Grab your gear and join us for the 2010 National Geographic -- National Park Service Biscayne National Park BioBlitz, April 30-May 1
Grab your gear and join us for the 2010 National Geographic - National Park Service Biscayne National Park BioBlitz, April 30 - May 1. This distinctive scientific experience--part contest, part festival, and part educational event - will bring together school children, college students, families and scientists in a race against time to see how many species they can count in a 24-hour biological survey. The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), a free, online resource with authoritative information about biodiversity, is the perfect BioBlitz companion from start to finish.
Participants can visit EOL at eol.org before, during and after the Blitz to learn more about the plants and animals that can be found in Biscayne National Park. To get in the mood for the marine biodiversity they'll be observing they can listen to an EOL podcast on box jellyfish or sea cucumbers. They can also dive into a virtual coral reef at WhyReef.com to learn fun facts about marine ecosystems and food webs. Participants are sure to discover that not everything in Biscayne National Park lives underwater, as hundreds of species of birds, plants, and insects can be found in the terrestrial areas of the park.
During the BioBlitz, participants can help to grow the Encyclopedia of Life by participating in our photo scavenger hunt. Just pick up a sheet at the EOL table in the exhibit area before beginning your adventure and try to mark off everything on the list. We're offering great prizes for those who return the sheet at the end of their BioBlitz and upload their images to the EOL Biscayne BioBlitz Flickr group.
Even if you do not participate in the scavenger hunt, there will be information available to help you upload your images from home or school. It's free and easy. Once participants have uploaded images, they will show up on EOL so others can find what they saw and learned during the BioBlitz.
As an additional resource, National Geographic's FieldScope application is available to BioBlitz participants to assist in mapping and analysis and to enable collaboration among participants and the scientific community. National Geographic, EOL, and the National Park Service will incorporate the use of FieldScope into the upcoming BioBlitz. During the event, photos contributed to National Park Service for upload into Fieldscope will be posted to EOL species pages automatically.
You can also share comments and observations on EOL species pages after you explore Biscayne National Park. Members of the EOL Learning + Education team will be on hand in the main exhibit area to answer any questions you may have about the creatures or plants you observe and uploading your pictures of them to Flickr for inclusion in EOL.
After your BioBlitz adventure, there are still plenty of ways to stay involved with EOL. Participants can tag images that others have contributed and make comments on species pages. Activities and podcasts related to BioBlitzes can be found at education.eol.org, so be sure to stay tuned.
The 2010 Biscayne National Park BioBlitz is of special significance as it coincides with International Year of Biodiversity, the worldwide celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives. We look forward to seeing you there!
About Biscayne National Park: Biscayne National Park is one of 392 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Miami's closest national park, Biscayne features crystal-clear water, islands, mangroves and coral reefs - a paradise for marine life, water birds, boaters, snorkelers and divers alike. More than a half million visitors come to this national park each year. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/bisc.
About Encyclopedia of Life: Encyclopedia of Life is an unprecedented effort that brings together several of the world's leading science institutions--Harvard University, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Smithsonian Institution, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the Missouri Botanical Garden--all with the common goal to transform the science of biology and our understanding of life on Earth. It provides freely accessible information for users around the world about all of the 1.9 million known species on our planet. Please visit www.eol.org for more information.
Contact: Breen Byrnes
Encyclopedia of Life