Join us on Saturday, July 25, for the BioBlitz your chance to work with natural science experts to explore this landscape and identify the diversity of species found in it. Whiterock Conservancy supports a diverse array of plants and animals native to Iowa the Middle Raccoon River and serves as the “last outpost” of significant forested habitat until you reach the Missouri River. But Whiterock is not just an isolated natural landscape; it is unique because it is part of a working landscape with crop agriculture, grazing, and active management of the natural system. We’ll have sessions to explore literally “from the bottom up.” Plan to meet at the River House, 1313 Fig Avenue, about a half hour before your first session.

Register Now

  • $25 All Inclusive registration includes 4 Blitz sessions, free camping on Friday and Saturday night and, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday.
  • $15 Morning registration includes 3 Blitz sessions (Saturday until 6 pm), free camping on Friday, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday.
  • $15 Evening registration includes 3 Blitz sessions (beginning at noon Saturday), free camping on Saturday, and lunch and dinner on Saturday.

Your Choice of Sessions Includes:

  • Learn more about raptors during a Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR) program with Ms. Kay Neumann
  • Hear about how carnivores like bears and bobcats are reinvading Iowa, and learn the importance of places like Whiterock in conserving them with Dr. Bill Clark (ISU, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
  • Participate in an forest Ecological Site Description (ESD) using quantitative plant ecology methods to better understand the relationships between soil types and native plant communities, conduct a floristic survey of native and restored prairies, and participate in a plant ID session focusing on wetland plants with Dr. Tom Rosburg (Drake University)
  • Explore the ancient landscape of the edge of the glacial lobe along which the Raccoon River flows with Mr. Joe Artz (Geoarchaeology and GIS Earthview Environmental)
  • Use microscopes to look at the millions of soil fungi and microbes that process carbon and nitrogen and build soils with Ms. Cassi Wattenburger and Dr. Kirsten Hofmockel (ISU, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
  • Sample steam invertebrates of the Middle Raccoon River with Dr. Christopher Filstrip and colleagues (ISU, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
  • Search for and identify bees and other pollinators of the prairie with Dr. Jenny Jandt and Amy Geffre (ISU, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Entomology)
  • Learn about wasps and their many roles in the environment with Dr. Jenny Jandt (ISU, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Entomology)
  • Search and learn more about butterflies in prairies and other grasslands with Stephanie Shepard (Iowa DNR)
  • Use electrofishing equipment and seines to sample the fish (minnows, darters, suckers, catfish, sunfish, and smallmouth bass) community in the river with Dr. Kevin Roe (ISU, Natural Resource Ecology and Management)
  • Learn about the diverse dragonflies and damselflies and moths that can be found at Whiterock with Mr. Steve Hummel
  • Identify reptiles and amphibians with Mr. Eric Gangloff and Dr. Anne Bronikowski (ISU, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology )

The Event Schedule:

8-9 am Breakfast

9 -11:30 am

  • ¬†Ancient Landscape
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Forest Ecological Site Description
  • Stream Invertebrates
  • Butterflies
  • Dragonflies & Damselflies
  • Reptiles & Amphibians
  • Small Mammals & Predators

11:30 am- 1 pm Lunch

1-3:30 pm

  • Soil Microbiology
  • Wetland Plant Identification
  • Fish Sampling
  • Stream Invertebrates
  • Pollinators
  • Reptiles & Amphibians

3:30 – 6 pm

  • Ancient Landscape
  • Butterflies
  • Wasps
  • Dragonflies & Damselflies
  • Raptors

6-7:30 pm Dinner

7:30 – 10 pm

  • Sedge Workshop
  • Carnivores