A BioBlitz is a learning activity that can engage all learners in close observation of the environment and generate deeper appreciation for natural systems. It also contributes to the advancement of science through the creation of geo-referenced observations of biodiversity. This is called “community science” or “crowdsourcing,” and it uses the participation of large numbers of people to increase our ability to observe and understand the planet.
For California Biodiversity Day 2021, we are organizing a virtual BioBlitz with the theme “Biodiversity in Your Spaces.” Middle and high school students are encouraged to participate September 4-12, 2021. Click here for a flyer, media release, instructions for participating, and a biodiversity collage.
The CGA has been involved in coordinating and supporting BioBlitzes since 2015, when the Network of Geographic Alliances joined in the celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday.
We have led a group of 3rd graders in a study of a tidal creek adjacent to their school in National City, organized a BioBlitz for 240 elementary school students at Sacramento Capitol Park in April 2016, contributed to the 100th anniversary BioBlitz at Cabrillo National Monument, and took students from Barona Indian Reservation on an ethnobotany BioBlitz.
We encourage students to get involved in BioBlitzes at national, at state and local parks, and in their own schoolyards and community open spaces. Using the citizen science app and website iNaturalist, students can explore the biodiversity in their area and create projects to catalog biodiversity observed on their school campus. You can find videos, resources, and learning activities on National Geographic’s BioBlitz page. And you can explore biodiversity or begin documenting biodiversity you encounter by going to iNaturalist.
In California, there has been tremendous enthusiasm for expanding participation in BioBlitzes. This effort includes a tremendous group of partners, many of whom are joined together in the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition.
A group of California-based National Geographic Explorers and Educators took the concept one step further and created EcoBlitz. Events were held in both Spring and Fall of 2019. “EcoBlitz is an interdisciplinary environmental education & community science program created by a team of California based National Geographic Explorers and National Geographic Certified Educators. The spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration encourages students to explore plant and animal biodiversity like a biologist, and trash and plastics like an anthropologist. Students learn about their communities through lenses of global education, geographic education, and environmental education. Students develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge of real National Geographic Explorers while working with other classes throughout California to create more socially just and sustainable local and global communities. ” Go to the EcoBlitz site for more information.