BlitzBox

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The BlitzBox is both an online and physical toolkit that provides organizers with all of the instructions and necessary supplies to successfully conduct their own bioblitzes. A bioblitz is an event where individuals combine their observation skills, utilizing the iNaturalist app, to find and record as many species as possible within a given area and time frame.

School:

Langara

Department:

Humanities and Social Sciences

Course:

Environmental Problems and Solutions (ENVS 2100)

Instructors:

  • Drew Egan
  • Mike Smith-Cairns

City of Vancouver:

  • Brad Badelt

Student Team:

  • Mikaela Tuccaro
  • Max Moore
  • Quin Bianchini

Term:

Fall 2023

Summary

*HUBBUB 21 WINNER – Most Scalable

Measuring biodiversity provides us with an understanding of any changes that may be occurring in urban ecosystems. Some of these changes include shifts in species habitats or the intrusion of invasive species. Likewise, getting an accurate “snapshot” of an area’s existing biodiversity lets us know how native species populations are doing, and whether or not an area is a biodiversity “hotspot” in need of conservation efforts, or a biodiversity “desert” in need of remediation.

Biodiverse ecosystems are more resilient in the face of climate change, so a bioblitz acts as a diagnostic tool to measure the strength and resiliency of our urban ecosystems, and increasing the quantity and quality of bioblitzes done will allow us to more effectively track the health of our ecosystems.

This aligns with the City of Vancouver’s goals of increasing the amount of information on the ecological quality and biodiversity of Vancouver’s natural areas. It also meets the city’s goals of celebrating biodiversity through education and stewardship, as bioblitzes provide community members with a hands-on way of engaging with Vancouver’s local ecology while allowing them to make meaningful contributions to the well-being of Vancouver’s green spaces.

The BlitzBox toolkit and website will enable community organizers, volunteers, citizen scientists, and experts to easily implement their own bioblitz projects across Metro Vancouver. Having an accessible way of conducting bioblitzes will not only streamline the data collection process for biodiversity levels, but also increase the number of bioblitzes completed overall. Being able to increase the number and quality of bioblitzes conducted will aid the city in maintaining and strengthening urban ecosystems around Vancouver, while also engaging the public in that process.

 

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