Join us for the First BioBlitz!


You are invited to join the first ever Biology Department Bioblitz on campus. To be held on Saturday, 9/23 from 11 to 3 pm, starting at our base camp in Morrill Science Center.

What is a BioBlitz? It is a volunteer-based biological census of the plants and animals in a specific location - in this case our campus. The goal is to bring together students (particularly first year students), faculty and staff who enjoy nature and want to contribute to building a species inventory of nature on our campus.

Who can attend? Everyone is invited to join in - and we mean everyone! Faculty, postdocs, graduate students, staff, and undergraduates are all invited to the event. Want to bring your friend - go for it, kids - the more the merrier! All you need is the desire to explore nature on campus for a few hours. We’ll train you on how to use the free app iNaturalist so that you can ID plants and animals and add them to the UMass campus species list. There will also be actual naturalists on hand to lead small groups into different parts of the campus. If you bring children, please be aware that you will be in charge of their participation!

How do I join in? If you are interested in participating, please use this BioBlitz Event RSVP link - the sooner the better so we have a sense of the scale of this new venture! We will send additional details about the event at a later date to all those who rsvp.

What do I expect on the day? TheBioBlitz is scheduled for Saturday 23, from 11 to 3pm. There will be a homebase in Morrill and you should feel free to join at any time during the event. Groups will be out and about on campus during that period and we can direct you to groups that share your particular interests. There will be some seeking birds, others mammals, some plants or insects and don’t forget the campus pond for some aquatic invertebrates! A social hour will be held at home base during the final hour (2-3pm) to talk about our adventures and get to know each other. Light refreshments will be provided.

How do I help? If you are interested in volunteering to help make the event possible - please consider any of the following:

  • Become a BioBlitz team leader - we are looking for 10 to 15 people who have a particular passion for nature and wish to lead small groups of participants to their favorite haunts on campus to explore biodiversity. This would require a one hour training session the week prior (date/time TBD). If you are interested, please rsvp to the volunteer link.
  • Spread the word - please consider spreading the word about the BioBlitz by directing those interested to the Event RSVP or Volunteer RSVP forms, as well as our Instagram. If you teach a class this fall - please consider advertising directly to students, we’ve attached some posters you can use, but we would be delighted to have one of our representatives come to give a live elevator pitch.
  • Follow us on Instagram - as we will be posting periodically before, during and after the event!
  • Become a sponsor - although the Biology Department is funding much of this event (thank you Chairman Karlstrom!), we hope to raise several hundred dollars to provide prizes for the most diversity found and fund transportation for our subsequent fall hawk migration watching event scheduled for later in the semester. Please consider making a small donation at our GoFundMe account.