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City Nature Challenge

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
NC Museum of Natural Sciences & Prairie Ridge Ecostation Friday, April 27th - Monday, April 30th various times. Free


Want to help show the rest of the world just how amazing North Carolina’s citizen scientists are? Join the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for the City Nature Challenge! This competition pits several American cities against each other to see who can document the most biodiversity on the iNaturalist app over a 4-day period. We’re going up against cities that are a lot bigger than we are (Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and others), but North Carolina’s amazing biodiversity and the great urban wildlife we see every day can help us win!

We likely need over 20,000 submissions to have a shot of taking home the gold, so we need YOUR help snapping photos of Triangle Area plants, animals, or fungi between April 27-30 and submitting them online. We’ve got some great prizes for the top three local contributors as a thank you, too!

You can participate in the City Nature Challenge: Triangle Area by doing the following:

Join us in person downtown or at Prairie Ridge Ecostation. See the Activity Schedule below for details.
Visit any outdoor space in the Triangle Area from April 27 to 30, take photos of the plants, animals, and fungi you see, and submit them to iNaturalist on your own! Download the iNaturalist smartphone app for Android or Apple and submit as you go or carry a camera with you and upload them through the website by noon on May 3.
Follow along with the local event, view our local leaderboard, or check out the map of the area that’s included at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2018-triangle-area. You can see how we’re stacking up against our competition on the national leaderboard during the event.

Want to get ready for the City Nature Challenge: Triangle Area now? Create an iNaturalist account (it’s free!) through the website or the smartphone app and practice submitting your sightings so you’re ready to help us win. Need help getting your iNaturalist account set up or using the website/app? Download a printable quick guide for iPhone and Android smartphones that will walk you through the basics.  (Note that changes within the last few days on iNaturalist have changed the process very slightly.)

Scheduled Museum activities will be listed below as they are confirmed. Thanks for helping us show off our local citizen scientists in the City Nature Challenge: Triangle Area!

ACTIVITY SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, APRIL 27
8:30-11:00pm: Nighttime Insects
Join us at Prairie Ridge to explore insects that are active at night!  Bring a flashlight and a camera/your cell phone (come with your phone pre-loaded with the iNaturalist app) and we’ll see how many species we can attract to our lights.  Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
SATURDAY, APRIL 28
All day: City Nature Challenge Information Station
Learn about the City Nature Challenge with the Naturalist Center staff during the Triangle SciTech Expo! NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
All day: City Nature Challenge Information Station
Learn about the City Nature Challenge with the Prairie Ridge staff in our Outdoor Classroom. We’ll have a table set up and people ready to answer your questions. Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
9:30-10:30am: Introduction to iNaturalist
Learn how to use iNaturalist so you can participate in the City Nature Challenge! Come with iNaturalist pre-loaded on your phone if you are planning to use the smartphone app. Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
10:00am-12:00pm: NCSU Campus Biodiversity Walk.
Join NC State’s Citizen Science Club members on campus for a City Nature Challenge biodiversity walk!  Club members will demonstrate how to use iNaturalist before leading you on a walk around campus.  Come with the iNaturalist app pre-loaded on your phone and meet at the Stafford Commons (the grassy area outside the Tally Student Union).  North Carolina State University, Stafford Commons.
10:30-11:30am: Biodiversity Walk
Join us for an hour long leisurely walk to see how many species we can find at Prairie Ridge. This is a great introduction to participating in the City Nature Challenge and should allow you to get a lot of observations made. Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
1:00-2:00pm: The Micro World
Use a quadrat to explore tiny plants and animals in intimate detail. We’ll let you borrow a macro lens attachment for your phone so you can get some great shots of the things you see. This program is limited to 20 people and requires registration! Please visit the event listing for more information on how to register. Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
2:00-3:00pm: Dragonflies and Damselflies
Explore these amazing aerial acrobats by catching and photographing dragonflies and damselflies with our resident dragonfly expert! Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
3:00-4:00pm: Aquatic Insects
See and photograph insects from our pond. We’ll help you start to identify them too! Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
SUNDAY, APRIL 29
All day: City Nature Challenge Information Station
Learn about the City Nature Challenge with the Prairie Ridge staff in our Outdoor Classroom. We’ll have a table set up and people ready to answer your questions. Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
12:30-1:30pm: The Micro World
Use a quadrat to explore tiny plants and animals in intimate detail. We’ll let you borrow a macro lens attachment for your phone so you can get some great shots of the things you see. This program is limited to 20 people and requires registration! Please visit the event listing for more information on how to register. Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
2:00-3:00: Tracks, Scat, and Fur
Bring out your inner wildlife biologist as we take a walk on the wild side and look for signs of wildlife! Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.
3:00-4:00: Insect Investigations
Join us for an insect hunt! We’ll wander the grounds looking for insects that you can photograph for the Challenge. Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Outdoor Classroom.

Wake County Parks and Recreation Short Term
Wake County Parks and Recreation Short Term