is a place where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world.

From hikers to hunters, birders to beach-combers, the world is filled with naturalists, and many of us record what we find. What if all those observations could be shared online? You might discover someone who finds beautiful wildflowers at your favorite birding spot, or learn about the birds you see on the way to work. If enough people recorded their observations, it would be like a living record of life on Earth that scientists and land managers could use to monitor changes in biodiversity, and that anyone could use to learn more about nature.

That's the vision behind iNaturalist.org. So if you like recording your findings from the outdoors, or if you just like learning about life, join us!

A little history

iNaturalist.org began as the Master's final project of Nate Agrin, Jessica Kline, and Ken-ichi Ueda at UC Berkeley's School of Information in 2008. Nate and Ken-ichi continued working on the site after graduation, with some additional help from Sean McGregor. Ken-ichi began collaborating with Scott Loarie in 2011, when they organized as iNaturalist, LLC and began expanding the site through numerous collaborations. In 2014 the California Academy of Sciences acquired iNaturalist, and has remained iNat's home ever since.

A whole lot of thanks

iNat wouldn't be possible without all the members of our amazing community, so huge thanks to anyone who's ever added an observation, made an identification, or even signed up (er, maybe not the spambots). You're all awesome. We're also extraordinarily thankful to all our site curators, who manage our taxonomy and try to keep iNat a fun, civil place to hang out. And let's not forget all the volunteers at Crowdin and Translatewiki who translate our site and apps into numerous languages, providing a critical service as we try to build communities beyond the English-speaking regions where we started. We wouldn't be able to make iNaturalist without many, many wonderful open-source projects, open datasets, and public APIs, so if you've ever written code or filed a bug for an open-source project, thank you. And last but certainly not least, thanks to all the funders who have supported us over the years. Those of us on staff feel both privileged and grateful to make a living working on iNat, so many thanks to anyone who's ever donated to us.


Ken-ichi Ueda

Co-founder, Co-director

Ken-ichi is an avid naturalist with a background in both biology and software development, having worked as a wildlife technician, GIS developer, and web developer for a variety of organizations, including UC Berkeley and Goodreads.com. Ken-ichi developed iNaturalist while pursuing a Masters degree at the UC Berkeley School of Information in 2008. These days he tries to figure out what the title "co-director" actually means.

Scott Loarie


Scott has BS & MS degrees in biology from Stanford and a PhD in environmental science from Duke. Before working on iNaturalist full time, Scott was a research fellow at the Global Ecology Dept. at the Carnegie Instit. for Science and a lecturer in the Dept. Geography at UC Berkeley with research focusing on global biodiversity loss from African elephants to the California flora. Since 2011, Scott has been directing organizational development at iNat.

Patrick Leary

Ruby on Rails Developer

Patrick is a software developer from Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He started working in 2001 as a developer and database administrator for the uBio project at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Patrick continued work on uBio while receiving his Computer Science degree from Skidmore College. In 2007 Patrick become one of the first developers working on the Encyclopedia of Life, where he remained as a Lead Developer until joining iNaturalist in 2014.

Alex Shepard

Mobile Applications Developer

Alex is a software developer and an artist. He has a BA in History from the University of Washington and an MFA in Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. Alex's MFA coursework involved making video games, 3d prints, and interactive objects. Prior to joining iNaturalist in the fall of 2014, Alex led iOS development at Eyefi. He is currently working on a guide to Lobos Creek Valley in San Francisco.

Joelle Belmonte


Joelle is a user experience designer from San Francisco focusing on mobile interfaces. She's worked on a variety of web and mobile design projects, and has recently learned to identify Umber Skippers. She joined the team in Spring of 2015 and is focusing on making iNaturalist more usable by a general audience.

Tony Iwane

Community and Support Coordinator

Born and raised in Hawaii, Tony now lives in Oakland, California and is an experienced interpretive naturalist, photographer, and counselor. He has been helping out with iNat's outreach, support, and community management since 2015. When not at work, he enjoys looking for but rarely finding reptiles and amphibians.

Carrie Seltzer

Stakeholder Engagement Strategist

Carrie joined the iNaturalist team in February 2018 to help with grant writing and organizational collaborations. She has a PhD in Ecology and worked for National Geographic and the National Science Foundation before joining iNaturalist. She lives in Washington, DC.

Revised on February 27, 2018 08:30 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer