USGS scientists came up with the idea in 1996 when they embarked on a 24 hour inventory of a park in Washington DC. Their aim was to identify every plant and animal species on the grounds, and the term BioBlitzwas coined.
Ellen Censky, now Senior Vice President and Academic Dean of the Milwaukee Public Museum, participated in her first BioBlitz in 1997 in Pittsburgh, PA. When a job took her to the Univeristy of Connecticut she initiated a BioBlitz there. It received national attention.