A BioBlitz is a taxonomic survey event that educates the public about diversity and local ecology. Research professionals, naturalist, hobbyists, and volunteers work together to collect survey data on as many species as possible. Survey data is usually collected within a 24-hour period, however, some BioBlitz events can take up to a week to complete.
The History of UWF BioBlitz
UWF BioBiltz was started in October 2014 by Dave Cambron, an Environmental Science graduate and founder for the Mu Pi chapter of GTU, a Geographic Honors Society chapter at UWF. The goal of the event was to collect survey data and compile a database of the species on UWF campus and at the Edward Ball Nature Trail boardwalk (a small part of 1,600 acres of forested area).
Progression of UWF BioBlitz
There has been a total of 4 BioBlitz events; October 2014, October 2015, April 2016, and October 2016.
The past events have been organized by the GTU Mu Pi chapter.
There are two natural areas that this event takes place on, the Edward Ball Nature Trail and the Baars-Firestone Wildlife Sanctuary. The Baars-Firestone Wildlife Sanctuary is a 190-acre natural area located on the University of West Florida main campus. It currently serves as habitat for many species of plants and animals, including a Bald Eagle pair. For over 37 years, it has served as an invaluable setting for walking, hiking, running, bird watching, geo-caching, yoga, meditation, and learning.
The surveying method has changed in the most recent event. Usually, the surveyors use data sheets, however, for the October 2016 “Virtual” UWF BioBlitz, many volunteers used a surveying app called “iNaturalist”. It allows for surveyors to easily collect data using a smartphone. It works well with novice surveyors because of its access to a large species dataset and an online community of administrators to assist with identification of organisms.
A link to all of the data collected is available for viewing at the iNaturalist website.
UWF BioBlitz Web Map
This is the UWF BioBlitz Results Map for the University of West Florida campus. This map contains tables of results for the Fall 2014, Fall 2015, and Spring 2016 events.
Results are in tables separated by event year, trail area (either EBNT or BFWS), and the group. The surveying groups are separated by Birds, Fungi, Insects/Arachnids, Mammals, Reptiles/Amphibians, Vascular Plants.
Our Volunteers and Collaborators
GTU Mu Pi Chapter Members
UWF Department of Earth & Environmental Science
The Florida Native Plant Society – Longleaf Pine Chapter
Francis M. Weston Audubon Society
The Bream Fisherman Association
UWF Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation,
UWF Department of Biology
Members of the UWF Department of Anthropology
And many research professionals, naturalists, and hobbyists!
If you have any past BioBlitz pictures or data you’d like to share, please email GTU at firstname.lastname@example.org.