Students Use iNaturalist To Identify Local Species

Green River, Wyoming
41.528575700000, -109.466246100000
Journal Entry:

Using iNaturalist as part of a summer graduate class was an experience that opened my eyes to the diversity of species right outside my backdoor. Having this experience personally this past summer inspired me to register my ecology class for the Jesse's BackyardBio initiative. I am a high school science teacher in Green River, Wyoming and currently teach students in life science courses including biology and ecology. 

Not a single student was aware of what a bio blitz was. To introduce BackyardBio and iNaturalist, one of the first questions we explored was the estimated amount of species on Earth, and of those, how many had been identified. We predicted the percentage abundance of species in each class. This led to a debated discussion that was purposely set up to introduce the concept of looking at species in different classes out in the field using iNaturalist as a guide to help with identification. 

Students were amazed to realize the vast representation of species that live in our area and realize that biodiversity can be examined on a local level. My students began to “see” life around them where they had not noticed it before.