An Interview with @greglasley

If you have posted a bird, dragonfly, or damselfly observation to iNaturalist, odds are that former law enforcement officer and lifelong nature enthusiast Greg Lasley (@greglasley) has added an identification to it. With over 262,000 IDs made for over 13,000 users, Greg is iNaturalist’s current top identifier (@aguilita is a close second) and he has shared a lifetime of knowledge and experience with our with iNaturalist community. The humility and generosity of many in the iNaturalist community really is wonderful.

I had the opportunity to interview Greg this past April during the “Southwest Texas iNat-a-thon” and we discussed his experience with nature photography, how iNaturalist has changed the way he photographs wildlife, and about his ID contributions. A humble man, Greg didn’t have too much to say about that last topic but it was great to hear how he has found a home for decades worth of photographic slides and how documenting species for iNaturalist has changed his habits and objectives when out in the field. Check out the interview below, and look for @briangooding, iNat’s top Odonata identifier, in a brief cameo.

An Interview with @greglasley from iNaturalist on Vimeo.


And here are some related links:

- Greg’s professional nature photography page.

-  An Observation of the Week post we wrote about Greg in 2016.

- A Texas Parks and Wildlife video that features Greg at about 3:30.

Publicado el 13 de julio de 2018 por tiwane tiwane


Super video Greg and was a surprise to see it here, didn't know it was coming :)

Publicado por ericisley hace alrededor de 6 años

@greglasley is awesome!

Publicado por pisum hace alrededor de 6 años

It's too bad you weren't a TPWD Game Warden. You could have been in law enforcement without having to hide your nature enthusiasm. :P

Thanks for all your advice and IDs.

Publicado por star3 hace alrededor de 6 años

Greg the interview was wonderful! I am very grateful for all your help and wisdom. I hope you keep at it. Your photographs are beautiful! You have paved a way for many to hopefully follow. Thanks again!☺️

Publicado por walkingstick2 hace alrededor de 6 años

kudoes. can't contribute more to what was already said.

Publicado por jay hace alrededor de 6 años

I have learned so much from @greglasley: photography + nature. He is an amazing citizen scientist aka profesional superstar! Thanks Greg for sharing so much of your time and wisdom.

Publicado por metsa hace alrededor de 6 años

Great feature on Greg. Really appreciate Greg's input and comments on my observations!

Publicado por paul_prappas1 hace alrededor de 6 años

Great spirit and enthusiasm expressed by a true naturalist!

Publicado por chlorophilia hace alrededor de 6 años

Excellent feature! I've learned a lot from Greg, too.

Publicado por cgritz hace alrededor de 6 años

Great interview with an all around good guy, the real deal Boy Scout! Thanks for all of your guidance.

Publicado por itmndeborah hace alrededor de 6 años

Great interview @greglasley!

Publicado por myelaphus hace alrededor de 6 años

With his knowledge and generosity, Greg has opened up big areas of the natural world to me. Thanks Greg!

Publicado por muir hace alrededor de 6 años

Greg has been advising me on odonates and other insects for several years now and definitely improved me as a naturalist for those critters I never paid any attention to before. His dedication to documenting records is amazing and important. As a wildlife biologist myself, I know how under-documented many species of mammals are, so I give him a lot of credit for those roadkill pics that he posts which even I won't always stop for. He's definitely made iNat a more useful and reliable resource for understanding faunal distributions.

Publicado por jnstuart hace alrededor de 6 años

Great interview! Importantly, pointed out all the valuable attributes of the records provided by iNat users for science and tracking populations geographically.

Publicado por katharinab hace alrededor de 6 años

Greg, I truly appreciate what you do and I am inspired to continue my nature studies.

Publicado por denniswross hace alrededor de 6 años

Texas Highways magazine hired me as photography editor in 1992. I quickly learned that the magazine's readers were a lot sharper than me when it came to identification of birds, bugs, plants and other things in our natural world. I also soon discovered Greg as an incredible resource for nailing identification, especially on birds; in addition to being a darned skillful photographer. He, and other subject experts, became my "go-to" advisors; keeping me from using sometimes erroneous identifications supplied by photographers.

When my wife and I converted our family ranch west of Austin from agricultural use to wildlife conservation in 2000, Greg proved invaluable with our spring breeding bird surveys. He's continued to help us over the years, and wound up compiling an odonate list for our property. He continues to visit and photograph what he finds and thus adds to the known species list over time. These lists, along with a comprehensive vegetation list compiled by "plant guy" Bill Carr, aided us in obtaining a conservation easement on the property this year.

A public shout out to Greg: THANK YOU Very Much!

And, IF you're a dedicated iNat member and would like to access our property, feel free to contact me. We're always open to observation and documentation of any aspect of our natural world here.

Publicado por mikmurphy hace alrededor de 6 años

Thanks everyone for the nice comments. The iNat community is like a very large and diverse family scattered worldwide, but we have a great deal in common. The spirit of helping one another with learning about nature is inspiring for all of us. @mikmurphy and I have been friends for many years and, as he mentioned above, he and his wife Julie have allowed me to visit their wonderful 400 acre property for many years. I have taken a number of fellow iNat folks out there such as @robberfly @annikaml @gcwarbler @sambiology @maractwin @brentano @kueda and @mchlfx have, I believe, all spent at least a little time there. Mike and Julie are very generous and allowing naturalists to visit gives them great pleasure and satisfaction.

Publicado por greglasley hace alrededor de 6 años

Beyond your knowledge of nature and outstanding photography, you've got a heart of gold. One of the finest human beings I've had the pleasure to know. I'm so glad iNaturalist brought us together!

Publicado por mchlfx hace alrededor de 6 años

Greg is awesome. He is probably the main reason I got addicted to iNat.

Publicado por connlindajo hace alrededor de 6 años

Wonderful stuff! Thanks so much Greg!

Publicado por susanhewitt hace alrededor de 6 años

I have been doing iNat seriously for about a year and I have come in contact with a number of new heroes for me, Greg Lasley is chief among them, already helping with bird and odonate IDs. I appreciate very much learning from the iNat community. BTW, Greg and I have a connection in that I took Cullen on his first bird walk. Thanks Greg.

Publicado por russh hace alrededor de 6 años

Greg is awesome! Back in 2015, he and his wife invited a lot of us to his home to meet other iNaturalist and get faces to to attach to the iNaturalist names - although I still can't remember peoples real names, only their iNat name. :) It was a lovely gathering where we not only socialized but went out to the farm Greg mentions above - and this was the start to iNaturalists from Texas, and also other states, meeting up for various bioblitzes or just small outings to explore nature around Texas and learn from each other. I entirely enjoy the friendships I made with fellow iNaturalists, so thank you @greglasley for that and all the knowledge you provide to us "youngsters"!

Publicado por annikaml hace alrededor de 6 años

Well, where do I start... no one’s mentioned his glorious,, brilliant wife Cheryl, their clowder of cats ( lead by my buddy Jericho) and the extraordinary warmth and hospitality that is extended to anyone lucky enough to stay in their guest room. His legendary charm is off-the-charts here in this little film. Nice job, @tiwane ! Ive been fortunate enough to have made a handful of roadtrips with Greg. His melodic cadence and fantastic storytelling makes long hours in his truck fly by. Can’t wait for next.

Publicado por robberfly hace alrededor de 6 años

This is a wonderful feature on the people behind the iNat handles. Keep them coming! :)

Publicado por mldelfino hace alrededor de 6 años

Greg transformed my iNat hobby into an addiction when he invited me to tag along with him, John Abbott and his wife Kendra in 2015 when they were searching through bogs in Deep East Texas and Western Louisiana in search of the Sarracenia Spiketail, a rare dragonfly whose host plant, Sarracenia alata, is only found in these ecosystems. He continues to educate and encourage me with IDs and comments.

Publicado por lauramorganclark hace alrededor de 6 años

Thank you Greg. You are a legend. What a legacy!

You helped me decide what to do with photos I have been taking for 25 years.

Publicado por kalimata hace más de 4 años

Greg is amazing! When I first started using iNat back in May of 2015, Greg, and a handful of other experts, were right there to guide me, and keep me coming back for more - I am now thoroughly addicted to both posting observations, and IDing everything I can for others.

Folks like Greg, instill and nurture a life-long love of nature for so many people. I'm only a few years younger than Greg, but I feel like a kid again with every new thing I learn, and can in turn, teach to others.

So here's to you, Greg Lasley, and to everyone you have influenced and encouraged here on iNat, and elsewhere! <3

Publicado por artemis224 hace casi 4 años

Thank you for posting this. Very inspiring! I just got on iNaturalist a month ago in order to contribute to a Bioblitz at a National Wildlife Refuge where I volunteer. I now have a place to upload my thousands of photos from the last 4 years of RV travel and work in states across the western US. @greglasley You are an inspiration!

Publicado por wendybirds hace casi 4 años

What an inspiration! I have come to iNaturalist very late and your story encourages me to keep going. In these Covid times, belonging to iNat makes me go out and keep sane. In addition to learning about nature around me, I have met "virtually" some wonderful people who like you are helpful with identification and extremely kind and patient when I'm having some problem with uploading my observations. The educational and health benefits are huge - I hope I am making a contribution too, though I will never achieve anywhere near your numbers.

Thank you Greg Lasley for sharing your story.

Publicado por kalimata hace casi 4 años

Just an FYI to all on this post -- Greg Lasley passed away this evening, around 6:30 pm. After a lung transplant earlier in 2020, there continued to be complications and struggles.

He will be sorely missed by all who knew him in person and virtually through this platform and others.

Publicado por sambiology hace más de 3 años

Oh my... He will be sorely missed. Greg was one of the first folks I met on iNat and because of his help and encouragement, I became the iNat addict that I am. Greg was truly a special person. I am so glad I knew him.

Publicado por connlindajo hace más de 3 años

So sad to hear that Greg has passed. He was very special, and he was the one that brought many of us Texas iNatters together back in 2015. I don't think we would be such a huge, active group of iNatters without him.

Publicado por annikaml hace más de 3 años

This is really sad to hear. Greg was a mentor to me in IDing odonates and was probably the main motivator for me to get involved in iNaturalist. He visited my state, New Mexico, a number of times in recent years and I went photographing with him on a couple of occasions. I’ll really miss our email exchanges and seeing his records on iNat.

Publicado por jnstuart hace más de 3 años

Thank you for sharing, Sam. He was one of the most engaging people when I first started. Meeting him in person was such a honor to find that the same graciousness and enthusiasm he exhibited online was also true in the field. His memory is a blessing for all of iNaturalist.

Publicado por muir hace más de 3 años

Sad to hear of Greg Lasley's passing. He was always very generous with his knowledge of natural history. I loved revisiting his interview. A great inspiration.

Publicado por chlorophilia hace más de 3 años

Very sad. He was a great human being.

Publicado por susanhewitt hace más de 3 años

Oh dear God! How my heart breaks at this news. Greg was so special to so many of us. The world has lost a truly great soul.

Publicado por mchlfx hace más de 3 años

A very special man, and will be missed by us all. Sad day.

Publicado por cgritz hace más de 3 años

So, I was going through old messages on iNat, and Greg sent this from December 31, 2015:

"I'm twice your age, but as we always say in this natural world, there are connections that are made regardless of the generation we come from. I had some naturalist mentors when I was in my 20s and 30s, people like Ed Kutac, Fred S. Webster, and others who are all gone now, but they are still part of me. into more adventures!"

Publicado por sambiology hace más de 3 años

Wow. So very sorry to hear this. He was such an inspiration and a wonderful person. My heart breaks for all of us that were inspired and touched by his guidance. My condolences to his family.

Publicado por artemis224 hace más de 3 años

Greg lived a rich, full, adventurous life. Including 13 trips to Antarctica, trips to Central and S. America, as well as numerous other nature-filled destinations. He served his country as a load handler in the USAF, then joined the Austin Police Dept. in 1972. Even while working full-time for APD, he found time to indulge his passion for nature and photography. When he retired in 1997, he plunged full-time into the natural world. We both plunged into the world of digital photography beginning in 2000, and he accepted and excelled at that new challenge too.

Diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in Nov. 2019, after much thought and consideration, he and his wife Cheryl applied to the lung transplant program at University Hospital in San Antonio. Physicians there told them that his age of 70 would likely preclude him from becoming a transplant recipient, but after a barrage of testing from Jan. 2020 to last May, they put him on the list. Sep. 3 they got the call, and the next day, after a long day of surgery, he had new lungs.

His recovery looked promising in the first 2-3 weeks, then one setback after another reversed his recovery. Two months became three, then four; and Cheryl made the long drive to and from San Antonio at least five times a week. Recently, a palliative care physician became involved and helped get Greg relief from pain that bedeviled him day after day. As his condition worsened, he and Cheryl let the hospital know they wanted him to go home.

A medical team transported him to his and Cheryl's home yesterday, and made him comfortable. He passed at 6:23 CST.

As Abraham Lincoln said, "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

Greg W. Lasley packed one heck of a life into his years, leaving all that knew him richer for the experience.

Lightspeed, my friend.

Mike Murphy

Publicado por mikmurphy hace más de 3 años

What a wonderful, giving person Greg was. I feel so honored to have met him on an iNat adventure and he helped me with identifying dragonflies so many times, pointing out the tiny differences . Greg is soaring now, on wings that will never grow tired.

Publicado por itmndeborah hace más de 3 años

R.I.P, Greg.

Publicado por kemper hace más de 3 años

Greg was an inspiration to me and my memories of him will be cherished.

Publicado por lauramorganclark hace más de 3 años

I discovered Greg's video several months ago when I finally opened an iNaturalist account. Greg's story and extensive data was inspiring! Since my son lives in Austin, I'd hoped I might have the opportunity to meet this legend one day. RIP Greg, I hope you'll spend eternity soaring with the birds.

Publicado por dboddiford hace más de 3 años

Greg was an inspiring person and an exemplary human being. He will be missed, but his rich legacy will live on.

Publicado por kalimata hace más de 3 años

Hey all, these comments are wonderful, he clearly inspired and educated so many people.

We just set up a little memorial space on this blog post, please share your memories there.

Publicado por tiwane hace más de 3 años

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