Well done, DC metro area! Leaders of the East Coast! Overall: 5th for people, 11th for observations, 15th for species.

Congratulations, everyone! I'm sorry for not chiming in sooner. As often seems to happen after burning the candle at both ends for too long, I came down with a knock-you-down miserable virus just as the results were being tallied on Monday and didn't come out from the fever until yesterday. I've been playing catch up ever since, so...

Here's a link to the official press release from the California Academy of Sciences. I'm also linking a larger version of the graphic results summary.

Washington DC Metro Area, I hope you’re all as proud of our showing in the City Nature Challenge as I am. There’s lots to be proud of in our performance, and we led the East Coast in all three categories, beating populous, well-organized, and biodiverse cities like NYC, Boston, and Miami. Like Stella said, the biggest win is our shared, dedicated attention to biodiversity and the awareness, action, and data that emerge from it.

Please jot down your reflections on CNC while they’re fresh in your mind because we’ll have more formal debriefing by survey/phone/in person. Stay tuned for details.

If you’re interested to hear my reflections on our region’s performance in the context of other cities and my musings on our strengths, read on.

We’ll learn more during the international debrief calls with all the city-level organizers later this month, but I can share/speculate on strategies from a few of the leading cities:
-South Africa already had a highly active community on iNaturalist and they were very strategic in making sure that they organized people to visit all of their most biodiverse areas of Cape Town. There’s a great thread here that lays out many successes. Also, it’s an uncommon combination of both incredibly biodiverse and very well documented.
-I heard mention of advertisements on city buses in La Paz...
-Tena, the small Ecuadorian city in the Amazon that made a big splash, worked with the local university to involve students during classes on Friday and Monday, and had the support of the National Biodiversity Institute from Quito, and is highly biodiverse because it’s the Amazon rainforest.
-Quito was really motivated to beat Tena, despite confusingly using a different iNaturalist spinoff platform called Natusfera. They worked with several universities in Quito to get hundreds of students involved.

The San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, and cities in Texas have had the advantage of years of local iNaturalist promotion as part of specific citizen science initiatives that are well integrated into outreach programs, such as Texas Nature Trackers, California Master Naturalists, and SnapShot CalCoast. Their regional institutions have had strong local relationships around citizen science, community science, and natural resources for years now to lay solid foundations of dedicated and experienced iNaturalist users.

The fact that we beat San Diego and every city in Texas for number of observers (5th out of 159 cities) to come in behind San Francisco & Los Angeles (the original CNC cities) and La Paz & Quito (two high impact newcomers) is awesome.

For the first couple of years that we participated in the City Nature Challenge, I thought we were at a disadvantage by not having core local leadership from one flagship regional institution. Instead, we had a handful of organizations (now many more) that each held different pieces of this puzzle of people, places, and resources. Now, I think our organizing model is an asset. At the Citizen Science Association meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina in March, I met/saw many CNC organizers from Boston and learned that they have a similarly broad and diverse group of organizations working together. In 2018, Boston was the only East Coast city that had higher participation than us, so I saw them as the city to beat. This year Boston had some pretty rough weather, so that may have given us a bit of an edge, but I was reassured by their similar approach to organizing for the City Nature Challenge. We are more impactful working together than any of us could be alone.

I am especially impressed at how many events we collectively organized— 125 events from the first ID party in January at The Nature Conservancy focused on last year’s CNC observations to the last ID party organized by Fairfax Master Naturalists on Sunday afternoon! I know some were rained out on Friday or were very small gathering, but we know that small groups can be highly effective in finding and documenting biodiversity. Many thanks to everyone who helped with events at any level and everyone who helped spread the word on social media or good old postcards and flyers! Make a note now of how many postcards you’ll need next year. :-)

Our regional collective intelligence about biodiversity benefits from and contributes to the global intelligence of the iNaturalist community. I'm pleased with how far we were able to get with identifications in the week following the observation period. Like observations & the photography to document them, identifications are an area we can continue to improve over the next year. Maybe we'll come up with even better strategies for organizing our identification efforts.

One of the things I love most about this is that it's not a one-off effort. This is a foundation upon which we continue to build. Now we have hundreds more people in the area who know how to use iNaturalist and have their eyes tuned in to biodiversity they might have otherwise overlooked. I hope that each of us as individuals and within organizations think on how to best leverage this community to support conservation in our region. The data are powerful, but the community even more so. What else can we accomplish together that we can’t accomplish alone?

I look forward to crossing paths with you all on iNaturalist and hopefully in person as well. Thank you for everything you contributed to the City Nature Challenge!

Publicado por carrieseltzer carrieseltzer, 10 de mayo de 2019

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Identifying biodiversity is more critical than ever, in the face of the many threats to every living thing! Agree with the point about the open-ended engagement model being a strength for the Washington, DC area. There was a great balance of contributions from people new to iNaturalist and City Nature Challenge, and individual contributors with deep knowledge of a specific area (@jmgconsult in the Anacostia watershed, @capitalnatualist in NoVa, @dbarber in NoVa, @lisam in Manassas). Looking at the map from this year's observations, Maryland's Catoctin State Park is an under-observed area that I will be sure to explore for CNC2020!

Publicado por jmgconsult hace más de 1 año (Marca)

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