Stakeholder Engagement Strategist, iNaturalist
Dr. Carrie Seltzer works for iNaturalist, a social network where people explore nature through sharing photos of biodiversity, crowdsource species identifications, and use artificial intelligence to jumpstart the identification process. iNaturalist is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. By engaging people all over the world in sharing observations and expertise, the iNaturalist community has generated one of the largest, openly accessible datasets of biodiversity records that is used extensively in research and management.
As the Stakeholder Engagement Strategist, Carrie works to expand the impact of iNaturalist through collaborations and capacity building. Among other things, she works closely with organizations in several countries in the international iNaturalist Network, which localizes the iNaturalist experience. She first encountered iNaturalist in graduate school in 2012, then became more involved in a collaboration with iNaturalist in her role as Citizen Science Program Manager at National Geographic. Her “iNaturalist eyes” now help her notice biodiversity everywhere she goes, and she has a particular fondness for urban “weeds”. You can follow her biodiversity encounters on iNaturalist.
Prior to joining the iNaturalist team in 2018, Carrie was a Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the U.S. National Science Foundation where she worked on open data policy. She is on the Steering Committee for the Washington DC Area Citizen Science Network to increase awareness and participation in citizen science in the region, and is a co-organizer of the region’s participation in the annual City Nature Challenge using iNaturalist.
Carrie’s formative years were spent at nature centers in the Chicago suburbs and at Earlham College in Indiana where she earned her BA in Biology. She has a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she studied seed dispersal ecology. The most-viewed output of her dissertation is an interpretive dance of seed dispersal by giant pouched rats for the 2012 “Dance Your PhD” competition. She lives in Washington, DC.