Observ-a-thon

Volunteers Needed! 

Join the statewide effort to document life while raising funds to support AEEA at this year’s inaugural Observ-a-thon! This fun and adventurous event pairs citizen science with a traditional pledge fund drive to encourage people from across Arkansas to get outside and observe as many living things as possible. Individuals can also pledge to sponsor an observer by making a donation according to the number of observations submitted by their observer.

Our Goals:

  • Observe and identify plants, animals, fungi, etc. from all areas of Arkansas and submit documentation to our iNaturalist Bioblitz page.
  • Raise funds to support our mission to champion environmental and outdoor education across the state of Arkansas.
  • Raise awareness about the beauty and diversity of life in our great state.
  • Spread the word about the work of AEEA to new people and communities.
  • Have fun and get outside!

How it works:

Like a traditional walk-a-thon or read-a-thon, the Observ-a-thon relies on individual participants joining the effort to make the event a success. Participants can serve as Observers or Sponsors (or both). Follow along below to learn more about each role:

Observers

Observers are the participants that use iNaturalist to document biodiversity in their area of Arkansas. To become an observer, simply:

  • Register by clicking the link below 
  • Join the Observ-a-thon Bioblitz project on iNaturalist (sign up to join iNaturalist if you haven’t already)
  • Use the Observer Toolkit to recruit Sponsors to support your effort
  • Submit your observations to the project throughout the week of Oct. 2-8 
  • Share your progress with your friends, family, colleagues etc. to help spread the word!

Sponsors

Sponsors are the real MVP’s of the event – they pledge funds and make a donation to AEEA based on the number of qualifying observations at the end of the event. Qualifying observations must be on the iNaturalist project page. Sponsors can base their donation by:

  • The number of observations submitted by a particular observer;
  • The number of observations submitted within a particular region of Arkansas (Ozarks, River Valley, Delta, etc.)
  • The number of observations under a particular taxonomic group (plants, reptiles, insects, etc.)

Sponsors can register using the link below. Pro tip: It is possible that there will be a large number of observations for which you’ll commit to sponsoring so carefully consider the amount you pledge. (For example, consider pledging 5-10 cents for every insect observed because there could be hundreds of insect observations submitted).

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