BioBlitz will feature free public nature walks and lectures from
scientists and skilled naturalists. Here’s your chance to
learn about everything from ferns to fungi, bats to butterflies. All
walks and lectures will be held at the North Branch Nature Center
unless otherwise noted. (Times are subject to change; a final schedule
will be available at the BioBlitz.) Details on each nature
walk or lecture are included below.
Noon - Registration begins
2:30pm - Introductory remarks
3:00pm - BioBlitzing Officially Begins
8:30pm - Firefly
Flight of Fancy: Lecture and Walk with Bryan Pfeiffer
9:00pm - Moonlit
Moths: Lecture and Walk with Jim Hedbor
9:00pm - Going
Batty: Bat Banding Demonstration with Scott Darling
9:00pm - Spider Search: Nature Walk with
9:30pm - Creatures
of the Night: Infrared Camera Demonstration with Snell Infrared
9am-3pm - Kid’s
Tent: Nature Activities for the Young at Heart!
9:30am - Basic
9:30am - Birding
for Beginners: Bird Walk with Maeve Kim
10:00am - Life
in the River: Aquatic Invertebrate Walk with Doug Burnham and Steve
10:00am - “Herban” Weed
Walk with Betzy Bancroft (meets downtown)
10:00am - Got
Gall? Demonstration with Susan Sawyer
11:00am - BioBlitz the
12:30pm - Climate
Change and Biodiversity: Lecture by Andrew Johnston
12:30pm - Jewels
with Wings: Butterfly Walk with Mary Beth Prondzinkski
1:00pm - Fun
with Fungi: Mushroom Walk with Larry Millman
1:00pm - The
Truly Tremendous Tardigrade: Lecture by William Miller
1:30pm - Zounds
What Sounds! Animal Sounds Demonstration with MarthaLeah Chaiken
1:30pm - Bugs
Abound: Insect Walk with Mary Burnham
2:00pm - Dragonflies
for Dummies: Walk with Bryan Pfeiffer
2:00pm - Scintillating
Centipedes: Lecture by Randy Mercurio
Firefly Flight of Fancy: Lecture and Walk with
flicker and sparkle on summer nights is the language of fireflies.
In a short lecture, we'll learn about the flight and flash of these
amazing insects. Then we'll head out into the field (mayonnaise jars
and nets optional) to discover more than one kind of firefly and to
watch one of nature's greatest displays. This walk is for kids and
adults. When he's not chasing birds, butterflies or dragonflies, our
guide, Bryan Pfeiffer, stays up way too late trying to understand fireflies.
Moonlit Moths: Lecture and Walk with Jim Hedbor
the incredible diversity of Vermont’s moths on
a moonlit walk with Jim Hedbor. Jim, who has studied
moths and butterflies in Vermont and elsewhere for nearly
50 years, will share a short presentation on moth diversity
and take us on a tour of bait stations in search of underwings,
owlets and other beauties of the night. Financial planner
by day, moth enthusiast by night, Jim is a co-author
of the Vermont Checklist of Lepidoptera (butterflies
and moths) and is working on his Vermont collection,
now over 1,200 species.
Bat Banding Demonstration with Scott Darling
the nocturnal world of the bat with Scott Darling, wildlife biologist
and bat specialist with Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Scott
will demonstrate how he catches, identifies and tags bats. Come find
out what bat species inhabit the North Branch Nature Center, surrounding
parks and even downtown.
Spider Search: Nighttime Nature Walk with Joe Warfel
set out on a nightime walk to find spiders. Joe Warfel is a naturalist
and photographer specializing in arachnids and insects. A member of
American, British and international arachnological societies, Joe's
has been featured at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, MCZ Harvard
and others. Bring a flashlight!
Creatures of the Night: Infrared Camera Demonstration with
wonder what critters are active when most people are snug in the homes?
John Snell of Snell Infrared will demonstrate the use of infrared sensing
cameras to find various creatures of the night.
Basic Botany Walk
a field botanist for a leisurely walk to identify ferns, trees and
most anything green and growing.
Birding for Beginners: Bird Walk with Maeve Kim
birder Maeve Kim for a casual stroll around the North Branch Nature
Center, learning how to identify birds by sight and sound. Get
familiar with using binoculars and field guides on this easy walk.
Maeve has been birding for decades but still gets excited about all
the birds around us!
Life in the River: Aquatic Invertebrates Walk (and Wade) with
Doug Burnham and Steve Fiske
lurking under the rocks of the North Branch of the Winooski? Discover
the world of hellgrammites and mayflies on this aquatic foray with
entomologists Doug Burnham and Steve Fiske. Doug and Steve are aquatic
biologists with the state Department of Environmental Conservation
with a combined 60+ years experience studying the aquatic biota of
10:00am: “Herban” Weed
Walk with Betzy Bancroft (leaving from info booth downtown)
grow in the tiniest corners of disturbed soil, even in downtown Montpelier.
Find out the edible and medicinal uses of those "weeds" along
the sidewalks and wild niches the City. You'll be amazed! Meet
at the info booth on State Street, between the Farmer's Market parking
lot and the Church. Betzy Bancroft is a co-director and faculty of
the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism in Montpelier.
Got Gall? Demonstration by Susan Sawyer
the curious world of the gall with Susan Sawyer. Galls occur on many
plants and house interesting insects that largely go unnoticed. Come
find out what lives in those strange bumps and swellings on so many
plants. Susan is a naturalist educator with Four Winds Nature Institute,
an accomplished artist and a fountain of knowledge about the natural
BioBlitz the Statehouse Grounds in One Hour
will converge in front of the Statehouse to survey the property for
all signs of life! With your help we’ll scour the surrounding
lawns and forest for all creatures great and small in this one-hour
Blitz within the BioBlitz.
Climate Change and Biodiversity: Lecture by Andrew Johnston
communities of living things can be found in areas of different temperature
and precipitation patterns. As these patterns change, some organisms
will thrive but others may disappear. In this talk, learn how scientists
understand the changing climate and the impact it will have on Vermont's
biodiversity. Andrew Johnston is a geographer with the National
Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
Jewels with Wings: Butterfly Walk with Mary Beth Prondzinkski
wood-nymphs and azures await you on this stroll around the Nature Center
in search of butterflies. Mary Beth is an avid birder and naturalist,
with an eclectic education and research background. Mary Beth Prondzinski
hails from the Fairbanks Museum via The Field Museum of Natural History
in Chicago, where she worked in the Zoology Department in a variety
The Truly Tremendous Tardigrade: Lecture on a
Microscopic Animal in a Visual World with
creature can live in a hotspring, survive in a vacuum and even withstand
the pressure in a deep sea drench? The incredible tardigrade or water
bear! William Miller, Assistant Professor of Biology at Baker University
in Kansas, has been studying tardigrades since 1966. He has hunted
tardigrades in China, Australia, Greenland, and the Amazon, not to
mention all over North America, and has described five species new
Fun with Fungi: Mushroom Walk with Larry Millman
Larry Millman for a mycological exploration in search of mushrooms
and other assorted fungi. Larry is a prolific travel writer and has
made 30 trips and expeditions to the Arctic and Subarctic, and even
discovered a previously unknown lake in Borneo. Best of all, perhaps,
he has a mountain named after him outside Angmagssalik, East Greenland.
Zounds What Sounds! Identifying Animal by Sound Demonstration
with MarthaLeah Chaiken
fascinating demonstration on animal sounds – of birds, insects,
frogs and more. Learn how animal sounds can be captured and displayed
in sound spectrograms, and even “see” your own voice displayed.
MarthaLeah Chaiken studies how birds learn to sing and has a Ph.D.
from the late Institute of Animal Behavior at Rutgers University.
Bugs Abound: Insect Walk with Mary Burnham
walk in the park (Hubbard Park) with Mary Burnham to check special
insect collecting traps. Discover the secret world of bark beetles,
as well as long-horned beetles, carrion beetles, flies and who knows
what else! Mary is an entomological lab technician for the Vermont
Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and an avid birder and
Scintillating Centipedes: Lecture on Northeastern Centipedes
with Randy Mercurio
fascinating look at the
different types of centipedes found in Vermont, their basic anatomy,
and their ecological importance as top invertebrate predators. Randy
Mercurio has worked with the American Museum of Natural History in
New York as a Scientific Assistant in the Division of Invertebrate
Zoology where he did research primarily on scorpions. His interest
in centipedes is a lifelong hobby.
Dragonflies for Dummies with Bryan Pfeiffer
are among our most glittering and fascinating insects. They patrol,
hunt, eat, fight, and mate in wetlands, rivers, lakes. You can watch
the dragonfly drama unfold during this walk at BioBlitz Central with
entomologist Bryan Pfeiffer. When he's not chasing birds, butterflies
or fireflies, Bryan is a state and regional authority on dragonflies.