How to participate in the Virtual Spring BioBlitz! Oklahoma 2020
What is a virtual BioBlitz!?
A virtual BioBlitz! is a way to explore biodiversity on your own using an app or website to record your observations. Our regular BioBlitz! Oklahoma event, held every year in October, brings together amateurs and experts to count as many different biological organisms as possible in 24 hours at a natural area in Oklahoma, usually a state park. Our Virtual Spring BioBlitz! OK has a much longer time span and much larger area! The virtual BioBlitz! lasts for the entire month of April and covers the entire state of Oklahoma. Our goal is to encourage participants to make as many observations from as many different species during April across our whole state!
Who can participate?
Anyone that is interested in learning more about the biodiversity in Oklahoma. There is no age limit – young or old! We encourage families with young children, who can’t read or use a smart phone or camera yet, to work together. This will be a great activity to do as a family, as many of us are home together during this time of self-isolation and distancing.
How do I participate in the Virtual Spring BioBlitz! Oklahoma 2020?
- Set up your account on iNaturalist (https://www.inaturalist.org/home)
- Join the Virtual Spring BioBlitz! Oklahoma 2020 project (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/virtual-spring-bioblitz-oklahoma-2020
- If you have a smart phone, download the free iNaturalist app (https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/getting+started)
- You can also take pictures using a regular digital camera and upload them directly to the website.
- Start making observations on April 1st!
Challenges and Prizes
Throughout the month, we will be announcing challenges to earn prizes to provide an incentive to keep you all participating! Prizes will include free registration to our BioBlitz! weekend in October, field guides, bird feeders, and other fun stuff for field biologists!
Our First Challenge – join our project and make at least 10 observations of 10 different organisms on April 1st! Everyone who completes this challenge will earn a Virtual BioBlitz! Citizen Science Holographic Sticker!
Grand Challenge – person with the greatest number of species observed will earn the grand prize! TBD – but don’t worry it will be GRAND!
- If you are new to iNaturalist, check out their help pages and video tutorials (https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help)
- Upload more than one picture of each organism to help with identification
- For plants get a close up of the leaf, flower, bark, etc… and a photo of the whole plant
- To use less cellular data, take pictures using the regular camera on your phone and upload your observations when you are on wifi.
- Have the geolocator turned on for your camera so that it knows where you took the pictures.