NPSO 2023 Annual Meeting


Botany in the Age of Community Science

The way we collect and document information about plant populations and their distributions has changed with technological advances made within the past 30 years. In the past, herbarium curators and botanists would take expeditions to places where the flora was not well documented and collect all the flowering plants in the area. These pressed plant collections would become herbarium specimens that form the source of data for distribution of plants throughout the state and are used to develop our Floras of Oregon. New technology allows any citizen scientist to accurately document location of collections, take photos of the plants and their habitats and share this information with other botanical enthusiasts almost instantaneously.

During the annual meeting we will address this topic in several ways. First, we will provide several opportunities to learn about iNaturalist, a commonly used application to collect plant distribution data, through a variety of field trip offerings. Second, we will create an iNaturalist Project for all field trip attendees to document species they see, so you can try out data collection yourselves. And finally, our Saturday night speakers will address data collection by citizen scientists and how it is used today. Dr. James Mickley will address how data from iNaturalist is being used to document distribution and abundance of species in Oregon and how this information is being used by the Oregon Flora Project. Ed Alverson will address how data is being used to better manage wildlands and rare plant populations. Hopefully it will become clear that all members of NPSO can contribute to our knowledge of plants and their distribution in Oregon!

If you have questions that aren't answered here, send email to annualmeeting@npsoregon.org.