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2019 Thorn Preserve Bioblitz

  • Thorn Preserve 55 John Joy Road Woodstock, NY 12498 (map)

June 7+8, biologists and naturalists will find and identify as many species as possible at Thorn Preserve in Woodstock, NY.

To complete this enormous task, we need citizen scientists to help take notes and photos.


2019 Schedule


9:00 am: Fungi – John Michelotti,  Past President of Mid-Hudson Mycological Assoc.
10:30 am: Butterflies – Steve Chorvas,  Naturalist
10:30 am: Life in the Stream for Children – Explore the Stream, collect macro-invertebrates.  Waders & nets provided, Katie Palm, the Catskill Center
Noon – Lunch Break
12:30 pm: Life in the Stream for Children – Explore the Stream, collect macro-invertebrates.  Waders & nets provided, Katie Palm, the Catskill Center
1:00 pm:  Reptiles and Amphibians – Erik Kiviat, PhD. Hudsonia *Advance registration required, email to register*
2:00 pm: Life in the Stream for Children – Explore the Stream, collect macro-invertebrates.  Waders & nets provided, Katie Palm, the Catskill Center
2:30 pm: Dragon Flies & Damsel Flies – Joe Bridges PhD.  Senior Biologist
4:00 pm: Herbaceous plants (including wildflowers) – Chris Graham, Plant Community  Ecologist, Hudsonia
6:00 pm: Campfire and food
7:30 pm: Moths & other insects – Jason Crockwell, Naturalist.
8:00 pm: Owl & Frog calls – Peter Koch,  Ecologist
8:30 pm: Acoustic Monitoring for Bats – Michael Cooper,  Vesper Environmental, LLC.


8:00 am: Birds – Steve Chorvas, Naturalist
10:00 am: Tracking Mammals – Julie Seyfert Lillis,  Tracker
10:00-11:30am: Eco-adventures 4 young ones – Del Orloske, NYSDEC  Outdoor Guide
Noon:  Lunch Break
1:00 pm:  Bees – Domestic and Wild – Chris Layman, beekeeper, and independent researcher
1:00-2:30 pm: Nature-Based Crafts for children – Ellie Reese, Program & Outreach Coordinator, WLC
2:30 pm:  Life in the Stream – Peter Koch, Ecologist & Dan Snider, Field Project Manager, CRISP
4:00 pm:  Trees – Vern Rist, PhD. Plant Pathologist.  Healthy Trees Consultation & Services


Over the past 4 years, over 500 species have been identified at Thorn Preserve

The times given are start times only.

A walk leader and participants can stay in the field as long as desired.

Participants should choose the ones of most interest and plan to stay on that walk.

Raindate is Sunday, June 9th.
Bring your own lunch.

Participants in the Life in the Stream will wade into the Sawkill stream and collect living things in kick nets, then identify what is found.  This is a lot of fun, but you should bring stream wading shoes if you want to help with collecting.

For all other walks, wear good walking shoes, and sun and tick protection.  The walks will be mostly on the mowed paths.

At Base Camp, you will find tables and chairs to sit and rest and people to talk to about your discoveries.  There will be free snacks, cool water (bring your own bottle), coffee, tea,  Field Guide Books for species identification,  and other useful things.  Bring your lunch.

* for reptile and amphibian walk you must register at   Number of participants is limited.

The fields, forests, ponds, and streams of Ulster County are bursting with a wide variety of trees, grasses, flowers, insects, birds, fish, and mammals of all sizes!

At Thorn Preserve, experts will go into the Preserve with teams composed of adult community members, and high school and college students to find what species live on this 60-acre Preserve.  The findings will be recorded, photographed, listed and added to a map.

We also welcome discussions of species interactions, relationship of species to habitat, to soils to weather, etc.  We hope to stimulate enthusiasm for biodiversity and to gather information useful in making stewardship decisions for this newly acquired piece of land.  

What is a Bioblitz

The idea of the BioBlitz was inspired by the great Harvard biologist and champion of biodiversity preservation, E.O. Wilson. Species are going extinct at an alarming rate often before they are even discovered due to factors such as pollution, climate change and the conversion of wild places to housing lots, farms, shopping malls, roads, etc. In fact, worldwide, we may be witnessing what amounts to mass extinction (loss of biodiversity) as great an extent as the one that saw the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago. In the end, this will negatively affect human life as well because we are all interdependent. A step to solving this great problem is to discover and understand the importance of biodiversity.

The BioBlitz has as its goals to bring, scientists, naturalists, and the public together in a picnic atmosphere to discover and record as many of the living organisms in an area as possible and to understand the network of interrelationships between them. This is both a scientific endeavor where important discoveries are sometimes made and an opportunity for people of all ages from the community to discover the magnificent depth and breadth of nature in their own backyard.

BioBlitz 2019 Citizen Science Training

Investigate Biodiversity at
the Catskill Center’s Thorn Preserve

Would you like to dive a little deeper into the exploration? Join one of our citizen science training session and learn how to collect data in the field.  Citizen Scientists play an integral part in the BioBlitz, they accompany experts and record information on species that the expert identifies. Using a smartphone, camera or pencil and paper citizen scientists are invited to be paired with one of our scientists or naturalists to catalog and photograph a particular species in the preserve. Interested parties will be trained on how to collect data on a smartphone using the iNaturalist app as well as be trained on how to collect data using a camera and paper data sheets. To become a citizen scientist you will need to attend one of the two free pre-BioBlitz citizen science training sessions. The first session will be offered on May 31st at 3 pm, the second session will be offered on June 3rd at 3 pm. Both will take place at the Catskill Center’s Thorn Preserve.  Email to register.

Thorn Preserve Bioblitz is a joint project of the Catskill Center and the Woodstock Land Conservancy

Earlier Event: May 22
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