BioBlitz in Broward County: Bring out your hidden scientist!
Starting in the fall 2018, family-friendly biodiversity surveys called BioBlitzes will be organized in various parks throughout Broward County. Below is information on how you can become a Citizen Scientist, while learning about local biodiversity, rediscovering your local parks, and having fun outside!
What is Citizen-Science?
Citizen-Science is the participation of the public in scientific research. Public participation may include data collection, sharing results, and/or analysis. Volunteers participating in scientific projects directly contribute to knowledge gained in many different fields. It is the volume of information collected during each event that will help UF researchers determine and maintain the biodiversity of an area.
What is a BioBlitz?
A BioBlitz is an intensive citizen-science survey and has three main focus points:
- A BioBlitz is a citizen-science event. Public participation is crucial in the success of a BioBlitz. Each person brings their own expertise, knowledge and most importantly, observation skills, which increases the precision of identification and counting of the organisms at the site. It is also a chance for collaboration between researchers, educators and the general public that will ultimately maintain or return an area to a rich and diverse park.
- A BioBlitz is a survey where a large group of participants team up with volunteer leaders to record and identify plants and animals in a specific location.
- A BioBlitz is meant to be a snapshot of the living organisms in a designated area, at that designated time period.
What is biodiversity and why is it important?
Biodiversity is the number of different organisms (plants and animals) in a given area. High biodiversity is linked to a healthier ecosystem. Decline in biodiversity can be related to the introduction of invasive/exotic plants and animals, human impact (fragmentation, climate change, urbanization), and many other factors.
BioBlitzes are an important and a unique tool to both document existing biodiversity in our parks in a given time, and to keep track of rare and invasive species. A Bioblitz is also a way to reconnect patrons to the plants and animals that are often overlooked when visiting their favorite park.
Who is organizing the BioBlitzes
The BioBlitzes of Broward County are a collaboration between UF/IFAS Extension Education Broward County, UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Broward County Parks and Recreation as well as other state and city parks.
The second BioBlitz is planned for March 30th in Quiet Waters Park (Deerfield Beach) from 7 a.m. till 9:30 p.m.
BioBlitzes are open to everybody, and are family and children friendly.
All minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Participants should register to specific time slots depending on their interests (for example 7–9:30 a.m. focused on Birds and Reptiles). Don't miss the "Lunch and Learn" from 12–1:30 p.m., and join our panel of experts for all the questions you've been wanting to ask about nature!
To register for the next Bioblitz:
If you have any questions please contact:
Lorna Bravo C.E.D & Urban Horticulture Agent II, 954-756-8529 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Julio Perez Education/Training Specialist I (954) 357-5274 | email@example.com
Dr. Mathieu Basille- Assistant Professor, Landscape Ecology 954-577-6314 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Things to consider
- Remember to wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking throughout the park.
- Not all areas will be smooth paved paths or boardwalk, therefore terrain can be uneven or dirt paths.
- Along with comfortable shoes you should also wear long pants and bring insect repellent, a canteen of water, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.