iNaturalist at Haverford
iNaturalist is an app used for species identification and to log biodiversity data! At Haverford, iNaturalist is used in a myriad of ways.
Have you ever been on a walk, seen an interesting plant or animal, and wondered exactly what it was that you saw? There is an app for that! Called iNaturalist, the app is available for download on most smartphones. iNaturalist is more than just an identification tool, it is an online network that allows people to share and learn about biodiversity information. Once someone makes and shares an observation, it is visible to the general public for further identification and can be viewed by anyone looking at observations made in a specific location.
Using iNaturalist achieves many essential goals. By giving individuals the opportunity to identify organisms in a community setting, iNaturalist encourages people to get outside, which is good for individual health. iNaturalist is a prime example of the citizen scientists movement, where non-scientist individuals are able to contribute to a scientific project. Additionally, iNaturalist also collects biodiversity data, which logs different species of plants and animals in a format that is accessible for use by both the general public and scientists. Moreover, at Haverford, iNaturalist allows students to have the opportunity to connect to nature and plants on our arboretum campus. By exposing people to new plant and animal identities, there is ample room for learning, giving iNaturalist educational importance as well.
Here at Haverford, iNaturalist is used in a myriad of ways. In classes in the Environmental Studies department, iNaturalist has been used to show students how to identify species and contribute to widespread biodiversity data collection. There are several projects detailing species found around Haverford’s campus, including the Plants of Urban & Suburban Environments project, which shows a collection of Haverford’s species, as well as species in other locations. If you are interested in iNaturalist and want to get involved, visit the website and get started!