Citizen Science: BioBlitz

Collecting data on wildlife in seldom-seen lands

In the Southern Ocean, data is scarce and exceedingly expensive to collect by classic scientific survey expeditions. Enter citizen science, where our guests, with some diligent effort put into photography, can make a real and meaningful contribution to science.

Participate in a BioBlitz. Guests aboard select National Geographic Explorer voyages in the sub-Antarctic will be invited to participate in Lindblad’s first ever series of BioBlitzes. Defined as a limited amount of time in a defined area, trying to find as many species as possible, it’s citizen science at its coolest in one of the planet’s most wildlife-rich locations.

National Geographic has invested time, money and expertise conducting them for ten years, and now cities, like Boston, are urging their citizenry to get involved. In 2016, to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, National Geographic collaborated with the Park Service on over 250 BioBlitzes across the country.

Wildlife Photo-ID. Bring a camera or iPhone and a sense of adventure! Guests aboard may opt to join one more BioBlitzes—on a hike, a Zodiac cruise, or along beaches. After a brief coaching session, guests will photograph as many species as possible, including plants, fungi, lichen, animals, and marine life. We'll supply a BioBlitz kit, which includes a magnifying glass and EZ macro lenses (tiny lens for phones for close up images); a set of rulers, important for showing scale of a plant, for example; forceps; collecting nets; and advice in the field to help identify things as you go.

Share Your Photos with Scientists. The citizen science advisor will upload the photos to an app called iNaturalist. The app records when and where the photo was taken so the scientific community can use the data. A community of real people on iNaturalist verify or correct observations and help overall with identification. Once an observation is verified by two people, it becomes a piece of data that is shared with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. The iNaturalist app is also available for iPhone or Android and is free—in fact you could download it now and document species in your local community!

Participation is easy and rewarding, and since these remote geographies get relatively few visitors, your contributions will really matter!

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