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Neighborhood Naturalists

What's living in your neighborhood?

  • Are you curious about the plants and animals living around you?
  • Would you like to help improve the health of our wild urban spaces?
  • Looking for a great way to spend time outside with family and friends?

Neighborhood Naturalists invites citizen scientists—people like you—to discover nature by photographing wild plants and animals living all around us. These photos help guide local research and restoration efforts. 

Trailside BioBlitz - Be a Citizen Scientist by photographing nature this summer

A BioBlitz is an event where citizen scientists, scientists, land managers, museum staff, and more work together to find, identify, and photograph as many different species as possible. This summer, NHMU is inviting the community to join three Trailside BioBlitz events, designed to get you outside, collecting data, and digitally connected with the museum, while also staying safe and spatially distanced. Taking part is easy:   

See Nature

Join a Trailside BioBlitz by visiting one of our study sites along the Jordan River Parkway or Salt Lake City-managed sections of the Bonneville Shoreline Trails during active BioBlitz dates. We have made study areas large and the date spread long to promote safe outdoor recreation. 

Take a Photo

Photograph the individual wild plants, animals, and insects you find on your walk. 

Add to iNaturalist

Post your photos to iNaturalist, a free online database and phone app that catalogues worldwide biodoversity. The site will help you identify the nature you found, and will record it for scientists and land managers to use for years to come! Any iNaturalist observation made within our study area boundaries during BioBlitz dates will automatically be added to our research project. 

2020 Trailside BioBlitz Schedule:

June 20-28, 2020

July 25-August 2, 2020

August 22-30, 2020

Have Questions about iNaturalist? - NHMU staff is here to help! 

  • Join NHMU's Citizen Science Coordinator Ellen Eiriksson during a virtual office hour Friday, July 31st. More info here.

Who can participate in SLC Neighborhood Naturalists?

Anyone! If you're curious about the natural world, enjoy walking along trails, and like turning over leaves and stones, this program is for you. Kids are welcome. All events are free and open to the public.

Do I need scientific knowledge or experience to participate?

Nope, although we welcome experts to join us. Just bring your mobile device and your powers of observation. We use the iNaturalist app to document the plants and animals we find. To get started: watch a short iNaturalist tutorial to learn how to make great observations.

What do I need to bring?

  • Camera: If you plan to take photographs using your phone, bring your mobile device with the iNaturalist app downloaded and account set-up. If you prefer to use a different camera, you can use this to photograph need help getting set up, and then add your photos to iNaturalist from a computer when you get home.
  • Long pants, closed-toe shoes, a water bottle, and sunscreen will help keep you safe and comfortable. You may want a daypack, jacket, or hat. Feel free to also bring your favorite field guide on plants, birds, insects, etc.

What is a Citizen Scientist?

A Citizen Scientist is a person taking part in science-related activities that advance scientific knowledge or community action (National Academy of Sciences 2018). View our Citizen Science-collected data from Neighborhood Naturalist events over the years to see what and where we have observed so far. 

What data have you already collected?

View our Citizen Science-collected data from Neighborhood Naturalist events over the years to see what and where we have observed so far. 

   Check out our new Summer 2020 programming for kids: Neighborhood Naturalists for Kids, part of NHMU's Summer@Home! 

Special thanks to our partners: 

Upcoming Events

July 25, 2020 - 1:00am

Discover nature and advance science research this summer- it’s as easy as taking a photo!