Hawaii Volcanoes BioBlitz: Singing a Song of Earth
More than a thousand scientists, explorers, grade school students, and members of the public will swarm across the volcanoes, forests and shoreline of the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park next week, seeking to catalog every species they kind find. The ninth in a series of annual BioBlitzes hosted by the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society, the 2015 event is expected to be a celebration of biodiversity and Polynesian culture, a spiritual and scientific look at nature, and a teaching moment for all that there still is time to repair and appreciate our bonds with the Earth.
The concept of an annual BioBlitz in the run-up to the 2016 celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. National Park Service was the brainchild of John Francis, National Geographic Vice President for Research, Conservation and Exploration. In this interview he talks about what’s so special about the BioBlitz in Hawaii and how everyone can use the experience, even by participating remotely, to find what the Earth means to them.
David Braun: This is the ninth BioBlitz in the series in the run-up to next year’s National Park Service centennial. Is there anything special about this one?
John Francis: We were hoping to do a BioBlitz in a highly diverse tropical setting, and of course there is Hawaii and the Virgin Islands to choose from. We were pleased that it could be Hawaii. But as we started developing the BioBlitz, we realized that the great opportunity is not with the highly biodiverse aspect of Hawaii so much as the cultural message that is tied to the land. We’re learning about the way Hawaiians, and people in general, can be closely —> Read More