Workshop: 3dNaturalists: Using citizen science, bioblitzes and the National Park Service Centennial to promote undergraduate learning in biology

  • Bowser, Gillian G. (PI)
  • Hilgert, Uwe U. (CoPI)
  • Moore, John J.C. (CoPI)
  • Monfils, Anna (CoPI)
  • Husic, Diane D.W. (CoPI)

Grant Details


The PI and organizing team from the University of Colorado, Central Michigan University, Moravian College, and the University of Arizona have received an award through the Research Coordination Network - Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) program to hold a workshop entitled Workshop: 3dNaturalists: Using citizen science, bioblitzes and the National Park Service Centennial to promote undergraduate learning in biology. The workshop assembles some of the key personnel from three RCN-UBEs as well as partners from iPlant (CyVerse)and the National Park Service, educators, and student leaders from science clubs in Estes Park, Colorado. BioBlitz events are 24-hour biodiversity surveys involving scientists and the general public collecting species information in an area; perhaps the largest ever BioBlitz event will take place on May 20th as part of the large National Park Service Centennial event. The purpose of this workshop is to prepare students for their roles as experts and field technicians in the 2016 Centennial BioBlitzes and address important topics including data quality, and science associated with crowd-sourced data, broadening participation in citizen science, and incorporation of BioBlitz data into biology education. Key themes of the workshop include data collection tools and devices, data accuracy and application to key science questions, and the challenge of engaging more underrepresented students and undergraduates in general in BioBlitz events. The timing of the workshop is ideal to train students for the opportunity to engage in the large-scale research learning experience about biodiversity in which data collection (via apps on smartphones and tablets) and crowdsourcing datasets are used toward the goal of producing a list of all species observed in the various parks, including those new to the park or new to science.

The workshop will start with a field session where students and professionals will use various citizen science apps on smartphones followed by two days of facilitated round table discussions, presentations, and activities to exchange information about citizen science data, data accuracy issues and student engagement approaches. On the last day, participants will return to the field to use the various tools discussed and build student confidence in leading the general public through the BioBlitz events. The workshop will include participants from a diverse array of institutions and backgrounds in order to provide the broadest perspective on how to grow and improve the BioBlitz experience as well as research and educational outcomes. The inclusion of student leaders from science clubs such as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) and different chapters of the Ecological Society of America's SEEDS and SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) will enhance student engagement, recruitment, and networking.

Effective start/end date06/1/1605/31/17


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.