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Rhode Island Natural History Survey » Bioblitz
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Bioblitz &Events &News dgregg on 31 Mar 2011

2011 BioBlitz in Scituate June 10-11

We’re excited to announce that the 2011 BioBlitz will be held at the Joslin Farm site in Scituate from 3 p.m. Friday June 10 to 3 pm Saturday June 11. Providence Water is the land owner and local host and Roger Williams Park Zoo is the lead sponsor. Joslin Farm is approximately in the center of Rhode Island, located
south of the Scituate Reservoir, in the angle between Tunk Hill Road and Old Plainfield Pike. It was to this ridge-top land that one of Scituate’s founding families retreated after the construction of the reservoir. The land was unworked for many years and reforestation was well advanced when in 2009 Providence Water and USDA-NRCS undertook a major grassland and shrubland enhancement project at Joslin Farm. The dramatically scenic bioblitz site includes approximately 700 acres of mature hardwood forest, new and old warm season grassland, shrubland, and headwater streams. This bioblitz will be a unique opportunity to investigate the biodiversity on a long-abandoned farming landscape with large blocks of relatively undisturbed habitat, plus be a good chance to check out the effects of a modern habitat restoration. This is not an area frequented by biologists so anything could be discovered. A team orientation will be held Thursday, May 12, at Roger
Williams Park Zoo in Providence. The orientation is not required, but advanced registration for all participants is. More details will be forthcoming. Stay tuned!

Bioblitz &Events &Exec's Blog &News dgregg on 17 Jun 2010

Remembering Doug Greene

Thanks to all who’ve been contacting the Survey to remember Doug Greene, who passed away suddenly on Sunday on his way home from BioBlitz. There will be a service for Doug in his home town of Reading, Mass., on Friday, June 18–visiting hours from 6-8 pm, memorial service at 8 pm. This link has more information:

Animals &Bioblitz &Events &Exec's Blog &Natural History &News &Plants &Rare Species dgregg on 14 Jun 2010

BioBlitz 2010 A Success

The teams are just back in from BioBlitz 2010 and I’m sure people are working hard to unload gear, hang out sleeping bags and tents out to dry, and catch up on sleep. Thank you all for your tremendous efforts that made the event such a success. Thanks to the Block Island community for their help and hospitality. The preliminary count is 916 species, which is great by any standard and for an island and rainy weather, it is terrific. We have a lot of work to do to cross check the numerous data sheets, especially for the marine organisms, and we look forward to receiving the many specialist reports, so I am confident that the final number will be higher, perhaps approaching the magic 1,000 barrier.

A special shout-out to the art team. It was great to have you with us this year, you added a lot and helped put the biodiversity and the event into a whole new light. Should we be looking forward to a gallery show in the fall? Can’t wait.

Platanthera flava

Platanthera flava

Notable finds: American burying beetle, pale green orchid, wood duck, spiny skate, jonah crab, citrine forktail. We will post more details on the finds as they come in.

One special and sad note: Doug Greene, who had just done lichens for the BioBlitz, collapsed on his way to the ferry and, despite the best efforts of emergency medical personnel, died on the island. Doug helped in 7 RI BioBlitzes, incl. the 1st one, in 2000, and contributed to many other science efforts. We will be sure to get word out about a service or other memorialization when we know more.

Doug Greene, at the 2007 BioBlitz at Trustom Pond
Doug Greene, at the 2007 BioBlitz at Trustom Pond

Bioblitz &Events dgregg on 18 Jun 2009

Walden Woods To Host BioBlitz July 4

If you like the Rhode Island BioBlitz (and who doesn’t?), why not try out the a Massachusetts BioBlitz (which FYI they call ‘Biodiversity Day’). Naturalist Peter Alden is organizing the BioDiversity Day event in Walden Woods in Concord, Mass., on July 4 and he’s looking for a few good naturalists. The event is being held on the anniversary of the first Biodiversity Day, in 1998, and also on the 164th anniversary of Thoreau settling at Walden Pond. The event is also a celebration of naturalist E.O. Wilson’s 80th birthday and he’ll be participating (what out ants!). It’s a great chance to meet this great man. The event is hosted by the Walden Woods Project and has around 100 biologists and helpers signed up so far. If you would like to participate you must contact Peter Alden and talk to him about what you would do, when, and where. They are particularly interested in photographers.

There will be gatherings for meals and forming parties Fri eve (the 3rd), and breakfast, lunch and dinner on the 4th. They still have room for more experts in most fields esp. fungi, lichens, mosses, grasses, sedges and most invertebrates. There are folk coming in from Connecticut, NY, Maine and all over Massachusetts.

Please see waldenbiodiversity.com for details and call Peter Alden at 978 369-5768.
The event is sponsored by the Walden Woods Project along with the Minute Man National Historical Park.

Bioblitz &Events &News dgregg on 21 May 2009

BioBlitz 2009 Registration is Open

To participate in BioBlitz 2009 you must register in advance. Online registration is open and a PDF form for mail and fax registrations will be available soon. To see event information, register online, or download a PDF form, click HERE.

Everyone should participate on a taxonomic team or be assigned to another duty. If you do not have a taxonomic interest or cannot afford one, one will be provided for you.

Don’t forget to register for the cookout if you want to join with the Glocester Land Trust and other community members for dinner on Friday. Also don’t forget to reserve a BioBlitz 2009 t-shirt when you pre-register.

Bioblitz &Events dgregg on 05 May 2009

BioBlitz 2009 Team Orientation May 6

RINHS and Roger Williams Park Zoo will hold an orientation for biological teams at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence on Wednesday, May 6, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The orientation is designed for participants to begin familiarizing themselves with this year’s site, the Sprague Farm property belonging to the Glocester Land Trust. Maps and other material will be provided. Refreshments will be provided. Also participants will have a chance to meet each other with the hope they will be able to coordinate equipment and other details. Attendance at the orientation is not required to participate in BioBlitz. To attend the orientation, please RSVP to RINHS by emailing bioblitz”at”rinhs.org or calling 401-874-5800.

For more info on the BioBlitz event, the Sprague Farm site, and general preparations click HERE.

Orientation is in the education building of Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence. You don’t go to the main public entrance, but instead go to Gate 3, which is very near the Elmwood Ave. entrance to the park and tell the guard you’re there for the BioBlitz program. Here’s a map:

View BioBlitz 2009 Orientation May 6 in a larger map

Bioblitz dgregg on 17 Oct 2008

Nominate sites for future RI BioBlitzes

RINHS and BioBlitz sponsoring partner, Roger Williams Park Zoo (RWPZ), are seeking suggestions for future BioBlitz sites. In order to maximize the benefits of a BioBlitz to nearby schools and conservation groups, we would like to select sites now for the 2009 through 2013 seasons. To suggest one or more sites, email information on your ideas to info8at8rinhs.org, or download our BioBlitz Nomination form (Excel 20K), fill it out, and send it back by mail or email.

Miniumum BioBlitz Site Criteria:
The parcel must be in Rhode Island.
It must have some level of conservation status (public or non-profit ownership with conservation intent or if privately owned, there must be a conservation easement or other expressed conservation restriction)

Other Considerations:
Ideal size is 300 to 500 acres
Diverse or unusual habitats with potential for interesting biodiversity
An enthusiastic local host (land trust, conservation commission, non-profit, etc.)
Other potential local connections (for funding, educational programs, etc.)
Potential value of a bioblitz (for local organizational development, land management planning, etc.)
Accessibility and facilities (parking, power, shelter, trails, etc.)
Different parts of the state than previous BioBlitzes

A committee of RINHS and RWPZ staff and volunteers will meet in November to begin review of potential sites so please get your ideas in by close of business Monday, November 10.

New multi-year partnership with RWPZ to build BioBlitz: The mission of Roger Williams Park Zoo is “to contribute significantly to the conservation of the earth’s dwindling natural resources and to serve the community as a valued resource for education, economic development and recreation” (Read more at RWPZ website). RWPZ  has recognized RINHS’s  annual RI BioBlitz as a locally developed program in close harmony with its own mission and has agreed to provide significant material support to the annual BioBlitz effort for at least the next five years. At RINHS, we’re very excited to have the benefit of the zoo’s tremendous scientific, educational, and organizational resources as we work to build BioBlitz into the premier biodiversity conservation event in the state and region.

Rhode Island BioBlitz Sponsoring Partner:


Past BioBlitz sites:
2000 Roger Williams Park, Providence
2001 Norman Bird Sanctuary-Sachuest Point NWR-Oakland Forest, Middletown
2002 Eppley Preserve, Exeter/Richmond
2003 Pardon Gray Preserve-Reuker Refuge-Sapowet Marsh, Tiverton
2004 URI W. Alton Jones Campus, W. Greenwich
2005 Haffenreffer M./Mt. Hope Farm, Bristol
2006 Cumberland Monastery, Cumberland
2007 Trustom Pond NWR, South Kingstown
2008 Grills Preserve, Westerly

For more information on BioBlitzes of the past see: BioBlitz

Bioblitz &Events dgregg on 27 Jun 2008

BioBlitz 2008 Results

1,111 species in 24 hours entirely with volunteers! What an event! What a team effort. Thank you to the 115 participants. No questions asked, it was a grand success on all fronts! For details, including a tally by taxon, a list of rare species found, a link to the complete species list, as well as a slide show of photos taken by Survey Board member Dave Clayton and Survey Data Manager, Erik Endrulat.see:


For additional photos visit: http://www.russellwaldronphotography.com/Site/Galleries/Pages/BioBlitz_2008.html#grid (Russell Waldron Photography).

We are really happy with how the “taxonomic team” structure worked! Not only was it very effective for insuring that all portions of the property were inventoried—especially for plants and birds—but, it was super for introducing people and creating new friendships. We worked harder to organize the workers into teams this year and we’d like to do it again so we’re interested in your feedback on the organization of BioBlitz, including the team concept.

So what did you all find out there? Here is the scoop… 24 hours, 115 scientists & team members and a grand total of 1,111 species observed, including 12 rare species! A record count for total species and several records set for individual taxa.

A big thank you is due to our program partners Roger Williams Park Zoo and the Westerly Land Trust and our sponsors: US Fish and Wildlife Service, RI Refuge Complex, Largess Forestry, Frank Hall Boatyard, Watch Hill Yacht Services, Avondale Boat Yard, Liberty Rentals, and Westerly Sanitation. Please help “close the loop” by patronizing the sponsors, mentioning BioBlitz, and thanking them for their support.

Our sincerest gratitude and compliments to the chefs: John R. Maxson and Josh DeCelles for the mouthwatering grilled chicken, and gratitude to site hosts John and Vivian Maxson from the Westerly Land Trust for doing everything in their power to make us comfortable and provide the few things we forgot.

Many of you met and spoke with Karen Given, Producer of the NPR sports show “Only A Game”, who joined us on both Friday afternoon as the horn sounded and “full contact biology” began, and on Saturday afternoon for the final tally. Karen’s segment on BioBlitz will air Saturday (6/28) at 7:00am and again at 6:00 pm on WRNI 1290AM / 102.7FM, or in Westerly WXNI 1230AM. For those in the north of the state you may want to try WBUR 90.9 FM. If you can’t tune in on Saturday, log on to www.onlyagame.org where you can download the podcast!

Lastly, a few administrative details… We have several items in lost & found: a black & olive jacket with a gray hooded sweatshirt inside, and a Tamron camera lens cover. And, if you didn’t get a BioBlitz 2008 t-shirt and wish you had, you have a one time chance to order one, $10 each! Let me know what size(s) by 5:00pm pm Wednesday, July 2nd.

Bioblitz &Events dgregg on 05 Jun 2008

Are You Ready to BioBlitz?!

BioBlitz 2008 is here. Tomorrow at 3 P.M. as many as 24 teams of volunteer naturalists will hit the woods at the Westerly Land Trust’s Grills Preserve. If you are coming and still don’t know how to get there, here’s a map.

View Larger Map

Bioblitz &Exec's Blog dgregg on 06 Nov 2007

Analysis of Past BioBlitz Results

I took the results of all the past RI BioBlitzes (including participation and taxa found) and generated the following interesting charts. Because of year-to-year recording inconsistencies, not all taxa were comparable from one year to the next. The taxa I included in the chart are the ones that were more or less consistent: vascular plants, birds, reptiles and amphibians, spiders and kin, beetles, butterflies and moths, and dragonflies and damselflies.


RI BioBlitz results 3



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