I just arrived in New Orleans today for the 7th Annual Bioblitz, presented by National Geographic and the National Park Service. It's a 24-hour "species inventory" that happens at a different National Park each year for 10 years, culminating in a centennial anniversary celebration of the National Park Service in 2016.
This year, the Bioblitz is at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, just outside New Orleans. It's a large wetland with fresh and saltwater, near where the Mississippi empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The species-counting part of the event will run from noon on Friday, May 17th to noon on Saturday, May 18th. A couple thousand members of the public will join about 100 scientists to roam the park both on foot and on boats, tallying up different species of plants and animals.
Because the event brings together some of the top wildlife experts, it's a great opportunity to learn about all sorts of plants and animals, from barely visible tardigrades (or "water bears") to alligators and eagles. There's also a lot to learn about the science of ecology: how populations of species affect their environment and each other, and the methods that scientists use to figure that out.
I'll be posting video blogs from Friday right through to the end of the Bioblitz Saturday evening. I'll focus on the science here, featuring the biologists who devote their lives to this work. And the Science NetLinks team will be adding links to additional educational material.
So if you can't be here in person, check back at the Thinkfinity Community all day and night Friday and Saturday and you'll be able to keep up with the critter counting action LIVE from wherever you are!
For more science posts and discussions, join the All About Science group.