Student scientists and their grown up counterparts will soon converge at Kīlauea on Hawai‘i’s Big Island in a two-day race to count as many species of plants and animals as possible and better appreciate the dynamic culture of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Themed I ka nānā no a ‘ike (“By observing, one learns”), the 2015 BioBlitz is part scientific endeavor, part outdoor classroom excursion and part celebration of biodiversity and culture. It’s also a perfect place to demonstrate true mobile technology in education.
With Verizon’s help, many of the students from local schools on this ultimate field trip will use smartphones and tablets to photograph and record their findings and share them in real time over the Verizon 4G LTE network with National Geographic’s FieldScope system that collects and visualizes all the observations for research and analysis.
“Each year, the BioBlitz evolves,” said John Francis, National Geographic’s vice president of Research, Conservation and Exploration. “Last year we moved away from paper data sheets and used smartphones and the iNaturalist app to photograph, identify and map species finds, adding more detailed information to both Park Service and international species databases. This year, we are going to build on that and blend technology with Hawaiian culture. This exciting, holistic approach will enhance our appreciation for the amazing resources in this breathtaking park and establish a more complete model for scientific exploration in Hawai‘i and around the globe.”
For those lucky enough to be in the neighborhood, the BioBlitz is free and open to the public. No experience is required, just a desire to explore, work side-by-side with a scientist, document findings and learn more about this diverse national park. Inventory teams are best for ages 8 and up; minors (under 18) must be accompanied by an adult. Online registration is now open to join scientist-led inventory teams.
The park will also hold a Biodiversity & Cultural Festival offering hands-on science, technology and cultural exhibits, food, art, family-friendly activities and entertainment.
Click here to learn more about the BioBlitz sponsored by Verizon and the festival happening at:
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
The Kahua Hula overlooking Halema‘uma‘u Crater near the Kīlauea Visitor Center
BioBlitz Opening Ceremony - Friday, May 15, 11:30 a.m.
Biodiversity & Cultural Festival
Friday, May 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. / Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
BioBlitz Closing Ceremony
Saturday, May 16, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
The Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park BioBlitz is the ninth in a series of 10 BioBlitzes co-hosted by National Geographic and the National Park Service at different national parks across the country, leading up to the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016.
Both the BioBlitz and festival are free and open to the public Friday and Saturday. BioBlitz “base camp” and the festival will be located at the Kahua Hula overlooking Halema‘uma‘u Crater near Kīlauea Visitor Center in the park. Public parking will be available at Kīlauea Military Camp (KMC). Participants will receive free entrance to the park, free parking and free shuttle bus service to and from KMC. Online registration is required to guarantee a spot on an inventory team. No registration is required for the festival. For more information about the park, visit nps.gov/havo.