Learn how to use the mobile app, iNaturalist with MDC at multi-part program in April

News from the region
Saint Louis
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — It’s possible to have a world of nature knowledge at your fingertips, with a little help from modern technology.  The free mobile app iNaturalist is a joint initiative by National Geographic and the California Academy of Sciences.  It enables users to instantly tap into a global knowledgebase of all things natural—plant, animal, fungi, and more—while also enabling users to contribute to that knowledge.  They can even upload photos of their observations.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is holding special iNaturalist Info Series of educational programs to teach anyone interested in nature to use the app.  The sequence includes a virtual training session, followed by an in-field hike so users can practice their new skills. 

“This iNaturalist Info Series is perfect for anyone who enjoys sharing photos of nature with others, looking for a way to enhance their nature sightings, or to become better with native species ID.  It’s also an ideal way for individuals or families to contribute to citizen science,” said MDC Naturalist, Emily Crawford.

Both programs are free and open to ages 12 and up.  Advanced registration is required by using the links below.

The Virtual Training Session is Friday, April 23 from 3:30-4 p.m.  It will present a “how-to” on logging observations in real time on iPhone and Android. Participants will learn how to upload a photo to the main website from a computer if using a point and shoot or DLSR camera.  Register at  https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZzX.

The In-Field Hike portion is Friday, April 30 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.  In this portion of the series experience a naturalist led hike and use newly learned iNaturalist knowledge in the real world. Participants must have the iNaturalist app or a camera for web uploading.  The app can be downloaded free at the Google Play or Apple App store.  The hike will take place at the August A. Busch Memorial Area, 2360 Highway D in St. Charles.  Register for the program at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZzB.

The Virtual Training session is an online WebEx event and participants will receive an invitation with the link via email approximately 24 hours prior to the event. Please check junk mail/spam folders if you do not receive the invitation.

The Hike portion is an in-person program and for the safety of participants and staff, MDC encourages all guests to observe social distancing guidelines.  Participants will be asked to maintain at least six feet from others not in their party and follow St. Louis County mask mandates due to COVID-19.

MDC offers many free educational programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors.  Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6