#bioPGH: BioBlitz—The Best Thing Happening on June 10!
A resource of Biophilia: Pittsburgh, #bioPGH is a weekly blog and social media series that aims to encourage both children and adults to reconnect with nature and enjoy what each of our distinctive seasons has to offer.
Have you ever heard of a bioblitz? In the most traditional scientific explanation, a bioblitz is an event that unites scientists and volunteers to identify as many living things in a given area over a set time frame—usually 24 hours. It truly is a mad dash, or a “blitz,” to quickly identify everything possible, which is why the volunteers are so helpful. Scientists can then use the data to better understand the health of the local ecosystem and keep a record of the living things in the study area. Some of the more notable bioblitzes in recent years include the series of broadly attended events hosted by the National Park Service in 2016 to celebrate their centennial year and various chapters of the Audubon Society host annual BioBlitzes in their respective areas.
If this sounds intriguing, mark your calendar for this weekend! On Sun., June 10, starting at 9:00 a.m., our third annual BioBlitz Family Fun Festival will bring together families, students, local scientists and naturalists, teachers and community leaders to conduct a biological survey, exploration and celebration of living species in Schenley Park — a discovery of the wonders of nature like no other! BioBlitz supports important research and documentation of regional biodiversity, aiding scientists in learning more about the local environment and ways to support its conservation. By participating, you'll get to experience the amazing biodiversity of local Pennsylvania in a fun, community-centered way!
Some of the highlights of the day will include botanical illustration classes, nature-themed story time, and art projects on the lawn for families to work on together. The main features, though, will be expert-guided nature walks into Schenley Park. All of the main activities, including exhibitors at the research base officially begin at 9:00 am, though one of the walks begins at 8:30 a.m.
- Birds with Kate St. John, author of the Outside My Window blog | 8:30 a.m.
- Aquatic Life with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy | 9 a.m.
- Nature Cell Phone Photography with Joanne Schreiber, Phipps docent | 9 a.m.
- Native Trees with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy | 10 a.m.
- Native and Invasive Plants with Kyle Selcer, Duquesne University | 10 a.m.
- Amphibians with Dr. Sarah Woodley, Duquesne University | 10 a.m.
- Native Fish with Brady Porter, Duquesne University | 11 a.m.
- Insects with Dr. Ryan Gott, Phipps Associate Director of Integrated Pest Management | 11 a.m.
- iNaturalist Walk with the Allegheny Land Trust | 1 p.m.
- Mushrooms with Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club | 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Mollusks with Tim Pearce, Carnegie Museum of Natural History | 2 p.m.
- Spiders with Sebastian Echeverri, University of Pittsburgh | 2 p.m.
- Bees and Pollinators with Christina Neumann, Apoidea Apiary | 3 p.m.
This will be a full day of hands-on science that you don’t want to miss. We hope you’ll be a part of Pittsburgh’s BioBlitz Family Fun Festival at Phipps!
For more information, check out our website or contact Maria Wheeler-Dubas, science education and research outreach manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credits: Maria Wheeler-Dubas and Pexels CC0