Making a living as a naturalist

I mean, if someone wanted to fund approved IDers (who already have a track record of IDing well) and adding to that pool as needed, with recommendations from existing IDers (not the best system mind you, but best i can think of to prevent scamming the system), it would be cool to make money doing IDs, like how people make money proof reading documents by word count, but ID count instead.


Difficult. iNat counts each ID as 1.

Whether it’s A Plant! or to family, or genus, or all the way down to first obs of a new species.

One ID.

But perhaps consider paying taxon curators?

yeah, but would be a start; i think it would be hard to count by time but maybe there is some way to do that. i have no Really Good answer for it, just a thought if some rich person decided to fund it, ha i mean the other issue is not just adding the 10th id to already RG, but, that would be where it would have to be monitored a bit i suppose (and the whole use exsiting IDers as a start, and make a little community-recommended-for-newbs -to-add, which still has its own issues of nepotism/favoritism/other isms)

Christopher, congratulations on your graduation. One type of employer you might want to look into is environmental consultancies. These are the outfits that are called in when someone needs a field survey for regulatory compliance or other due diligence – they help answer questions like “are there any protected species on this land I’m about to develop?” or “is this a wetland?” (a question much in the news lately). I don’t know much beyond that, just have a couple of friends in the biz, but I’m sure others here will know more. And don’t hesitate to call up places and ask “what do you do here?” – an ‘informational interview’ is a great way to find out about an industry and get your foot in the door. Best of luck!


I’d pay them a little for every split they decided not to do :D


Hahaha! Thanks i needed a giggle after the other thread.

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I ‘pay’ with my time for every new species which is added.
New as in first observed (not split merged I haz a confuz)

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This suggestion may not provide a full-time job, but it may be possible to generate some income. Some people who do not spend time observing nature are interested in knowing what’s in their yards. As a consultant, naturalists can survey the yard and prepare a species list for the homeowner who pays an hourly rate. I’ve seen it work with a couple of homeowners who were delighted to know the various species in their yards or on their land.

Good luck.


In regards to volunteering and the negatives associated with that, I don’t necessarily mean heading out in the field for weeks at a time with no pay. I helped a graduate student who was doing a local study on scorpions while I was an undergraduate. That entailed a few nights near my home city. I worked with another I met at school on a hawk study which did require some travel but not for more than a weekend and he covered the travel costs and food. It need not be a big unpaid sacrifice of your time and the things I learned and personal connections I made were great and aided me down the road.


You’re the second person who graduated from college with a degree in Anthropology. The first was my second oldest daughter, she went on to Med school and is now a practicing OB/GYN doctor. When she told me about the Anthropology degree I said, “That’s good! Study dead people first so you’ll know what not to do.” I still kid her about how long she’ll be “practicing,” before she gets it right!” :rofl: I think this was my shortest reply yet! I’m known for long replies, so this is all I have for now! :smiling_imp:

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