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Cape Cod Bioblitz 2006

Citizens collaborate with scientists to conduct species inventories

A joint effort between the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Boston Museum of Science and Technology, and the NatureMapping Program resulted in a 3-hour demonstration bioblitz on May 2, 2006 in Brewster, MA. The goal was to demonstrate how a bioblitz is conducted, involve the local community, and prepare volunteers who would be involved in the Central Park Bioblitz the following month.

Cape Cod data points

Data points displayed using the Nature Tracker software. click to enlarge

This was the first time marine invertebrates were collected using the Nature Tracker software. A list of known species was provided by experts who have been studying the Museum's shoreline for years. This became their predicted species list. A total of 14 mammals, 39 birds, 15 terrestrial invertebrates, 35 marine invertebrates, and 50 plants were documented, which wasn't bad at all since it rained the entire time.

collecting marine invertebrates

Sixteen students from the Lighthouse Charter School in Orleans, were the "runners". They recorded observations on paper forms, for the experts, to serve as the backup to the Nature Tracker data units. They would "run" back to Science Central with the PDA's and compare data displayed on the maps to their data collection forms while the experts stayed in the field with another set of students and units. When finished, they would "run" a new unit back into the field and send their teammates to Science Central to repeat the process. The students were invaluable helping the technology team fix data entry errors and identifying locations when the GPS units couldn't get a "fix" while it was fresh on everyone's mind.

collecting marine invertebrates     collecting marine invertebrates

For more information about the area visit the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

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