Presentations about iNaturalist

I hope this is considered related to your topic. I only recently (about a year and a half ago) found iNaturalist and since then have become the most prolific user in my home state of South Dakota, USA. I find myself constantly and passionately trying to get new users from around my area and am happy to report have been successful in adding some users just by talking with them one on one about it. I have been thinking more and more about going to our local community Ecological meeting we have every year and giving a presentation about iNaturalist. What I am wondering is if there is a “canned” powerpoint or video or general presentation package that iNaturalist has for enthusiasts like me to use that would best represent everything the staff of iNaturalist would want us to capture when giving such a presentation? If not, can that be something that is accomplished? I appreciate your thoughts and consideration.


@carrieseltzer has uploaded some of her past presentations to SlideShare: you can search for “iNaturalist” and find a bunch of examples. (Looks like we need one with the branding update though!)


Cool, first time exploring slideshare. Do they always download as pdf’s? Was hoping it would be powerpoint so I could tailor to my area. I wonder how many other users out there are like myself and would like a iNaturalist produced template that captures what iNaturalist staff would want a group of new users to be presented with. So far the ones I am finding are pretty detailed to that person’s specific use of iNat.


Thank you for pointing out this site as it will surely help me be able to create a presentation flow that will work based on how previous users have done it.


It used to be possible to download ppt from SlideShare, but I’m not sure it is anymore, unfortunately. That’s one of the main reasons I stopped uploading my presentations to SlideShare because getting it as a pdf really doesn’t help people customize it for their own needs. I can’t find anything in my SlideShare settings that would allow people to download it as a ppt instead of pdf. If anyone has other suggestions for how to more easily share presentations, I’m open to suggestions. Or maybe it’s still worthwhile to share on SlideShare despite its limitations. I’ve done many more presentations I haven’t shared there.

@tiwane and @loarie and I have talked about this a lot (the idea of a “master presentation”), but perhaps “the perfect is the enemy of the good” in this case because it hasn’t happened yet. I also think it’s the kind of thing that ultimately needs to be living and community-curated, with staff chiming in as need to clarify technical nuances and update when there are major functionality changes but without staff as the bottleneck. I’m taking a lot of inspiration from The Carpentries in terms of how they organize curriculum, workshops, and trainings and my dream is to someday have something like that for iNaturalist.

In my experience, every single presentation and audience is different, so your best bet is probably to look at examples of what other people have done and customize it to your unique situation with localized screen shots and examples.

Curatorial note: I’m splitting this from the original thread on iNat Success Stories.


This is fun to read about. I have done a number of iNaturalist presentations and each one is different. A baseline point to get across (I think Sambiology expressed this long ago) is that iNaturalist is not just an app. iNaturalist is a DATABASE of observations, and it is a COMMUNITY of naturalists, and that duality is what makes it different from really any other large biodiversity resource. To make best use of iNaturalist you need to use both aspects, and the mobile app and website have different strengths in making the most of them.
I’ve found that you have a meeting room with a good internet connection, going live on the website can be more effective than a slideshow. If people can suggest what to “explore” and can enter a new observation on the spot and see it show up on the map, they are hooked.
And finally, if you can talk about things that are relevant to that group, they resonate. Show hikers how to preview a trail they might want to visit. Show refuge managers how to make a project that will be their reference when they write grant proposals or publicity. Show orchid lovers how to find how many orchid species are in South Dakota (are there orchids in South Dakota)? Show grandparents how to explore nature with grandkids. iNat can do so many things, and there’s something in it for everybody. SD is lucky to have you, @aggie_wildlifer!


I would love to chime in and encourage you to get people involved with projects in the National Park units of SD. They can compare their findings with others and help with IDs. I’ve made a collection project of every unit in the system, and I’ll list off all the SD projects here!

Badlands NP -

Jewel Cave NM -

Lewis and Clark NHT -

Minuteman Missile NHP -

Missouri NRR -

Mount Rushmore NMem -

Wind Cave NP -

It’s a good starting point for people who go to parks a lot. I wish Custer State Park counted in my projects!

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Huh, while logged in, my own files downloaded as PowerPoint files but all the other ones I tried downloaded as PDFs.

For just a basic, community curated presentation, PowerPoint files are now editable from within the browser on Google Drive, or to avoid weird compatibility/syncing issues you could just do Google Slides directly. (Similar use case for some general how-to printouts as discussed here:


I would echo the usefulness of Google Slides. The original slides can be left essentially read only using link sharing set to “View only.” Any Google document can be duplicated using “File -> make a copy.” As long as the slides are under a license such as Creative Commons -by, others could modify the copy to their own local needs. While presentation will not be of much use to anyone else, I use a presentation to provide visuals when I explain how to use the iNaturalist app on Android. Anyone logged in with a Google login (think Gmail login) can make a copy of that presentation and edit for their own use.

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Lots of good tips @janetwright, I also like to use the website to look up suggestions from the audience as well.

I shot video of a @sambiology iNat talk a few years ago, it was great. Maybe I should actually edit it together…


As a tangential topic, there is also material produced for the City Nature Challenge, as iNat is the recommemded platform. I know some is on the CNC Google drive - @kestrel can probably point you to them or give permission/etc (sorry to add to your load Allison!). Check out if you’re not familiar with it.


This is a short slide show we (the CitSci team here at the California Academy of Sciences) designed to show people right before a bioblitz - so some basics on what iNaturalist is, how to use it, and what a bioblitz is. We made this a couple years ago so it doesn’t have the new iNat branding, and I would recommend adding a slide on how to mark organisms captive/cultivated or at least to call it out on the screenshots of the app and the DQA. We’ve updated just a couple things: the number of observations & observers on all of iNat is relatively recent, but obviously as the slideshow gets older those should be updated periodically as well.

The folder contains the slideshow and the notes that go with the slideshow (the notes are also added into the presenter notes in the slideshow too):


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