Bringing thousands of students and citizens together with hundreds of scientists to explore a gorgeous national park is one awesome way to go about a bioblitz.
But it’s not the only way!
The purpose of organizing a bioblitz is to document every bit of life within a set parameter in order to understand that location’s biodiversity. This includes observing both the magnificent redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument and the earthworms that dig near it roots. It includes watching both the playful river otters of the Giacomini Wetlands and the minnows that swim among them.
It also means that you don’t need a national park, thousands of people, or hundreds of experts to have a bioblitz. You can host one with anyone, anywhere, and National Geographic has the resources to help you do that.
Take a look at our BioBlitz Education webpage: http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/program/bioblitz/?ar_a=1.
Here you can find everything you might need to have your own bioblitz in your backyard, schoolyard, or local community.
First, use our collection of BioBlitz media to get students excited about discovering what lives and grows in their neighborhood. Watch clips from the 2012 BioBlitz in Rocky Mountain National Park. Or experience BioBlitz from the first-person perspective of 7-year-old Imani.
Then, plan ahead with activities grouped by grade levels. The “Mapping Biodiversity” activity, geared for grades 3-5, gets students mapping their community’s biodiversity.
Another activity, “Species Identification,” takes older students through the process of actually identifying local species using Family, Scientific Name, Common Name and more.
Finally, the BioBlitz Education page also directs you to other related resources, such as the Encyclopedia of Life, the Great Nature Project or articles on national parks that have hosted a bioblitz in the past.
No matter what you do with your students, the point to remember is that a bioblitz can happen anywhere. And in some way, it is even more special when students are discovering the vibrant diversity of life thriving in their very own community.
By Rebecca Bice, National Geographic’s Center for Geo-Education