iNaturalist, A Cultivator of Community and Collector of Crucial Wildlife Data, Goes Solo

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monarch butterfly on a flower
 (Susan Gary Photography via Getty Images)

Have you ever seen a weird bug or plant and thought, “Oh my God. What is THAT?” Then iNaturalist, a Bay Area invention, is the social platform for you. Begun as a graduate school project at UC Berkeley, it now receives hundreds of thousands of monthly submissions from nature enthusiasts across the globe. Users post photos of what they have seen and where they found it, and fellow citizen scientists, and often actual, scientists help identify the flora, fauna and habitat. Some iNaturalist aficionados have even identified new species.  Now the site is going independent with the help of a $10 million grant. We’ll survey the past and future of this remarkable Bay Area contribution to our collective understanding of the world.


Ken-ichi Ueda, co-director, iNaturalist

Scott Loarie, co-director, iNaturalist

Jennifer Rycenga, professor emeritus in the Humanities Department, San Jose State University; former president of the Sequoia Audubon Society in San Mateo.

Prakrit Jain, student of evolutionary biology, University of California, Berkeley