IGN 1 - Diversity and Biodiversity: How Students Connected Ecosystem Services, Citizen Science, and Biodiversity in the National Parks

Monday, August 7, 2017: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
C124, Oregon Convention Center
Sarah E. Whipple, Colorado State University Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
Sarah E. Whipple, Colorado State University Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
In the spring of 2016, 50 college students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds traveled to Bandelier National Monument, North Cascades National Park, San Juan National Monument, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park for the 2016 National Park Service (NPS) Centennial BioBlitzes and Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network (RMSSN). As the RMSSN academy states: “The Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network brings together federal and state agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations to collaborate in research relevant to sustainability and develop a diverse population of students into leaders prepared to address complicated issues. These individuals will be prepared to lead from a solid understanding of the sciences that underlie sustainability.” By the end of the academy, students will have had real world field experiences dealing with the sustainability and the ecological integrity of public lands.

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. 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. RMSSN has provided students a great chance to learn and discover more about the connections between biodiversity and cultural diversity, and our Ignite session will share this discovery with others.

 iNaturalist: An introduction and its ties to RMSSN
Michelle Bahnick, Western Washington University
See more of: Ignite-style