The naturalists of the 18th and 19th centuries had to rely on pen and ink and taxidermy to record their finds. We have small pocket computers that we carry everywhere. And we can put them to good use during the 2017 City Nature Challenge.Over five days in mid-April, cities around the country will compete to “collect” the most native species using a smartphone app. And with a big national park practically in our backyard, and wildlife that often venture into our actual backyards, we feel that DC has this in the bag.
The DC Department of Energy and the Environment is seeking citizen scientists who are willing to document the wild plants and animals they find during an April 15th event at Anacostia Park, or anywhere, any time, from April 14th through the 18th. Here are the details and signup links from DOEE:
Calling All Naturalists and Citizen Scientists!
Join a fun, nationwide challenge to see which city can document the most species! Cities across the country are competing from April 14-18 to document their urban nature with iNaturalist in the City Nature Challenge 2017. We are surrounded by natural beauty in our neighborhoods, parks, open spaces, and even in our city blocks – let’s show what DC has to offer! Join the City Nature Challenge 2017: DC Metro Area Project.
There are two ways to participate:
Come to Anacostia Park on April 15 from 9 AM to 12 PM.
The DOEE Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) has partnered with several American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and National Science Foundation (NSF) fellows to host City Nature Challenge DC, a free event on Saturday, April 15th 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Anacostia Park. Twenty-four participants over the age of 18, who sign up, will meet at the AREC for instructions before heading to the field with AAAS/NSF fellows as your guides! We will then reconvene at the AREC to upload and review the results.
Participants do not have to be a plant or animal expert. While AAAS/NSF Fellows will be there to help, the iNaturalist online community will review your submissions and help ensure accurate identifications. Sign up to be one of these participants by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 202-440-3951 (during business hours).
Between April 14th and 18th use your cellphones to take photos anywhere you find nature in the city.
Here is what you need to do:
- Contact Rachel Gauza, biologist at DC Department of Energy and Environment at email@example.com or 202-440-3951 (during business hours).
- Download the free iNaturalist app to your mobile device and/or create an account on your computer.
- And contribute to the DC Metro Area Project by
- Taking photos to make observations of wild plants and animals in your neighborhood, a nearby park, or anywhere you find nature
- Uploading your photos/observations to iNaturalist
- Learning as the iNaturalist community helps identify your observations.