Thursday, October 20, 2016

BioBlitz: Discovering Nature's Neighborhood Marks Natural History Week

Among the forests, swamps, tidal wetlands, and ocean waves of Narragansett, Rhode Island, more than 200 adult volunteers, school children, working scientists, and avocational naturalists scramble  in early June to tally as many species as possible in one 24-hour period within a designated parcel of land. The event is called BioBlitz. 

BioBlitz: Discovering Nature's Neighborhood is a half-hour documentary that chronicles the annual event from 2013. In honor of Rhode Island Natural History Week, Rhode Island PBS is pleased to encore the film on Thursday, November 3 at 8 p.m. (plus, Saturday, November 5 at 11 p.m. and Sunday November 6 at 7 p.m.)

BioBlitz is a aptly named - scientists and citizen scientists spend one full day and night observing, identifying, and recording as many fish, birds, mammals, insects, fungi, trees, and plants as they can. A special event by any measure, the particular BioBlitz chronicled in the film was made even more memorable for the volunteers  who braved the elements after a tropical storm dumped 4 1/2 inches of rain overnight. Despite the weather, the "Narragansett project," as the 2013 event was called, located 1,265 species of life in the area that included Canonchet Farm, Narrow River, and the Pettaquamscutt Cove.

Hosted by the Rhode Island Natural History Survey annually since 2000 in various sites around Rhode Island, BioBlitz: Discovering Nature's Neighborhood was filmed by the Coastal Institute at University of Rhode Island.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) content over the air on 36.1; on Rhode Island cable: Cox 08/1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08/508HD, Full Channel 08; on Massachusetts cable: Comcast 819HD (Comcast SD subscribers check local listings for channel), Verizon FiOS 18/518HD; on satellite: Dish 36/7776, DirecTV 36.