How We Became BioBlitzed.

Ruins of the giant Bayless Pulp and Paper Company Dam form the centerpiece for Austin Dam Memorial Park. The dam broke in 1911, sending a torrent of water and logs crashing through the Borough of Austin, located about a mile downstream. The disaster killed 78 people and destroyed much of the town. Austin Dam Memorial Park, connects to property owned by the Patterson Lumber Company, which connects to the Bayless Pulp and Paper Company property owned by Austin Borough. The area is about two miles long and about a thousand feet wide. Freeman Run, a coldwater native trout stream runs the length of the site, passing through a variety of wetland habitats, past vernal pools and permanent natural ponds, spring seeps and gushing Cartesian spring pools, rocky areas and dense brushy patches, old growth meadows and limestone ruins. It's all framed by hardwoods -- and, it's LOADED! Absolutely primed for a biodivesity study. Arthur Metzger, a science teacher at Austin Area School District, hosted a visit by Sally Schach and Matt Trump, state educators for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. When asked how to engage students and try to get a handle on all of the forms of life at the dam Sally said, "How about a Bioblitz?” Dominion Resources, based in Richmond, VA, liked the concept and provided a grant through the Dominion Foundation. The blitz will be open to the public and interested student groups from many schools and universities. The effort of recruiting a science team turned out to be easy. We found plenty of folks from universities, conservation organizations and museums who were eager to help. And-- the more the merrier!

The Science Team

Dominion Resources

This event is made possible by Dominion and the Dominion Foundation. The Dominion Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources. Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,000 megawatts of generation. Dominion serves retail energy customers in 12 states.

Let There Be Music! Dr. Michael Aucott, a scientist with the NJ DEP will be Banjo Mike for our event. He will be bringing parts of his Princeton area group to the bioblitz.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome to the new blog for the Austin Dam Bio Blitz. Updates coming soon!