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A Virtual Walk in the Woods, Courtesy of CBS and BioBlitz

Families across the United States got a glimpse of the world of BioBlitz this weekend as CBS Sunday Morning took viewers into this year’s exploration of San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

San Francisco’s Parks Scoured in Wildlife Inventory

One soggy Saturday morning in March, six kids and their parents stared into the San Francisco Bay looking for “Mussels, Mollusks and More!” Smithsonian Marine Biologist Linda McCann was on hand to help make sense of it all. “Anybody here know what those are?” McCann asks her rapt audience. “We have a lot of barnacles,…

May 4, 2014: Driving to the World’s Coldest Cities and Cracking the Humor Code

The winter of 2014 was long and cold in many parts of North America. But even the most frigid midwestern temperatures would be considered mild to Oymyakon, Russia’s 472 residents. One of the candidates for the “Coldest Town in the World,” Felicity Aston visited the Siberian hamlet in the middle of winter to learn how its residents deal with sustained temperatures of -76 degrees Fahrenheit. On her 18,000 mile “Pole of Cold” drive from London to Europe and Asia’s coldest places, Aston learned that the residents love winter, because it often provides them with their livelihood, it connects them with nearby towns by letting them drive over frozen lakes and rivers. She also gives tips on how to get a car to start when the mercury dips nearly 100 degrees below freezing.

Finding Your Passion in the National Parks

For as big and wild as the parks are, we have a tendency to put them into a very tiny box, thinking they’re just for summer road trips and photo journeys. It’s good to let them out.

Wild Cats in San Francisco’s Backyard

Every year at BioBlitz, National Geographic and the U.S. National Park Service rally to get people young and old to explore the wild spaces around them during a whirlwind 24-hour search to identify every species they can find. In advance of our next event in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, March 28-29, 2014, we’re already…

BioBlitz Bobcast: It’s a Wrap

The final tally for this year’s BioBlitz at Golden Gate National Parks includes everything from a mountain lion to a tree-dwelling salamander. Top officials from the National Park Service and National Geographic describe each group of organisms. Bob Hirshon reports.

BioBlitz Bobcast: Counting Critters and Organizing Organisms

In this installment of BioBlitz 2014 video coverage, Bob Hirshon hghlights the taxonomists whose job it is to find and identify species, and to organize the wide variety of life on earth.

Biodiversity Youth Ambassadors Blog from Golden Gate BioBlitz

National Park Service Biodiversity Youth Ambassadors blog about their participation in the Golden Gate BioBlitz.

BioBlitz Finds 2,300+ Species in Golden Gate Parks (Video)

Rain doesn’t stop the BioBlitz. Citizen scientists scoured the waters and grounds of Golden Gates National Parks, from Muir Woods to the Presidio, for all the plant, animal, and insect species they could find in a 24-hour period. They found 2,304 species, surpassing the record. More than 80 species were new to the parks’ species list. And at least 15 species were identified as threatened.

Biodiversity Gold: Photos from the Golden Gate BioBlitz

View a photo gallery of some of the incredible species discovered at the 2014 National Geographic/National Park Service BioBlitz event.

Listening to the BioBlitz at Night (Nature Sound Files)

Dan Dugan of the Nature Sounds Society shares four recordings he made at night in Muir Woods, on the eve of the Golden Gate Parks BioBlitz. Listen to a great horned owl, pileated woodpeckers, and a winter wren.

BioBlitz on Alcatraz: Hundreds of Species Logged for Island Gardens

Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay is a part of the the Golden Gate National Recreation Area best known for its birds and the penitentiary from which no successful escape was recorded. But it is also the home of historic gardens rooted in times when the island was first a military base and then a forbidding prison, planted and tended by personnel and their families, often with the help of inmates. Rehabilitated after decades of neglect, the Gardens of Alcatraz are now a tourist attraction — and they were a big source of species observed for the 2014 BioBlitz in Golden Gate National Parks.

BioBlitz Identifies More than 80 Species New to Golden Gate Parks

The initial scientific species count as of the 3:45 p.m. BioBlitz Closing Ceremony on Saturday was 2,304, with well over 8,600 observations recorded over the course of the two-day event, the organizers said in a news statement today. More than 80 species are new to the parks species list. At least 15 species were identified as Threatened.

BioBlitz Bobcast: ‪Night Time Bat Walk‬

When the sun goes down, the Presidio area of Golden Gate National Parks comes alive with owls, snakes, rodents, moths and, of course, bats. In this video by Bob Hirshon, a Bioblitz 2014 team of bat hunters, armed with ultrasound-detecting devices, hikes through the Lobos Creek and Dunes area of the park, looking and listening for bats.

BioBlitz Bobcast: Hunting for Microbial DNA

Until this year, identifying organisms at the BioBlitz was based purely on examining them– looking at their shape, size, color, number of legs, etc– and the species have been limited to multicelled creatures. For 2014, a group from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have introduced the PhyloChip, which can test for the presence of 60,000 varieties of bacteria and Archaea, a large group of primitive single celled organisms.