Bioblitz brings education and fun together for volunteers from all over

Will Richardson (right) was able to bring education and fun to the bioblitz.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

TRUCKEE, Calif.— The Tahoe Institute for Natural Sciences hosted a bioblitz at the Sagehen Creek Field Station in Truckee, Calif. for a day of exploration and discovery. 

A bioblitz is a detailed study of biodiversity in a specific location over a specific period of time, bringing volunteers and experts together. 

For around four hours on Sunday, July 9, volunteers from all over the region came together to participate in the bioblitz at Sagehen Creek Field Station, a research and teaching facility of University of California, Berkeley that was established in 1951. 

Co-founder and executive director of TINS Will Richardson was led the bioblitz along with multiple experts and volunteers who have participate in bioblitzs before, creating an education experience while allowing for a fun time with new and old friends. 

The group of volunteers gather before heading out to explore the research center.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

“We’re trying to harness the power of volunteers and enthusiastic folks that just want to learn,” said Richardson, “and to contribute to the data collection process. So it’s kind of like crowdsourcing the data collection. So that’s super useful, and we can accomplish a lot more with the help of the broader community.”

Participants were given the task of taking at least 50 photos of wildflowers and plants, birds, and insects and bugs in order to get a better understanding of what is at the research center, and possibly make a new discovery. 

The group uploaded their findings to the application iNaturalist, which allows like-minded individuals to post their nature findings all over the world in order to make new findings and observations while sharing their own. 

The bioblitz is another way to bring people in the community together. Some people were from the Truckee/Tahoe area and had participated in many blitzs, while others had come from different areas in the country to participate during their travels. 

Groups broke off to explore different parts of the field station.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

“I just want people to have fun,” said Richardson. “It’s a great way to bring nature interested people together, and help bring that community together so they can all spend time and get to know one another.” 

All of the data collected from the bioblitz will be recorded on the iNaturalist platform, where it will stay forever. 

“What we’ll do is spend the next couple weeks tying to get as many things ID’d as well as we can,” said Richardson. 

Richardson noted that being on iNaturalist allows those who were not on the bioblitz to help identify different species and families of plants that the team at TINS might not know about yet. 

“So those people will chime in and help ID as well over time,” said Richardson. “So the IDs just get better and better and better.” 

To learn more about events with TINS visit

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.