A Class Project! Help!

A university in my area is clearly currently doing some sort of class project and hundreds of observations are flooding in, many of which are improperly marked cultivated plants. I have been trying to work through them, but I am merely one man and can only make a small dent in the numbers. Some help in properly marking these observations would be greatly appreciated.

The project: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/st-norbert-college-ssci-301

But it does also appear that many of the observations are not going into the project, so it may be worth looking at the county level instead: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=755

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have you reached out to the project creator to explain the situation?

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I tend to come off as blunt and rude most of the time without intending to, so no. If someone else would do it for me, that would be appreciated. Either way, I still need help sorting through these all.

Haha - we love you anyway, raymie! I just ID’d some of them (couldn’t resist the dandelions, for example :slightly_smiling_face:).


Observations continue to flood in today, mostly outside of the project. I’ve been working through them slowly but they’re coming in faster than I can deal with them today.

as someone who also comes off as blunt and rude and knowingly argues too much about taxonomy i have to share that i sometimes imagine you as an actual Canada goose because hey they always come off blunt and rude also. Which maybe makes me some form of badger or something

And yeah this one is definitely off topic


Good practice for the City Nature Challenge, which will also create thousands of observations of not wild organisms. One week to go!


Last night, I attended (via Zoom) the last meeting for CNC organizers. The global organizers emphasized yet again the need to mark captive and cultivated organisms as Not Wild, so they are doing their part to try to get cultivated plants appropriately marked as Casual. But my guess is that the teachers and local organizers who are encouraging classes to make lots of observations aren’t teaching these new iNatters what it means to be a “cultivated plant.”


Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that you and others have the time, motivation, and patience to try to address situations like this. I certainly don’t. But isn’t this more of a problem for the person organizing the project and the students involved in it? Whether blunt or polite, a message to the project leader seems to be warranted if they and their students are doing something that could be corrected at the source, not downstream for those who might want to review and ID these records.


I absolutely agree, but in the few instances where I’ve tried to write the project leader about these sorts of issues, I couldn’t find out who the leader was.

ETA: Let me clarify, now that I remember more details: Once, when I wrote the administrator of an iNat class project, I got no reply back. Another time, there was no iNat project associated with a clear cluster of observations generated by a local university, so there was no project administrator to write. I thought about writing the head of the department at the university, but decided against that. At least once, I commented on a responsive student’s observation, saying they should ask their teacher to teach the students how to mark observations as Not Wild. In none of these examples did anything change, as far as I know.


I have seen one school project in the Canary Islands - where, for once, the teacher is active on iNat, and tidying up after her school kids.


Seems like any created project on iNat should have a point of contact, i.e. the project leader, clearly identified on the project home page. If that isn’t a requirement, it should be.


If there’s an actual iNat project, you can find the leader easily. If there’s no project, there’s no easy way to find the leader or teacher.


i want to take this moment to wistfully wish student accounts existed, and all of these cold be funneled into those. Not by age, but by project status

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I found a university professor who was using iNaturalist as a teaching tool by seeing who had the most observations in a search box around the university. That person knew the professor, and we talked productively.


I want to take this moment as well to wistfully wish a draft mode existed that could help give class projects more structure.

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yes i really wish that existed, also for me after i upload things, so i can QAQC them before posting, would save everyone time to have draft mode.

Oh, that was smart!

In this case there’s a project and one can easily find the project own on the About page for the project and message them. Explain the situation and send them a link to the Teacher’s Guide: https://help.inaturalist.org/en/support/solutions/articles/151000170805-inaturalist-teacher-s-guide

Another option is to @ mention them on some of the observations and politely explain it to them there. A teacher should be responsible for their use of iNat. That doesn’t mean you should shame them or anything, but let them know that iNat’s for wild organisms.