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Capital Area Master Naturalists

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Logging iNaturalist and eBird Hours in VMS

Many CAMN members have been using eBird and iNaturalist to log data in ongoing field research activities. (For example: flora and fauna surveys at the Austin Nature and Science Center, phrenology and bird surveys at the Brackenridge Field Lab, and rare plant surveys at State Parks.) Since the use of eBird and iNaturalist is incidental to these activities, they are not included in the following guidelines and these activities should continue to be logged in VMS using the FR: (ANSC or Brackenridge Field Lab or applicable State Park) Field Research code.

The state office has approved limited use of eBird and iNaturalist for credit towards volunteer hours for Master Naturalists in self-directed activities. Here are some guidelines when submitting self directed hours for approval.

  • You may log hours in the field and also hours performing Species Identification/curation in 15 minute increments.
  • eBird data entry is limited to 15 minutes per trip.
  • Use the code FR: Field Research (In Area or Out of Area)
  • iNaturalist and eBird Observations: In the Description state the location where the observations were made (eg: Walnut Creek Green Belt).
  • iNaturalist Identifications and Curation: In the Description state “iNaturalist Identifications” along with the project you are focusing upon.
  • iNaturalist Observations must be Research grade eligible (verified by photo or sound) and not captive nor cultivated
  • All field activities and identifications must be from within the state of Texas, not on your own property, and all data must be publicly accessible

Field Research

  • All iNaturalist Observations must be added to a pre-approved Project.
  • CAMN has pre-approved the 12 TPWD Texas Nature Tracker iNaturalist Projects
  • CAMN has also pre-approved the Capital Area Master Naturalist (CAMN) Project in iNatruralist. You do not have to join this project, but we hope that all CAMN members submitting Observations in iNaturalist will join this project to share their efforts with other members.
  • CAMN will also pre-approve periodic Bioblitzes. Look for these announcements in the CAMN Reader.
  • Members may request pre-approval for additional Projects on a case by case basis.
  • Casual observations and observations on private land will not be approved.

iNaturalist Species Identification/Curation

  • Observations must be within the state of Texas.
  • Offering identifications in the CAMN project, for bio-blitzes, and for observastions at local parks, preserves, and natural areas will be allowed.
  • When identifying outside these type projects (general iNaturalist observations) please focus efforts on Species of Greatest Concern and limit time spent on local species (squirrels, live oaks, etc.)

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