What is an EcoBlitz?
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Who We Are
EcoBlitz is an interdisciplinary environmental education & community science program created by a team of California-based National Geographic Explorers and National Geographic Certified Educators in 2019. The spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration encourages students to explore plant and animal biodiversity like a biologist, and trash and plastics like an anthropologist. Students learn about their communities through lenses of global education, geographic education, and environmental education. Students develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge of real National Geographic Explorers while working with other classes throughout California to create more socially just and sustainable local and global communities.
You are about to join forces with real National Geographic Explorers to collect and analyze data that identify the biodiversity of flora and fauna in your community. You will compare it with the quantity and types of trash found in the same location. By comparing these two data sets, we can better understand how we impact our environment so that we can be prepared to take civic action for change. EcoBlitz connects to content standards: NGSS, Common Core, California Environmental Principles & Concepts, and the National Geographic Inquiry Process.
An EcoBlitz has two parts: A BioBlitz & A Trash Survey.
1) It starts with a BioBlitz, which is a quick assessment of biodiversity in a specific area. Students become biologists and focus on finding as many species as possible in a specific local area and record their findings with the iNaturalist app. The CA NGSS scientific practices are addressed, as well as the National Geographic Geo-Inquiry process of planning and carrying out investigations and analyzing and interpreting data. This process will deepen curiosity about the local environment and the plants and animals that live there.
2) Next, students take on the role of anthropologists and observe and collect data around the trash found in the schoolyard and/or local community. Using the Marine Debris Tracker app students make connections across communities to learn about the impacts of trash in the past, and trash in the present. This process is conducted during the same month as the biodiversity survey. This allows students to take a second look at the same environment, but this time with a different focus.
3) Reflect on the connections and take action. Students will analyze and reflect on the findings for your area. We have discussion guides and helpful resources under the "resources" tab.
Spring EcoBlitz 2019 happened March 18-23, 2019 with a summit on April 6, 2019 at Jordan High School in Long Beach; 965 students from 16 CA schools participated.
The Fall 2019 EcoBlitz took place September 30-October 25, 2019. The Fall 2019 EcoBlitz Summit was held on November 16, 2019 at The Tech in San Jose, CA. Check out the summit agenda here.
In spring 2022, EcoBlitz was offered as an online microcredential course from March 1-May 31, 2022 through Teachers College of San Joaquin. 35 educators from across California participated. Educator participants who completed the course had the opportunity to obtain Professional Learning Units! Past registration information is available through the Teachers College of San Joaquin Professional Learning Center (PLC).
Check out what a BioBlitz is and how it impacts students. An EcoBlitz is a combination of a Bioblitz and a trash survey.