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Thu, Nov 10


San Mateo

Longitudinally Yours - A Decade of Grassroots BioBlitzes in the Bay Area

Join Jennifer Rycenga and Merav Vonshak for a Sequoia Audubon presentation - in person and on zoom

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Longitudinally Yours - A Decade of Grassroots BioBlitzes in the Bay Area
Longitudinally Yours - A Decade of Grassroots BioBlitzes in the Bay Area

Time & Location

Nov 10, 2022, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

San Mateo, 605 Parkside Way, San Mateo, CA 94403, USA

About the event

From the event page - 

Since the first BioBlitz to build on the iNaturalist platform was held at Ft. Funston in 2013, the community has grown. Sequoia Audubon joined early, with BioBlitzes every year since 2014. In 2017, the South Bay eagerly and persistently joined the fray with the formation of the BioBlitz Club, which hosts blitzes every month and sometimes two or three per month.

A BioBlitz is a kind of Flash Mob for Nature observation. People with any interest in nature - whether general or specific to one taxa like birds, bugs, or slime molds - gather at a specific place on a pre-announced day. Once assembled, they do a curiosity-and-interest-driven informal survey of whatever they can find in the park. At the conclusion of the appointed time, participants gather to help each other with identifications and to share unusual sightings.

The BioBlitz as a form of nature outreach has proven to be quite resilient, as it appeals to people of all ages and interests. It is also a natural way to build coalitions with many other groups, from the most prestigious (like the California Academy of Sciences) to the most humble, like neighborhood park associations and scouting troops. Bio-Blitzing is not only fun, but it is the smartest use of a smartphone!

But is it useful? This skeptical question can now be answered, as we are starting to build data sets at the regional, county, and local levels that contain some surprises and, in an era of rapid climate change, form a strong control set of data for tracing future change.

Merav Vonshak and Jennifer Rycenga have organized, between them, almost 100 bioblitzes in the past decade. They will discuss the who, what, where, when, and why of this budding community-science approach to engagement with the natural world. You will also be invited to attend a BioBlitz on the Saturday following this talk, at a location to be announced on the Santa Clara/San Mateo county border, mutually sponsored by the BioBlitz Club and Sequoia Audubon Society.

Jennifer Rycenga is the Board President (outgoing) of Sequoia Audubon Society, a role she has held for longer than a decade. She edits the local online site guide, the San Mateo County Birding Guide ( ).

Merav Vonshak has a Ph.D. in entomology from Tel Aviv University, and completed her postdoctoral work at Stanford University. She has been organizing community-science events for the past ten years, and is President of the BioBlitz Club.

For location info to participate in person and zoom link click here

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