Blog : BioBlitz!: An Extreme Species Search

By Patrick Haigis | Sep 12, 2014 | in

Interested in learning more about coastal species and ecosystems with your family? The Seacoast Science Center, with support from New Hampshire Public Television, is hosting the 12th annual BioBlitz on Saturday, September 20th from 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. BioBlitz is a day-long species scavenger hunt of Odiorne Point State Park, where the families explore alongside scientists and field naturalists to find and record data on as many different species in the Park as possible in one day.

BioBlitz offers exciting opportunities for all ages to gain knowledge and skill in their favorite area of nature. Exploration teams will be birding, searching for insects, snakes and amphibians, exploring the freshwater pond and salt marsh, tracking mammals, identifying plants and seaweeds, tide pooling and more. You can sign up to participate in all or part of the day.

BioBlitz is a great way to excite children about science and a rare opportunity to meet many passionate biologists working together. Odiorne’s 135 acres and seven distinctly different habitats make it a unique and fascinating place to explore and learn.

If you’re not up for scouring the park, there is still plenty to explore in the Center’s Gregg Interactive Learning Studio. There, you will see samples of species collected by naturalists and learn about the identification process. You can see amazing images of the plants, animals and activities from past years on the big-screens, observe insects through microscopes, see samples of seaweeds and fungi, and connect with many spirited nature-lovers.

Between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., you can do your part in celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day and join Get it Going and the Blue Ocean Society for a beach cleanup. Participants will be entered to win raffles prizes donated by local business.

Since the first BioBlitz in 2003, the total number of species identified in Odiorne tops 2,062. Last year, over 280 participants found 684 species, with 47 species being new to our list! This extremely valuable catalog serves as a snapshot of the biodiversity of flora and fauna in the region. The knowledge gained during BioBlitz has provided multiple opportunities to educate school children, families and groups.

Special thanks to New Hampshire Public Television, a proud sponsor of BioBlitz. “NHPTV encourages educators and parents to explore the natural world with kids. That’s why we’re pleased to be a sponsor for BioBlitz and to partner with the Seacoast Science Center,” noted Susan Adams, New Hampshire Public Television’s Educational Services Manager. “Through NHPTV and PBS TV programs like Windows to the Wild, Nature, and Wild Kratts, as well as online resources for kids like Wildlife Journal, Jr. and Plum Island, children can learn more about the natural world in their backyard and around the world.”

To learn how you can help the Center add to the list, find a detailed schedule, and register click here. The event is free for members of the Seacoast Science Center; $7 for non-members; $20 for non-member families (up to 6 people). Contact Sarah at 603-436-8043, ext. 20 or s.toupin@seacentr.org for more information or to inquire how groups can get involved.

BioBlitz Exploration Schedule 2014
6:00 a.m. - Birding
8:00 a.m. – Bugs/ Insects
9:00 a.m. - Mammals
10:00 a.m. – Pond
11:00 a.m. – Plants/ Trees
12:00 p.m. – Special Lunch Program
1:00 p.m. – Seine Netting
2:00 p.m. – Salt Marsh
3:00 p.m. – Tide Pooling
4:00 p.m. – Seaweed
5:00 p.m. – Species Overview/Program End