Information for moderators

NatureMapr is powered by an incredible community of expert, human moderators who provide their time and expertise to provide formal identification of uploaded records.

Moderators are crucial to the veracity of the biodiversity data produced on the NatureMapr platform.

NatureMapr moderators range from internationally recognised experts to school children who have learnt to formally identify particular species through practise and repetition over time.

NatureMapr's citizen science workflow alerts and invites relevant expert moderators to participate in the identification of a record as it arrives in the platform.

While general community members can freely make ID suggestions and participate in discussion, only relevant expert moderators with appropriate qualifications, experience and trust may formally confirm the identification of a record.

NatureMapr's first expert human moderator, Dr Michael Mulvaney, was a formally trained ecologist with decades of experience identifying and differentiating thousands of plant and animal species in the field as an ACT Government Senior Conservation Officer. Dr Mulvaney's extensive trusted professional network largely formed the basis of the original group of NatureMapr expert human moderators.

Types of moderators

NatureMapr includes two types of moderators:

  • Category moderators - experts within a particular category of species (plants, orchids, mammals, fungi etc); AND
  • Location moderators - experts with intimate, first hand knowledge of their own local reserve who are alert to the typical species and activity that occurs within that reserve

Moderator activities

Moderators curate sightings uploaded to NatureMapr with the goal of formally identifying and confirming the species of every record.

Moderators for particular wildlife groups tend to operate as informal teams, with discussions and opinions on correct identifications often shared as comments on NatureMapr, so that the entire community can benefit from the discussion.

Primary activities

  • Formal identification of uploaded sighting records through the review of photo and/or audio evidence
  • Engage in online discussion to share knowledge and request further information from contributors
  • Help maintain the community managed taxonomy of plant and animal species including addition of new or missing species
  • Help maintain species sensitivity, conservation and invasiveness levels (in accordance with state and commonwealth sensitive species definitions)

Secondary activities

  • Highlight significant sightings and management actions required for ecologically important sightings
  • Help maintain species sample images
  • Mentor newly onboarded or less experienced moderators
  • Provide land managers with subject matter expertise and specific conservation advice

Eligibility of expert, human moderators

A NatureMapr contributor may be granted the expert, human moderator privilege if they:

  1. Hold relevant formal qualifications and/or training within a particular category of expertise
    (E.g. ecologist, biologist, entomologist etc); OR

  2. Have obtained professional experience relevant to a particular category of expertise
    E.g. CSIRO Scientist, Park Ranger, Conservation Officer etc); OR

  3. Have demonstrated an extensive track record of uploading and/or identifying records within a particular category or location
    (e.g. someone that has learnt to identify native orchids through genuine interest and repetition over time). Category moderators must have 250+ sightings of said category and location moderators must have 500+ sightings in said location/region.

And are:

  1. Entrusted and approved by an existing expert, human moderator within a parent category of their particular category of expertise
    (E.g. Expert bird moderator trusts a colleague who specialises in birds of prey).

Moderator workload

First and foremost, moderators are volunteers. It is vital that moderators only participate at a level that is comfortable to them.

Moderation is an enjoyable and rewarding activity where experts gain satisfaction in the benefit in sharing their knowledge with the community.

If moderation becomes too onerous, regional administrators should be informed that more assistance is required within a given category or location.

Assistance from AI based non-human moderator

NatureMapr's non-human AI based moderator, CarbonAI, is trained and closely supervised by the expert moderator community.

CarbonAI's primary role is to support NatureMapr's human moderators and to protect their extremely valuable and limited time.

For this reason, CarbonAI primarily makes automated ID suggestions, in order to fast track the full workflow so there are less steps for busy expert human moderators to complete.

Apply to become a moderator

Interest to become a moderator is always welcome!

If you decide to join us as a moderator, you will be assisted by other moderators and regional administrators to learn the role at your own pace.

You can apply to become a moderator by clicking "Become a moderator" on any of the categories or locations that you are interested in.

Become a moderator


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