Posted at 11 a.m. Sept. 29, 2016

LCCC’s BIO Blitz returns

“The goal for any BIO Blitz is to survey all the organisms that are present within a set area.”

Dr. Zachary Roehrs

Biology instructor and faculty adviser

Laramie County Community College is set to host its fifth annual BIO Blitz. The 24-hour event is a survey of the many diverse flora and fauna on campus.

Surveys will be taken on life of any variety, vertebrates, invertebrates, as well as plants and fungi.

Dr. Zachary Roehrs, a biology instructor and faculty advisor to the college’s Natural Science Club, is the organizer and driving force behind the survey. Roehrs began the BIO Blitz in 2011.

“The goal is to identify as many organisms as you can. Obviously that depends on the amount of people you have and their specialty.”

Roehrs will be joined by his LCCC colleagues to fill those specialty roles. Dr. Ami Wangeline, for instance, will focus on plants and fungi while Roehrs’s field is vertebrates.

The BIO Blitz will meet at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 in Science Center, room 169. The survey will run into the night. Then the team will listen for bats and owls to respond to calls made by the team. Participants will break for the night and meet again the next morning and will continue learning how to survey life on campus until 4 p.m. Oct. 1.

Data gathered will be analyzed and compiled by Roehrs. This information gives a strong idea of what organisms share the LCCC campus with students. Roehrs will then share those results with those who request it.

The BIO Blitz is an opportunity to learn about procedures biologists use to gather field data, Roehrs said.

The Blitz offers all who attend a hands-on opportunity to learn how that data is gathered, compiled and analyzed, Roehrs said.

Past BIO Blitz events have been well attended by students in LCCC science and education classes, Roehrs said.

“I really want the BIO Blitz to be most accessible to students here on campus,” Roehrs said. “The goal is to get these budding scientists out there doing science and just have fun with it. While it is very useful data to collect from a scientific perspective, it should be just getting out and remembering why we wanted to go into biology, enjoy nature and get some experience with techniques.”


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