Expert Taxonomist Michael Sabourin with one of his moth specimens. (Photo by C. Parrish)
Expert Taxonomist Michael Sabourin with one of his moth specimens. (Photo by C. Parrish)
In July, the 2016 Acadia National Park Bioblitz attracted 60 scientists and volunteers to the Schoodic Institute to collect data on moths and butterflies during a frenzied 24 hours at Schoodic Peninsula.

Teams collected data on over 400 species around the peninsula during daylight and at night.

Some used butterfly nets and collected and pinned insects to be identified back in the lab by taxonomist Michael Sabourin, president of the Vermont Entomological Society.

Carrie Seltzer of the National Geographic Society was on hand to train volunteers how to use their smartphones to collect reliable data using the iNaturalist app. The National Geographic Society has partnered with the National Park Service to conduct Bioblitz collections and other citizen science efforts across the country, including an all-species, one-week Bioblitz at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. 

 Photos of moths attracted to mercury vapor light stations at night were uploaded to the iNaturalist ap that catalogues and identifies the moths and captures data on time and location, thus minimizing identification mistakes and human error in filling out data sheets. The data is added to the body of knowledge Acadia uses to see changes in biodiversity over time.

The Maine Forest Service, Maine Entomological Society, University of Maine, University of New Hampshire, and inner-city Los Angeles students involved in the Earthwatch  Institute participated. Schoodic Institute at Acadia, a non-profit science field station and research and education center located on the Schoodic Peninsula part of the park, hosted the Bioblitz.

The Schoodic Institute, which is located on a former Navy base on Schoodic Point, is the largest Research and Learning Center in the National Park Service. One of its primary missions is to foster scientific research and communicate science to the public. 

Schoodic Institute helped foster 88 research projects in Acadia National Park last year.

The Dragonfly Mercury project, which recruits and trains citizen scientists and schoolchildren to collect data on dragonflies since they are effective indicators of ecosystem health, started in Acadia through the Institute. It is now used at over 50 national parks.