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BioBlitz highlights region’s diversity

Scott LaGreca, left, curator of the Plant Pathology Herbarium, examines lichens retrieved from upper tree limbs by Nathaniel Farrington of Cornell Outdoor Education. Photo: Magdalen Lindeberg

Scott LaGreca, left, curator of the Plant Pathology Herbarium, examines lichens retrieved from upper tree limbs by Nathaniel Farrington of Cornell Outdoor Education. Photo: Magdalen Lindeberg

Reposted from CALS News [2017-09-04]:

Biodiversity is not just a feature of the Amazon rainforest or other exotic locales. Hidden multitudes of species inhabit the Ithaca region, as participants in the inaugural School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) BioBlitz discovered Sept 8-9.

A dozen teams tallied 1,250 species of higher organisms and more than 23,000 microbes during the 24-hour event to document as many species as possible. Held on the grounds of the Cayuga Nature Center (CNC) and Smith Woods, the event was the first in the region. The series started in 1996 in Washington, D.C., and has since spread around the world.

The 2017 SIPS BioBlitz opened Sept. 8 with remarks by Chief Samuel George of the Cayuga Nation Bear Clan; Warren Allmon, director of the Paleontological Research Institution; and Kathryn J. Boor ’80, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“At Cornell, it’s part of our jobs to be curious – which means I have one of the best jobs around,” Boor told participants at the launch of the event. “Like you, I’m inspired by what I can discover in the world around me, how to collect data and then share it with others.”

Boor and other speakers emphasized the importance of collaborations between universities and community members in preserving local lands and their biological diversity.

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