginia! It was with @ana_kaahanui in February at Huntley Meadows and we ran into @saw_it on the boardwalk.

While traveling, I also explored new areas in Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.

In DC, I made a big effort to explore areas in Wards 7 and 8, east of the Anacostia River. The parks in that part of the city don’t tend to get as much attention as places like Rock Creek Park, so I really wanted to get to know them better and document the biodiversity there. Some of my favorite observations of the year were from there. I found a beetle that looks like a new genus for DC, a brilliant gold tortoise beetle, a barred owl, and my first box turtle in DC.

I’ve now hiked every trail in Fort Dupont (DC ward 7) and all but a tiny bit of the Hiker-Biker Trail that runs through Fort Dupont and other Civil War-era fort parks in southeast DC (these are collectively called the Fort Circle Parks because they encircled DC).

I can’t easily sort out the observations from the new-to-me places, but excluding the ones I’ve obscured is a decent approximation since that at least takes out everything from home. Here's the same with a photo-centric view.

Here's a few of my favorite photos, all from Washington, DC. You can click through to the observations to see where they were made.

White-tailed deer

barred owl

box elder flowers

mourning cloak

I hiked with 19 different friends or family members. 16 of the hikes I did alone. I hiked the most with my daughter (22), @dbarber (12), @maryeford (12), @mattgrosso (7), and my parents @angieseltzer and @daveseltzer (6). I enjoyed hiking with all of you so thank you for joining me on this adventure!

2021 was a pretty great year for me when it came to observations and species, even though it's the first year since 2013 that I haven't left the United States, I didn't fly anywhere, and the furthest I went from home was a day's drive. For a summary of everything I saw this year, you can check out my Year in Review. I did also manage to make at least one verifiable observation every single day this calendar year for the first time ever!

If you’re interested in the places I visited by state and name, here’s a breakdown:

State Place Name Count
DC Fort Circle Trail 10
Fort DuPont 4
Misc DC Parks 3
Rock Creek Park 2
Oxon Run 2
Kingman and Heritage Islands 2
US National Arboretum 1
Roosevelt Island 1
Pope Branch 1
National Mall and Memorial Parks 1
Misc National Capital Parks East - DC 1
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens 1
Fort Totten Park 1
Anacostia Park 1
DC Total 31
DE Cape Henlopen State Park 3
Delaware Total 3
IN Whitewater Memorial State Park 1
Indiana Total 1
MD Watkins Regional Park 2
Cosca Regional Park 2
Calvert Cliffs State Park 2
C & O Canal National Historic Park 2
Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary 2
American Chestnut Land Trust 2
Wells Run Park 1
Sugarloaf Mountain 1
Patuxent 1
Patapsco Valley State Park 1
Misc National Capital Parks East - MD 1
Guilford Woods 1
Greenbelt Park 1
Belt Woods Natural Environment Area 1
Maryland Total 20
MI Meijer Gardens 1
Ingham Park 1
Fitzgerald Park 1
Michigan Total 3
OH Possum Creek Metropark 1
Glen Helen Nature Reserve 1
Cooperrider-Kent Bog State Nature Preserve 1
Charleston Falls Preserve 1
Ohio Total 4
PA Powdermill Nature Reserve 1
Pennsylvania Total 1
VA Huntley Meadows 1
Virginia Total 1
WV Coopers Rock State Forest 3
West Virginia Botanic Garden 1
West Virginia Total 4
Publicado el 31 de diciembre de 2021 a las 08:51 PM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de marzo de 2021

My observation workflow

I'm largely documenting this for myself, but sharing here in case it ends up being useful for anyone else. This is a work in progress and I'll continue to edit this to add details or clarifications.

In the field


  • Phone camera + macro
  • Digital camera
  • Spare camera battery
  • External phone battery (if I'll be out for more than 4 hours)


  • Start GPS track on phone
  • Camera timestamp matches phone time (this is especially important when traveling across time zones, and when daylight savings changes)

I carry my iPhone XS with a Ztylus Revolver lens. Unless I'm hiking with my "fast friends" who don't stop and look at everything, I try to make plant and fungi observations in the app now. For faster-moving things that might need multiple shots to get a useful one, I use the default camera app. If I'm really disciplined in the field, I can get all of my stationary organism observations made in the field, and then go back through my photos later for just the animals where I took multiple shots. I turn off auto-uploader and I don't often enter a taxon name in the field. Later, I either add identifications before uploading, or upload from the app while I sit at my computer and identify them shortly after uploading.

For the last couple of years, I also often carry a Sony a6000 with a zoom lens for birds, flying insects, and more distant plants. It does not have a built in GPS, so I run a track on my iPhone using a free app. I'm using Motion-X GPS. I try to start the track either when I leave home (especially if I'm traveling on foot) or when I arrive at the area I'm exploring (if I drive), and then stop and save the track with the date when I get home. I don't notice a battery drain that's too bad unless I forget to stop the track when I get home. I should add that I'm usually not out for more than a few hours, but if I were planning an extended trip I'd bring an external battery for my phone as backup.

I always try to keep a second battery for the Sony in my purse. It's a knock-off one that isn't as good as the original Sony, but since I'm not usually out for extended periods of time it works well enough.

Back home

In the app, I add identifications and upload. These are mostly plants or other things easily photographed with my iPhone.

When I take out the SD card, I often also charge up the camera battery too, unless I know I didn't use it much. I leave the door to the SD card and battery open if either one of them is out, until they're both back in. This keeps me from walking out without them next time.

I import the photos from the Sony SD card using Dropbox. I have it set up to import new photos whenever detected. It does the same for photos from my iPhone when I connect it by USB. It automatically renames all images with a date and time stamp, which I like for being able to organize photos chronologically. Once imported, I move them into the appropriate folder. My folder organization is pretty simple: folders for each year (e.g. 2021), then folders for each month within those (e.g. 2021-02). If travel, especially if I'm crossing time zones or months, I might make a special folder for those photos.

I use Airdrop to share the GPS track from my Motion-X GPS app on my iPhone to my MacBook Air (email works too, I just find Airdrop most convenient). Then I put the track in the same folder as my photos.

In Lightroom Classic, if I'm starting a new month, I import all of the photos in the folder corresponding to that month. If I'm working with new photos in a folder I've already imported, I right-click on the name of the folder and select "Synchronize folder". This will bring in all of the new photos I've added.

Then I use the library filters to filter by date and review my photos. I use the keyboard shortcuts: "r" to crop, "x" to reject, and numbers to rate. For a while I was tagging or flagging photos I wanted for iNat, but now I've just settled on rating them 3s. The vast majority of photos I take are only for iNat. If I take some others I want to keep, I often rate them 4 or 5. I'm trying to be more ruthless in rejecting photos and then "Deleting rejected photos" (command-delete). I select "remove from disk" to save space.

I use the Map tools to "Load tracklog", filters to select all of the photos from the appropriate day, and then "Autotag __ selected photos". I check to make sure the locations where the photos ended up makes sense. If not, then there's probably a time zone offset needed.

When I've gone through all the photos, I use filters to select the 3-star photos to export them. The settings I use are:

  • Same file names but in a subfolder called "Resized" in the original folder
  • Resize to fit long edge 2048 pixels (Don't enlarge) with 72 pixels per inch (this corresponds to the size that iNaturalist keeps, so no sense in making it larger in size or higher resolution)

Then I have a nice folder of photos to add to iNat. I use the bulk upload tool on the website and drag on batches. I usually don't do more than 20-30 images at a time. I usually don't drag on multiple different locations at once because I find it harder to refine or edit locations. I obscure observations from home and add them to the project "Carrie's home biodiversity". Since photos geotagged in Lightroom from the GPS track don't have a radius of precision associated with them, I usually add that on iNat. I typically use 10-20 m and check on the map that it makes sense.

Once I've uploaded them to iNat, I drag the resized images from the "Resized" folder to the main folder and replace the originals with the resized ones. This makes sense for me because I don't need to be storing high resolution, uncropped versions of my mediocre photos. I am also aggressively deleting the camera images I don't need by marking them as rejected in Lightroom, then "deleting from disk" when I remove them from Lightroom.

Working through my backlog


  • Is my iNat account set to the timezone that corresponds to the observations I'm uploading?
  • Do the timestamps on my photos make sense?

I've honed the checks above after all kinds of time-consuming errors that mixed up time stamps or files or locations, which is to say that some of my backlog of images that haven't been uploaded to iNat yet (yes, still!) is a bit of a mess. As of March 2021, I've got everything from October 2016 to present, and 2005-2014 except for photos from Tanzania in 2010-11 and photos from New Zealand in 2006-07 (these are tricky because they're not geotagged and getting precise locations involves a lot of research). I'll expand on this section when I work through more of my backlog.

Hope this helps someone!

Publicado el 22 de marzo de 2021 a las 01:30 PM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario

09 de enero de 2020

iNaturalist workshops in Singapore

@tiwane, @aztekium_tutor and I will be in Singapore later this month for two workshops. On Saturday, January 18th we'll have a gathering focused on experienced iNaturalist users (more details and RSVP here). On Sunday, January 19th we'll have a public talk and workshop aimed more at beginners, including many students from Yale-NUS (more details and RSVP here).

We are grateful for the support of this workshop from National Geographic, Yale-NUS, and Nature Society Singapore (including @meiyeesung @anuj @gancw1)

We're glad that some others from the region can also join: @mutolisp @shellfishgene @anncabras24 @roktaviani @naufalurfi @franzanth

We've reached out to everyone tagged in this post by email, but know that some of you might be more inclined to notice a tag on iNaturalist than an email ;-)

@kokhuitan @lenachow @big-simonchan @caligin @techieoldfox @sohkamyung @johnascher

Please tag others in Singapore who may be interested to attend.

Publicado el 09 de enero de 2020 a las 09:59 PM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de enero de 2020

iNaturalist Social on Monday, Jan 6 at Teaism in Penn Quarter (downtown DC)

Come meet other DC area iNaturalist enthusiasts in person!

We'll meet inside at Teasism in Penn Quarter. It is within easy walking distance of every metro line! Food and drink available for purchase upstairs, then come find the group downstairs.

Monday, January 6, 2020
5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Teaism Penn Quarter
400 8th St NW
Washington, DC

More details and RSVP at Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/iNaturalist-Happy-Hour-DC/events/267071775/

I'll have iNaturalist stickers to share if you want to share your iNat pride.

Hope to see some of you there! Tagging the top 40 observers in the Washington Metropolitan Area in 2019
@ana_kaahanui @angela58 @ashley_bradford @belyykit @bertharris @botanygirl @capitalnaturalist @carriestaples @carusocm @dbarber @djweyer @ecologyelise @elliotgreiner @erininmd @herbalexplorer @hholbrook @imasongster @izafarr @jane41 @jmgconsult @jstaplesjr @judygva @krosenthal @lisam @lucareptile @mefisher @mjmwx @mjwcarr @mmn_noriko @mstrecker @nanjemoycreek @peggyo @rosalie-rick @sholtz @stephen220 @stratness @telbill @tomarata @treegrow @vagabondreports

Publicado el 03 de enero de 2020 a las 07:49 PM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 15 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de octubre de 2019

Biodiversity_Next in Leiden

I'm excited and honored to be speaking about iNaturalist during a keynote address tomorrow at the Biodiversity_Next meeting in Leiden. I mainly want to make sure that I connect with the iNaturalist users who are here for the meeting.

Thank you to @dimitribrosens for setting up a bioblitz project so that I can easily see who's here!

If you don't already have an iNaturalist sticker, please find me and ask me for one. I'm here through Friday. @damiano_oldoni @wouterkoch @mikkohei13 @dryomys @libnaturalist @pieterhuy @steinarildhoem @rdstevenson @jerry2018 @dimitribrosens @karlseb @qgroom @jannahorjus @eeuw @alexwei @richardhaltonzaf @cassandraa91 @paulschrijvershof @hdn @duncan40 @lesvesel @minkie @flo_grattarola @milotictanja @paul_luap @siobhanleachman @emeyke @stinger @agosti @kcopas @dhobern @clauden

Publicado el 23 de octubre de 2019 a las 06:12 PM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de julio de 2019

iNaturalist Happy Hour in DC at Wunder Garten on Tuesday, August 6!

It's been a while since we've had a gathering of iNaturalist users in the DC area, and there are a lot more of us now!

Tuesday, August 6
4:30-6:30 pm
Wunder Garten
1101 First St NE
Washington, DC 20002

More details at Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/iNaturalist-Happy-Hour-DC/events/263491842/

I aim to make this a regular thing, so suggestions welcome for the next location.

Tagging the top 30 observers in DC, even though I know some of you aren't around anymore. Please tag your friends who are!
 @treegrow @elliotgreiner @jmgconsult @sharonforsyth @achang @muir  @woodcut55  @belyykit  @tkirk304  @stella20009  @mstrecker  @rhondaridley @lynnparsons  @krosenthal @reallifeecology @gwh  @rumeltr @dossification @jmandela @mjmwx  @alex_bairstow  @caedocyon @timbir5 @anacostiabiota @cldc @calopteryx @jorbogmont  @hbfeducation @briangratwicke

Publicado el 26 de julio de 2019 a las 08:56 PM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 10 comentarios | Deja un comentario

06 de marzo de 2019

iNat Happy Hour at Citizen Science Association meeting in Raleigh, NC, USA

Next Wednesday at the Citizen Science Association meeting in Raleigh there will be an informal meet up for iNaturalist enthusiasts at Crank Arm Brewing.

Wednesday, March 13
4:30-6:30 pm
Crank Arm Brewing
319 W Davie St
Raleigh, NC 27601

The location is about 0.5 mi from the Raleigh Convention Center and about 0.6 mi from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (where the CSA opening reception begins at 7 pm). The brewery is kid-friendly and if the weather is agreeable, they have outdoor space.

To get a sense of attendance, please respond on this short form if you plan to attend. Thanks!

There is also an iNaturalist workshop which currently has a waiting list. If you are already registered to attend the workshop, please look for an email from Richard Smart requesting more details.

Hope to see you there with @chrisgoforth @sambiology @smartrf @mordenana and many more!

Publicado el 06 de marzo de 2019 a las 02:39 PM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

22 de febrero de 2019

ID party at Nat Geo on Feb 28

Want to meet local iNaturalist enthusiasts and learn more about identifications on iNaturalist? Come help us identify last year's observations from the City Nature Challenge! We'll meet in the cafeteria at National Geographic. Pizza provided! Bring a laptop and any field guides you want to reference.

Thursday, February 28
5:30-8 PM
Register here: https://goo.gl/forms/DSLdlSPajYyvwryO2

National Geographic
1610 M St NW
Washington DC 20036

Enter via the courtyard from M Street. From the courtyard, enter the building on the left, then inside turn left to the cafeteria.

5:30-6 Arrival & check in
6-6:15 Welcome & tips for identifying on iNaturalist
6:15-7:30 Identifying observations!
7:30-7:45 Check in on progress, sharing of learning
7:45-8 More identifications, goodbyes

Please contact carrie@inaturalist.org if you have any questions about the event.

If you're local, don't forget to join the 2019 City Nature Challenge project for our area to get the great updates posted by @dbarber.

Publicado el 22 de febrero de 2019 a las 04:27 AM por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 7 comentarios | Deja un comentario