Celebrating Biodiversity with Bioblitzes – Coast to Coast

(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy News)

In the past year, Ocean Genome Legacy (OGL) has been recruiting people from all walks of life to help document and preserve the deep offerings of our oceans. On September 10, you can too!

OGL co-hosted Bioblitzes across the country with citizen scientists and future leaders in marine biology. These biodiversity-themed events provide opportunities for folks to explore, identify, and appreciate the richness of species in our oceans.

Citizen Scientists at the Nahant Coastal Bioblitz, documenting marine biodiversity, including this sea star and periwinkle. Photo credit: Jon Puritz

From East Coast to West Coast, OGL partnered with Northeastern University students in the Three Seas Program. These marine-biologists-in-training collected unique species in Lubec, Maine, and Friday Harbor, Washington. They spent a year focusing on marine biology, combining classroom, laboratory, and scientific diving to literally immerse themselves in their studies. The unique samples they collected, including sea slugs, sea cucumbers, and seaweeds, are now publicly available on the OGL DNA catalog – ready for scientists to use!

In Cape Cod, OGL teamed up with high school students and Pleasant Bay Community Boating to document the marine life of Pleasant Bay. This annual collection of species, and their associated DNA barcode sequences, provides data about local marine biodiversity over time. The sequences will be publicly available online through the Barcode of Life Data Systems for scientific research and classroom lessons.

OGL also contributed to the documentation of “Biodiversity of Martha’s Vineyard” on iNaturalist with beach-goers and Northeastern Alumni in Oak Bluffs.

Want to mingle with the mollusks and commune with crabs? Join us for the upcoming Nahant Coastal Bioblitz: Sunday, September 10, 2017. Or participate in your own biodiversity scavenger hunt from home using iNaturalist and the Barcode of Life!

Want to support future Bioblitzes? Please consider making a donation. Thank you!


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