Welcome to the Driftless Area BioBlitz (DABB)!   

What Is Driftless Area BioBlitz?

Driftless Area BioBlitz is a free, one-of-a-kind, opportunity for families, students, and all naturelovers to search for and learn about plants and wildlife in the Driftless Area. For this year we will continue following COVID guidelines.

From now through April 30, 2022, people can participate by submitting observations of wild organisms from anywhere in the Driftless Area using iNaturalist.

The Driftless Area includes areas in Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa that is free from glacial drift and seems not to have been covered by the Pleistocene ice.

 

Thank you to all who participated in this event. If you missed any of the presentations, you an view them at the links below. 

In-Person Events - CANCELED DUE TO COVID - VIRTUAL INSTEAD!

Saturday, September 25th

This event can be viewed here. 
TAXON: Fungi 
PRESENTERS: Todd Osmundson, Mycologist, UWL Biology Thomas Roehl, Graduate Student, UWL Biology
LOCATION: Lower Hixon
TIME: 2:00-3:30 pm

Join Professor Todd Osmundson, Mycologist, UWL Biology, and Thomas Roehl, Mycology Graduate Student, UWL Biology at the Lower Hixon Forest from 2:00 to 3:30 pm. Fungi play many important roles in the environment as decomposers, pathogens, and essential partners of other organisms. Todd will talk about fungal biology, then collect fungi in lower Hixon Forest, and discuss finds. Please also feel free to bring along mushrooms or other fungi for identification and/or discussion. Please bring closed-toed shoes and a mask for your safety. 

Sunday, September 26th

This event can be viewed here.
TAXON: Insects
PRESENTERS: Barrett Klein, Entomologist, UWL Biology Amy Springer, Graduate Student, Utah State University
LOCATION: La Crosse River Marsh Trail
TIME: 1:00 to 2:30 pm

We will have pulse-pounding displays of some of the most glorious insects on Earth, and will be happy to talk about the specimens. We will also display and discuss examples of ways in which insects have affected our culture and history, from fashion to food, music to movies, and politics to espionage. Hungry? We will have samples of insect food for the first few attendees. Barrett will lead an insect walk, pointing out insects and sharing tales of their natural history along the way. Please bring closed-toed shoes and a mask for your safety.

EVENTS WERE VIRTUAL BECAUSE OF COVID. PLEASE VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE TO VIEW THE VIDEOS. 

MEET THE CITY & BEYOND NATURE CHALLENGE BIOBLITZ PRESENTERS AND DABB COORDINATOR!

Erica Black

DABB Coordinator

You may remember seeing me at the “Bugs in the Garden and Beyond” DABB bioblitz event this past summer at Hintgen elementary during GROW’s Open Garden event! I have a degree in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies from UW-Madison, but have only dabbled in a profession of the sort--mostly volunteering my time for local groups and sustainability projects, such as the La Crosse Earth Fair and now the bioblitz events! Everything about the natural world fascinates me, and I live my life attempting to be a good steward of the planet. When I am not working my Salon Coordinator day job, you can find me bicycling around La Crosse, enjoying the outdoors, volunteering, and snuggling with my fur-baby pup Gizmo.

PHOTO: 2021©Lee Harwell Photography

Barrett Klein

Professor
UW-La Crosse

I am a professor of entomology and animal behavior, investigating sleep in societies of insects in the Pupating Lab at UWL. I studied insects at Cornell University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Texas at Austin, although this academic sequence was split by years of producing natural history exhibits for museums. I worked at Chase Studio (MO), then at the American Museum of Natural History (NY), roaming its half-lit halls by night and creating insects, giant viruses, and working in both education and exhibition by day. When I am not studying sleeping honey bees, I curate an insect collection at UWL, create insect art, and revel in discovering and documenting connections between insects and human culture.
(Full profile here.)

PHOTO: Sue Lee

Amy Springer

Graduate Student
Utah State University

I am an evolutionary ecologist. This winter I will be graduating with my PhD from Utah State University, but I was born and raised in La Crosse! I love insects because they are diverse, beautiful, and play a critical role in many ecosystems. In my work, I use DNA to study how insect populations adapt to changes in their environment. I hope this work will help us better understand how we can conserve and protect these charismatic little creatures!

Todd Osmundson

Professor
Mycologist, UWL Biology

I am a professor of genetics and fungal biology at UWL. I studied fungi at the University of Montana, Field Museum of Natural History, Montana State University, Columbia University, the New York Botanical Garden and the University of California - Berkeley, and have had the opportunity to collect mushroom specimens on four continents, in habitats ranging from an arctic archipelago to tropical rainforests, alpine tundra, Pacific islands, and the temperate forests in our own backyard. My lab group at UWL studies fungi and other organisms using DNA sequencing to identify and classify organisms and understand their geographical distributions, genetic relationships, and biology.

Thomas Roehl

Graduate Student
Mycology, UWL Biology

This past summer marked the tenth anniversary of my first mushroom hunting experience. Over the next decade, my love of fungi mushroomed, eventually leading me to pursue a graduate degree in biology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (focusing on mycology, of course). I have been a leader of two mushroom clubs and have led numerous mushroom identification forays over the years, both here in the Driftless region and back in my home state of Virginia. My favorite edible mushrooms are Black Trumpets. I am currently researching enoki mushroom growth, which you can read some about by visiting my Blog

Brooke Wehseler

Student
UWL Biology

Hi everyone! My name is Brooke Wehseler and I am a senior at UWL studying biology with a minor in environmental studies. For my final service learning project I am extremely excited to get involved with the DABB Bioblitz events. I will be researching Bioblitz events, collecting the iNaturalist data that we obtain from the Driftless region, and visualizing our progress along the way. I am passionate about pretty much everything outdoors, especially wildlife biology, and I could not think of a better way to finish off my undergraduate degree!

To become a citizen scientist, you will need download the iNaturalist app.  Here are the instructions:

iPhone instructions:

1. Get the app

• Open the App Store
• Click the magnifying glass labeled “Search” and type iNaturalist
• Click the “Get” oval on the right of the iNaturalist app  Look for the green bird

2. Create an account

• Once the app has downloaded, you will need to tell it  who you are so you can report your observations  You can choose a name for yourself and a password
• The app will ask to access your photos and location It needs to do this to report your observations.

3. Report your nature observations!

• On the bottom of the screen, there’s a camera and the word “Observe.” Tap this to make a report!  You can take a picture in the app or use one you’ve already taken  You can even record a sound like a cricket chirp!
• The app will use your photo to help you identify the insect and find the species name
• The app will automatically enter the date, time, and location of your observation  You can add any notes you think are important too!
• You can leave “Captive/Cultivated” on “No”
• Important: Tap on “Geoprivacy” and scroll down to “Obscured”
• You’re ready to post! Click “SHARE” and congratulations on being a Citizen Scientist!
• BONUS: Your data will also be added to the ongoing DABB project located on the iNaturalist website.

Android instructions:

1. Get the app

• Open the Google Play store
• Type “iNaturalist” into the search bar at the top of the screen  Look for the green bird
• Click install. The app should automatically download to your phone.

2. Create an account

• Once the app has downloaded, you will need to tell it  who you are so you can report your observations  You can choose a name for yourself and a password
• The app will ask to access your photos and location It needs to do this to report your observations

3. Report your nature observations!

• On the bottom of the screen, tap the + next to “Make an Observation” to make your first report  You can take a picture in the app or use one you’ve already taken  You can even record a sound like a cricket chirp!
• The app will use your photo to help you identify the insect and find the species name
• The app will automatically enter the date, time, and location of your observation  You can add any notes you think are important too!
• You can leave “Captive/Cultivated” unchecked • Important: Tap on “Location Visibility” and scroll down to “Obscured”
• You’re ready to post! Click “SHARE” and congratulations on being a Citizen Scientist!
• BONUS: Your data will also be added to the ongoing DABB project located on the iNaturalist website.

Why Participate in Driftless Area BioBlitz?

If you’re reading this, you probably already know how fun and exciting it is to notice new or uncommon species around you. Driftless Area BioBlitz feeds that sense of curiosity and discovery by encouraging people to observe everything around them, from the robin to the millipedes to the fungi and swamp oak. By dedicating some time to looking for new species, you’re also likely to learn about the incredible biodiversity in the Driftless Area (and even in your backyard!) you didn’t even know about.

Driftless Area BioBlitz is also a great opportunity for families to spend time together doing something out of the ordinary. No level of expertise is needed, which means family members of all ages can enjoy a weekend of exploring nature and the biodiversity in it.

Finally, participating in Driftless Area BioBlitz contributes scientific data that are useful to scientists and conservationists working to study and protect our wonderful plants and wildlife.

What Is iNaturalist?
iNaturalist is an online social network with a free app and website that provide a place to record and organize nature observations, meet other nature enthusiasts, and learn about the natural world. You can use it to record your own observations, get help with identifications, and view other people’s observations.

How Do I Participate in Driftless Area BioBlitz 2021?
To participate in Driftless Area BioBlitz 2021, just follow these steps:

  1. Bookmark  Driftless Area BioBlitz 2021 (so you can keep up with updates).
  2. Create a free iNaturalist account.
  3. Download the iNaturalist app for iPhones or Android.
  4. Review iNaturalist’s instructions on how to use the app.
  5. Submit your observations of plants, animals (including invertebrates), and mushrooms in the Coulee Region/Driftless Area through the iNaturalist app on your phone or website on your computer.
  6. Go to the Driftless Area BioBlitz iNaturalist project page to see what other people are observing and to receive DABB updates on future activities, become a Member by joining – Click “Join” in upper righthand corner in “About” section. 

Additional iNaturalist Resources

Have questions getting set up?  Please contact the DABB Coordinator

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