As soon as I was introduced to the concept of a BioBlitz, I immediately emailed the boss man Jonathan Eisen saying that we should arm these people with microbial sampling kits. He, apparently having received the same BioBlitz announcement that I did, was seconds away from sending the same email to me!
We contacted Jack Gilbert at the Earth Microbiome Project and Janet Jansson at LBL/JGI/JBEI, and George Phillips, the organizer of the Mount Diablo BioBlitz, and they were all on board to help make a MicroBioBlitz happen.
A few days ago, I received another announcement about the 2nd annual UC Davis SEEDS BioBlitz. So, yesterday, I got the go-ahead from those organizers, last night I threw together 20 swab kits, and today I took them to the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve for a test run of the MicroBioBlitz concept. It was So. Much. Fun! The BioBlitzers were super-excited to start swabbing their organisms of choice. I gave them no guidance, and I can’t wait to see what they decided to swab! Before I left, they had swabbed lizard butts and oak galls, and they were on the lookout for otter scat!
I couldn’t stay for the whole event because Vivian needed a lunch and a nap, but before we left, I had her swab a Valley Oak for us! She loved helping, but cried when I took the swab away from her, so I gave her a swab to play with, and she spent the next 20 minutes swabbing everything she could reach!