Online and In the Field: The Macaulay Honors College 2020 Remote BioBlitz
Kelly O’Donnell, Director of Science Forward, Academic Affairs, Macaulay Honors College.
Lisa Brundage, Director, Teaching, Learning & Technology, Academic Affairs, Macaulay Honors College.
Janet Fu, Assistant Director of Strategic Events, Academic Affairs, Macaulay Honors College.
The Macaulay Honors College BioBlitz is a signature student experience and an important component of the Science Forward curriculum. For the past seven years, we have taken students to parks many of them had never visited before to use our city as a laboratory. In a normal, in-person BioBlitz, our students are put on teams with local scientists and naturalists to collect ecologically meaningful data from our shared urban space. Students then use the data they collect to complete original research projects over the course of the semester. In this way, students are learning how science works by being engaged in the scientific process itself. In 2020, we were forced to bring the entire BioBlitz fully online while still retaining the fundamental aspects of this experiential learning event: students collecting data to use in class, interacting with scientists and naturalists, and connecting with their peers from all eight of our consortial campuses. In this presentation, we will discuss the changes we made to move this event online, how we kept students engaged, and what we learned from this event that we can bring forward to future BioBlitzes and other experiential learning events