When: Sun., April 20, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. 2014
Bioblitzes — in which scientists and volunteers survey flora and fauna in a particular area over a short period of time, usually 24 hours — are a growing trend in biological research: The February blitz at Lake Merritt drew more than 150 people, and now Tilden Nature Area is hosting one in celebration of Earth Day. The blitz will consist of four expeditions: one for bird watching, two general observation outings, and one nocturnal observation. Groups will set out from the Environmental Education Center (600 Canon Dr., Berkeley) and take photos (using their smartphones or cameras) of all wildlife they see. Participants will then head to an identification station where they can use field guides to determine which specimens they photographed and upload their photos to the website iNaturalist. The goal is to document the biodiversity of the park, which has not been comprehensively surveyed since the 1980s. In addition to fungi, wildflowers, and insects, participants may glimpse crustaceans, owls, and perhaps a never-seen-before species.