Seeking Mentors + Co-Admins for Next ID-a-thon

Hello everyone!

@arboretum_amy and I are starting preparation for the next ID-a-thon. We hope that the event will take place some time in May, and it will last approximately 6-10 days including one or two weekends.

The previous ID-a-thon was a great success, with 78 people working together to add 172,451 IDs over 58 days. For context, that’s over 11% of all IDs made in that time.
More importantly, it was fun, and I feel we we able to bond as a little community. And we’ve got some new identifiers, as well as better habits for those who were already identifying.

If you aren’t familiar with the first ID-a-thon, please check out this Forum post and the Project journal.

We got great feedback from our first, highly experimental first go. This next one is going to be even better as we take everything we learned into account, and try out some of the most-requested suggestions.

More will be revealed as we get closer to the next event, but in general terms, there will be a main category focusing on Unknowns, as well as several optional categories which will be more experimental in nature, including a return of the popular “mystery” category.

One of the biggest and more difficult experiments will be setting up some form of guided newbie “boot camp” and/or workshop-based miniature events which will run in parallel to everything else. I will be one of the mentors, but we will need more.
This is where you come in. We recognize everyone has different teaching styles and different schedules, and we want to work with you to make this event as rewarding as possible for you :) If you can commit to be in touch / responsive during the planning phase, and to at least two hours of availability over the course of the ID-a-thon, please sign up at the “Mentors” link and we will be in touch with you.
There is a minimum requirement of 500 IDs and four months iNat ID experience to mentor.

If you want to mentor, or want to learn more before committing, please fill out this basic information form.

We also would like additional assistance in behind-the-scenes administrative/logistical work. This includes writing journal posts, debugging API issues, making and distributing (silly) prizes, and so on. If you can commit to even one hour of work before, during, or in the immediate aftermath of such an event, please sign up using the following link.
helpers, please sign up using this form

Prizes for helping include:

  • spreading knowledge
  • my eternal gratitude
  • get others to ID so you can sit back and relax some more /s
  • you get to join our secret club

The only downside is that mentors and assistants may be ineligible to participate in some categories. You will know too much… D8

Any questions and comments are welcome.


Love this!! Excited to see the next iteration of the ID-a-thon!


Oh, and happy Passover everyone ;)


Alas, in May I won’t have time to do more than contribute IDs - next time!

I agree. So happy that there will be another one!

I would consider being a mentor, but I don’t know if I qualify. For one thing, I have no reliable free time, and when I do have some it’s in the early morning. For another, I don’t actually know much. A lot of my identifying is on Unknowns, but most of them I just bump down to “Fungi”, “Vascular Plants” or “Dicots”. I have no real skills to teach others.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to take part during May this year as I have my final exams then. Maybe next time. Wishing a great ID-a-thon.

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Given that the main category will be a collaborative effort, if you can spare ten minutes at some point you’ll be helping ;)

As for mentoring, each person will be matched with learners at an appropriate level of knowledge and experience. If all you know is Unknowns, and you have the minimum basic experience, you can still help someone who has never done any identification at all.

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I am a little confused, how does mentoring work? Is this using DM’s and comments in observations, or Skype? And is this showing new people how to use the site, or showing how to ID particular taxons?

We haven’t decided. We want to work together with the mentors to determine what works best for them. There will be flexibility. The tricky part will be determining goals and figuring out how to measure progress. And developing some basic guidelines…
This is, as mentioned, experimental. And ambitious. And it will probably take a few tries to find the methods that work best.

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Good to know I’m not alone…

(I know who is who, don’t worry ;)


Would like to know which other categories were choose, I’ll never id unknowns in big numbers, but would like to participate again.

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We haven’t fully decided yet… We’re just starting planning. There will be a later post with details about the event, this one is just about getting a group together to do the needed prep work.


Most of people : A few times a day
Me : 15-20 times a minute

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A verified non-expert, I will help as best I can. I spent some time going through Unknowns in past months, and have IDed many observations as either Plant or Animal. :-/


That is something of which to be proud! I’ve got at least 70k Kingdom-level IDs myself. Maybe 100k. Not sure. I should check.


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