22 de enero de 2016

The Great Nature Project comes to a close

I am sad to share that the Great Nature Project will be discontinued next month. Our portal into iNaturalist, greatnatureproject.org, will be shut down in February. This decision was made to allow our small team to focus our efforts on BioBlitz in 2016 and beyond. If you’ve ever logged in on our site, you should receive a similar announcement via email.

The good news is that your observations will still be available on iNaturalist.org. The project will remain accessible here on iNaturalist, but I will no longer monitor it closely like I have for the last several months.

As we plan for what’s next in citizen science at National Geographic, we would love to get your feedback on this short survey.

For the last six months or so, I’ve worked especially hard to try to reach out to each and every new user who added observations to the Great Nature Project. I’m sorry if I didn’t reach out to you! I won’t be doing that for this project anymore, but I challenge each of you to engage with the larger iNaturalist community and encourage each other to explore biodiversity.

Publicado el enero 22, 2016 04:52 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 18 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de septiembre de 2015

Vultures, iguanas, and rabbits, oh my!

If you've created a profile on greatnatureproject.org, you should have received an email yesterday highlighting vultures, iguanas, rabbits, and how citizen science biodiversity observations tell us about our changing world. Click to see it here.

We have a great collection of vulture photos for International Vulture Awareness Day on Saturday, September 5. We're taking advantage of days like this to encourage new observations and perhaps inspire you to dig through your existing photos. It looks like it's working, so thank you!

If you want to receive emails directly from National Geographic's Great Nature Project in the future, use your iNaturalist account to log in here and tell us a little more about yourself.

For those of you in the United States, I hope you get outside to enjoy Labor Day weekend! If you're traveling, download our vacation biodiversity checklist to take along.

P.S. If you don't understand the reference in the title, watch this.

Publicado el septiembre 4, 2015 05:35 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de agosto de 2015

What to look for this weekend

Biodiversity is all around us, but it can be helpful to have a discrete list to focus attention around a particular kind of organism or concept. That's why we've been creating biodiversity scavenger hunts that we call "missions". So far, we've created missions around three different themes and have plans for several more.

Butterfly Mission: Explore butterfly and moth life cycles. (pdf)

Food Web Mission: Find a food web in your neighborhood. (pdf)

Vacation Mission: Find biodiversity while you travel. (pdf)

We'd love to hear what you think! Do these challenge you to find different organisms or think differently about what you see? How will/did/can you use it? What other topics would you like to see? Feel free to comment here or email us at greatnatureproject@ngs.org.

Publicado el agosto 21, 2015 08:33 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de julio de 2015

It's National Moth Week!

Have you seen any moths lately? Have you looked? National Moth Week is happening now through July 26. Many of you should have received an email about the event from the Great Nature Project on Saturday (if you've completed a profile on greatnatureproject.org). Since then, many of you have shared beautiful moth photos. Thank you! Remember that the less beautiful ones are important to record, too.

The National Moth Week website has suggestions for how to attract moths and they also appreciate you registering your "event" even if it's just at your house! You can also add your moths to the National Moth Week project on iNaturalist (I'll also help add moth observations to that project in case you forget).

If you've got kids you want to engage in a biodiversity scavenger hunt about butterflies and moths, check out this mission we created to guide your biodiversity explorations. We'd love to hear what you think about it!

Finally, if you want to look at beautiful moths, check out our collection of some of the most eye-catching moths submitted to the Great Nature Project as well as this news piece from National Geographic about National Moth Week.

Publicado el julio 21, 2015 05:12 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de junio de 2015

Who saw more than 13 different taxa in 11 days?

Right before the global snapshot of biodiversity began, I issued a challenge: Try to find & photograph all 13 of iNaturalist's "iconic taxa" groups in 11 days. The idea was to push people outside of their comfort zones and encourage them to look for organisms they usually overlook.

A handful of people came close, but only one person recorded all of these:
-Fungi (including lichens)
-Ray-finned fishes
-Other Animals (not in an animal category listed above)
-Kelp, Diatoms, and Allies

Congratulations to kcastaneda, a new user from California! Great job, Kathy!

Two others were close. juancruzado and lst each only missed Chromista. Well done! Chromista are much harder if you aren't near a coastline!

I know that I've had my eyes peeled for slime molds as a result of this challenge, and I hope that the global snapshot of biodiversity encouraged each of you to notice something you otherwise might have missed. You can see some of our favorite observations on the Great Nature Project site.

Feel free to post your favorite observations from the event below!

Publicado el junio 19, 2015 05:28 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

04 de junio de 2015

Thank you all for your contributions to the Global Snapshot of Biodiversity!

I just wrote a short update for the event-specific project, which you can read here:

You can also read more in a piece written for the National Geographic Voices blog:

Publicado el junio 4, 2015 04:52 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de mayo de 2015

Don't forget to submit your observations from May 15-25!

It's just past midnight U.S. Eastern Time and the global snapshot of biodiversity is drawing to a close around the world, but it's not too late to submit your observations! Right now there are more than 34,000 observations from the last 11 days. How high will it climb? Do you have all of yours submitted?

Check out the count here:

Later this week I'll crunch the numbers and let everyone know the final count. In the meantime, get those observations in, keep helping each other add IDs, and see who's new from your area!

Publicado el mayo 26, 2015 04:10 MAÑANA por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de mayo de 2015

Can you find ALL of the iconic taxa in 11 days?

We want everyone to get outside during that time for our global snapshot of biodiversity from May 15-25. I have a special challenge for you that I'm going to take on myself.

Can you make at least one observation from each of the 13 iconic taxa? That's at least one of each of the following:
-Fungi (including lichens)
-Ray-finned fishes
-Other Animals (stuff that doesn't fall into another more specific animal category listed above, like most other invertebrates)
-Kelp, Diatoms, and Allies

Some of these are going to be easy, but it's definitely going to vary from place to place. You might have to brush up on what's in Kingdom Chromista and get your hands on a microscope for the Protozoans.


  1. It has to have a photo, date, and location.
  2. It has to be observed during May 15-25 (your local time).
  3. You must upload it by Wednesday, May 27 (your local time).
  4. It has to have a correct identification that ties it to one of those taxa.

At the end of the snapshot, I'll recognize everyone who met the challenge in another journal post. I hope you'll use this as an excuse to explore something out of your comfort zone!

Publicado el mayo 14, 2015 06:56 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 16 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de mayo de 2015

Use our learning missions as biodiversity scavenger hunts

We've created another way to encourage you to submit observations: scavenger hunts! We've arranged scavenger hunts around two themes—food webs and butterflies—and created supporting materials to help you explore biodiversity while learning more about these topics.

Food Web Mission

Butterfly Mission

These biodiversity scavenger hunts were created especially with families in mind, but anyone can use them. If you or someone you know wants a little more guidance exploring biodiversity in your neighborhood, download these documents to take outside with you.

Right now they are just pdfs you can download to view on a mobile device or print out, but our long-term plan is to make it easy to contribute via greatnatureproject.org and/or an app. Please let us know if you have thoughts or suggestions.

If you've filled out a profile in greatnatureproject.org too, you should have received an email about this today. We sincerely apologize if you clicked on the links right away and found they didn't work. They work now!

Publicado el mayo 12, 2015 09:15 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

22 de abril de 2015

Happy Earth Day!

How will you celebrate Earth Day today? I'll be preparing for a Google Hangout this evening to talk with some awesome people about the Great Nature Project and upcoming global snapshot of biodiversity.

We'll talk to Steve Boyes about his upcoming expedition down the Okavango River in Africa, urban explorer Juan Martinez, and educator Rona Zollinger. My colleague Julie Brown will be the host.

I hope you can join us tonight at 8 pm ET (that's GMT-4:00) for the Google Hangout. If you miss it, you'll be able to watch it later on our YouTube channel.

Publicado el abril 22, 2015 01:15 TARDE por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario