Nerds for Nature has now held three successful bioblitzes: about 3000 wildlife and plant observations and counting! We’ve got more blitzes in the works! You should do one too!
What is an iNat bioblitz?
An iNat bioblitz is basically two things:
A set time when a whole bunch of people converge on a park and log as many iNat observations as they can
A wrap session when those sightings are uploaded, the results reviewed, celebrations had
Here are the most important things you’ll need to do, with links to samples from our blitzes.
A local park group/friends of has built in knowledge, enthusiasm, and reach. Work with them!
Get them excited and support their involvement. That’s where your local knowledge and lots of turnout will happen.
Ideally it’s accessible for lots of people
And the agency is on board — make sure of that! Since collecting specimens is totally optional, getting agency buy-in should be easy, but event permits might be required. (Too much red tape? Pick a different park.)
Early birding is great, but it’s a good idea to have a midday shift or afternoon, so more casual folks feel welcome.
One kind of ticket, keep it simple.
Use Eventbrite survey questions to find people’s interests
With cell reception, power, maybe food, maybe wifi. This is where you’ll make sure everyone uploaded their sightings and you show off results on a big projection. We’ve used libraries (often free and excellent), education centers, and pizza places. The main purpose is to provide closure and help newbies who might give up on the upload process b/c it’s too frustrating or confusing.
Make sure you can get a projector and use it to show off cool photos and stats.
If you can get WiFi, great. If not, consider a Karma portable hotspot.
Knowledge is good
Enthusiasm, friendliness, and comfort with iNat is essential! Knowing how to take an identifiable photo is often more valuable in a leader than taonomic expertise.
Post to social media! Link straight to Eventbrite.
Email to your own and your partner’s lists! This is crucial! Link straight to Eventbrite.
Write a press release, link to Eventbrite, add photos, and send to:
to local journalists.
events calendars (most newspapers and news websites have these, plus there are sites like upcoming.com, and zvents.com. Link straight to Eventbrite.
nature nonprofits (most have newsletters!) Link straight to Eventbrite.
Most RSVPs come in last two weeks, especially the final week. This is normal.
Did we mention you should link straight to Eventbrite? It’s important that people have a single, unambiguous place to go to sign up and get info.
This is a great source and link destination for your reminder email (see next step)
If you’re doing a zone map (useful to get distribution in a large park, but a bit of a pain), this is the time to make your printed map and iNat guide. Or just do the iNat Guide and point people to an existing park map. Contact iNaturalist for help making a guide.
Hint: Use Eventbrite’s handy emailer!
Keep it short. People won’t read a long email. Here’s an example. Notice this is pulled directly from the top of the Day-of web page you made in step 8.
Link back to that the Day-of web page for the nitty gritty
Printed zone maps and a wildlife guide from iNat
Sign-up sheets/release forms. Bonus points if you export the attendee info from Eventbrite preregistration and import it into your sheet. Many fewer handwritten emails to decipher!
Wrap session: Projector, laptop, extension cord, portable hotspot (if needed), array of field guides, and prizes if you want (though these have proven mostly extraneous).
Bring snacks! Not too many. Don’t go nuts on that front, but a little is nice.