Sign up for newbie-experienced identifier team-ups!

notice: I will be closing off new sign-ups at some point on Tuesday to give myself time to prep

Are you new to identifying and would love to have someone helping you out and following up on your IDs?
Or, are you more experienced, and want to give less experienced identifiers the advice and engagement you wish you’d had when you were starting?

We can pair you up! We would give the experienced IDer a custom Identify URL that lets them follow their new mentee at their own pace. New identifiers, all you have to do is try to make a few IDs each day of the trial event (that’s at least 4… :scream:)

For this initial trial, you’d be signing up for a four-day weekend just to try out how it feels. No obligation to continue if it’s not for you!

Dates will be from November 25th (Thursday) to the 28th (Sunday) Eastern Time. Sign up ASAP so we can find the best partner for you!
stats will be taken according to UTC but you do you

notice: I will be closing off new sign-ups at some point on Tuesday to give myself time to prep
sign up here, it’ll take like 90 seconds or less.

There is no limit on skill level. However I do suggest that mentors have at least 500 IDs and three months on iNat.

Looking forward to some new partnerships being made :)

**update 11am edt, 22/11

many matches made. see post 15 for info on that.

specific topics where help is offered:

  • land plants

specific topics we would like help with:


Hey can you sign up to be a mentor and a newbie (for different families)!


Yes, you may! Submit the form twice.

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Very cool!


It’s a mini version of the mentoring system we tried out last IDathon :)


I’ve signed up for it but have no idea how involved I will be in this.


that’s alright, you can change your mind up until pretty close to the start. and the current ratio for signups is 14:3 mentors:mentees


those offering help in narrower / specific topics, hopefully I can find someone who is interested in that, but you may end up helping at a higher-rank scale ;)

in cases where help is wanted for a very specific topic, I don’t mind doing a little outreach on the main iNat site, but if we don’t find a match I hope you’ll be OK with more general followup :)

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Perhaps @tiwane would write you a very short blog post to reach a wider audience than this Forum. Which will skew to mentoring.

@trh_blue if you set up a project specifically for newbies to put up their own obs - I would be happy to explain why I added that ID, or what info I need which is not in their pictures


It’s still kinda experimental, but I have enough experience with this kind of thing now that I’m comfortable with a larger audience. The trouble with that is for every person who signs up, the matching becomes more time-consuming. I’d need assistance with the logistics if this gets above, say, 40 people.

likewise, the project idea is cool, but I don’t think I’m doing that this time – I want to keep it bare bones / mini.

in any case, my health has not been great lately, so that’s also a factor in keeping it small. Unless we can get a logistics helper ;) ;) ;)


If you need assistance in match-making, just give me a shout.


very excited what will happen next :)

Hi… I have a question… While I would love to help as an identifier… I don’t really know… is there any way to pick a region? For example, I have a strong grasp on South American plants, but know basically nothing about European or Asian plants. Is there any way to be a little more selective, perhaps?


you can note in ‘‘other’’ that you want to focus on SA. I can’t guarantee it though.

matches so far:

eegordon + iosialectus
cadecampbell + swampass
kevinfaccenda + pirarucu
robotpie + abhijatshakya
machi + tz_nh
thomaseverest + trh_blue
clifton_albrecht +fluffyinca
phillinsw + sbushes
mtroutman1 + zdanko
** updates 12pm 19/11
felix-insects + maxbird1 (trading both ways! orchids for sarracenia, how cool is that!)
beetle_mch + lapplebaum

this leaves quite a few mentors seeking various newbies, especially for unknowns, inverts, and land plants. advanced offers include noctuid moths.

Ooo, orchids

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well that’s gone now :P
in a super cool coincidence, max wanted to learn Australian orchids and teach sarracenia, and felix wanted to learn sarracenia and teach Australian orchids.


@beetle_mch @melodi_96 @mamestraconfigurata (potential invert mentors)
we have three newbies who have more specific asks. if none of you can exactly match, maybe you can find a compromise? talk with each other in DMs ;)
@physics-freak aka odonut wants to learn odonates,
@DriftlessRoots wants to learn hymenoptera
@Elschongar wants to learn hymenoptera

and of course, anyone seeing this who wants to mentor this topic (or/and you can pick up a 2nd mentee), please let me know.

I’m still learning Odonata, but I’d be willing to give it a shot. Perhaps we can learn together!

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I’m afraid I am not that skilled at lower level identifications. I was imagining helping with learning Arthropod classes, Insect orders, more that level.