Love nature? Have a backyard? Then you should host your very own Bioblitz!
A bioblitz is a communal citizen-science effort to record as many species within a designated location and time period as possible. These typically happen in parks, natural areas, etc. and are organized to collect data that can be used by scientists while at the same time creating a way to empower and connect curious citizens to get involved in science!
In order to host your very own bioblitz event you will need to designate a certain area outdoors and determine how long you will try to identify all of the organisms in your area.
You can use books, online resources and certain apps to help you identify all of the plants, birds, insects, microorganisms, mammals, etc. as close to the species level as you can.
Search up and down, in the air and on the ground, in water and under logs, in cracks and crevices, when it is dry and after it rains, during the day and at night and just about anywhere that you can explore safely.
Be careful not to harm any of the organisms that you find and make sure to put critters back where you found them if you pick them up to take a closer look.
Write down a list of all the species that you come across and don’t forget to add Homo Sapiens to your list too! Writing down general names like hawk or snake is fine if you cannot identify the species but try to describe what the organisms look like and any important features.
Here are some apps and resources that can help you identify all of your local fauna and flora:
- iNaturalist is an amazing free app that allows you to record, share and discuss your observations with a vast community of naturalists and specialists
- Audubon’s free bird field guide
- What tree is that? by Arbor Day
- National Geographic Bioblitz Resources
My whole life I have felt like I am exploring a new, alien world where there is something unique to find, exciting to try, and fascinating to learn everywhere I look! I am at my happiest when I am sharing those interesting finds and experiences along with my own new creations with others. Adam is a STEM Educator for the Innovation Hub.