Join scientists, naturalists and students as we attempt to identify and count all living species within an 11-mile diameter circle placed over Groton, New London, Waterford and Long Island Sound. BioBlitz Central will be at Catherine Kolnaski STEAM Magnet School. The public is welcome to come from noon -3 June 4.
What is BioBlitz?
Designed as part contest, festival, educational event, and scientific endeavor; the BioBlitz brings together scientists and naturalists from UConn, Connecticut College Yale, CT DEEP Fisheries Division, CT Entomological Society, CT Botanical Society, CT Valley Mycological Society, Master Naturalists, Project Oceanology and other organizations in a race to see how many species they can count in a 24-hour biological survey. The public is invited to observe the scientists' activities, to interact with them, and to participate in other activities Saturday June 4th noon to 3pm. Schools within these towns are encouraged to form their own teams of students, teachers and parents to blitz their own school campuses or a local park, and we will provide one or more naturalists to assist them.
Why Do It?
Public Awareness: BioBlitz is designed to increase the public's awareness of the variety of life in their immediate neighborhood and the services these various species provide to improve the quality of their lives. We usually hear the word "biodiversity" in regard to rainforests with their vast number of species. Yet the diversity of life in our own backyards is phenomenal. We take for granted clean water, fertile soil, and air to breathe. Yet these are all the result of working ecosystems filled with species that perform these tasks. From our morning shower to our late night snack, we are supported by biodiversity every minute of the day. What better way to address the topic than to invite people to share in our 24-hours of discovery and to experience the vast array of species that we collectively find.
Excite kids about science: The BioBlitz is an excellent tool for exciting children about science. It is rare for students to interact with biologists from many disciplines and work toward a common goal. The Jr. Scientist Camp program has students blitzing alongside the scientists, and engaging with them at ‘BioBlitz Central’, a base camp and the hub of the BioBlitz. This centralized location is equipped with microscopes, computers, and other tools of the trade. This is where identifications take place, species are recorded, discoveries are made, and the tally of species accrues. .
Generate Data: The BioBlitz generates a list of species found in various parks and school campuses, a first step in successful ecosystem management. The BioBlitz has the potential to identify species that should be monitored or controlled. It may identify unique aspects of a location that might otherwise not have been known. This information along with recommendations from the scientists is supplied to town managers, teachers and others.
Celebrate with us: The BioBlitz is a celebration of the diversity of life in our backyards. But why celebrate it? We hear again and again about the negative impacts we've had on biodiversity such as the loss of species and the destruction of habitats. It seems rare to accentuate and celebrate something positive. The BioBlitz is a chance to highlight the positive impact that parks and open spaces, with all their diversity, have on our everyday lives. Join us as we celebrate biodiversity formally at the BioBlitz. In the meantime, celebrate informally by enjoying Connecticut's many urban and suburban parks and open spaces where there is more to the eye than you see.
bryophytes and lichens