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Saturday, May 30, 2009

BioBlitz Buzzing On Saturday; Public Welcome

Photo by Curt Weinhold--See more at www.pbase.com/cwphoto

Potter County Today

“BioBlitz” continues on Saturday (May 30) at the Austin Dam Memorial Park. It’s open to anyone with an interest in science, including parents who would like to expose their children to the interesting findings and discussions.

Today’s program consists of a series of workshops, sharing of information and collecting, with the public invited to watch, listen and join in to help. A closing activity is slated for 3:30 pm.

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Potter County Conservation District, Penn State Cooperative Extension, the County Commissioners and Emergency Services/GIS Mapping have been among those organizations joining the Austin Area School District, Dominion Resources and other co-sponsors to make the first BioBlitz a big success.

Among those attending on Friday was Melanie Acker, director of the Science in Motion program at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, shown above with BioBlitz organizer Arthur Metzger.

Acker said the program has brought more modern and enriching science education to hundreds of students in Potter County through the availability of laboratory materials and other equipment that individual schools do no have and/or cannot afford. She added that funding for Science in Motion has been eliminated from one version of the state budget for 2009-10 that is under debate among Senators and Representatives in the Pa. General Assembly.

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Two herpetologists, Stan Boder (left) and Marlin Corn, have been especially impressed with their findings at the park, which they described as an ideal outdoor classroom with a “bountiful mixture of interesting and interdependent species.”

Those attending should use the Austin Dam Memorial Park entrance located off Rt. 872, north of the dam ruins. Additional information on BioBlitz is available on a website, http://austindambioblitz.blogspot.com. A complete list of the scientists who participated and information links is listed on this website.

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