Campus Biodiversity

PEASE Lab’s effort to document biodiversity on SIU’s campus

With Campus Lake, Thompson woods, and Touch of Nature, Southern Illinois University has a beautiful campus! The PEASE Lab has several ongoing campus and community efforts to document biodiversity across our campus. The PEASE Lab is the first US-based University to join the Campus Biodiveristy Network - an organization to collectively document and monitor across global university campuses. We additionally host the annual Saluki BioBlitz, which is a 24-hour challenge to document as many species as possible on campus. See details below!

Campus Biodiversity Network

Discover and Monitor Biodiversity on Campus

The Campus Biodiversity Network is a global group of universities joining efforts to encourage documenting and monitoring biodiversity on campus. All efforts are documented on iNaturalist where universities can tally their species count and compare across the globe. Good news: SIU is currently 2nd across all competing universities with nearly 8,000 species documented on campus!

Saluki BioBlitz

A 24-hour challenge to document biodiversity

The Saluki BioBlitz is an annual 24-hour challenge to document biodiversity across SIU’s Carbondale campus. At a BioBlitz, students, faculty, staff, scientists, families, and the general public work together to get a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity. Using the iNaturalist platform, participants create digital records of which species are found (and not found!) on campus. The event is a great way to document and learn about the biodiversity across campus while contributing to the Pease Lab’s and SIU Forestry Program’s ongoing efforts of documenting biodiversity across the region.

The 2023 SIU Saluki BioBlitz was a great success!

View all observation details including the leaderboard on the iNaturalist 2023 SIU Saluki BioBlitz page!

A comparison of across all Saluki BioBlitz years can be found on the iNaturalist umbrella page page!


What is a BioBlitz: A BioBlitz is an organized challenge to document biodiversity (plants, animals, fungi, etc.) in a specific area over a short period of time, usually 24 hours.

How do I participate? Participation is easy! Using iNaturalist, participants submit photos of species found. Any iNaturalist observation occuring on SIUC’s campus during August 19th, 2022 will automatically be added to the Saluki BioBlitz project.

Who can participate? Anyone! A BioBlitz is a great way for anyone to learn about the species in their area. You do not need to be a student, faculty, or staff to participate - anyone from anywhere can help document biodiversity on SIU’s campus.

What if I don’t know what I am observing? No problem! All observations submitted on iNaturalist are validated by the iNaturalist community and will be ID’ed to the highest taxonomic classification possible. Just submit observations that include a photo and the online community will help! Over 100 million observations have been validated on iNaturalist.

What should I bring? No special equipment is needed! Just bring your smart phone, some water, binoculars if you have them, and your curiosity! All observations can be submitted thhrough the iNaturalist website via an app on your smartphone.