Nature lovers asked to head outdoors and become citizen scientists during BioBlitz

Jacob Frankel holds up his phone to a sala bush. The green leaves appear on his phone screen.

Jacob Frankel, Senior Research Assistant for the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, uses his phone to capture a photo of salal. Vancouver Island University photo

April 4, 2023 - 12:15pm

Volunteers can help contribute to biodiversity research by collecting information on flora and fauna.

Nature lovers are invited to head outdoors for science during the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR) BioBlitz this April.

“We’re grateful to everyone who volunteers! Each observation improves our knowledge and understanding of both species and ecosystem health throughout the biosphere,” said Jacob Frankel, Senior Research Assistant for Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute.

The MABR BioBlitz, which runs from April 14 to 16, relies on citizen scientists to collect information on flora and fauna species within the boundaries of the biosphere region. The event is open to everyone of all ages and knowledge levels and there is a daily prize for the person who submits the highest number of observations that day.

Participants are asked to use the iNaturalist app and to make their observations under the 2023 MABR BioBlitz project. Observations must be made within the boundaries of the biosphere, which is defined by five watersheds: Englishman River, Little Qualicum River, French Creek, Nanoose Creek and Bonnell Creek. A map is available on the MABR website.

People can download iNaturalist for free from Google Play or Apple’s App Store. Guides for using the app, including instructional videos, are available from iNaturalist and MABR also offers some tips on its website. 

Information collected every year gives researchers a snapshot of biodiversity in the area and can help them track changes over time. This includes keeping an eye on species at risk and invasive species.


Media Contact:

Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.618.0373l E: | T: @VIUNews

About the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR) is governed by a roundtable, which consists of representatives from VIU’s Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI), First Nations, municipalities and other organizations. MABRRI focuses on conducting research and community engagement initiatives primarily within the biosphere region but also supports VIU’s Academic Research Plan by working on projects across Vancouver Island.


Tags: MABRRI | Research | In the Community

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email