[tdwg-content] TDWG 2016 Bioblitz - making it happen

joel sachs jsachs at csee.umbc.edu
Fri Nov 4 21:26:35 CET 2016

Hi Everyone,

We are organizing a bioblitz-like activity at TDWG 
this year. Rob Stevenson has volunteered to coordinate. Over the course of 
the week, meeting participants will be encouraged both to post ad hoc observations, and to lead or attend 
organized observing sessions (e.g. birding outings, moth lighting 
evenings, etc.). This will culminate in a visit to the Soltis Centre [1], 
which the organizing committee has arranged for Thursday afternoon.

One goal is to finish the meeting with a nice "biodiversity snapshot of TDWG 2016". Another is to shepherd the data into 
GBIF. Here are some details, and some requests:

i. We will create an iNaturalist project for the bioblitz, and encourage 
the use of iNaturalist to make observations. You can browse through some 
iNaturalist-based bioblitzes at 
http://www.inaturalist.org/pages/bioblitz+guide. It's straightforward to 
browse by taxon or by observer, and by observations for which help with 
identification has been requested.

ii. eBird and Pl at ntNet are also great apps, and we will also support (in 
the sense described below) their use for recording observations. Steve 
Kelling (eBird) , and Pierre Bonnet (Pl at ntNet), are participating in the 
meeting and even though iNaturalist co-director Scott Loarie can not be 
with us, he has agreed to help us on line. Pl at ntNet's Central American 
project is not yet public, but Pierre has offered to give us access.

iii. It would be great to have a data team, similar to the one we put 
together in Woods Hole in 2010,  that interacts with the APIs of the 
observation apps to harvest, integrate, and present/visualize the data. 
One of the purposes of this exercise will be to gain some insight 
regarding citizen science app interoperability.

REQUEST 1: Would anyone like to volunteer for the data team?

iv. Rob has compiled a list of taxa and associated experts who will either 
be at the meeting, or who are resident in Costa Rica, and who may be able 
to join for bioblitz activities. He's in the process of contacting people 
on this list. But Rob doesn't know everyone. This brings us to

REQUEST 2: Can anyone volunteer to lead an observing session, or to liaise 
with a local colleague or guide who can do so? With the exception of 
the trip to the Soltis Centre, which is on the program, opportunities to 
observe will need to be carved out of free time in and around La Fortuna (where 
most of us are staying) and San Carlos (site of the conference).

REQUEST 3: This is for people both attending and not attending the 
meeting. If you can assist in identifying observations in specific 
taxonomic groups, please volunteer to do so. You can use iNaturalist to 
monitor observations of your group, and to weigh in on unidentified or 
mis-identified images.

v. This is very important. Unless you have a permit, don't collect 
anything, and don't kill anything.

This email's main purpose is to motivate everyone to start thinking, and 
some people to start planning. More, better details will follow in the 
coming days and weeks. In the meantime, please chime in with questions and 

On behalf of Rob Stevenson and the TDWG 2016 program committee -
All the best,

1. http://soltiscentercostarica.tamu.edu/

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