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Oklahoma Biological Survey event ‘BioBlitz!’ comes to Norman to host educational activities

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moth night bioblitz

A photo of two moths found at a previous BioBlitz event provided by Abby Cervenka, a senior student employee for the Oklahoma Biological Survey.

Norman will be host to activities of the Oklahoma Biological Survey’s 21st annual BioBlitz! weekend, a series of small learning activities at parks across the state.

There is a schedule of “BioBitz,” the name for the individual events, on the Oklahoma Biological Survey’s website. BioBitz are hosted each day from Friday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 3. The goal is to go around the state to see as many species as possible with the help of activity leaders from the Oklahoma Biological Survey and experts around the state. 

Priscilla Crawford, conservation biologist with the Oklahoma Biological Survey, said it is a weekend of biodiversity inventory that will be documented using the iNaturalist and eBird apps. 

Registration and attendance are free for all events. Registration is available on the BioBlitz! website. There, people can click the “sign up” link underneath the event they plan to attend to send an email to the activity leader for more information.

Each BioBit is led by an activity leader. Activity leaders are people that have been a part of BioBlitz! in the past and have some kind of expertise in a field, Abby Cervenka, senior student employee for the Biological Survey, said. 

“Here in Norman, we have somebody from the (Sam Noble) museum who is a master tracker doing mammal tracks out at Sutton … a state expert in lichens also out at Sutton, also leading a hike,” Cervenka said.

Crawford emphasized her excitement for “Moth Night,” on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m., led by moth expert Zach DuFran. He is self trained and holds the most knowledge on moths in Oklahoma, Crawford said. 

“The Moth Night is extra cool,” Crawford said. “(DuFran) has seen over 1,000 species of moths in the state.”  

Crawford encourages anyone to sign up, even if they do not know much about biology.

“Everybody is very welcoming and these are all people who are passionate about education and science communication, as well, so they are willing to walk you through it and answer any questions,” Cervenka said.  

The deadline to register for a BioBit is Thursday, Sept. 30, and there is limited attendance for activities. When you register online, you get a courtesy sticker of a flying squirrel. Social distancing and masks are required for attendance.

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