On October 1, Richmond National Battlefield Parks hosted its first ever bioblitz, a nationwide event in which volunteers become citizen scientists and help catalogue as much of their local biodiversity as they can.
Volunteers also include numerous professors and students from University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. Professors incorporated this experience into their curricula to give students a better appreciation of how much there is living in one’s local environment and give students a taste of conducting real scientific research. Richard Groover from Reynolds also led a team for this research.
Using the smartphone app iNaturalist, with which anyone can document and make accessible local wildlife observations, volunteers were able to document 226 unique species living at our Totopotomoy Creek site, on October 1st.
Assistant dean and biology professor Richard Groover has been surveying for the last 6 months all possible insect species found at Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield. At the National Park Service’s request, he will continue to survey insect species at three more battlefield over the coming years.