BioBlitz! is a rapid inventory of biological diversity. Biologists and citizen scientists count as many species as possible in a given period of time, traditionally large BioBlitz! events are for 24 consecutive hours. Anyone who is interested participate in a BioBlitz! – university professors to boy scouts to high school students to enthusiastic retirees.
Bioblitz is a fun and exciting event to educate people about the natural diversity “in their back yard.” BioBlitz offers a hands-on scientific experience and a chance to learn more about the diversity of life where people live.
BioBlitz was invented in 1996 by scientists from the National Parks Service and inaugurated in Washington, D.C., by scientists from the National Park Service, the National Botanical Garden, and the Smithsonian Institution. BioBlitz of varying types have since been conducted in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, North Carolina, North Dakota and other states.
BioBlitz! Oklahoma was organized by the Oklahoma Biological Survey for over 20 years.
In 2022, I stepped down from organizing BioBlitz! OK events. I have had an amazing time organizing BioBlitz! OK since 2008. I have loved working with our experts to provide fun and educational programs for our community scientists. However, I have decided to shift my focus from outreach and devote more time to pollinator research, habitat restoration, and natural areas conservation projects.
The Oklahoma Biological Survey has hosted BioBlitz! OK for over two decades. During this time 1000s of community scientists have recorded 1000s of species – helping us better understand the biodiversity across our state. However, it was never our intention to be the main organizers of these inventories. We have seen over the last few years how simple it is for community scientists to contribute important data with platforms such as iNaturalist and eBird. Identification has become so much easier with these apps and others. We have confidence that our BioBlitz! OK community can contribute meaningful biodiversity data without our guidance.
As the coordinator of the in-person and online BioBlitz! OK events and activities, I am ready to hand over BioBlitz! to its community scientists. We don’t own the concept of BioBlitz! and, in fact, we want you all to run with it and make it your own! Anyone can host their own event – big or small. If you are disappointed that I won’t be organizing a BioBlitz!, I would encourage you to hold one yourself – at your school or park, for a couple hours or a whole weekend. I would be happy to mentor, consult, promote, and loan equipment. If you host a BioBlitz! we will write about it in our eNewsletter! Just drop me an email with the details.