The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation was a participating exhibitor at the 2013 BioBlitz, held May 17–18, 2013, at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve near New Orleans, Louisiana. A BioBlitz is a 24-hour event in which teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms as possible. The Barataria Preserve, with 23,000 acres of forests, swamps, and marsh, was the focus of BioBlitz 2013.
We hosted an exhibit at the Biodiversity Festival on both days of the BioBlitz. Inspired by E.O. Wilson’s recently published book, Letters to a Young Scientist, we conducted dozens of interviews for our first BioBlitz Storytelling Project, which seeks to record and document inspiring stories of how young people, teachers, park rangers, and scientists connect to nature, the environment, and the importance of biodiversity.
In addition to the interviews gathered in the Festival booth, we also accompanied a number of school groups in the field as they looked for species to identify and learned about the rich biodiversity found at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. We also documented the experiences of the BioBlitz’s Biodiversity Youth Ambassadors—a select number of students who blog about their experiences at the BioBlitz, interview participants on site, and continue to engage other students about biodiversity when they return to their home communities.
Individuals and groups interested in participating in the Storytelling Project can contact the Wilson Foundation at email@example.com (please put “BioBlitz 2013 Storytelling Project” in the subject line of your e-mail).