Due to the success in obtaining state funds for a new museum and planetarium, we have decided to suspend our annual BioBlitz activities this year. We intend to bring this fun family event back in 2015. In the meantime, we are hosting a micro-BioBlitz at the Northern Spark event on June 14.
At the Northern Spark event we will host urban insect collecting and scientific drawing activities from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. in front of the Bell Museum on Church St. This is a great chance to visit the Bell Museum at night, have fun collecting insects, and explore the great art displays that will be available that evening.
Our new facility will be built on the northwest edge of the University of Minnesota campus in St. Paul. We are anticipating a groundbreaking in early 2015. Many of you were involved in planning and advocating for the new facility over the years. Thank you for your encouragement and support, and your years of support to the Minnesota BioBlitz program.
from Minnesota BioBlitz Coordinator Jennifer Menken
Q. What is the Minnesota BioBlitz?
A. BioBlitz is an intensive 24-hour survey to find all the plants and animals at a specific location and a 24-hour survey in which the public helps scientists find different plants and animals. Designed as part contest, part festival, part educational event, part scientific endeavor, Minnesota BioBlitz brings together scientists from across the state in a race against time.
Q. What's the goal of Minnesota BioBlitz?
A. The goal is to count as many species of plants and animals in a particular area within a 24-hour time frame. But BioBlitz is also designed to increase the public's awareness of the variety of life in their immediate neighborhood.
Q. What can a participant expect to see?
A. 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. While species range greatly depending on the location, expect to see everything from lake trout to red fox at this year's site.
Q. What happens to the data collected at Minnesota BioBlitz?
A. BioBlitz generates a list of species found at a chosen location, a first step in successful natural resource management. Minnesota BioBlitz has the potential to identify species that should be monitored or controlled. It may identify unique aspects of the area that might otherwise not have been known. This information along with recommendations from the scientists is supplied to the host site.