We document and update ecological information using biological surveys. Scroll down to learn about our crowdsourced surveys.
Our primary focus is to document the biodiversity of Waller Creek in a scientifically defensible way, using photo-vouchers and collection of museum specimens. Information for most taxonomic groups is lacking or outdated. We will update this information with "bioblitzes" - biological surveys involving both scientists and the general public.
We have already documented an impressive variety of life in Waller Creek, but that's only the tip of the iceberg! With your help, you'll be amazed at how quickly we can document so many more cool plants and critters!
The images and specimens produced by these events will update the baseline data needed for understanding and conserving Waller Creek's ecosystem. Specimens deposited in UT's Biodiversity Collections will persist indefinitely and not only be used by researchers studying Waller Creek's flora and fauna, but also by scientists around the world interested in much broader questions including evolution and ecosystem/organism change over time. Images submitted to our "citizen science" project on iNaturalist will be archived permanently and made freely available.
These two ways of scientific vouchering or documenting the occurrences of species at points in space and time complement each other - the number of actual specimens collected is limited by ethical and logistical constraints, including the fact that there are a limited number of people trained to make scientific collections. Photographic documentation by citizen scientists, however, is far less invasive and does not require any specialized knowledge or permits. Once photos are available via iNaturalist, the global community of scientists can, at any time, assist with identifications, and anyone can explore all of the data via the web. It's super easy to turn this valuable work into fun games - start contests with your friends to see who can record the most species!
If you are interested in being involved with our sampling efforts please let us know via our communications form. If you can't make it to one of our sampling events please download iNaturalist to your phone and contribute when you can at your leisure.
Check our calendar for details about these events.
Bioblitzing with the public
#1: Bioblitz #1 was held on Nov 14, 2015.
#2: Bioblitz #2 was held on April 10, 2016.
#3 Austin City Nature Challenge! April 27-30, 2018