beyond my paygrade

It seems that botanists take offense if you don't agree to their subspecies assignment. They ought to realize that Joe iNat doesn't have access to those resources, nor an excess of time to devote to the task. We got day jobs.
One of the better snippets of advice i received in this enterprise came from a senior user, arguably the most senior in our vast state, who told me "I never worry about subspecies."
If you like, have at it! But don't expect me to rubberstamp it until and when i know what i'm doing.

Posted on May 08, 2018 02:12 PM by ellen5 ellen5


I don't think that is a general feature of botanists. :-)

OTOH, I think a recommendation to never worry about subspecies is bad advice, no matter who it comes from.

Posted by aspidoscelis about 5 years ago (Flag)

seems that you do have to know enough nomenclature to find a correct assignment for an organism; sometimes the common name can help; as in "American toad" which is no longer Bufo... subspecies and varieties are further complications admittedly...

Posted by milopyne about 5 years ago (Flag)

full disclosure: it was an Animal Guy. Different game. So i did cheat a little bit here.
Anyway, in my view "Research Grade" is a vast oversimplification that we could/should replace with a better metric. In the meantime, too much polite agreement going on, because RG status becomes a compulsion

Posted by ellen5 about 5 years ago (Flag)

I agree with your assessment of "Research Grade". I'm not too sure what the solution is, though... for instance, the "I want a gold star" aspect of it has some annoying consequences, but tying IDs to social status motivates people to game the system precisely because it makes them care about those IDs...

Posted by aspidoscelis about 5 years ago (Flag)

if i make obscure assignments or find obscure plants that no one else cares to deal with, that does not bother me...

Posted by milopyne about 5 years ago (Flag)

I think i'm in your camp, Milo
The unidentifiable ones are probably the most valuable.

Posted by ellen5 about 5 years ago (Flag)

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