MPM's 4th Annual BioBlitz

Grab your magnifying glass and join us for MPM's next BioBlitz at Dane County Park's Lake Farm County Park!

Date & Time

Saturday, June 23
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Shelter Area 2
4330 Libby Rd
Madison, WI 53711



skullsWhat is a BioBlitz? 

It’s a 24-hour celebration of biodiversity where scientists work together to see how many species of plants and animals they can find in one area. On Friday, June 22, some of Wisconsin’s best science minds from MPM and other local institutions will converge on the Dane County Park to discover its native biodiversity.

The BioBlitz will be open to the public on Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet the scientists, see what species they’ve found, and take part in hands-on activities – BioBlitz is fun for the whole family!

Why Lake Farm County Park? 

With a view of the capitol from basecamp, this year’s MPM BioBlitz will be held at Lake Farm County Park and surrounding areas in Dane County. While basecamp will be in Lake Farm County Park, scientists will be surveying almost 1,000 acres of prairie, wetlands, and streams as well as the northern end of Lake Waubesa. The area includes Lake Farm County Park, the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District Wildlife Observation Area, and part of the Capital Springs Recreation Area, including Centennial State Park. We anticipate we will find lots of species that were not found in past years! We chose a Dane County park because, as Wisconsin’s natural history museum, we want to branch out and explore other counties in Wisconsin.

Fun Things to Do and See

With Dane County Parks & Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area

  1. Learn about the importance of Wisconsin native plants to biodiversity and how you can help out at home! Start your own native garden with free seeds from Dane County Parks.
  2. Prairie and Bird Walk at 1:00 p.m. - The prairie is in full bloom! Hike nearby prairie trails with eyes out for different bird species.

MMSD Water Exhibit
Learn where water goes, how it is cleaned, and what you can do to help the water cycle.

MPM Curators
Our very own Collections & Research team will present  on past collections from the area.

MPM Educators
If you want to work as a field biologist, it might be helpful to brush up on the basics. Show off your knowledge of animal tracks by matching footprints to furs. Plus, learn what an animal's skull can tell you about the rest of its biology! 

Skins & Skulls with Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Touch real pelts and skulls of Wisconsin native animals!

The Great Migration Game and  Pollinator Seed Game from Dane County Environmental Council
Come play!

UW Arboretum: Monarch Watch
Interested in monarchs and citizen science? Come find out how you can help this migrating butterfly!

Meet the MPM BioBlitz Team Leaders!

Dr. Ellen Censky –  BioBlitz Coordinator
Ellen is a vertebrate biologist and was involved in organizing the very first public-based BioBlitz in 1996 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has overseen 13 BioBlitzes in three states since then. The BioBlitzes that she organized were featured on National Geographic Explorer program, in the Smithsonian Magazine, Ranger Rick Magazine, NBC National News, NPR, USA Today and numerous other radio shows and newspapers. She also wrote the guide for “How to Organize a BioBlitz.” Ellen will be providing overall coordination of the event.

Dr. Jennifer Zapsel - Team Leader for Invertebrates
Jen is curator of the Zoology collections at MPM. Her research program is focused on insect systematics and the evolution of their behaviors, including defensive strategies against vertebrate predators. She holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Entomology from the University of Minnesota and an advanced degree in Entomology and Nematology from the University of Florida (Gainesville, USA).

Dr. Chris Tyrrell –  Team Leader for Botany
Chris is curator of the Botany collections at MPM. He investigates plant systematics and evolution, and is interested in developing research uses for museum collections. He holds a degree in ecosystem restoration from UW-Stevens Point, and advanced degrees in plant systematics (Iowa State University) and aquatic ecology (University of New Brunswick, Canada). He will organize and coordinate the teams that will survey plants, algae, lichens, and fungi.

Julia Colby -  Team Leader for Vertebrate Animals
Julia is the Museum’s Vertebrate and Invertebrate Collections Manager. Her interests include taxonomy, systematics, and ecology.  She holds a B.Sc From the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and an M.Sc from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She will organize the team that surveys the vertebrate animals in the park.

BioBlitz 2018 is hosted by

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