Sunday, August 5, 2018

Citizen Science

Citizen Science

I've always loved nature and am intrigued mostly by plants, probably because they are relatively easy to examine (they can't fly away).  But birds and insects intrigue me too, as well as reptiles and amphibians.  It's one thing to watch and enjoy plants and wildlife but it's another to watch and report what you are seeing.  That's where citizen science comes in.

What is citizen science?

"the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists."

Smartphones

With the advances of smart phones with their cameras and built in GPS, observing and reporting has become quite easy.

Citizen Science Projects

I've put together this list of Citizen Science projects that I think people might be interested in using.

iNaturalist

I really like iNaturalist for reporting any and all organisms.  I've reported plants and insects mostly.  Things that are easy to capture with a smart phone. I like that it can offer a suggested identification.  It's a great way to catalog all of your discoveries in one place.  And it appears to be quite popular.  As of August 5, 2018 it had almost 12 million observations submitted from around the world.

Butterflies & Moths of North America (BAMONA)

If I photograph a caterpillar or adult butterfly or moth, I usually report it to BAMONA.  If you can't identify it, their experts can help. I really like it's mapping feature.

Odonata Central (Dragonflies & Damselflies)

If you find a dragonfly or a damselfly, I'd recommend reporting it to Odonata Central.

BugGuide

If you need help with identifying an invertebrate like an insect or a spider, try Bug Guide.  I use it for all bugs that aren't butterflies/moths or dragon/damselflies.

Ebird

If you are a bird person you probably already know about Ebird.  I recommend it for all your bird sightings.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Plant Identification Books for South Dakota

About Plant Identification Guides

Since using the South Dakota Plants and Wildlife Facebook Group I've noticed lots of people needing help with plant identification. I put together this list of books about the plants of the Northern Plains including the Black Hills. You can purchase these books from Amazon. All links to products are affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support this site and allows me to continue to add new content. Thank you for the support!

Grassland plants of South Dakota and the Northern Great Plains

Grassland plants of South Dakota and the northern Great Plains (B 566)

Trying to identify grassland plants in SD? This is a thorough guide. This 1999 version is not readily available on Amazon but you can Download a 2007 version from South Dakota State University.

You can also purchase it at the South Dakota Agriculture Heritage Museum Store for $17.95.


Plants of the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains

Plants of the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains

If you are in the Black Hills of South Dakota or Wyoming, this is the reference to have. This 1999 version is not readily available on Amazon but you can Download a copy from South Dakota State University.

You can also purchase it at the South Dakota Agriculture Heritage Museum Store for $34.95.


Wetland Plants of the Northern Great Plains


Weeds of the Great Plains

Weeds of the Great Plains is a 7" x 10" hardbound book for the Great Plains. It covers over 400 species of "weeds" and contains 266 line drawings. Each species account includes a full page photograph along with close ups flowers, fruits, and other details to aid in identification,

You can purchase it directly from Nebraska Department of Agriculture for $25.00 which includes postage!