An event to ignite your inner explorer

Autumn Owens aowens@empiretribune.com Twitter @aowensETnews
Come join a free BioBlitz outdoor adventure at the Bosque River Trail starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Sam Kieschnick, a biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife, is partnering with Tarleton State University to bring a free BioBlitz outdoor exploration event to the Bosque River Trail starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

“This term BioBlitz is kind of like an intense time of exploration,” Kieschnick said. “It’s where we go out to a certain area and we just explore and try to document as many living critters and different species as possible during a timeframe.”

The event is open to the public and participants will be inspecting life along the Bosque River Trail using a tool called iNaturalist.

“It’s an international tool where people go out, observe and take photos of different things and then upload the photos to this network where scientists, naturalists and nature enthusiasts from all over the world can see where things are located,” Kieschnick said.

iNaturalist is an application - one that Kieschnick compares to the Pokemon Go app - that can be downloaded to your smart phone and then your photos can be directly uploaded into the network.

iNaturalist has a full website with all the details on how it works (www.inaturalist.org).

“I can’t tell you how much this has revolutionized the way I go outside,” Kieschnick said.

If you are someone who does not own a smart phone or digital camera, Kieschnick still encourages anyone to come out and just bring their curiosity with them.

“Sometimes it takes a little nudging for us to get outside, but I think that this generation is still into nature,” Kieschnick said. “This is another excuse to go out and explore and appreciate the things we share this planet with. I believe that childlike exploration is in all of us, we just need to push it out.”

For more information about this event contact Kieschnick at Sam.kieschnick@tpwd.texas.gov.