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April 25, 2019

Citizen and Community Scientists Compete in City Nature Challenge

Jeff Buydos - Email
(801) 944-7522

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah–The Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) and the County Library’s Taylorsville branch will join more than 150 cities on six continents in this year’s City Nature Challenge, a quest that challenges people of all ages and backgrounds to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals and fungi using the iNaturalist mobile app. 

On the final day of the Challenge, community members are encouraged to join in on the fun at the County Library’s Taylorsville branch, which will host the City Nature Challenge 2019 BioBlitz, a fun three-hour event that includes observations of nearby flora and fauna.

Anyone in Salt Lake, Cache, Box Elder, Davis, Summit, Utah and Weber counties can join NHMU and the County Library on the people-powered international quest. Simply download the iNaturalist app, take photos, upload them to the app and learn as the iNaturalist community helps identify your observations.

“We are surrounded by nature in our neighborhoods, parks and even our downtowns,” said Lisa Thompson, NHMU City Nature Challenge coordinator. “The best way to study nature in our cities is by connecting community members and scientists through citizen science.”

Community observations are extremely helpful. During the 2018 City Nature Challenge, a hammerhead worm was recorded for the first time ever thanks to citizen scientists in San Francisco. Utah contributed 3,621 observations and documented 643 species, including the first-ever record of Megalepthyphantes nebulosus, a member of the Sheetweb spider subfamily.

The City Nature Challenge is part of NHMU’s Nature All Around Us Initiative that includes a variety of citizen science programs across the state, an interactive special exhibit that highlights the dynamic and diverse ecosystems in Utah’s cities, and commemorates the museum’s 50th anniversary.

Other partners include: Ogden Nature Center, The Nature Conservancy, Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, Stokes Nature Center, SLC Parks & Public Lands, Utah Open Lands, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Jordan River Commission and Thanksgiving Point. For more information about this year’s Challenge and all its related events visit: https://nhmu.utah.edu/challenge.

To find other events at the County Library, visit: thecountylibrary.org/calendar.

What: City Nature Challenge 2019
When: April 26–29
Where: Salt Lake, Cache, Box Elder, Davis, Summit, Utah and Weber counties

What: City Nature Challenge 2019 BioBlitz
When: Monday, April 29, 5–8 pm
Where: The County Library | Taylorsville, 4870 S 2700 W

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About City Nature Challenge

Started in 2016 for the first-ever Citizen Science Day, the citizen science teams at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Academy of Sciences dreamed up the City Nature Challenge as a fun way to capitalize on their home cities’ friendly rivalry and hold a citizen science event around urban biodiversity. The first City Nature Challenge was an eight-day competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, engaging residents and visitors in documenting nature to better understand urban biodiversity. Over 20,000 observations were made by more than 1000 people in a one-week period, cataloging approximately 1600 species in each location, including new records for both areas. During the 2016 CNC, we heard so much excitement and interest from people in other cities that we decided we couldn’t keep to the fun just to ourselves. In 2017 the City Nature Challenge went national, and in 2018, the CNC became an international event

 

About the Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah illuminates the natural world and the place of humans within it.

 

About Salt Lake County Library Services

Salt Lake County Library is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our community by inspiring imagination, satisfying curiosity and providing a great place for everyone to visit. You belong at the County Library and your interest to read, create, learn, play and connect is supported by our employees, programs, collection and online resources. Early and lifelong learning, as well as equal access for all, are at the forefront of all that we do.

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