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ATBI (All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory)/BioBlitz SWAT Team 2014: Rocky Mountain National Park

The All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI)/BioBlitz SWAT Teams are graduate students who survey gaps in biodiversity understanding on vital public and private lands, design field research that narrows those gaps and create media about their work that fosters public understanding and inspires better care of our planet. Research on biodiversity and the relationship between organisms is imperative to develop management practices for the conservation of protected areas. The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, along with the National Park Service, Discover Life in America and Turner Endangered Species Fund, formed our team of four Duke University students as the first of many groups of students to travel to protected areas and develop approaches to conduct biodiversity research that can inform its conservation. Our team assessed the current status of biodiversity research at Rocky Mountain National Park to determine major gaps in the understanding of biodiversity. We used various data sources to find species lists from research conducted in the Park to ensure that the National Park Species Database was updated with the most recent information. Our team added 667 species to the database through this process. One of the identified gaps was a lack of research on spiders in the park. We piloted a field study on spider biodiversity to identify species existing in the park and to understand their ecological roles. Our resulting field study added 102 new spider species to the park database. We also conducted a mini-Bioblitz with adults and children in order to foster an interest in citizen science activities. Finally, we created a video to create awareness about our topic, foster curiosity, and spark interest in the area of science and biodiversity.

Project URL: http://eowilsonfoundation.org/atbibioblitz-swat-team/

Geographic Scope: Rocky Mountain National Park

Status: Complete

Recruiting Volunteers:

Participation Tasks: Audio or video recording, Classification or tagging, Data entry, Identification, Learning, Photography, Problem solving, Sample analysis, Specimen/sample collection,

Start Date: 2014-03-17

Project Contact: casey.johnson@duke.edu

Federal Government Sponsor:

NPS logo

Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Name of Nonfederal Sponsors: E.O. Wilson Foundation and Discover Life in America

Project Topic: Ecology and environment,

Intended Outcomes: Programmatic, Research development, Individual learning, Conservation,