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Sea Grant Great Lakes BioBlitz

Robin sitting on a nest
April 19, 2021

What kinds of biodiversity do you see in your neighborhood?

The Sea Grant Great Lakes BioBlitz runs from April 22, 2021 through May 20, 2021. A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding, identifying, and recording as much biodiversity as possible in a specific area over a short period of time.

Teachers, educators, students, families, and anyone else interested in environmental literacy are encouraged to participate. The Sea Grant Great Lakes BioBlitz was developed in response to a request from teachers to get their learners outside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sea Grant Great Lakes BioBlitz will focus on the Great Lakes region (i.e., Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, Canada). Participants in each Great Lakes state and Ontario, Canada, will contribute observations toward making regional comparisons.

There will be weekly challenges for participants.

Registration details:

  1. Visit on your computer, or download the iNaturalist app from your app store onto your mobile device.
  2. Create an account (free).
  3. Become a member of the 2021 [your region] Great Lakes BioBlitz (CGLL) project by navigating to that project and clicking on the “join” button. 
  4. Become a member of the 2021 [your region] (CGLL) “umbrella” project by navigating to that project and clicking on the “join” button.
  5. Start making observations!

Submission details: 

  1. Add a description of your image to the “notes” section when uploading an observation to iNaturalist. The “notes” section is shown in a screenshot below and is where the text “This is my name. This is a test.” appears.Screenshot of iNaturalist page
  2. Geolocation. You may want to turn on geolocation services on your device or camera so that location data can be automatically uploaded to iNaturalist along with your image. If you turn off geolocation service on your device, you may manually enter image location information in iNaturalist.
  3. Geoprivacy. iNaturalist also has several geoprivacy options.

Graphic of iNaturalist geoprivacy

  1. If the geoprivacy setting is set to “open,” then the location of where you made your observation will be included in the image information. The location information is important in order to geographically “place” images in iNaturalist. This setting is appropriate for public places. 
  2. If the geoprivacy setting is set to “obscured,” public coordinates are shown as a random point within a 0.2 by 0.2 degree area that contains the true coordinates. In the Duluth area, this translates to an area of approximately 8 miles by 12 miles. This setting is appropriate for private property. 
  3. If the geoprivacy setting is set to “private,” no location information is shared. The observation could be anywhere in the world. This setting limits the usefulness of the data for iNaturalist because the observation cannot be linked to an area and cannot be added to the BioBlitz project.
  4. Ensure that you retain the Creative Commons (CC) license option to allow other iNaturalist users to repost your image. If you do not wish to have your images reposted you can change the license option.

Learn more about Minnesota Sea Grant