Welcome to Rutgers' University's Personal Bioblitz Project!
This project started in 2014 by students and
faculty in the Journal Club in Evolution run by Lena Struwe
and Siobain Duffy in the Graduate Program of Ecology and
Evolution at Rutgers University. It is now an event run by Lena Struwe and students in
collaboration with iNaturalist (California Academy of
Sciences), who are providing the website we use for
participants to list their species.
The general goal is to discover, identify, and list as many wild
species as possible in the world around you during a couple
of months, from any species group, and at any place and
time. We also want everybody to help each other learn to
identify and discover new living things. The
observation data we collect together can be used for
research and will help everybody discover the real life that
exist all around you, all the time, wherever you are.
What is going on? Why are we doing this?
Broad and detailed knowledge about species around us in everyday life has decreased among the public in the last decades. In general, we recognize fewer trees, edible plants and fungi, vertebrate and invertebrate animals, and spend less time on such topics in schools and universities. Even faculty and graduate students in ecology and evolution, the broadest fields of biology, find themselves unable to identify everyday species to genus, and may even be completely unaware of them. We want to counter such 'species blindness' among ourselves and our colleagues and friends and learn more about the biodiversity we see every day as researchers, consumers, and human beings.
The general goal is to discover, identify, and list as many species as possible in the world around you during a couple of months, from any species group, and at any place and time. We also want everybody to help each other learn to identify and discover new living things. The observation data we collect together can be used for research and will help everybody discover the real life that exist all around you, all the time, wherever you are, and, we promise you, you will see things you have never seen before!
What is a Bioblitz?
A bioblitz is usually an event where people gather
in an area to find as many species as possible during 24
hours, to create a more complete inventory of the species
present at that time and at that place. It also
functions as a great educational event.
What is a Personal Bioblitz?
We tweaked the bioblitz idea into a longer project
to encourage people to explore and discover the species that
are present in our everyday lives, and learn how to see and
identify more species as part of a collaborative
project. In our Personal Bioblitzes, participants
discover, identify (with help from others), and list species
they encounter during an extended time period. The challenge
is to record as many unique species as possible per person,
and to together as a group discover and identify as many
different species as possible. We included all organismal
groups (except viruses), and all places on earth where there
are unlabeled species. For more specific rules, look under
each bioblitz event (the rules have also changed between
Publication in BioScience: "Personal BioBlitz: A New Way to Encourage Biodiversity Discovery and Knowledge in K-99 Education and Outreach" by Nicholas B. Pollock, Natalie Howe, Ivelisse Irizarry, Nicholas Lorusso, Ariel Kruger, Kurtis Himmler and Lena Struwe Publication in BioScience: doi
RU Core depository of research data: https://rucore.libraries.rutgers.edu/rutgers-lib/47952/
Watch a short movie about the 2014 Personal Bioblitz