Ode to Survey123

In between trips throughout the Great Basin,

To check for ripe seeds on the species we’re chasing,

Seeking drupes, legumes, siliques and achenes,

I spend time in front of my computer screens.


I do GIS, data entry, research, and planning.

There are seeds that need mailing and forms that need scanning,

Plants that need filing and labels that need gluing.

After that, though, there’s something else I’ve been doing.


What do you think? We have some massive grants?

Maybe we’ve got a greenhouse and to grow out some plants?

I wish I could say we’re programming a drone,

Nope — just making surveys to fill out on a phone.


Decimal, selection, and geopoint questions,

Complex choice filters, calculated suggestions,

I spend hours pasting huge excel expressions,

Moping when it crashes upon refreshing.


And though I’d still rather pick fruits from a tree,

I do love you and hate you, Survey123.

Working with you can’t beat picking buckwheat,

But your relational questions are really quite neat.


Entering data just once – wow, what an idea!

Though making surveys keeps me from Rhus and Piscea.

I do love creating the ideal survey form,

But I’d rather be hiking in a summer rainstorm.


I hope that these hours and hours I’ve spent

Sitting at a desk rather than camping in my tent

Will help keep all of the botanists to come

Out in the field with sagebrush, currant, and plum.


Britney, Carson City BLM

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