Palo Alto, CA - The Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve is hosting a citizen science event called a Bioblitz on Saturday, Feb. 17. A Bioblitz is an intensive one-day observational study of biodiversity in a specific location, bringing scientists and volunteer citizen-scientists together. People of all ages, abilities and skill levels are welcome to participate in the event which goes from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Participants will be taught how to report and enter their observations to iNaturalist. iNaturalist is a citizen science web site where the public can post their findings from nature. Experts from Palo Alto Open Space, the Junior Museum and Zoo, Environmental Volunteers, Grassroots Ecology, Canopy, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, and the California Academy of Sciences will be on hand throughout the event to guide people and help answer questions.
The event begins at the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center, 2775 Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto. Opening remarks and iNaturalist training starts at 9:00 a.m. By 9:30 a.m., participants will be free to start spreading out through the Baylands to start making their observations. At the end of the event, the citizen scientists will regroup to share their experiences and the type of species found.
Palo Alto’s first Baylands Bioblitz was held in 2014, and more than 100 people uploaded almost 1,000 observations to iNaturalist.org. Among their findings: 125 species of plants, animals and fungi. Canvasback ducks, black-necked stilts, tiny shore crabs and one of the smallest butterflies in the world, the Western Pygmy Blue, was found that day. This year’s Bioblitz will take place, rain or shine. You can register here on Eventbrite.
All participants will be required to sign waivers. Minors (under 18) must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian in order to participate. Waivers will be available at the Nature Center on the day of the Bioblitz.
- Download the iNaturalist app and create an iNaturalist account ahead of time
- Bring food and water
- Cameras, binoculars, a magnifying glass, and a notebook are good items to bring
- Dress appropriately for the weather
About Palo Alto Open Space
The City of Palo Alto's Baylands Nature Preserve is almost 2,000 acres of marsh and uplands on San Francisco Bay. The Community Service Department's Open Space Division partners with many organizations to preserve and protect the Baylands, including Environmental Volunteers, Save the Bay, Grassroots Ecology, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Canopy, California Academy of Sciences and the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo.