Ready for the 2020 City Nature Celebration? We Certainly Are!
Between April 24th and 27th, hundreds of cities worldwide will be celebrating Nature and gather observations of species found in our area, and engage the most people in the worldwide 2020 City Nature Challenge (CNC). Such events are known as Bioblitz events.🆕 While past events have been friendly competitions among cities, in response to shifting public health recommendations related to COVID-19, this year’s City Nature Challenge will instead be a celebration of nature in our backyards and neighborhoods. Participants are encouraged to embrace the collaborative aspect of sharing observations online with a digital community, and celebrate the healing power of nature safely, with social distancing, as they document their local biodiversity within new public safety parameters. For detailed information about how the City Nature Challenge is adapting to COVID-19, visit citynaturechallenge.org/COVID19.
EwA is a member of the CNC steering committee for the Greater Boston area. Of course, we are also participating in the event. As for all, COVID-19 rules EwA’s life and its group events. The health of our communities is the most important to us, so we canceled our field events during the City Nature Challenge. We invite you instead to iNat in place, right where you are. We will run virtual meetups instead of field events to help you with iNaturalist and show you what you can (and how to) observe in your city and in the places where we study urban and climate effects on local biodiversity (including in Somerville, Fresh Pond Reservoir, Middlesex Fells).
Join any of these webinars! They are fun and insightful. These days they also bring relief by connecting us with Nature. They are also great tools to deepen wildlife ethics and help science while getting to learn about our communities and their biodiversity!
How-to: Fresh Pond Reservoir 🦋
We’ll show you what you can find at this time of the year around Fresh Pond, and how to observe and record good observations on iNat while respecting wildlife. We’ll also show you how your observations help the phenology and arthropod surveys that we are running at the reservation. You could even see eagles 🦅 if if you’re lucky. We spotted 1 in flight in last year’s Bioblitz!
How-to: Middlesex Fells 🐸
If the Fells is your backyard, we’ll show you what you can find at this time of the year, and how to observe and record good observations on iNat while respecting wildlife. We’ll also highlight you how your observations help the ecological, phenological and arthropod surveys that we are running at the reservation. If you’re lucky you might spot some salamanders!
How-to: Urban Somerville 🍃
We’ll focus our showing you what you can expect in the City: its trees, wildflowers & birds are getting active at this time of the year. You’d be surprised to see how rich still a city environment can be. Right where we live, there are nuthatches, flickers, black squirrels and a myriad of wildflowers! You’ll also learn about wildlife ethics and iNat tips and tricks.
[More…] EwA’s Full list of CNC 2020 events ⇩
We are needed all over the World to take observations (with our phones and cameras) of as many species as possible. The more the better! This information will help to get a more accurate picture of the biodiversity in the Boston area, focusing within the I-495 corridor and out to Stellwagen Bank.
Any observation of plants, animals, fungi, even microbes, made in the greater Boston area during these days, will count for the challenge.
This is a national event encouraged by iNaturalist, open to anyone in the World and here in the Boston area.
Taking part is easy and free! To participate with us:
2) Once you registered on iNaturalist, please send us your profile name at email@example.com, so that we get your observations counted explicitly in our EwA challenge project! We’ll generate a report after the challenge to show our participants’ contributions.
3) Get familiar with the app. Check the iNat short Getting Started guide and video tutorials. You can also join any of our citizen science crash courses prior to the challenge and listed in our calendar [» EwA’s Events Calendar]
4) Get outside & find wildlife.
5) Take a picture and then share your observations. Make your observations relevant to science following EwA’s observation and recording guidelines (it’s easy!).
You can also join the many organized events in your area (find if your city participates in the event). We will specifically host events once a day between April 24th and April 27th. Each of our events will be about 2 hours long, and you’ll learn and share a ton with us!
Come & Join us! It’s a lot of fun and for the great purpose of helping scientists to better protect the Nature that we love!
What you’ll learn with us by joining any of our events
Besides having a great time, you’ll also learn about:
꙳ Biodiversity. History; Biodiversity status & threats; Why it is important to protect it
꙳ The importance of everyone’s participation through Citizen Science. What it is and its impact; Origins of biodiversity challenges; How you can join the effort
꙳ How to ethically observe and record nature & wildlife sightings. Safety and ethical practices; Major species families; Captive (or cultivated) vs. wild observations; How to take pictures and of what; What information to record along with a sighting
꙳ How to use recording apps such as iNaturalist like pros
Introduction to Citizen Science & CNC Webinars (Jan – April)
Climate & Biodiversity sciences need you and the information that you can collect. The good news is that you can really make a difference! This is a crash course about participative science (a.k.a. citizen science), which is the active public involvement in scientific research. In this class, we introduce you to what citizen science is, why it is needed, where it is needed, how you can help (individually or joining some of our local projects in local parks and reservations), and some of the popular tools used in citizen science projects.
Join us. It’s fun & exciting. Let’s make a difference together!
iNat in Location (How-to): Virtual Lunch Meetups
Species Recording Events (April 24-27):
Together let’s observe & record what we see right where we live! Avoid traveling – stay in place – explore your street, your backyard, your walking distance park. At all times, respect the necessary physical distance between people and as recommended by CDC, the State and the city where you reside. iNat with wildlife in mind: give them distance too!
We invite you to join our community and any of our iNaturalist projects. And you are most welcome to attend any of our local citizen science events!
Sharing is Caring Spread the word!
Banner Pic: EwA iNat recording of a White-breasted nuthatch (Middlesex Fells Reservation, Medford MA) | Red-shouldered Hawk Photo credit: © Joe MacIndewar.