Main Navigation

Sustain biodiversity from your phone

Get outside, collect data and digitally connect with the Natural History Museum of Utah, all while staying safe and spatially distanced.

Natural History Museum of Utah BioBlitz participant snaps a pic.

A BioBlitz is an event where community scientists, scientists, land managers, museum staff and more work together to find, identify and photograph as many different species as possible. This summer, the Natural History Museum of Utah is inviting the community to join three Trailside BioBlitz events, designed to get you outside, collecting data and digitally connected with the museum, while also staying safe and spatially distanced.

Verifiable, “research-grade” observations are reviewed by staff with the Salt Lake City Trails & Natural Lands Division annually to build a catalogue of species known to use and inhabit specific nature parks and preserves. These species lists are used to improve efforts to educate the public about the importance of these natural areas, and also occasionally motivate management adaptations.

Taking part is easy!

1. See nature

Join a Trailside BioBlitz by visiting one of our study sites along the Jordan River Parkway or Salt Lake City-managed sections of the Bonneville Shoreline trails during active BioBlitz dates. We have made study areas large and spread the activity dates out to promote safe outdoor recreation.

2. Take a photo

Photograph the individual wild plants, animals and insects you find on your walk.

3. Add to iNaturalist

Post your photos to iNaturalist, a free online database and phone app that catalogs worldwide biodiversity. The site will help you identify the nature you find and will record it for scientists and land managers to use for years to come. Any iNaturalist observation made within our study area boundaries during BioBlitz dates will automatically be added to our research project.

2020 Trailside BioBlitz schedule

Have questions about iNaturalist? 

Join NHMU’s Citizen Science Coordinator Ellen Eiriksson during a virtual office hour Friday, July 31. Click here to get in touch.

Who can participate in the Salt Lake City Neighborhood Naturalists?

Anyone! If you’re curious about the natural world, enjoy walking along trails and like turning over leaves and stones, this program is for you. Kids are welcome. All events are free and open to the public.

Do I need scientific knowledge or experience to participate?

Nope, although we welcome experts. Just bring your mobile device and your powers of observation. We use the iNaturalist app to document the plants and animals we find. Watch a short iNaturalist tutorial to get started and learn how to make great observations.

What do I need to bring?

  • Camera: If you plan to take photographs using your phone, bring your mobile device with the iNaturalist app downloaded and account set up. If you prefer to use a different camera, you can add your photos to iNaturalist from a computer when you get home.
  • Long pants, closed-toe shoes, a water bottle and sunscreen will help keep you safe and comfortable. You may want a daypack, jacket or hat. Feel free to also bring your favorite field guide on plants, birds, insects, etc.

What is a citizen scientist?

A citizen scientist is a person taking part in science-related activities that advance scientific knowledge or community action (National Academy of Sciences 2018).

What data has already been collected?

View our citizen science-collected data  from Neighborhood Naturalist events over the years to see what and where we have observed so far.