#34: Chloe and Trevor Van Loon – Finding More in Nature

#34: Chloe and Trevor Van Loon – Finding More in Nature Nature's Archive


My guests today are Chloe and Trevor Van Loon. Chloe has a background in ecology and environmental science, and while Trevor’s educational background is in math and computer science, he’s also become a fanatical amateur naturalist. In fact, both Chloe and Trevor are highly skilled naturalists and prolific iNaturalist contributors. No biome or habitat is off limits for them, and as you’ll hear, they have an insatiable drive to learn more.

Today’s episode could be broadly described as “how to maximize your time in the field”, whether it be casual hikes, random walks in nature, goal-driven hikes, or BioBlitzes.

Chloe and Trevor Van Loon in the field – Coachella Valley, California

Chloe and Trevor offer tips and techniques to identify the plants, fungi, and insects you find, regardless of whether you are a budding nature lover or a seasoned naturalist. We discuss approaches to making new personal discoveries, using iNaturalist to locate nearby and interesting taxa, and many specific techniques, including using UV lights at night, using a sweep net, and challenging your own assumptions about where to find interesting things. Who knows – maybe you too can observe a nival aeolian fallout! Stay tuned to learn exactly what that is!

There are so many actionable suggestions and ideas that I really just gave up on the idea that this intro would do the episode justice. And be sure to check the show notes at podcast.naturesarchive.com for links to the resources mentioned today. And find Chloe and Trevor on their iNaturalist account, on instagram, or on Chloe’s blog.

Yosemite High Country

Did you have a question that I didn’t ask? Let me know at naturesarchivepodcast@gmail.com, and I’ll try to get an answer! I’ll add these Q&As to my monthly newsletter, so if you aren’t already subscribed, go here. I promise, no spam. I share the latest news from the world of Nature’s Archive, as well as pointers to new naturalist finds that have crossed my radar, like podcasts, books, websites, and more.

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While you are welcome to listen to my show using the above link, you can help me grow my reach by listening through one of the podcast services (Apple, Google, Stitcher, etc) linked on the right. And while you’re there, will you please consider subscribing?

People and Organizations

Damon Tighe’s Instagram and iNat pages

Marin Mushrooms (Alison Pollack) on Instagram

Books and Apps

Jepson Manual – the classic for California plants

ROCKD geology app

Sibley Guide to Birds of the Western North America

Chloe’s recent review of The Cougar Conundrum

Other Naturalist Tools Mentioned

Hand lens or loupe – this 10x lens came highly recommended to me by a biologist friend, as a good mix of optical and build quality

Insect aspirator (aka pooter) – here’s an example.

Phone macro lenses – turn your smart phone into a macro camera. Make sure the lens you buy is compatible with your phone and case!

UV Lights: USB UV Kit for backpacking; High powered for general use; the “Gold Standard” LepiLED

Music Credits

Opening – Fearless First by Kevin MacLoed

Closing – Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLoed

Both can be obtained from https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/

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