BioBlitz!

NEW!

UConn BioBlitz June 3rd – 4th 2016 in Two Rivers Magnet School, Hartford CT.

2016 BioBlitz will possibly be the biggest ever organized thus far. You can have more information here.

BioBlitz 2015 was a huge success held at UConn Campus on July 24th – 25th 2015.

In May 2013, National Park Service/National Geographic organized a BioBlitz in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve near New Orleans, Louisiana. The video above is based on experiences of young participants. Together, they worked with volunteer scientists, teachers, and other community members to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi as possible within 24-hours.

BioBlitzes are set up as part contest, part festival, part educational event and part scientific endeavor. BioBlitz bring together scientists from universities and nature organizations across the region. It is a race against time to see how many species they can count in a 24-hour biological survey of a park or nature preserve. The public is invited to observe the scientists’ activities and help them. Participation in other activities that are presented by the organizers is encouraged.

BioBlitzes can be organized in nature areas even in urban setting. New York City Central Park BioBlitz is one of them:

Bioblitz Introduction from Olaf Woldan on Vimeo.

National Geographic has been a major organizer of BioBlitz since 2009. However there were quite a few other sucessful events organized jointly by the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department of University of Connecticut and the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History. These early organizations helped figure out basics of logistics and laid out preparation steps for a successful BioBlitz. These events also tested many ways to engage participants in BioBlitz activities. The 2001 BioBlitz held in Tarryville Park, Danburry, CT is holding the highest number of species (2519) recorded ever in 24-hours. Another notable BioBlitz organizer is the Rhode Island Natural History Survey.

A typical BioBlitz starts at noon on a Saturday but scientists arrive the day before to set their equipment and make preparations. Survey activity ends at exactly noon on Sunday but tallying findings and putting together a final count always requires more time. Therefore the actual event is more than 24 hours providing ample amount of time for interaction among amateur naturalists and expert scientists:

Rhode Island BioBlitz 2010: Block Island from Curt Milton on Vimeo.

A BioBlitz is a great Citizen Science Project. When integrated with internet based natural history archiving sites such as iNaturalist such projects can carry observations beyond a list of species and produce very high quality research grade data.

BioBlitz are organized in a different location everytime. You can check out and participate in the next big event organized together by National Geographic and National Park Service annually. You can also enjoy a BioBlitz weekend on an original American landscape — the tallgrass prairie — at the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Gayfeather Prairie in Vernon County, MO on June 7th and 8th 2014.

Bioblitz at Cambridge University from Cambridge University on Vimeo.

 

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