May 6 Chapter Meeting – Citizen scientists and 2020 BioBlitz by Sam Kieschnick

May 6, 2020 @ 6:45 pm – 9:00 pm
Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Extension
17360 Coit Rd
Dallas, TX 75252

City Nature Challenge, iNaturalists & Citizen Science with Sam Kieschnick (AT)

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Announcements begin at 7 pm. Speaker begins at approximately 7:30 pm. 

LOCATION: Online with Zoom — Meeting ID: TBA

We suggest you “arrive: at Zoom at 6:45 pm and give yourself time to set your audio levels and familiarize yourself with Zoom if not already. Zoom tips at the bottom of this post. 

Approved for 1 hour AT. Report to AT: NTX Chapter Meeting (put May meeting in comments)

Sam Kieschnick, our chapter advisor and Texas Parks & Wildlife urban biologist, is ready to share his passion for citizen science with us by evaluating the results of the City Nature Challenge (CNC) in North Texas and around the nation. Learn of some of the great things iNaturalist has led to and the latest developments in the program’s operations.

City Nature Challenge (CNC), April 24 to 27, is different this year. COVID-10 restricts group activities, so CNC shifted to focus on making the most of individuals’’ actions. It’s possible to participate from the yard or even through the window. Tensions of this time make the healing potential of increased exposure to nature even more important.

It’s so easy. Open the iNaturalist app, tap Observe take a photo, and click to learn about what you observed. Create an account to save your observations and your data will be automatically added to the CNC count for your area and be on file for scientists to use in their studies. Use the hashtag: #CityNatureChallenge.

So get out there April 24 to 27 and make those observations! Feel free to make identifications on others observations if skills allow. Be sure set aside time April 28 to May 3 for identifying the weekend’s observations.

Some hints for making the most of hyper-location observations:

  • Take a cue from Kieschnick’s moth appreciation and set up a white surface and low-level light at night for observing moths
  • Be willing to spend a few meditative moments near an attractant like water or flowers waiting for wildlife to appear.
  • Set aside time for observing during the twilight times before sunrise or sunset when animals are more active.
  • Set down boards or flat rocks in the yard and turn them over to observe bugs, reptiles and invertebrates.
  • Erect a bird feeder outside your window. Tray feeders make observations easy.
  • Don’t forget to look up into the trees and in the dark areas behind shrubbery.
  • Remember that weeds in the yard are often native plants.

Essential links:

Sam Kieschnick bio: 

Photo by Kimberlie Sasan

Sam Kieschnick is the Texas Parks & Wildlife Urban Wildlife Biologist for the east side of the DFW metroplex, performing outreach, technical guidance, and research. A favorite part of his job is developing a cadre of citizen scientists through iNaturalist and TPW’s Texas Nature Trackers. He is the chapter advisor for North Texas Master Naturalists. Kieschnick also gives technical guidance to landowners, municipalities, and organizations that want to create wildlife habitat. He holds a Masters Degree from Tarleton State University, and previously worked as a nature educator for the City of Mansfield, a naturalist at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, a science interpreter with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, a biologist with Botanical Research Institute of Texas, and as an instructor at Weatherford College.

Zoom Tips:

  1. Zoom works best if you download and install the Zoom app on your computer or phone. Do not rely on the browser version. Please do this prior to the meeting time. Go here:
  2. You will need to sign in with both first and last names for your AT to be counted.
  3. During sign in, click the option to turn off your audio and video.
  4. Offer your questions by typing into Zoom’s chat feature.

These Zoom Video Tutorials can be useful if unfamiliar with the platform, particularly Join A Meeting, Joining & Configuring Audio & Video, and Testing computer or device audio.

Approved for 1 hour AT. Report to Report to AT: NTX Chapter Meeting (put May meeting in comments)

Posted 4/24/20 wbw

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