Recognition of young iNatters

I would just like to have us recognize some of the young people who make valuable contributions to iNat, and who represent the ‘passing on of the torch’, so to speak. I came across @origamilevi yesterday who corrected an identification I had made in a moth group I don’t know well. He must be in grade 10 or 11 now and has identified almost 20,000 moths. @liamhutchinson is around the same age, and contributes a great deal to iNat. Others that stick in my mind are the two young women who identify bird feathers. Trolling through the forum, I see that there are a fair number of young folks who are very active.
Young people often get short shrift on this forum, but I just want to recognize that there are many out there who have become ‘devotees’ and will carry on when us oldsters fall off the twig.


Lots of young people who clearly know way more than I probably ever will. First to come to mind for me is @milodoingstuff and @mbwildlife. Couple of bright young sparks. I need people like them to correct this old whippersnapper.


I removed my age from my profile a while back (it was general, not exact) due to a personal attack from another user. However, at this point, thankfully, I don’t find it to be an issue.

I am also in high school. I’ve had some interesting and some very amusing reactions from associates of mine who are researchers (not active iNat users) when I have mentioned offhand that I am rather young relative to the people they are used to corresponding with. One really cool thing is that at least two of them have offered to help with summer internships and finding other resources for real-life stuff (i.e. not iNat related), which is extremely kind of them, and completely unexpected.



Does 25 count? :slightly_smiling_face:

There are times when age + experience = knowledge, but no one should feel embarrassed or unqualified to contribute on iNaturalist. The digital age is incredible to level the playing field and make more specialized resources available, like herbarium location data on SEINet or scientific journals as PDFs instead of expensive subscriptions.


I have been impressed with @origamilevi’s knowledge and persistence! I love the fact that iNat allows young (old, LGBTQ+, people of color, etc.) naturalists participate on an equal footing with people who have jumped through the official educational hoops and have been doing this for decades. Some of the best naturalists I’ve ever known started very young and I am all for encouraging more youngpeople to be obsessed, er, fascinated with the natural world.


I initially thought “who is this person who dares to contradict me” - I’m speaking ironically here as I don’t know the family and the moth. When I looked at his page, I was blown away. I yielded to a greater power! It gives me hope.
And as you say, iNat seems to me to be non judgemental, which makes me happy. I’m sure other folks may have different experiences, but in my books if you make a correct ID I don’t care about age, sexual orientation/gender or what you look like. Equality rules!


Well that is quite kind of ya. I just graduated high school this past…well, school year I believe it is. I’m 19 now. It is really crazy to me that people younger than me know far more than I do. Blows my mind. Also really cool to see.


I know right? There are 12-year-olds on this site. It’s great that iNat support such wide variety of people! Much my friend group on iNat are comprised of ‘young people’ too.


That’s bang on, Ian. Pretty much anything I know about flies is courtesy of @zdanko (thanks, Zach).

When I first signed on here, there was a discussion about age restrictions for curatorships. Opinion was divided to some extent but the right decision was made, I think.

One of the things discussed in that thread was the possibility of mentorships for aspiring curators. Nothing came of it (as far as I know, at least) but I’m glad that folks like @zdanko are getting opportunities in response to their great work here.


I’m not sure I qualify as “young” anymore, butI remember when I was about 12, I would tag along on Native Plant Society walks with my mom, and sometimes corrected the IDs of some very well-respected local botanists… fortunately most of them were good natured about it, but there was somewhat of an air of disgruntlement. I think they would have been much happier had it come from an adult fellow botanist!

I love the way everyone is on an equal footing on this platform - you can remain as anonymous as you wish to be, and let your expertise speak for itself without anyone dismissing you out of hand due to their preconceived notions.


I’ve had a few occasions over the past half-century to correct the IDs of various very, very competent professional biologists (and I’ve been corrected myself even more times, by at least an order of magnitude!) (OK, by several orders of magnitude). I learned that those who were not pleased to have their IDs corrected were more concerned about their egos than the truth, and those who accepted a correction graciously - with enthusiasm, even - were the better scientists. We’re human, let’s face it, and we all make mistakes now and then, for whatever reason, even if you’re an expert in the field.


Thank you! It seems quite a bit of jumping spider identifiers are very young. I was kinda scared to join at first, worried I would get everything wrong, which I did get a lot wrong lol. But that’s okay, its been helping me overcome my perfectionism. But after the learning curve I feel confident in my IDs. And am willing to except failure (still feel embarrassed when it happens but I think most people do :smiling_face_with_tear:) and learn from it and improve. I also appreciate all the older members who have so much experience but are still willing to learn from their mistakes!


I’m not necessarily aware of iNatters ages, so there are likely others I would mention, if I knew. I do think @hedgehog111 hugely enhanced our forum experiences this year the photo contest. That brought out so much participation from newer users and gave us an amazing collect of great nature photos, which I enjoyed very much.

2022 photography competition


@jeremygilmore was still at school last year. I look forward to seeing where he goes, and I remember his first cautious and wary IDs on iNat. Now he is my goto for WHAT is this plant??


Honestly a great idea on @hedgehog111’s part. It was really fun. It remains the only photo contest I’ve entered. Even though I didn’t make it to the final 20, I had a great time seeing other people’s work and discussing.

Looking forward to next year’s contest!


Oo I like this post


We have a ton of great young iNatters, thanks for calling attention to them!

I don’t want to be a party pooper, but one thing to keep in mind is that anyone under 13 cannot have their own account without iNaturalist legally obtaining their parent or guardian’s permission (via this method, which is also available in Seek). So if you know someone under 12 and they’d like to use iNat and not Seek, please have their parent/guardian fill that out.


Defiantly an important point. We want iNaturalist to be accessible AND safe.


I don’t know anyone under 13, but do understand. I am just so impressed that so many great naturalists are less than age 25. I would not have put myself out there when I was that age - too filled with doubt. I’m not ‘elderly’ (65), but I just love to see young people being so enthusiastic. They have skills I will probably never master, and love their enthusiasm!
Generally I don’t know people’s ages, gender, etc, but when I do check and see how young so many experienced young folks are out there, it’s gratifying.


I’ve been missing @TheWoah . Very active for a while, and very good at welcoming newcomers, then just seemed to disappear.