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Biology S27 -Ecology is Everywhere: Getting Started with Research

Exploring the foundations of ecology through readings, online resources, and a hands-on, community-based project that allows students to explore the ecology of their own geographic location.

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Ecology is Everywhere Library Resources

Potentially Useful Organizations and Web Sites Related to Ecology:

Set up a free iNaturalist account


What is iNaturalist?  How does it "work"?

iNaturalist is a crowd sourced biodiversity database created and maintained by professional and citizen scientists.  The two primary goals for iNaturalist are:

1) to connect people to nature, and

2) to "generate scientifically valuable biodiversity data from personal encounters".

iNaturalist "works" by people (i.e. you!) posting "observations" that include who they are, what they saw, where they saw it, and evidence of what they saw.  Site curators then review these recorded observations and add additional taxonomic information.

The iNaturalist website makes it very easy to explore these crowd sourced data in many interesting ways.  For example, you can explore observations by geographic location, organism, species, the people who made the observation, the people who identified the organism in an observation.


iNaturalist Do's and Don'ts

  • Do post your own photos -- the whole point is to record YOUR observations.
  • Do take multiple photos of the same observation -- you don't want to get back home to find that your image of that once in a lifetime find is unusable.
  • Do focus on wild organisms -- your cat is a handsome beast, but not really iNaturalist material.
  • Do fill the image frame with the subject of your observation -- for others to comment and help I.D. your subject, they need to see it!
  • Do try to use a geotagging feature on your camera (and Do make a note of where you took the picture as backup).

A VERY Small Sample of Periodicals Accessible From Ladd Library: