Flying the Flag for Biodiversity

Saguaro National Park, Arizona–Jamie Trevillyan is the Arts Coordinator for Saguaro National Park. A community project she worked on for the 2011 BioBlitz in the park — hosted this weekend by National Geographic and the National Park Service — was aimed at both young and retired people. Some 200 groups (local schools and retirement centers) representing both ends of the age spectrum were invited to make flags with biodiversity as the theme. At least 75 were returned — and the results fly proudly above the crowds at the park this weekend.

Young and old were sent a blank flag to personalize any way that they could imagine. They were told only that the flag should feature a plant, animal, or landscape native to Tucson or the Sonoran Desert, in English, Spanish, Tohono O’odham as well as the scientific names of plants and animals.

“They’re really incredible,” Trevillyan told me in the video interview above. But it was so hard to choose which were special, because they were all special in their own way, she said.

Photo by David Braun/National Geographic News

The groups invited to make the flags were also invited to participate in the BioBlitz, which is a 24-hour inventory of all living things in Saguaro National Park. More than 2,000 students and 150 scientists are helping to collect specimens of animals and plants.

The flag project is only the latest way the citizens of Tucson have expressed their appreciation of their National Park, according to Trevillyan. The wilderness has inspired poetry and other forms of art.

Photo by David Braun/National Geographic News

12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn

Human Journey

Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn