Ordinary people can help scientists, TVA and Discover Life in America identify flora and fauna at Douglas Dam this month.
A BioBlitz is planned from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 15, at the Trotter Bluff Trail on Douglas Dam Reservation near the headwater campground. (Participants should enter via Boat Launch Road in Sevier County.) This is one of several BioBlitzes taking place in June and July on TVA-managed lands.
Discover Life in America is a small nonprofit based in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and was formed to facilitate research into the ecosystem of the Smokies and share information with the public through fun educational and citizen-scientist events.
DLiA has partnered with the Tennessee Valley Authority and regional scientists to enlist the aid of citizens in a biological inventory of TVA’s public lands. Each BioBlitz is a free, family-friendly event that offers a hands-on opportunity to identify critters and plants in the area.
Participants will help TVA better manage lands by adding to species occurrence data. They get to survey birds, insects, plants and other organisms using provided nets and collection and preservation equipment.
Experts will train participants and identify species. The citizen scientists will need to install the smartphone app iNaturalist (beforehand, if possible) to document biodiversity.
Participants should register for the event at dlia.org, where they can download the app.
This is the eighth year TVA has hosted BioBlitz events.
“Our lives depend on biodiversity, and part of TVA’s mission is to connect people with their public lands,” Bucky Edmondson, TVA director of natural resources, said in a press release. “This gives people a chance to be part of something bigger, learn about the area they live in and hopefully grow a passion for protecting these resources for future generations.”
After participating in the BioBlitz, people are encouraged to return and add to the iNaturalist database by making species observations along the trails. Those who do will have the opportunity to win one of three prize packages, including a smartphone/tablet clip-on camera lens, two TVA publications and a DLiA ball cap and T-shirt. Find more info at www.tva.com.