When: Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Meet at Estes Park Fairgrounds, then travel to Rocky Mountain National Park
What: On Friday, Aug. 24, at 11:30 a.m. media are invited to attend the opening ceremony of the BioBlitz at the Stanley Park Fairgrounds in Estes Park at 1209 Manford Avenue. Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis, Chairman and CEO of the National Geographic Society John Fahey, Superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park Vaughn Baker and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Juan Martinez will make brief remarks to celebrate biodiversity and the importance of connecting young people to science and nature.
At noon media will board a bus with the National Park Service director and others to participate in a BioBlitz site in Rocky Mountain National Park with schoolchildren and scientists. Media will need to go by bus, as parking is limited at the site. If there is interest and if time allows, there will be an option to travel to the alpine tundra with the director to highlight other aspects of the BioBlitz and additional National Park Service activities.
Please R.S.V.P. by noon, Thursday, Aug. 23, to Kyle Patterson, Rocky Mountain National Park Public Information Officer, at (970) 586-1363 or Kyle_Patterson@nps.gov if you plan to attend, as seating is limited.
Rocky Mountain National Park boasts one of the most expansive areas of alpine tundra in the United States as well as beautiful forests and mountain meadows. To better understand, appreciate and protect this national treasure, the National Park Service and National Geographic Society are teaming up to host a 24-hour BioBlitz species count and a two-day Biodiversity Festival, Aug. 24-25, 2012.
Part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom, the Rocky Mountain National Park BioBlitz will bring together 200 leading scientists and naturalists from around the country, thousands of local citizens of all ages and hundreds of students. Students are coming from as far away as Arizona and Costa Rica. Together they will explore the park, observing and recording as many plant and animal species as possible in 24 hours. Inventory activities include counting elk, catching insects, spotting birds, exploring and examining aquatic invertebrates and using technology to better understand the diverse ecosystems of this unique national park.
In this extraordinary experience open to the public, participants are invited to work with experts to count, map and learn about the park’s diverse organisms, ranging from microscopic bacteria to towering pines.
In addition to the BioBlitz inside Rocky Mountain National Park a Biodiversity Festival will be taking place at the Stanley Park Fairgrounds in Estes Park. This free, family-oriented festival will be celebrating biodiversity with over 40 exhibits featuring music, live animals, science demonstrations, hands-on activities provided by prominent science and environmental organizations, food and art. The goal: to connect children and families to science and nature.
Adding more cause to celebrate, the Rocky Mountain National Park BioBlitz coincides with the National Park Service’s 96th birthday on Aug. 25. This is the sixth in a series of 10 BioBlitzes throughout the country leading up to the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016. Rocky Mountain National Park will turn 100 a year earlier, in 2015.
Through National Geographic’s partnership efforts, the 2012 presenting sponsors are Verizon and GEICO. Additional support comes from Southwest Airlines and the Harold M. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation.
Further information will be provided at the event.
If interested, additional opportunities can be made available for the media on Saturday, Aug. 25.