In Marsabit, data on invertebrates and plants is scarce and difficult to come by. However, when students, teachers, park rangers and scientists go to the field to collect data on the natural history of the surroundings, they can greatly contribute to science. Bioblitz events are designed to do just that, get everyone together, head to the field, observe, listen, touch, photograph and note down the plants and animals.
In April 2018 and June 2019, we conducted student oriented nature workshops designed to promote citizen science and enable students to learn more about their environment in a bid to get them involved in conservation. The workshops targeted 140 students from St. John’s, Al Hidaya Muslim and St. Teresa’s Primary Schools and Moi Girls High School in Marsabit town, brought together experts from Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, National Museums of Kenya, Kenyatta University, Tony Wild and members of The Explorer’s Club of Kenya. Together, we were able to promote awareness to students on the importance of wildlife and sustainable natural resource protection, the various environmental careers and basic field data observation and collection skills. Students also demonstrated their understanding of what they learnt by creating drama skits, singing, composing poems, creating posters and drawing animals, all with environmental messages.
The National Geographic Society’s Photo Ark Community Initiative and the Citizen Explorer Lab program supported both events.