June 22, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON
Lakehead University and the Thunder Bay Field Naturalist Club have collaborated to offer a new element of programming to participants of the Ontario Master Naturalist Program (OMNP) being offered in Thunder Bay this July.
Participants in this summer’s OMNP session will have the unique opportunity to walk along the Nipigon River Recreation Trail in what is known as a “bioblitz”. The one-day bioblitz will send naturalists out on a quest to identify and document as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi and other organisms in the given area.
“A bioblitz is meant to understand the diversity of life in a particular area,” explained Bob Bowles, award-winning Orillia-based naturalist and program coordinator. “Using the experience and knowledge gained from the other fieldwork and in-class instruction, our naturalists will reconnect with the natural world in a uniquely experiential and intimate way to gather real, tangible data about the biodiversity of the area.”
“It’s a fun and exciting opportunity to come together as a community of naturalists and share our knowledge and hopefully learn a little more from each other along the way,” said Susan Bryan, Nature Reserves Chair with the Thunder Bay Field Naturalist Club.
Open to the public, the seven-day session, which runs from July 15 to 21 in Thunder Bay, involves seven modules that combine fieldwork and in-class instruction, with the optional bioblitz component on July 22. Participants will receive a certificate after successfully completing the Master Naturalist program.
Aimed at naturalists and those dedicated to environmental stewardship, the Master Naturalist Program, which launched in 2015 at Lakehead Orillia, is designed to broaden participants’ knowledge and expertise of the natural world through formal training and guidance. Plants, insects, reptiles, birds, geology and wetlands are just a few of the topics that participants will delve into during the program.
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Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.