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City Nature Challenge vs. Northern Rocky Mountain Biodiversity Challenge

George Gehrig

A sixth grader in Boise, Idaho photographs wildlife at a local park to upload onto the iNaturalist app for the City Nature Challenge.

Last month's blog post, “Education opportunities through the 2024 City Nature Challenge” gave information about the 2024 City Nature Challenge (CNC). See the CNC FAQ for more information.

There are very few requirements to have an iNaturalist project become officially part of the CNC. One of them is attending monthly one hour Zoom meetings that begin in September each year. If you missed the Zoom meeting for New Organizers last month, but are still interested in being a new local organizer, please be sure to watch the recording of the meeting and follow along in the agenda, and sign up for one of the October meetings using this Google spreadsheet.

Map of City Nature Challenge locations worldwide

While the CNC is a worldwide event, the Northern Rocky Mountain Biodiversity Challenge (NRMBC) is limited to the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2) ecoregion. There are 106 jurisdictions that intersect in whole or in part with the Y2Y, with 33 being counties in Idaho. The NRMBC is held 3 times a year in the spring, summer and fall to encourage seasonal observations, and species relationships at the shared landscape level

Both the CNC and the NRMBC are 4 day events using the iNaturalist platform. The Spring NRMBC dates correspond with the CNC. The differences are: organizers don’t have to do any online training, and don’t even have to create the project. All projects will be created. All one would have to do is volunteer to be the local organizer to help promote it.

A map of the Northern Rocky Mountain Biodiversity Challenge

Going forward, one way to engage students would be for high schools/environmental clubs in one jurisdiction to challenge others in the Y2Y. “Winners” would be those who were able to get the most people per capita to participate. Individual observers with the most observations per jurisdiction could also be induced into a new Hall of Fame (there could be ones for each jurisdiction, each state/province, and one for the NRMBC).

For more information about the NRMBCs, see the About section of the 2023 Fall NRMBC. For more information, please contact IdEEA board member George Gehrig:


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