EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Biogeocaching - a scavenger hunt for the treasures of biology around Lake Lunz 

Romana Hödl, Katrin Attermeyer, Laura Coulson, and Astrid Harjung
Romana Hödl et al.
  • WasserCluster Lunz – Biologische Station, Austria

Climate change and decreasing biodiversity are currently hot topics in the media. Freshwaters in the alpine region are good indicators of climate change and, hence, perfect examples for illustrating these threats. Here, we want to share our idea for a Geocaching path (similar to the popular treasure hunt game) that is used to educate the public about the biology of freshwaters. We want to educate the visitors about the natural environment and the consequences of climate change and decreasing biodiversity for our aquatic ecosystems and livelihoods. In particular, we want to show the approaches of scientists to understand and predict these threats and, furthermore, how our society can find solutions to protect aquatic ecosystems. Lake Lunz is a very popular place for tourists. Visitors enjoy walks around the lake as well as swimming. Close by is also one of the oldest lake research stations (WasserCluster Lunz - Biologische Station), where scientists from all over the world are currently conducting on aquatic ecosystems. The project received funding from the EGU Public Engagement Grant in 2019. The GPS coordinates for the Geocache (a small treasure box in an insect hotel) are hidden in the answers to several questions about freshwater biology that lead the participants around the lake, a search we termed "Biogeocaching". The answers can be found on different informational signs that are set up around the lake and at the experimental sites and research facilities of WasserCluster Lunz. After finishing the path, the participants will have learned about ecology of alpine lakes and the research activities at WasserCluster Lunz. We think that geocaching as a treasure hunt is a playful way for people of all ages to discover nature. The combination of an outdoor recreational activity with information about freshwaters, climate change, and decreasing biodiversity -Biogeocaching - will sensitize the public to and raise awareness of these hot topics in the field of Earth Sciences. We hope to encourage other researchers and research institutes to develop something similar on their topic and research.

How to cite: Hödl, R., Attermeyer, K., Coulson, L., and Harjung, A.: Biogeocaching - a scavenger hunt for the treasures of biology around Lake Lunz , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15815,, 2023.