Kaibab NF launches year-round citizen science project

Williams, Ariz., Dec. 9, 2016—For Immediate Release. Forest managers are excited to announce a citizen science project to identify and document the biodiversity of the Kaibab National Forest that will begin Jan. 1 and continue through all of 2017. During the year-long project, forest visitors will be encouraged to explore the Kaibab National Forest and report their discoveries of plants and animals to help improve forest managers’ understanding of the abundance and distribution of species.

It’s easy and fun! Visitors who capture a photo of any plant or animal with their smartphone can share them with the “Kaibab NF 2017 Citizen Science Project” on the free online platform iNaturalist.org and receive expert feedback on their discoveries. iNaturalist offers apps for both the iPhone and Android, which make uploading observations easy. There are even how-to videos on the iNaturalist website.

Kaibab National Forest biologists will also help participants identify or confirm findings.

“See, snap and share! There’s really nothing more to it,” said Natasha Kline, forest biologist for the Kaibab National Forest. “It’s a great way to explore the forest, contribute to our knowledge of biodiversity in the area, and experience the awesome flora and fauna that the Kaibab National Forest has to offer!”

The following rules are in place for the “Kaibab NF 2017 Citizen Science Project”:

  • Observation must be made between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2017.
  • Observation must have photo or audio sound connected to the observation to be valid.
  • Observation must happen within the boundary of Kaibab National Forest.

If someone isn’t clear on the boundaries of the forest, the project will seek out any observation meeting these criteria and add them to the project.

“We are excited to get members of the public involved in making observations out in the field,” said

Mark Christiano, geographic information specialist for the Kaibab National Forest. “Throughout the year, we hope to also offer events at which forest employees and members of the public join forces to capture images of specific plants and wildlife for this project. It’s a great way to connect with people and places while enjoying our beautiful northern Arizona landscape.”

To participate, visit the “Kaibab NF 2017 Citizen Science Project” on iNaturalist.org.

This article originally appeared in a U.S. Forest Service News Release, which is available here.

The U.S. Forest Service is a Premier Partner of TWS.

Header Image: ©USFS Southwestern Region Kaibab National Forest