BioBlitz! What’s that?

The term blitz has many connotations all of which depend on the context in which it is used.  In sports it’s commonly used to describe a severe rush of pressure from a defender trying to stop an offensive player and as a war strategy it often refers to a series of air raids.  A more general and far more pleasant description is that of a fast intensive campaign.  So what’s a BioBlitz?  The best way to answer that question would be to visit the Berkshire STEM Pipeline Network website, if you do you’ll come across this description, “A “BioBlitz” is an action-packed day designed as part contest, part festival, part educational program, and part scientific endeavor. It brings together scientists, students, teachers, and the community in a race against time to see how many species they can count in a 24-hour biological survey of a given area.”. Now I haven’t personally experienced this summer program in any fashion but as a biology major it sounds like a great idea.  What I do know about the people running the program is that they are partners with the same STEM educators affiliated with the Flying Cloud Institute and if you’re only as good as the company you the keep then I can assure you that the organizers of BioBlitz are highly committed, capable and respectable STEM teachers and educators.  It may sound as though the BioBlitz is only for hardcore naturalists with a knack for indentifying species of all sorts but that’s not the case at all.  In 2010, the first year of BioBlitz was held in Pittsfield, Ma and there were many more things to do than just name species.

Families who participated last year could enjoy nature walks and campfire jams (I’m told that means music) or partake in a glow bug watch.  There was a nighttime “owl prowl” which would be my personal favorite and also an illuminated sheet-net which was used to catch nocturnal animals of all sorts.

If you’re looking for an exciting summertime experience with a touch of learning on the side then BioBlitz is for you and your family.  This year BioBlitz will be held on June 10-11th on Mount Greylock in Adams, Ma.  This event is organized by the Berkshire Museum and co-sponsored by the Berkshire MCLA STEM Pipeline, the Berkshire Environmental Action Team and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information on BioBlitz you can contact Scott LaGreca at the Berkshire Museum, or if you’re interested in other STEM events in your area please visit us at http://www.massacadsciences.org/.

Written by: Matthew Panechelli

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