National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will join students from the Front Range of Colorado and as far away as Costa Rica in a 24-hour BioBlitz to count species that live in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Co-sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the BioBlitz takes place on August 24-25 and teams students up with 200 leading scientists from around the country for hands-on scientific exploration. Created as a way to get young people interested in science and the environment, this is the sixth annual BioBlitz in a series that will continue through the National Park Service’s centennial in 2016.
Preparing for that centennial is the purpose behind the National Park Service Call to Action, released by Jarvis on August 25 last year – the Service’s 95th birthday. The plan offered 36 action items, from hosting 100 BioBlitzes of all shapes and sizes throughout the National Park Service by 2016 to revisiting the document – the Leopold Report – that has influenced National Park Service wildlife management for 50 years. The new report written by the science committee of the National Park System Advisory Board, will be delivered to Jarvis at the start of the BioBlitz by science committee member Dr. Healy Hamilton. The National Park Foundation funded the report.
WHO: Jonathan B. Jarvis, National Park Service Director
John Fahey, National Geographic Society Chairman & CEO
Juan Martinez, National Geographic Society Emerging
Dr. Healy Hamilton, Marine Conservation Institute
Dr. Gary Machlis, Science Advisor to the NPS Director
Neil Mulholland, National Park Foundation President & CEO
Judy Burke, Mayor of Grand Lake, Colorado and NPS Advisory
BioBlitz Youth Ambassadors
Parker Hopkins, 15 years old, Longmont, Colorado
Valyssa Flores, 11 years old, Tucson, Arizona
Dara Reyes, 14 years old, Bridgeport, Connecticut
WHAT: Part scientific endeavor, part festival, part outdoor classroom, and part fun, the BioBlitz partners inquisitive kids with scientists to observe and record as many plant and animal species as possible in 24 hours. The BioBlitz also features a Biodiversity Festival at the Estes Park Fairgrounds. The free, family-oriented event runs August 24-25 and features exhibits, live animals, demonstrations, and hands-on activities offered by scientific and environmental organizations.
WHEN: Friday, August 24
WHERE: 9:00 AM Director Jarvis signs Memorandum of
Understanding with Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas.
11:30 AM BioBlitz opening ceremony
Estes Park Fairgrounds,
1209 Manford Avenue
Noon Media availability
12:20 PM Director Jarvis and media board bus for transport to BioBlitz site in Rocky Mountain National Park where more than 100 students will be searching for aquatic invertebrates.
Note: Because of limited parking all media wishing to attend must be on the bus; to reserve a seat, RSVP by noon on August 23 To Kyle Patterson at Kyle_ Patterson@nps.gov or 970-586-1363.
2:00 PM Director Jarvis and media board bus to meet up with students from Sabino High School (Arizona) on the park’s alpine tundra to identify plants and look for environmental changes and adaptations to tundra life.
5:00 PM Arrive back at Fairgrounds.
Overnight BioBlitz activities continue to 10:30 PM.
Saturday, August 25
9:00-11:00 AM Explore the Montane Forest with Director Jarvis and students from schools in Estes Park and Costa Rica. They will focus on tree identification and forest ecology, including the impact of fire.
3:30 PM BioBlitz closing ceremony at Estes Park Fairgrounds