Citizen scientists give NPS 100,000+ biodiversity records for 100th birthday

Today, the U.S. National Park Service turns 100 years old. The National Park Service has been celebrating all year by organizing over 100 BioBlitzes to document the species living in our national parks, recreation areas, monuments, and historic sites. In addition to the BioBlitzes, NPS has been working with iNaturalist to keep track of biodiversity…

Earth Overshoot Day Arrives Earlier Than Ever

Earth Overshoot Day 2016: August 8

As of today, we humans have used as much from nature in 2016 as our planet can renew in a whole year. Nothing will seem to change for many of us between today and tomorrow, but collectively we are draining Earth’s capacity to provide. Overshoot Day is a red light warning of trouble ahead — and it is flashing five days earlier than it did last year (Aug. 13); eleven days earlier than the year before (Aug.19).

What is the Value of a Species?

TAKE ACTION to save the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee:

Everyone has heard about bee declines, but with so much attention focused on domesticated honeybees, someone has to speak up for the 4,000 species of native bees in North America. Natural history photographer Clay Bolt is on a multi-year quest to tell the stories of our native bees, and one elusive species – the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee – has become his ‘white whale.’

Traveling from state to state in search of the Rusty-patched, he meets the scientists and conservationists working tirelessly to preserve it. Clay’s journey finally brings him to Wisconsin, where he comes face to face with his fuzzy quarry and discovers an answer to the question that has been nagging him all along: why save a species?

A film by Day’s Edge Productions, produced in partnership with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Endangered Species Chocolate. With music by Dan Warren, New West Studios, and Cloud Cult.

Becoming Naturalists at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center

At the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center in East Freeport, Florida, children are learning about nature by experiencing it firsthand. Developed by Walton County conservationist M.C. Davis in 2009, the Center sits on the 50,000-acre Nokuse Plantation. Paul Arthur, president of Nokuse Education Inc. and director of E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center for the past five years,…

How Wireless Hotspots Made the 2016 BioBlitz Count

The 2016 BioBlitz was a national celebration of the NPS centennial and biodiversity in our national parks. In addition to scientists as their guides, hundreds of mobile tablets provided by Verizon Wireless and loaded with the iNaturalist app, turned this ultimate field trip into a real data-gathering event.

Learning to See the Forest for the Bees at Olympic National Park

“How many species of bees do you think there are?” I realize at this moment that I can only think of about three, which is clearly the wrong answer. JD Herndon and Houston Guy, entomologists who have come up to Washington State from Utah, wait patiently with little grins on their faces. They know most…

Ten Out of Ten BioBlitzes for Bug Scientist Gary Hevel

Smithsonian entomologist Gary Hevel is the only scientist to have attended every one of the ten annual BioBlitzes organized by the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society in the run up to this year’s NPS centennial.

As he did for the previous BioBlitzes, he brought with him thousands of mounted insect specimens he collected in his backyard in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Earth Conservation Corps Raptor Is Wildlife Ambassador at National Mall BioBlitz

Ronnell Blakeney is a team leader with Earth Conservation Corps, an organization with a mission “to empower our endangered youth to restore the Anacostia River, their communities and their lives.”

Nationwide BioBlitz Records 6,481 Species in 126 U.S. Parks

Scientists identified 6,481 species of plants, animals and other organisms from more than 50,000 observations, many of them by citizen scientists, in the #2016BioBlitz this weekend.

Song and Dance Opens National Parks BioBlitz on Washington Mall

“We’re here to honor this beautiful land and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and to find out about the Earth that we need to protect together,” National Geographic President and CEO Gary E. Knell said at the opening of the 2016 National Parks BioBlitz today. Knell was speaking at an event on the National Mall,…

#BioBlitz2016 Takeaway: How Geology Shapes Nature in Washington, D.C.

To know how the U.S. national capital area was created geographically — the basic structures formed by millions of years of Earth’s dynamics — is to better understand not only why certain species of plants and animals flourish there, but also why they (and Washington. D.C.) are there at all. Ford Cochran, a professor of geology and environmental science,…

Meet the Bee Expert who Helped Invent the BioBlitz

Sam Droege is known for his stunning close-up photography of bees, published in National Geographic (magazine and online), and featured also in the video on this post. He’ll be participating in the National Parks BioBlitz in Washington, D.C. this weekend, looking for bees, of course. Droege is also the head of the bee inventory and monitoring…

#BioBlitz2016 Takeaway: Restoring Nature Restores Benefits for People

Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, a National Geographic Fellow, will be participating in the National Parks BioBlitz in Washington, D.C., this weekend, including accompanying a biodiversity inventory on Theodore Roosevelt Island, a natural memorial to America’s 26th President. Lovejoy directed the World Wildlife Fund-U.S. program from 1973 to 1987 and was responsible for its scientific, Western Hemisphere, and tropical…

U.S. Parks ‘Blitzed’ in Celebration of Biodiversity Across America

It’s #BioBlitz2016 — are you ready? More than a hundred U.S. national parks and partner sites are hosting a nationwide BioBlitz across America this weekend. Tens of thousands of people are expected to participate in the National Parks BioBlitz, the tenth in a series of BioBlitzes hosted by the National Park Service (NPS) and the National…

BioBlitz 2016 Introduction

A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. At a BioBlitz, scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get an overall count of the plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms that live in a place. In 2016, to celebrate the centennial, the BioBlitz initiative goes national! The cornerstone BioBlitz in the Washington, D.C. region will take place May 20-21, with over 200 BioBlitzes happening across the country and throughout the year.