Calling all citizen scientists!
Graduate students in the Faculties of Science and Environmental Studies are inviting York University students, faculty members and staff from any discipline to participate in the first ever York University BioBlitz on Sept. 22.
BioBlitz is a global initiative that brings experts and community members together to inventory all species found within a given area and time. The York University BioBlitz will focus on identifying species at the Keele Campus. Species identification experts, comprised of volunteer graduate students and faculty members, will train participants on how to identify a group of species before heading out and provide general information about biodiversity and conservation.
“The purpose of BioBlitz is to engage all York community members and give them the chance to get outdoors, learn something new, connect with nature, and become more familiar with species found right where we work, study and live,” says Amanda Liczner, PhD student in the Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science and the project leader for the event. “Some people may be surprised to find that urban environments, such as the York University campus, are home to many species of plants and animals.”
The species identification data collected during the event will be uploaded to a free open-access platform called iNaturalist. Participants are encouraged to download the iNaturalist app before the event; however, paper data sheets will also be provided. The data will then be uploaded to databases that may used for future research projects.
In addition to Liczner, the following graduate students are involved in organizing the event:
- Data Coordinator: Alessandro Filazzola, PhD student in the Faculty of Science
- Science Coordinator: Jenna Braun, MSc student in the Faculty of Science
- Registration Coordinator: Shelby Gibson, MES student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies
- Site Coordinator: Meagan Tompkins, PhD student in the in the Faculty of Science
For more details on how to participate as a volunteer or data collector, visit the York BioBlitz website.