CALeDNA program assesses biodiversity in California soil

Volunteers throughout California are heeding a call by UCLA researchers to map California’s biodiversity and preserve the state’s environmental history. The project, CALeDNA, aims to assess Californian biodiversity across numerous habitats using soil samples collected by citizen scientists. CALeDNA is funded by the President’s Research Catalyst Awards. University of California President Janet Napolitano instituted the award in 2015 to grant funding to UC members pursuing leading research. “CALeDNA is about monitoring life in California, everything from the bacteria in the soil to the mammals that walk on it,” said Rachel Meyer, executive director of the UC Conservation Genomics Consortium. “We want to know what California looks like right now, because environmental changes are happening very quickly, especially with the current political climate.”

Photo of students collecting samples by Emily Curd. Image sourced from

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