Just because we can’t be together doesn’t mean we can’t find lots of life all around us! In fact, time at home to observe the wild plants and animals around us can be a rewarding and fascinating endeavor.

Remember that no Macaulay seminars are meeting in person this fall and that includes our Remote BioBlitz. Please make your observations on your own, don’t gather in groups to make observations, and follow all local pandemic health guidelines. You can make the observations from exactly where you are right now, inside or out. You do not need to go anywhere different or get on public transportation to make an observation. There’s lots of nature near you!

Here is how to participate in the 2021 Macaulay Honors College Remote BioBlitz:

  1. Create an iNaturalist account
  2. Register for the 2021 Macaulay Remote BioBlitz (registration will open in August)
  3. Get ready to make observations. Watch how-to videos from iNaturalist to learn how to create an observation. There are basically three things you need to do:
    • Use the iNaturalist app to take a photo of an organism (or pull one in from your device’s camera app).
    • Decide if you want to add some identifying information in the “What did you see?” field. It can be as broad as “plant”, “animal”, “fungus”, etc. if you don’t know what exactly it is, or you can even leave that space blank and wait for the iNaturalist community to help you ID it. You can also use the built in species suggesting tool.
    • Save and share your observations with the iNaturalist community. You’ll need to press “Upload” on an iPhone or “Sync” on an Android to share your observations.
  4. Make at least two observations on iNaturalist during September 2021. We hope you’ll create more, but you are only required to post two observations by 11:59pm on September 30, 2021. Please try to make these observations of wild organisms as these types of observations are most useful to the ecologists who might use iNaturalist data to answer scientific questions. Please do not create observations of pets, potted plants, landscaped plants, or animals in cages/tanks.
  5. Watch our project page to see results roll in all through September. You will be using and/or discussing the BioBlitz in your Seminar 3 class.
  6. Post a science selfie to your favorite social media channels with #mhcbioblitz (optional and just for fun!)

Your safety is important to us. Be sure to follow local health department guidelines for safety during the pandemic. Get vaccinated and wear a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor situations. If you are in NYC, visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 page to learn more about guidelines for NYC. For more BioBlitz safety tips, visit our Safety Information page.

If it is not safe to leave your home, you can still participate from indoors! Visit our Observing from Inside page for a list of observations you can make without leaving home!

Questions? Find us at bioblitz@macaulay.cuny.edu

Here’s a quick guide to what you should and shouldn’t observe. Happy looking!

BioBlitz Do: DO post observations of wild animals that you safely observe; This can include feral cats; DO post observations of plants growing outdoors that aren't in gardens Look for trees, "weeds," wildflowers and more. BioBlitz Don't: DON'T post observations of pets; DON'T observe potted plants, lawns, and tended or gardened shrubs, planted flowers, etc