The Coastal Studies Institute will be hosting its first BioBlitz on the ECU Outer Banks Campus on October 22, 2022, from 10 AM-1 PM. This event is an opportunity for the community to come together to document the biodiversity represented at the Coastal Studies Institute, and the BioBlitz format encourages participants to collect as many different species of animals, plants, fungi, and even plankton, as possible in a short period of time.
Through this event, members of the community will have a chance to learn about local flora and fauna, engage with experts, and connect and learn from one another, all while contributing data to the scientific community by using the platform iNaturalist.
iNaturalist will be used by BioBlitz participants to document the species found and record the results of the event. iNaturalist is a free app that can be downloaded onto any Android or Apple phone, and once a personal account has been created, all that is needed to contribute is a photo or audio recording of any organism encountered on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. Records of traces of an organism such as scat, fur, footprints, etc. can also be uploaded to the iNaturalist CSI BioBlitz event page. If participants are not familiar with iNaturalist, CSI staff will be available to help navigate and use the platform during the event. Experts for various groups of organisms will also be present to assist participants in identifying species.
In addition to the goal of documenting organisms on the ECU Outer Banks Campus, the purpose of this event is to help educate members of the community about the incredible biodiversity here on the Outer Banks; inspire good stewardship of the local environment to preserve biodiversity; and, finally, to provide a way for people to connect with and learn from one another.
The BioBlitz event is free to attend, and all ages and experience levels are highly encouraged to participate. Food will be provided, and prizes will be awarded for the following categories: most observations, most species, and most unique individual observation.
The BioBlitz event is an extension of First Flight High School senior Fenton McKown’s internship project at the Coastal Studies Institute. Questions regarding the event may be directed to Alex Nolte.