SACNAS 2021 Conference Workshop: Engaging Communities in Science Research Using BioBlitzes

logos for all of the partners: SACNAS, iDigBio, WeDigBio, USC MEDB, USC, iNaturalist, Stanford, NHMLA, UF, FSU, Florida Museum, California State University, and NSF

The same team that brought us the 2021 virtual summer SACNAS BioBlitz also organized a workshop entitled Engaging Communities in Science Research Using BioBlitzes during the 2021 SACNAS National Diversity in STEM virtual conference on October 28, 2021.  

At the beginning of the workshop, Ph.D. student Adania Flemming introduced the concept of BioBlitzes as a tool for engaging communities in authentic, co-created science by immersing the audience in a virtual BioBlitz. Environmental educator Miguel Ordeñana gave examples of how he includes BioBlitzes within the natural history museum community and Assistant Professor Dr. Bree Putman demonstrated how she uses iNaturalist data in her classroom and in research studies. Program assistant Alnycea Blackwell and Ph.D. student Daniel Olivares-Zambrano introduced iNaturalist as an easy-to-use platform for documenting biodiversity and Adania discussed how different audiences that can be engaged in Bioblitzes. 

EODI and iDigBio coordinator Molly Phillips and Environmental Educator Dr. Jorge Ramos concluded the workshop with a summary of the 2021 summer BioBlitz and encouraged participants to stay engaged for our next SACNAS BioBlitz activities in 2022!! 

Over 100 participants joined in and we have summarized our resources shared during the session below. You are welcome to send Molly and Jorge your name and contact information if you would like to stay up to date with the SACNAS community science working group, or would like to join in the fun! 

A huge thank you to our team that has put these two events together despite the continued uncertainty of a global pandemic! Thank you to SACNAS for your support and to Adania Flemming, Miguel Ordeñana, Jorge Ramos, Alnycea Blackwell, Daniel Olivares-Zambrano, Molly Phillips, Bree Putman, Libby Ellwood, and Dave Blackburn.  

List of BioBlitz Resources


Urquidi, E. R., & Putman, B. J. (2021). Quantifying Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri) Hunting Behavior through Community Science. Diversity, 13(8), 349.  

Putman, B. J., Williams, R., Li, E., & Pauly, G. B. (2021). The power of community science to quantify ecological interactions in cities. Scientific reports, 11(1), 1-8.  

Evaluation, Education, and example guides and tool kits:  

Postles, M., & Bartlett, M.. (2018). The rise of BioBlitz: Evaluating a popular event format for public engagement and wildlife recording in the United Kingdom. Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 17(4), 365 - 379. presented at the 2018/10/02/. Retrieved from 

Susan Gass, Amy Mui, Paul Manning, Heather Cray & Lara Gibson (2021) Exploring the value of a BioBlitz as a biodiversity education tool in a post-secondary environment, Environmental Education Research, 27:10, 1538-1556, DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2021.1960953 

Schoolyard BioBlitz tool kit by Central Michigan University: 

National Geographic Society guide:

Schoolyard Bioblitz Education Kit Guide Example from Nature NB a non-profit, charitable organization from New Brunswick, Canada:

Example Virtual BioBlitzes using iNaturalist

These pages have a lot of resources for hosting your own virtual bioblitz. Feel free to use our language!

Black in Natural History Collections 2021 BioBlitz 

2020 SACNAS BioBlitz 

2021 Summer SACNAS BioBlitz 

Videos and Webinar Recordings

Miguel’s Video from the Workshop: SACNAS 2021 Workshop: Making Urban BioBlitzes More Accessible with Miguel Ordeñana, 

iNaturalist Webinar: (from a previous SACNAS bioblitz)

Short iNaturalist tutorial