Sequestering the National Park System

On March 1st, the much-anticipated and much-dreaded sequester took effect and set off a series of budget cuts totaling $85 billion, the first installment of $1 trillion in spending cuts to take effect over the next decade. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the attention that sequestration has been getting in the media (including but not limited to yesterday’s snowy allusion … Continue reading Sequestering the National Park System

The BioBlitz: In 5s

Disclaimer: OK, so this post is 2 weeks late as a result of my temporarily misplacing my thumbdrive and getting caught up with other work. Sincerest apologies! The good news is, it’s still plenty relevant, because BioBlitz is a year-round initiative. And in fact, planning is already underway for the 2010 signature event in Biscayne Bay, Florida. Look for more BioBlitz news in upcoming months here on the blog!

BB LOGO green blitz_Resize.jpg
This past weekend [er, May 15], I trekked out to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (INDU) to take part in the 3rd annual BioBlitz, a 24 hour species inventory hosted by National Geographic and the National Park Service. While not quite as sunny as last year’s event at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA or “SAMO”), it was no less rich of a scientific endeavor. At SAMO, I was primarily occupied with public outreach, manning an activities booth. This year, my focus was a citizen science collaborative mapping project. Along with a few other staffers, I led four groups of local students using National Geographic Education’s new Fieldscope tool to track ecological succession along the dunes. But that was just one of the activities taking place at the park. Here are some highlights, in the spirit of “Five for Friday.”

5 Favorite Blog Posts
For the past two years, National Geographic’s Ford Cochran and Emily Landis have braved extreme temperatures and sleep deprivation to bring round-the-clock coverage of the Blitz. Here are my five favorite posts from this year’s Blog:

Born of Nature and Industry
An intro to INDU.

Where the Wild Things Are
BioBlitz kickoff.

I Love Everything About this Event!
Students and teachers sound off about WHY they decided to participate in the BioBlitz.

Are You Recycling Tonight?
“Green-E,” the Environmental Elvis, made a special appearance at INDU. He did not disappoint.

Fair Warning
Enough said.

5 Favorite INDU Memories

Continue reading “The BioBlitz: In 5s”

Plant Wars and Tinder Boxes

Sometimes it’s hard to get kids enthused about plants when there are snakes around. “Vertebrates are cute and fuzzy, and we’re vertebrates, so it’s easy to relate,” says plant ecologist Jocelyn Holt. Nurturing a child’s sense of kinship with plants requires some effort. Jocelyn works with the National Park Service to bring EcoHelper students from the Los Angeles Unified School District to hike, pull weeds, … Continue reading Plant Wars and Tinder Boxes