Using iNaturalist to organize fungal finds and leveraging it to see more diversity

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Using iNaturalist to organize fungal finds and leveraging it to see more diversity

Damon Tighe
Damon Tighe

iNaturalist is a powerful community science tool that allows users to easily contribute observations of mushrooms and other organisms to the world’s largest public database of species biogeography. In the process of contributing data users are able to increase their knowledge of species by suggestions from a well trained artificial intelligence and by a number of active mycologist that curate the data that enters the platform. The ability to collect metadata from microscopy to DNA sequences to chemical reactions and the capacity to point to other observations of host plants etc makes for extremely rich observations. Observations can be collected into projects that can be sliced based upon geography, time, species of interest, etc and allows for real-time monitoring. This presentation will dig into the basics of how to use iNaturalist; making observations, mining data, and using projects. I will highlight the Fungal Diversity Survey’s CA FUNDIS Year 1 project where over 5,000 vouchered collections were made and many of them received DNA sequencing as a model for project stewardship.

Damon Tighe is an amateur mycologist from Oakland California who is a big user of the iNaturalist platform. He is a collector for the California Fungal Diversity Survey (FUNDIS) and has done fungal surveys in Ecuador, Arizona, among other locales using iNaturalist as the primary tool to collect and share data with stakeholders. In his professional life he was a former researcher on the Human Genome Project and now helps translate biotechnology techniques into classroom activities for education institutions across the country.

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Using iNaturalist to organize fungal finds and leveraging it to see more diversity
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