Public registration for the 2011 Saguaro BioBlitz inventory teams is now open. Interested participants are invited to join scientists in the field to find and identify species that live in Saguaro National Park during the BioBlitz on Oct. 21-22.

Online registration can be found at www.nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz. Due to limited space on inventory teams, advance registration is required to ensure a spot on a team. Online registration will close on Oct. 13.

Teams will be located in both east and west districts of the park, and check-in may take place in field stations where appropriate. This information will be available on the registration site.

Sponsored by the National Geographic Society in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), the BioBlitz is a 24-hour event with teams of many scientists, and hundreds of students and the general public who work together to find and identify as many plant and animal species as possible.

One park from among the park service’s 395 units is selected each year to host the event, for 10 years leading up to the NPS’s 2016 Centennial.

Saguaro National Park will simultaneously host a Biodiversity Festival, where the public can interact with scientists as they come in from the field to identify and catalog species.

The festival will be held at the Red Hills Visitor Center at 2700 N. Kinney Road (west side) and will include activities at science and conservation exhibit booths, demonstrations, speakers, art, music and entertainment.

No advance registration is required to attend the Biodiversity Festival, which takes place both Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Off-site parking and shuttle service is mandatory and will be provided from the nearby Old Tucson Studios.

BioBlitz is free and open to the public. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Friends of Saguaro National Park are also key sponsors of the event.

For more information, please go to www.nps.gov/sagu.

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