What on Earth is a BioBlitz?

Written by on May 11, 2016 in Other News

A BioBlitz is a citizen science event where people find and identify as many species as possible in a designated area over a short period of time. BioBlitzes bring the community together, including scientists, citizens, families, teachers, and students, in an effort to inventory all the life in that area while reconnecting people with their environment.

Sardines and kelp in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo credit: Robert Schwemmer, NOAA.

Sardines and kelp in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo credit: Robert Schwemmer, NOAA.

To participate, all you have to do is find an event near you and take photos of the plants and animals you see. Then, you can upload them to iNaturalist,s “an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature.” Learn more here.

There are over 250 BioBlitzes planned across the U.S. in 2016, so chances are pretty good that there’s one scheduled near you! If not, you can always organize your own.

The main event is the National Parks BioBlitz, a celebration of the National Park Service (NPS) centennial. It will take place at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. from May 20-21, 2016 from 9:00-5:00 both days. Learn more about it here.

The celebration doesn’t end there. NPS has several BioBlitzes scheduled that week and into the summer months. Check out the list of participating parks here.

If you’re on the coast in California, be sure to check out the Snapshot Cal Coast! It’s a “Coordinated Coastal BioBlitz” taking place from June 4-12, 2016 that will cover all 15 coastal counties. This statewide event is an effort to document coastal biodiversity by studying California’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and creating a “snapshot” of current life along the coast. Learn more here.

Copyright © 2016 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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