June 08, 2016

Bioblitz celebration party in September 2016

Hi bioblitzers- I have decided, all by myself, that we will have the celebration party for the winners for the Spring 2016 Personal Bioblitz in September 2016 when classes start again. Everybody is out and traveling or doing fieldwork now. And for those winners that can't show up in person in September, we will provide you with prizes in other ways.
The website with the results are here:

Yes, there are prizes! I am not telling you what right now, but some really good ones donated by participants in the Bioblitz. We will set up a system where the winners get to pick in order, with students going first. So, hold out to September, when we kick of the fall semester at Rutgers with a Bioblitz summary party.

And, if you have a nice biodiversity or fieldwork related prize you want to donate, send it over to my office (237 Foran Hall on Cook Campus, Rutgers).

Best wishes and happy species hunting this summer!


Posted on June 08, 2016 14:43 by vilseskog vilseskog | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 04, 2016

Web page link for 2016 results

We have a new webpage up that summarizes the winners and the results - lots of new records for this year, including the most observations ever uploaded.

Link: http://herbarium.rutgers.edu/personal_bioblitz_2016_results.html

Take care!

Posted on June 04, 2016 02:46 by vilseskog vilseskog | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 31, 2016


Personal Bioblitz 2016 results
(preliminary report, 5/31/16 by Lena Struwe)

CUMULATIVE, in total
12572 observations = we broke the record this year
[in 2015 we had 11871 observations]
3437 species (=taxa) = we broke the record for wild and naturalized species in a personal bioblitz
[in 2014 we had 3563 species, which then included non-wild species]
[in 2015 we had 3347 species]
participants reported 1 to 1318 observations each
[in 2015 the most observations reported by anybody was 1437: Michael Gochfield]
participants reported 1 to 1001 species each
[in 2014 the most species seen by anybody was 1126, including non-wild species, by Eva Hedström]
[in 2015 the most species seen by anybody was 800, byMichael Gochfield]
76 participants
[in 2015 we had 80 participants]

(=Taxa - higher ranks count too for organisms that couldn't be identified to species level)
(number of taxa in parenthesis after name)
1st place 2nd place
Undergraduate students Kurtis Himmler (329) Jason Hafstad (283)
Graduate students Nicholas Pollock (208) Joni Baumgarten (200)
Staff Hadas Parag (848) Kevin Wyman (126)
Friends Torbjörn Peterson (516) Jason Grant (336)
Relatives Eva Hedström (537) Susan Miller (37)
Alumni Cailin O'Connor (324) Ann Lang (36)
Retired faculty and staff Michael Gochfield (601) Chuck Martin (119)
Faculty Claes Holzapfel (1001) Lena Struwe (594)

(number of observations in parenthesis after name)
1st place 2nd place
Undergraduate students Jason Hafstad (585) Kurtis Himmler (386)
Graduate students Joni Baumgarten (419) Natalie Lemanski (277)
Staff Hadas Parag (877) Kevin Wyman (147)
Friends Torbjörn Peterson (611) Jason Grant (336)
Relatives Eva Hedström (1020) Susan Miller (62)
Alumni Cailin O'Connor (729) Ann Lang (41)
Retired faculty and staff Michael Gochfield (1088) Chuck Martin (128)
Faculty Lena Struwe (1318) Claes Holzapfel (1038)

LOCALLY: We reported 6312 observations (50%) from New Jersey (USA), and of these Cailin O'Connor was the most active observer (725 observations).

NATIONALLY: We had observations from United States (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, DC, Florida,Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington),

INTERNATIONALLY: We had observations from Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Palestina, Qatar, Sweden. Switzerland, United Kingdom, US Virgin Islands (Saint Croix) and North Atlantic Ocean.

DATA QUALITY: Observations get graded as Casual (no photo or cultivated/captive), Needs ID (someone needs to agree with the identification), and Research Grade (with photo, geolocated, and species identification confirmed by another iNaturalist user). Within the Personal Bioblitz 2016 we had 3135 research grade observations (with most reported by Cailin O'Connor), 4133 as Needs ID, and 5125 as Casual.

For further breakdown of the data into taxonomic groups, time of observations, etc - that will come later.

Thanks for your participation in the 2016 Personal Bioblitz!

Lena Struwe and the leadership team

Posted on May 31, 2016 23:53 by vilseskog vilseskog | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 26, 2016

CURRENT STATUS - who is winning?

Ha, you give science people an extended deadline for a competition and they go crazy! :)
3089 species right now, 10733 observations, and 80 members!

You might be wondering who is in the lead for the competition, so here is my quick, possibly not correct, estimate of the current status (but things will change before the deadline I am sure):


Faculty, including retired: (mgochfield), 585 species (I am loosing my bet with Michael on most species, but I am only 60 species behind and there are two days left to upload stuff :) ...)

Staff: Hadas Parag (hadasparag), 845 species

Graduate students: Nick Pollock, 208 species

Undergraduate students: Kurtis Himmler (khimmler), 329 species

Alumni: Cailin O'Connor (celticcail), 325 species

Family and Friends: Torbjörn Peterson (frogplanet), 516 species


Faculty, including retired: Lena Struwe (vilseskog)

Staff : Hadas Parag (hadasparag), 876 observations

Graduate students: Joni Baumgarten, 424 observations

Undergraduate students: Jason Hafstadt (jhafstad), 548 observations

Alumni: Cailin O'Connor (celticcail), 729 observations

Family and Friends: Torbjörn Peterson (frogplanet), 612 observations

We will also try to calculate a winner for NJ-only observations.

Posted on May 26, 2016 20:34 by vilseskog vilseskog | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 24, 2016


IMPORTANT - EXTENDED DEADLINE - I got a pleading e-mail this morning that someone needed a few more days, so the deadline for uploads and identifications for the 2016 personal bioblitz is extended to MAY 28 at midnight (i.e. three more days, May 26, 27 and 28). There is a new photo uploader on iNaturalist that works better than the old one.

DO NOT FORGET to add your observations to the Personal Bioblitz 2016 project - it is not enough just to upload them to iNaturalist. Only the ones added to our project within iNaturalist counts. Keep the species and observations rolling!

Posted on May 24, 2016 19:42 by vilseskog vilseskog | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Ten thousand observations! And maybe 3000 species?

We just passed 10 000 observations for the Spring 2016 Personal Bioblitz! Ten thousand! Think about that! And we are nudging 3000 species (at 2876 right now). And they are from all over the world, Israel, Australia, New Jersey, Sweden, India, Switzerland, Costa Rica...

The observation time is over, but you can upload and ID the species you saw until midnight on May 25, that is TOMORROW night. You have about 40 more hours to get your species in or your unidentified species. Also go into iNaturalist and check if someone has identified some of your unknown observations, if so, decide if you want to agree with their ID and that way you update your species list.

Fantastic job everybody, I hope you are and have had a lot of fun with this project. After the deadline the leadership team will take a look at the data, figuring out who won in the different classes, and we will plan a little get together with prizes. More on that later. /Lena Struwe

Posted on May 24, 2016 12:08 by vilseskog vilseskog | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 16, 2016

It is over, time for wrap up.

So, the 2016 Bioblitz observation period is over as of midnight yesterday, but you have ten days to ID and add observations you didn't get uploaded or identified yet. I am sure we will break the 2000 species barrier together, don't you. Stay tuned for the celebration in early June where we will find out who won the different categories (grad students, undergrads, faculty, alumni, family, and others) when it comes to most species and most observations. There will be prizes this year too!

In the meantime, upload the things you saw between March 1 and May 15 that didn't make it into iNaturalist yet, work on your own identifications, and help others with theirs, to get this into as a complete community observation list as possible. This has been a great year everybody!!!

Best wishes

Posted on May 16, 2016 11:51 by vilseskog vilseskog | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 06, 2016


Just 240 hours left, then the 2016 bioblitz is over... Time to get all those observations marked down, photographed or heard... It is now or never to get them counted this year. Beat the people in the lead by sneakung up and uploading all those observations you have in your notebooks, cameras, and tablets... this is the time! Observations end at May 15, but you can work on your observation ID's and upload bioblitz observations to May 25 at midnight. After that it is STOP. Chi is going to win in the different categories? We will find out!

Posted on May 06, 2016 02:29 by vilseskog vilseskog | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 18, 2016

Less than a month left...

Now it is less than a month left on the Personal Bioblitz! I am sure that you, just like me, are sitting with a bunch of unreported observations from places near and far. Don't forget to get them uploaded. Last date for upload is May 25, and last day for observations are May 15.

Currently we have over 4500 observations and nnearly 1200 species. Many more to come! Don't forget to add all common species, and help each other to ID unknown species and/or confirm species identifications online. If you agree with a species identification it will change the observation to 'Research grade'.

If you have any problems adding species that not yet exist in the iNaturalist database, contact me and the others in the bioblitz team and we will help you.

Also, we are inspiring others. Lawrenceville School in NJ just started their own long-term bioblitz for students and teachers, and it is led by John Clark, a teacher at the school and visiting researcher at Rutgers.

Keep up the fantastic work! More species for the people :)

Posted on April 18, 2016 05:12 by vilseskog vilseskog | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 27, 2016

And just like that...

We just passed 3000 observations. And I bet there are hundreds more hiding on your smartphones, computers and brains.

Posted on March 27, 2016 01:12 by vilseskog vilseskog | 0 comments | Leave a comment