The information below is also available in PDF form at the bottom of the page. The PDF has more images to accompany the instructions.
I. Set up a personal account and join the class project.
II. Make an observation.
Every time you collect a specimen you will also photograph the living plant and make an observation on iNaturalist. In addition to photographs, you will need to record the following important information on your iNaturalist observation. You will use this data to print labels for your herbarium specimens.
As you fill out your observation information on iNaturalist, the following fields will automatically populate for you:
Country, State, County
Taxonomic authority (your instructor will add the authority to your specimen identifications prior to printing herbarium labels)
You must make sure to enter information for:
Species-level Identification [NOTE: Do not enter the authority name in iNaturalist or else it will not recognize your species! As you begin typing the plant’s name, iNaturalist will offer suggestions–make sure you select the correct species from one of the options it brings up. If iNaturalist does not bring up the species you are trying to identify the observation as, check with your instructor because every so often iNaturalist uses different taxonomy than is found in the source your course uses, although this should be a rare occurrence.]
Description (note qualities of the plant that will not be preserved in the specimen, e.g. colors)
Tags [NOTE: you must “tag” all of your observations with your institution’s herbarium code (e.g. “SCFS”) so that your instructor can easily sort observations for your class. Ask your instructor what herbarium code to use.]
Municipality (e.g. town or region, iNaturalist will help you fill this in when you search for location)
Collector Name (First name, Middle initial, Last name)
Associated Collectors (if present)
Collector Number (no Roman numerals)
Locality Description (driving directions)
Associated Species (optional)
Here’s how to make a new observation on iNaturalist:
All observations for this course must be connected to the “Connecting Students to Citizen Science and Curated Collections” project. The easiest way to do this is to go to the project page and click on the orange “Add Observations” button. Note: If you forget to upload this way, you can add previously uploaded observations to a project via the “Add to Project” button on each observation record page.
Selecting “Add Observation” will bring up the screen illustrated below. Fill in the information as shown in the image at the bottom of this page.
Please do not upload in batches, or from photos, because iNaturalist will not bring up the additional required fields for this project. You can, however, make observations using the iNaturalist mobile app.
IV. Additional Resources
iNaturalist offers additional support for users on these pages: