“Virtual Botanist”: An Educational Project

The organization “Green Vyshka” invites you to take part in the educational project “Virtual Botanist” from the Digital Herbarium of Moscow State University and the Department of Ecology and Geography of Plants of Moscow State University.

“Virtual Botanist”: An Educational Project


If you are interested in plants, you are an amateur or professional botanist, you want to get to know the plants of your native land better and master modern digital tools for observing plants, then "Virtual botanist" is for you!

From June 1 to July 31, you will master iNaturalist — the largest platform for collecting data on biodiversity, become part of the largest community of people who are not indifferent to nature, collect your digital collection of plants and add to the scientific databases of the Flora of Russia and Flora of Moscow project. "Virtual botanist" will be interesting for both schoolchildren and students, as well as for adults. Aspiring botanists will be able to join the iNaturalist community of botanical scientists and be on a par with them. Experienced botanists are adapting to the digital space.

Why is iNaturalist?

At the moment, iNaturalist unites the largest community of people who are not indifferent to nature. Built on the model of a social network, iNaturalist allows users to upload their observations, view and comment on the observations of other users, join thematic groups, etc. In addition, an important advantage is the presence of an automatic determinant, which offers the most possible options for determining the plant.

It is there that the largest scientific project for a wide audience is being developed - "Flora of Russia on the iNaturalist platform", which already includes more than a million confirmed observations from all regions of Russia. The data obtained will be used in the creation of the "Atlas of the Flora of Russia" and various scientific studies in the field of botany and ecology.

Stages of the project (Duration: June 1 - July 31)

  • May 1 - May 29 - Registration

    After registration, you will receive an email, where we will tell you how to prepare for the start of the project.

    June 1 - June 30 - Educational program

    You will find an educational program of lectures and workshops on working with the platform. The frequency of online classes is 2 times a week. To work out the acquired knowledge, you will need to upload your observations to the platform and receive feedback from experts.

    July 1 - July 31 - Competition

    Having received all the necessary knowledge on working with the platform, it's time to publish your observations of plants in Russia. Your task is to make the most observations and find as many plant species as possible. The competition stage will be accompanied by popular science lectures on botany.

    July 31 - Completion of the project

    At the end of July, we determine the winners in several categories and sum up the results of the project.

During the project you will get

Collect a collection of botanical observations. Each participant will have a personal page on the platform with their own observations.

Add to your knowledge of plants. Budding botanists will recognize and learn to distinguish the plants of their region. Experienced botanists will be able to throw their strength into the search for new and interesting finds.

Learn how to work with iNaturalist. Regardless of your level of botanical knowledge, you will master the most popular platform for collecting data about living objects and become a confident user of it.

Become part of the iNaturalist community. Aspiring botanists will be able to join the iNaturalist community of botanical scientists and be on a par with them. Experienced nerds will master the digital space.

The curator of the project "Virtual botanist" is Valentina Borodulina. Registration is open until May 29. Join us and send your plants online! To register and to learn more you can here.