Photograph by Eric Leifer
A BioBlitz can happen in most any geography—urban, rural, or suburban—in as large an area as a national park or small as a schoolyard. Biologists often measure the population of particular species or study an environment’s biodiversity, but a BioBlitz brings together the expertise of multiple scientists and naturalists with the power of citizens, including students, willing to take a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity in about 24 hours.
Students prepare for BioBlitz by defining biodiversity and examining the characteristics of various plants and animals as examples of taxonomic groupings. Students learn about the number of species identified globally in key taxa and use this information to make predictions about the biodiversity they may observe during their local BioBlitz.
Students investigate and analyze local biodiversity using iNaturalist observations. They collaborate in small groups to explore observations and identification of various taxon groups. Then students create a class graph of data and draw inferences about biodiversity, invasive species, and endangered species in their local park.