Driftless Area BioBlitz

Bioblitz: an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a period of time.

The Driftless Area BioBlitz is an opportunity for families, students, and all nature-lovers to discover and learn about plants and wildlife in the Driftless Area. No prior science knowledge required! All you need is a smartphone, the iNaturalist app, and a sense of wonder. Spend time with the whole family exploring nature, and discover the biological diversity in your own backyard. Your discoveries contribute to scientific data and help conservationists working to study and protect our planet. In the past, we’ve held city and Driftless-wide events, as well as events at schools in cooperation with our partners. We’ve had over 500 observations observed by 87 different people and over 300 different species have been identified.

 

Become a citizen scientist

Learn how you can make a difference in the Coulee Region by participating in the 2022 Driftless Area Nature Challenge. Follow along with our iNaturalist instructions to get started!

How to make an observation using iNaturalist

An “observation” in a BioBlitz is simply a recording of a living being. To make an observation and have your data recorded for a BioBlitz, you need a smartphone and the iNaturalist app—no scientific knowledge required! This video walks you through how to make an observation once you’ve downloaded the app and created an account.
Vicki Miller, S2TCR Founder: I have been involved in the “non-profit world” since 2006, volunteering for many wonderful organizations in the area that share two of my passions:  healthy food and sustainability. In 2020, I founded Strive 2 Thrive Coulee Region with a mission to create a healthy and vibrant community and ecosystem through engaging and empowering all community members in ways in which they can strive to thrive. 
 
One of the purposes of S2T was to be a catalyst for a vibrant and healthy ecosystem in the Coulee Region and beyond, so in 2021, I created the Driftless Area Bioblitz (DABB) program and reached out to several organizations that focus on outdoor education to collaborate on this large, data-collection project. I will be joining DABB Coordinator, Erica Black, at all the events scheduled this year to help encourage, explain, and promote DABB. 
I love being “actively engaged in Nature” so when I’m not helping out at the planned events, you can often find me out and about with phone/camera in hand ready to upload “anything in nature” on to iNat app – so far, since March 1, 2021, I have submitted over 2,500 observations to the Driftless Area BioBlitz community project!
Erica Black, DABB Coordinator: I’m an upper Midwest gal with a dog named Gizmo, currently residing in La Crosse, WI. Although I have a Bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies from UW-Madison, my main employment is as a Salon Coordinator at a salon & spa in downtown La Crosse. My degree is my passion, so luckily I “found” this part-time volunteer position helping Strive 2 Thrive Coulee Region’s founder, Vicki Miller (Vicki and I go WAY back–to 2007! — so she knew right away who to call to be the DABB Coordinator!) I also volunteer my time for other local sustainability efforts. One such effort is the annual Earth Fair in La Crosse, of which I have been involved all 14 years! When I am not working, I enjoy riding my bicycle, hiking, doing puzzles, being with friends and family, cooking, and just being outdoors in general!
Emma Fischer: I am finishing up my final year of undergrad at UW-La Crosse!  I’m majoring in biology and minoring in environmental studies. After I grade this spring, I will be moving across the state to Waukesha, WI where I will begin my grade studies as a Physician Assistant.  I work part-time as an in-home caregiver in the La Crosse and Onalaska area, I love getting to make connections, and impact our community members’ lives.  I’m also in the Wisconsin National Guard and the Army ROTC program at UW-La Crosse. I will commission as an officer this spring and eventually be an Army PA!
Morgan Jonas: I am finishing up my final semester at UW-La Crosse. I am majoring in Biology with a focus in environmental science and minoring in environmental studies. After I graduate, I am planning on working at the city brewery here in La Crosse as a quality assurance technician. My goal though is to eventually move to the West Coast and work for the National Park Service. Currently, I am primarily focusing on finishing my studies before I dive into the professional working world!

Collaborating partners