The question for RMSSN this year was: how are pollinators in a given area transforming over time with regards to the changes in the local environment? Much of the data collected was in correlation with the NPS Centennial BioBlitz efforts, which educate citizens and scientists about the biodiversity in the National Parks. Students performed multiple transects in the Parks to measure pollinators and flower abundance, and later uploaded species information to NPS projects on the citizen science application iNaturalist. In addition to the pollinator data gathered, students also looked at the historical and cultural significance of these public lands, comparing past cultures to those of the present. This information was analyzed through photo points provided by the Parks and interviews conducted between students and NPS visitors. Through this research, students analyzed the connection between ecosystem services and biodiversity in the changing systems of the National Parks, and these connections will be shared to conference participants through a series of five posters.
These posters will provide an understanding to others about the importance of the BioBlitz efforts in biodiversity projects, as well as the significance of student participation in the National Parks. Many students who attended RMSSN had never participated in ecological research, nonetheless had visited a National Park, so this opportunity gave many a glance into fieldwork and NPS research. RMSSN has provided students a great chance to learn and discover more about the connections between biodiversity and cultural diversity, and our poster session will share this discovery with others.