Participating in a bioblitz is a great way for educators and students to connect to science and nature. Below are resources that educators may use to help their students, and themselves, feel comfortable in nature, and to feel prepared to participate in citizen science.
WHAT IS CITIZEN SCIENCE?
Citizen Science is when members of the public team up with scientists to help answer research questions. At NHMLA our citizen scientists help us by sharing their digital photos of wildlife so that our scientists can better understand what types of wildlife currently live in Southern California.
WHAT IS A BIOBLITZ?
A bioblitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many wildlife species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN A BIOBLITZ
STEP 1: Discover wildlife
Help us investigate the incredible nature all around L.A., in backyards, schools, and in neighborhoods, and discover the wildlife all around you!
STEP 2: Record what you see
Take digital photos with a tablet, smartphone, or digital camera. Your photo is the evidence that you saw that animal at a specific location on a specific date/time.
STEP 3: Submit your findings
Upload your photos to iNaturalist. This social media platform connects the public to scientists, and turns your photos into data points. Have questions on how to use iNaturalist? Check out their Help section and their Teacher's Guide.
STEP 4: Explore the data
Download the data from the bioblitz so you (and your students) can learn what animals were commonly seen, which animals were rarely seen, to compare what was observed at different schools, and to help you ask questions.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR STUDENTS FOR A BIOBLITZ
Step 1: Scope the schoolyard
Before the bioblitz event, walk around your schoolyard and observe what wildlife you are able to see.
To help you and your students “put your nature eyes on” try the following activites:
· Memory mapping
· Nature journaling
· Nature walk
· Photography practice
Step 2: Practice using iNaturalist
Practice using the iNaturalist app to take photos and to add observations. Practice using all of the app features such as the “explore” button and the “activity” button. iNaturalist is a free app available on Android and Apple devices.