Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park BioBlitz and Biodiversity Cultural Festival - May 15-16, 2015

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News Release Date: December 22, 2014

Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6011

Contact: Carol Seitz, 202-247-0953

Grab your daypack and join the National Geographic Society and the National Park Service at the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park BioBlitz and Biodiversity &Cultural Festival, Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, 2015. During the free, two-day event, teams of scientists, Hawaiian cultural practitioners, students and the public will join forces to discover and inventory as many living plants and creatures as possible in the 333,086-acre national park. Expert-led inventory teams will be dispatched through the park, to explore the biodiversity that thrives in recent lava flows and native rainforests, from coastline to the summit of Kīlauea volcano. Entrance fees are waived both days.

Themed I ka nānā no a 'ike ("by observing one learns"), the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park BioBlitz will be part scientific endeavor, part cultural festival and part outdoor classroom. It will provide a unique opportunity to work alongside leading experts to discover, count and document the living creatures in the park;to contribute to the park's official species list;to explore interconnectedness of plants, animals, the environment, traditional people and our daily lives;and to help protect the extraordinary biodiversity and rich culture found in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

The park is expanding its 35th annual Cultural Festival to include biodiversity in 2015. At the two-day festival, visitors of all ages will discover how native Hawaiians, as keen observers, lived closely to the land by embodying "I ka nānā no a 'ike" principles that continue today. The Biodiversity &Cultural Festival will offer hands-on science and cultural exhibits, food, art and entertainment, plus the opportunity to meet individuals and organizations at the forefront of conservation, science and traditional Hawaiian culture —and learn how to join their efforts.

"Explorers" of all ages are needed. BioBlitz base camp and the Biodiversity &Cultural Festival will be located at the Kahua Hula overlooking Halema'uma'u Crater near the Kīlauea Visitors Center in the park. All events are free and open to the public;however, advance online registration is required to secure a spot on a BioBlitz inventory team. The Biodiversity &Cultural Festival does not require advance registration. Whether you have a couple of hours or a full day, there are activities to engage the whole family. To learn more about the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park BioBlitz, go to www.nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz or call (800) 638-6400 ext. 6186. For more information about the park, see www.nps.gov/havo.

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Last updated: April 13, 2015

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