The importance of fun

The first set of CNC 2021 organizer meetings took place in the last week of October 2020. These meetings help to get both new organizers and those who have years of experience all on the same page no matter where they are located.

Local organizers were asked to share their individual goals for their 2021 iteration of the City Nature challenge in the meeting chat . When Susan Ansell hoped that "people will enjoy feeling part of a global activity and have fun (everyone needs more fun!)", Lila Higgins (@lhiggins), one of the meeting facilitators immediately reiterated with enthusiasm, "and that is explicitly one of the goals of the global nature challenge... to have fun".

The observer experience is central to iNaturalist - what happens to a person when they pay attention to living organisms other than themselves.

However, despite the fact that iNat can be a bit technical and seems scientific, our primary goal in operating iNaturalist is to connect people to nature...https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/what+is+it

Here are some responses Has iNat Changed Your Behavior? from a few years ago.

"Photography of the natural world has remained about the same (it varies year to year), but what to do with the photos has changed a great deal. ... iNaturalist has made a huge difference in identification of species photographed. I used to scour the internet for good sources of species ids, pester others for bird, butterfly, and plants ids. That has changed remarkably - fellow iNatters now help with ids, and the online species info on iNat has also helped.... I don't feel as lost or overwhelmed in learning the names of fauna and flora. And this knowledge is reinforced when helping others on iNat with ids."

"..I'm often in the office doing mapping and data entry. One of my coworkers found a neat moth in the stairwell to our parking structure, so I started looking for moths there. One day I found 15 different kinds! I've got 106 species of Lepidoptera on my life list now after two years watching the stairwell, and probably over half are from that stairwell. 50 or so species in a stairwell? I'm an ecologist, but when it comes to moths I am a clear amateur.. "

"... Before iNaturalist, most of my photos were of landscapes. Now and then I took a photo of a flower or a bear. ...When I discovered iNaturalist, I was amazed to find a ready-made database for my observations. Not only that, but iNat provided a community where I could find support that has encouraged me to grow and to focus on projects that seem to me worthwhile. Instead of finding new cross country routes in and near Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP, I now spend most of my time studying the flora of the John Muir Wilderness west of Courtright and Wishon Reservoirs and east of Kings Canyon National Park."

"iNat [h]as [re-]awakened my love for bugs and being out in nature! As a child I was constantly outside searching for bugs and other creatures. My mom would be terrified every time I’d come home with a shoebox of new friends! I even made a bug hospital complete with tiny handmade hospital beds. I know, not very helpful, but at the time I thought I was doing something amazing. ... that need to explore faded away as I became older... iNat has helped bring back that side of myself. I don’t just look at a plant and see a plant. I get close enough to see what could be crawling on that plant, and I want to know everything about it.... I’m finding that I’m so much more aware of the life that’s surrounding me....."

"I now find myself in friendly conversations with fishermen and asking if I can look in their buckets and questions about their catch. They usually seem pretty fired up to explain what they're doing to someone armed with a camera rather than a fishing pole. "

Whatever your interest in iNaturalist, I hope that you will find nature a source of continuing fascination and that it brings you and yours much fun now and in the future.

Publicado por marykrieger marykrieger, 07 de noviembre de 2020

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