The Agassiz Zoological Club is organizing the second annual Harvard University Campus BioBlitz on May 1. Trips will begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday (May 1) and continue through 2 a.m. on Monday (May 2). Already there are four trips planned: A walk through the Arnold Arboretum, a guided tour of the plants of Harvard Yard, a survey of the fish and aquatic insects of the Charles River, and night light trapping for moths and other insects.
A BioBlitz is an intensive survey of regional biodiversity conducted by teams of amateurs and scientist, and is meant both to produce useful chronological records and to raise public awareness of the diversity of unexpected places. Over 24 hours, student taxonomists and volunteers will record the plant and animal life of Harvard’s Campus for public databases hosted by the Museum of Comparative Zoology and Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). Over time, the HUCBB will provide an invaluable record of the changes in diversity over time, and the types of species present on Harvard’s campus.
The Agassiz Zoological Club is named in honor of Professor Louis Agassiz, the founder of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. More than 150 years ago, a group of Harvard undergraduates working under Agassiz completed a survey of the biodiversity of sites across Massachusetts.
Last year, the Agassiz Zoological Club was reformed in cooperation with the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Undergraduate Group, and completed a comprehensive survey of the biodiversity living on Harvard’s campus.
To sign up for the 2011 Harvard Campus BioBlitz or to read more about scheduled trips, please visit harvardbioblitz.tumblr.com. The blog will be updated in real-time with photos from collecting expeditions.
— Adam Clark ’11