#12: Tony Iwane - Outreach and Community at iNaturalist


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My guest in this episode is Tony Iwane. Tony is Outreach and Community Coordinator for iNaturalist, an environmental educator, contributor to Bay Nature Magazine, photographer, and just an all around interesting and knowledgeable naturalist.

As a key staff member for iNaturalist and one of its earliest members, Tony gives us an insider’s view of iNaturalist, what it is, and how it is used. Tony has also curated iNaturalist’s “Observation of the Day” for the past 5 years, and shared a selection of some of the most noteworthy observations from that catalog, including a serendipitous identification of an uncommon southern hemisphere hoodwinker sunfish in California, and an elusive Columbian Weasel photographed sitting on an outhouse toilet - still the only recorded observation of this species on iNaturalist.

Tony describes iNaturalist as both a social network for those interested in nature, and also a platform for community science. As a platform, we discuss how easy it is to engage with experts, and some of the creative and unique projects that people have created - and that you can view and contribute to! In fact, a couple past guests have successfully used iNaturalist to raise awareness for specific ecological concerns - Merav Vonshak and the Newt roadkill problem at Lexington Reservoir in California, and Charley Eiseman raising awareness of leaf mining insects.

We also discuss how iNaturalist has been an important discovery for many people to help them with purpose and focus during the pandemic.

And of course, we also learn about Tony’s personal journey that led him from counseling to the world of nature.

Be sure to check Tony's photos and follow him on iNaturalist. If you are new to iNaturalist, check out the getting started resources here.
Full show notes and links at podcast.naturesarchive.com

15 episodes