iNaturalist is a citizen science website and mobile application that allows anyone to log observations of plants, animals, fungi, and more! The program houses image analysis software that can make a guess as to the identity of the organism. There is also a social component where others in the online community can confirm others' observations as peer reviewers, making observations "Research Grade." Scientists and professionals can download this data to answer questions about biodiversity, conservation, active ranges and so much more.
We have created two iNaturalist Projects, one is called Life in Our Farmscape: The Biodiversity of Columbia County which focuses on observations located in all of Columbia County, NY. The other is called the Hawthorne Valley Biodiversity Study which observations made at Hawthorne Valley. Both of these projects are set to automatically add any observations made in Columbia County or on the farm, so once you upload your photos, they will be included in our projects. We try to confirm the ID of as many observations as we can while giving feedback and tips!
Once you create an account, you can go here to watch some video tutorials on how it works and the best ways to document your findings! In general, the most important aspects are to post clear photos with at least a general location. Feel free to contact us with questions!