- Author: Sarah Angulo
Spring is here! Despite the dry winter across California, flowers are in bloom, leaf buds are opening, and birds are singing. It's a great time to get outside, and while you're there, contribute to science! Led by SciStarter, April is Citizen Science Month, and now more than ever scientists are relying on volunteers to help fill critical data gaps.
For all of 2020, iNaturalist recorded 22.5 million observations of 194,000 species, with 30 million identifications. Our naturalists have documented biodiversity where they live since the inception of the program, and course iNaturalist projects continue to support partner organizations and researchers in answering key questions. Over the last year, more than 250 certified naturalists have joined our UC California Naturalist Program Certified Naturalists project. In this project, less than 1% of our almost 4,000 certified naturalists have contributed an astounding 375,000+ observations of 9,935 species within California! If you are a certified naturalist, you can have your observations captured in the project by logging in to your iNaturalist account, then clicking the Join button in the upper right hand corner of the project page.
Naturalists can also put their iNaturalist skills towards a larger effort of documenting global biodiversity in this year's City Nature Challenge April 30 - May 3, 2021. Seven cities in California are participating this year, and we are excited to join the efforts of nature enthusiasts from across the globe in the fifth year of the Challenge. If you join us be sure to follow all local health and safety guidelines.
While we wait for the City Nature Challenge, get inspired by our stories of discovery from certified naturalists: Inside a Naturalist's Backpack, The Joy of Discovery, and Our Naturalists' Recommendations and Favorite iNaturalist Observations. Can't wait to see what you find out there!