See Highlights From Hawai‘i Volcanoes BioBlitz, Discover Next Year’s Location

(Photo by Eric Leifer, National Geographic)
Perhaps squeamish at the idea of counting bugs at first, students soon came to see them as fascinating and entertaining creatures, all part of our one continuous natural world. (Photo by Eric Leifer, National Geographic)

[This text is from an official press release.]

HAWAI‘I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii (May 20, 2015)—After two intensive days of exploration and documentation, the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park BioBlitz held on May 15 and 16, 2015, captured a vivid snapshot of the unique plant and animal biodiversity in the park. The event brought together more than 170 leading scientists and traditional Hawaiian cultural practitioners (alakai‘i), more than 850 students and thousands from the general public. Together, they conducted a comprehensive inventory of the plants, insects, mammals, birds and other species that inhabit the 333,086-acre island park. Under the theme of “I ka nānā no a ‘ike” (“By observing, one learns”), alakai‘i were integrated into the survey teams for a more holistic approach to the research and exploration endeavor.

Traditional Hawaiian cultural practitioners called alakai’i opened each inventory with an oli, or chant, asking that the people’s hearts and minds be open to what nature had to show them. (Photo by Kirk Shorte National Geographic Your Shot)