From Plant Press, Vol. 19, No. 3, July 2016.
In celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service (NPS), the Smithsonian Institution joined NPS and the National Geographic Society on May 20-21 to participate in the 2016 National BioBlitz. The event included all-taxa rapid biological surveys, in which teams of volunteers, each led by subject matter experts, found and identified as many species as possible in national parks throughout the country. A concurrent Biodiversity Festival with hands-on learning activities took place on the National Mall at Constitution Gardens.
Amorpha fruticosa (left) and Persicaria arifolia (right) were both observed at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve in Virginia during the 2016 National BioBlitz. (photo by Nancy Khan)
This two-day event centered around a 24-hour BioBlitz inventory period in which teams of scientists, teachers, children, and other community members worked together on a series of different inventories to discover and document as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms as possible. The primary data collection tool for all BioBlitzes was iNaturalist <http://www.inaturalist.org>, a digital application hosted by the California Academy of Sciences.