LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Potter Park Zoo is offering the chance to play scientist for the day at their first ever BioBlitz event on Saturday, which is also Earth Day.

Officials with the zoo say this is a great chance to get out in nature and contribute to science. Individuals, families, and small groups are guided by staff to observe the local environment and record the diversity of life they find.

Stephanie Pentiuk, Conservation Engagement Lead, said it’s really great because all of the data that’s collected is shared with the MSU Science Festival and AZA initiative.

She said this is done by using the iNaturalist app and uploading photos to the Potter Park Zoo ‘project’ page. 

“This is a really great way for us on a massive scale to identify what species are here, invasive and not, and we can kind of keep an eye out on those populations,” Pentiuk said. 

According to Pentiuk, the BioBlitz event is part of a larger initiative, so its a great way for the community to make a big difference.

Pentiuk said they are expecting around 100 curious individuals to come to their zoo and encourages more to participate. She said the more people that show up, the more data they will collect and the better they will be able to track the species out there.

“We need to be aware of the things we have going on in our backyard, right?” She asked. 

Pentiuk said there are multiple motivations to attend this event, and participate.

“One is the citizens science piece of it; being a part of a bigger whole, tracking species and monitoring natives and non-natives. But then also the whole walk in nature thing. Studies have shown time and time again that a walk in nature is really healthy and beneficial for us,” Pentiuk said. 

If you want to attend, you can do so by pre-registering on the link below. Or you can just simply show up at the zoo between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. for check-in.