VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Tag archives for Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Three thousand people explored the Louisiana swamps during BioBlitz last weekend, but an exhibit in town reveals the deep roots of the naturalist tradition in New Orleans.
Part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom, the BioBlitz hosted last week by the U.S. National Park Service and the National Geographic Society in Louisiana’s Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve yielded hundreds of observations, including the discovery of a rare Louisiana milk snake not previously recorded in the park. “This is the first time anyone has done this level of work on a bottomland, hardwood, freshwater system like this,” said Victoria Bayless, curator at the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.
Whether a tiny invertebrate or a large, invasive nutria, all of the species observations collected during the BioBlitz will be mapped out and visualized on the National Geographic FieldScope tool. FieldScope is a web-based GIS for visualizing and analyzing scientific data collected by professional and citizen scientists. It is also a tool for exploring the geography of a place.
Photographer and lizard expert Neil Losin sets the stage for this year’s BioBlitz, a 24-hour exploration of the wilderness outside of New Orleans.
The annual BioBlitz hosted by the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society is underwritten in part by the Harold M. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation, a private grant-making philanthropy based in Chicago. Every year for five years the Morrison Family Foundation helps make the event possible. And every year the foundation’s executive director, Lois Morrison, participates in the BioBlitz with her husband Justin Daab and their daughters Josephine and Addie Daab.
News Watch interviewed Lois Morrison about her passion for both nature and education, and why she sees the BioBlitz as a special opportunity to reinforce our connection with the natural world.