Want to receive email updates?

Friday, May 29

Cranbrook BioBlitz Aug 7 - 8 (Fri/Sat)

The Cranbrook Education Community and the Organization for Bat Conservation are organizing a BioBlitz on Cranbrook grounds in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan on August 7-8, 2015. We are currently recruiting field biologists, naturalists and taxonomic experts to participate in the BioBlitz, and we invite you to join us! We would greatly appreciate your help during the BioBlitz event. The main goal is to provide opportunities for the public to interact with scientists and discover biodiversity right here in Southeast Michigan. We will have a mix of live animal programs, discovery stations, in the field explorations that give visitors a chance to see research methods in action, and special exhibits and presenters.

A Bioblitz is a unique combination of taxonomic inventory, public outreach, and science education. At its core, the Bioblitz is a species inventory in which teams of volunteers, each led by an expert scientist, find, identify, and map as many species as possible within a 24-hour period. While the inventory is not exhaustive, it can nevertheless yield valuable biogeographic information. With your expert help we have the opportunity to greatly extend scientific (and public) understanding of biodiversity on Cranbrook’s unique urban landscape. Recent BioBlitzes have revealed new species of insects and bacteria in the middle of city parks! New county records and other indices of species distribution are also common.

Cranbrook is one of the world’s leading centers of education, science, and art. Comprising a graduate Academy of Art, contemporary Art Museum, House and Gardens, Institute of Science, and Pre-K through 12 independent college preparatory Schools, Cranbrook welcomes thousands of visitors and students to its campus each year. In 1904, Detroit philanthropists George and Ellen Booth purchased a run-down 174-acre farm in Bloomfield Hills, named it Cranbrook after the English town the Booth family hailed from, and immediately began improving the property by laying in roads, grading hillsides, creating lakes, erecting farm buildings and initiating a massive planting campaign to cover the barren rolling terrain. Today, Cranbrook’s 319-acre campus features the work of world-renowned architects. Critics have called Cranbrook "the most enchanted and enchanting setting in America" and in 1989, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

We invite scientists to sample biota living in aerial, vegetation, surface, soil/sediment and aquatic habitats, creating a three-dimensional understanding of biodiversity across the suburban woodland landscape. The success of a BioBlitz depends greatly on the knowledge and enthusiasm of the participating scientists. We anticipate including members of the public in activities such as visual surveys of macro-biota, live-trapping small animals, identifying bats with ultrasonic sensors, mist-netting, light and pitfall-trapping arthropods, netting aquatic invertebrates, and the like. 

What would you suggest we do to survey your favorite/focal taxon? Will you join us and lead a small team to accomplish that? 

We also seek scientists and naturalists interested in gathering environmental and habitat information. Concurrent with the BioBlitzinventory, we will host a Biodiversity Festival, which will include public presentations about biodiversity, demonstrations of field technology, live animal programs, and exhibits ranging from global biodiversity to local nature photography. A BioBlitz is a wonderful opportunity for scientists to involve the public in hands- on field work while collaborating with other scientists and land management agencies and learning about possibilities for future research at Cranbrook.

We hope very much that you will join us for all or part of our BioBlitz. Your participation in this festive “species marathon” will help make it a valuable study of biodiversity patterns, and will contribute immeasurably to inspiring the next generation of biologists and stewards of local habitats.

If you are interested in participating in the BioBlitz, or would like more information, please email (rmies@batconservation.org) or call Rob Mies at (248) 645-3128 or Danielle Todd at (248) 645-3232 ext 9. For more information about Cranbrook Education Community, visit www.cranbrook.edu.

Please forward this message to your colleagues, graduate students, professional listservs, and others you think would be interested and available to contribute scientific expertise to Cranbrook’s BioBlitz.