Citizen Science

Citizen science is the practice of public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. Through citizen science, people share and contribute to data monitoring and collection programs.

iNaturalist

If you want to explore the natural world with your kids using iNaturalist on your trip, we recommend you practice using it at home first.

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How it works

iNaturalist allows you to create high-quality data for science and conservation by simply observing the plants and animals you see in nature. Naturalists and scientists from around the world will help identify what's in your photographs and together you'll create research-grade data for conservation.

Other members of the iNaturalist community can add identifications and comments to these observations, and they become data points for researchers to use when studying Earth's biodiversity.

Adults can find a quickstart guide to downloading and using the iNat app here.

More info about Seek by iNaturalist

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Younger travelers may enjoy Seek by iNaturalist.

Found a mushroom, flower, or bug, and not sure what it is? Open up the Seek camera to see if it knows!

Drawing from millions of wildlife observations on iNaturalist, Seek shows you lists of commonly recorded insects, birds, plants, amphibians, and more in your area.

Seek is kid-safe and fun for families; No registration is involved, and no user data is collected.

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iNaturalist Trend Identification

Scientists use iNaturalist data to understand how nature is responding to global change. For example, iNaturalist data revealed that this sea-slug is moving north with warming oceans.

Practicing with the app at home will ensure that you are ready to use it during your trip, to record and identify the plants and animals you encounter.

Note: You must be 13 or older to create your own account on iNaturalist. If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you must be 16 or older. If you don't yet meet the age requirements, ask a parent or caregiver to set up a family account. Then you can get to working observing the world around you and telling your stories through photos. Or, download the Seek by iNaturalist app. Although it does not post observations to iNaturalist, it does provide tools like species identification and nature journaling.

iNaturalist is a Third-Party Service and Nat Geo does not imply approval or endorsement of iNaturalist, further detailed in our Terms of Use.