Colorado State University’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory will celebrate national biodiversity month with a festival of earthworms, mites, insects and nematodes at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s Amoebas to Zebras event May 18.
Colorado-based scientists who explore biodiversity both in Colorado and around the world will be on hand at the event to explain their work and provide hands-on, interactive exhibits for the public to explore.
Colorado State’s Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory houses the global headquarters of the International Biodiversity Observation Year. The NREL will offer an exhibit at the Amoebas to Zebras event explaining the world-wide project. The display will include information concerning why biodiversity is important to our daily lives, how it’s changing and how we can conserve it. NREL staff will be on hand to answer questions about biodiversity month events planned across the country and will show informational videos, provide fact sheets and activities for children.
May has been designated in the United States as the first national month-long biodiversity celebration. Scientists and educators are engaging the public in exploring and understanding America’s biodiversity. Biodiversity month is part of IBOY, a much larger endeavor examining the diversity of life on a global scale. IBOY is taking place in the first two years of a century that scientists predict will see unprecedented changes in the Earth’s ecosystems.
Another exhibit provided by Colorado State’s NREL will include tools to extract bugs from soil and the opportunity to examine the creatures through a microscope. Mark St. John, an ecology graduate student at Colorado State, will assist participants with the interactive presentation and believes soil diversity is more important than most people know.
"Animals in soil ecosystems keep nutrients flowing from the soil back into the plants and atmosphere," said St. John. "Their combined activities have a huge impact on our lives, affecting everything from the air we breathe to the crops we eat."
The day-long Amoebas to Zebras celebration will be filled with fun, educational activities and events from interactive displays, exotic birds and tarantulas, to scavenger hunts, science shows and crafts. For more information visit the museum web site at http://www.dmns.org.