Thoughts on a Bio-blitz and More


Last summer, professors, researchers and students at the University of Michigan Biological Station launched what’s known in nature circles as a bio-blitz—in this case, a 3-day attempt to inventory every species of organism living on the grounds of the 10,000-acre UMBS. Interesting to note that the team found 450 species of moths and butterflies and only two species of slime mold. People afraid of woods and swamps might have thought it would be the reverse. Also, the count doesn’t include spiders because no expert spider identifier was around those three July days. And many other species almost certainly exist on the UMBS grounds, but were not found.

The final count came in right around 1,700, including 19 mammals, 81 birds, 323 forms of algae, 37 mollusks …

Below are links to brief essays written by University of Michigan Professor Keith Taylor, his assistant Alan J. Hogg, Jr. and students about the bio-blitz and other outings in nature.

If you have a memory or thoughts to share about the University of Michigan Biological Station–bio-blitz or otherwise–we invite you to write in the comment section below.

Article Comments

  • Anonymous

    What a treat to know the Biological Station is still alive and well. My father, David S. Shetter, B.S. Biology 1932, M.S. 1933, Ph.D. Zoology, 1937, enjoyed many summers there and until recently we had a scrapbook showing the activities and the friends he met there. Unfortunately, the storage space in Florida retirement homes dictates that some things have to be cleaned out. Wish I had known where to send it. This was definitely a seminal experience for a city guy from Cleveland. He loved everthing and had a hard time deciding what to do for his advanced degrees – ichthyology, entymology or herpetology.

    Dad subsequently went on to become the director of the Hunt Creek Fisheries Experiment Station in Lewiston from 1943 until his death in 1969. This is now under DNR management. My brother and I grew up at the “Lab”. A wonderful place to learn about the out of doors – many students and scholars coming and going. All summer there were folks camped out on the property observing or collecting. We learned VERY early not to disturb anyone or anything in jars, nets or collecting trays.

    There were no data bases established for many things we take for granted today. Hunt Creek has one of the longest data bases in existence for a freshwater trout stream. I certainly hope the current budget crises does not put that in jeopardy.

    Call Andy Nuhfer, the current director and have him show you the scrapbook I did on the history of Hunt Creek last year. I think you could do a good article on that and what the Lovells Historical Society is doing for the fishing lodges on the North Branch and the Main Stream. All of this was tied together in the beginning.

    Keep up the good work!


    Alice Shetter Hoelzer-Hawthorne
    3808 Doune Way
    Clermont, FL 34711