CONSERVATION: North Cascades park visitors can aid in BioBlitz

Even if you have missed some of the first events, the North Cascades National Park Complex is continuing its 2014 BioBlitz through early August.

Volunteers can put on their hiking boots, grab a camera or smartphone, and join research scientists, park naturalists and other citizen-scientists for a variety of projects, according to a park news release.

A BioBlitz combines scientific know-how with public participation to take a snapshot of the living organisms in a single place.

The park is offering a series of free field days, lectures and excursions to visitors who want to learn more about life in the North Cascades.

The programs began earlier this month with a tree-by-tree and rock-by-rock tour of Newhalem’s lichens, led by Dr. Katie Glew, a lichen specialist from the Burke Museum.

Glew, park geologist Dr. Jon Riedel, entomologist Dr. Sean Schoville and biologist Dr. Robin Kodner also led a seminar on the park’s cold-adapted ecosystems.

Groups also will survey the plant and animal life in the subalpine meadows surrounding Cascade Pass.

In the next few weeks, visitors can join in this ongoing effort.

Among the events on the schedule will be a moss crawl Aug. 3 at the North Cascade Visitor Center near Newhalem. Dr. Judy Harpel, an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, will lead this walk along the River Loop Trail from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

On Aug. 4, Jonathan Koch of Utah State University will give a program on Northwest bumblebees from 10-11 a.m. at the visitor center. After the program, attendees will have the chance to look at bees through a microscope.

On Aug. 9, volunteers are needed to help record butterflies, bees and pikas at Easy Pass. The hike will start at 10 a.m., and will cover about 3.5 miles with a 2,800 foot elevation gain. Participants must pre-register for this event because space is limited.

Get involved

Do it yourself: Visitors who cannot make any of these events are invited to download the iNaturalist app at inaturalist.org and add their own observations to the North Cascades BioBlitz project at inaturalist.org/ projects/north



Information/registration: To learn more about the North Cascades BioBlitz or register for an upcoming event, go to nps.gov/noca/ naturescience/bioblitz.htm or the project page on iNaturalist. Direct inquiries and registrations by sending an email to nps_no cacascadesbutter flies@nps.gov.