Journal archives for April 2015

April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

How will you celebrate Earth Day today? I'll be preparing for a Google Hangout this evening to talk with some awesome people about the Great Nature Project and upcoming global snapshot of biodiversity.

We'll talk to Steve Boyes about his upcoming expedition down the Okavango River in Africa, urban explorer Juan Martinez, and educator Rona Zollinger. My colleague Julie Brown will be the host.

I hope you can join us tonight at 8 pm ET (that's GMT-4:00) for the Google Hangout. If you miss it, you'll be able to watch it later on our YouTube channel.

Posted on April 22, 2015 01:15 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 5 comments | Leave a comment

April 24, 2015

Take Your Kids to Work Day at National Geographic

I do the vast majority of my work in front of a computer at my desk, but this afternoon I had the great pleasure of going on an urban biodiversity scavenger hunt with about 20 kids and their parents on Take Your Kids to Work Day.

My colleague Julie and I wanted to use this opportunity with kids and parents to test "learning missions" that we are developing for the Great Nature Project. The idea with learning missions is that they provide a more focused, structured way for families to explore biodiversity. We'll be releasing a two of them as pdfs soon (before the global snapshot of biodiversity that starts on May 15!). The one we did today was about food webs, and everyone was challenged to find and photograph organisms that occupied different roles within the food web within a few blocks of the Nat Geo headquarters.

First we oriented everyone inside and taught the parents how to use the app (using tutorials that will also be available soon), then we walked a few blocks from Nat Geo down to a park near the White House. We saw (and the kids photographed) some pretty typical urban biodiversity-- cultivated plants, dandelions, house sparrows, pigeons, but there were also some sightings of lichen (uncommon in urban areas due to air pollution sensitivity). It was so much fun to be able to model exploration, enthusiasm, and curiosity and help the parents learn how they can use iNaturalist & the Great Nature Project to explore further as a family.

The highlight of the outing was when a huge carpenter bee landed on one of the kids who (thankfully) stood completely still and didn't panic. The bee was cold and happily posed for dozens of photos on the sleeve and later on a stick when I moved it off.

Pretty much anything observed in downtown DC today probably came from our little adventure, so sorry about all of the pansies and tulips!

Posted on April 24, 2015 01:29 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment