Friday, May 30, 2014


I am a bit of a sucker for citizen science projects. The latest one I have jumped on to is Cal Flora. They have been compiling information about California native plants for some time now. I just discovered that they have an iphone app. While in some ways the app is very crude, it only lets you submit data not search through data others have submitted, it is also very easy to use for submissions.

In the last two days, I submitted 9 plants to the site. Once you have submitted a particular plant one time, a second plant of the same species can be submitted in seconds so it is quite efficient. This might even be more of a time waster than the time I signed up for Snapshot Serengeti. At least it is more exercise.

Little details may drive me crazy though. For example I just learned there are many very similar mustard plants growing in this area, Sinapis arvensis, Brassica rapaBrassica nigra and Hirschfeldia incana. I can identify mustard, but telling those apart is rough. The same for wild oats, telling Avena barbata from Avena fatua is not trivial.

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