BioDiscovery Program

Young girl and a scientist examine a organism in a test tube
In 2010, 2,500 citizen scientists worked with their professional counterparts to explore life in one of the nation’s largest marine national parks, Biscayne National Park. Here, a young participant and scientist examine an organism of one of the 972 species discovered.

NPS photo.

Discovering a world yet to be seen

The National Park Service (NPS) protects the diversity of living organisms found within park units nationwide. Yet, conservative estimates indicate that as many as 80-90% of the species in parks are undiscovered. This gap in knowledge makes it impossible to protect living resources from threats – such as invasive plants and animals, diseases, human population pressures, and variations in climate. The BioDiscovery Program aims to close this gap.

About the BioDiscovery Program

To help address the ongoing gap in biodiversity knowledge, the NPS Biological Resources Division has created the BioDiscovery Program. This team will develop innovative approaches to assist parks with biodiversity conservation efforts that are scientifically rigorous, tailored to individual park needs, and encouraging of public engagement with science and biological resources.

Tools & Resources

The BioDiscovery Program can provide assistance with the planning and coordination of biodiscovery events like bioblitzes and other citizen science programs, as well as provide support for data management and analysis. Resources include the following:

  • Technical assistance for planning bioblitz events
  • Project management support for creating new citizen science programs
  • Training on biodiscovery tools like iNaturalist
  • Guidance for hiring and mentoring interns
  • Help with synthesizing and analyzing biodiversity data
  • Coordination of data management and sharing
  • Geospatial analysis support
Create a Technical Assistance Request in the Solution for Technical Assistance Requests (STAR) Portal (accessible by NPS employees only). Choose the program area ‘Bioblitzes and Biodiversity Discovery’.

For questions or support, you may also contact:

Kris Barnes
Program Lead and Data Integration Coordinator
e-mail us

Kiersten Jarvis
BioBlitz Project Manager and Youth Program Liaison
e-mail us

Parker Hopkins
iNaturalist Data Technician
e-mail us

Last updated: April 30, 2019