Photograph by Timothy Greenleaf
In addition to being the base camp for the BioBlitz, the Estes Park Fairgrounds, located at 1209 Manford Avenue, is also the home of the 2012 Biodiversity Festival. The festival will take place on Friday and Saturday, August 24 and 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an additional evening activity on Friday night starting at 7 p.m.
At the festival you can enjoy a full schedule of music, ranger programs, live animal demonstrations, photography workshops, poetry, and talks by leading scientists.
Explore interactive exhibitor booths featuring environmental organizations, wildlife groups, health organizations, and the latest science and technology. Duck inside the night sky tent to learn about light pollution or learn about water quality by looking at bugs! You can also get up close and personal with a variety of live animals.
The whole family will have fun while sneaking in some great learning. Kids of all ages can participate in hands-on activities and earn stamps toward a degree at Biodiversity University!
Discover that biodiversity is everywhere! Look through a microscope to discover life in tiny places, learn how scientists identify plants and animals, and touch some real specimens from the field! Got a burning science question? Get your question answered by scientific experts!
Unleash your inner artist in Art Alley, where kids ages 3 to 103 can express their creativity by making biodiversity related art projects. You can also participate now by creating your own Biodiversity Flag!
In addition to ongoing art activities, plan on doing a painting workshop with Rocky Mountain National Park's youngest ever artist-in-residence and/or sign up to ensure a spot in a Create-a-Creature workshop. Get more information and register now.
A collection of favorite local food vendors will round out a great outing for the whole family.
After Hours at the Festival
Bring a blanket and join us for a fun evening with live music, a presentation by National Geographic photographers, and an outdoor movie! Friday, August 24, 7 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
See full list of programs (PDF) for details.
All festival events are free and open to all ages. No advanced registration is required. Free parking is available at the fairgrounds.
Highlights From Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve
See photos of what happened when more than 5,000 people participated in a 24-hour species count in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Five thousand volunteers at the 2011 Saguaro National Park BioBlitz added over 400 species to park lists.
Wherever you are, you can participate in Project Noah's BioBlitz. How many species can you document and identify?
Rocky Mountain Park Animals
From mighty elk to rare boreal toads, Rocky Mountain National Park protects animals of the high south-central continental divide.
Learn about the animal Native Americans call "wapiti." Get the measure of these antlered giants that can tower some 9 feet tall.
Get to know North America's most common bear. Learn the logic behind the familiar refrain: "Please don't feed the bears."
Look carefully to spot this creature, whose snow-white winter coat helps it blend in with its snowy environment.
Can porcupines shoot their quills at predators? Get the pointed truth, plus other fascinating facts about these prickly rodents.
Listen: Explorer Interviews
Listen to Nat Geo Explorer Interviews
Fascinating Conversations From Our Weekly Radio Show—Nat Geo Weekend
00:11:00 Bob Ballard
Boyd heads out of the studio to join National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Bob Ballard aboard his vessel the E/V Nautilus. Currently in Turkey, Ballard tells Boyd about the many shipwrecks he is finding in the Mediterranean. You can follow Ballard and his team, live as they explore the ocean at www.nautiluslive.org.
00:06:00 Valerie Clark
National Geographic grantee Valerie Clark licks frogs for a living. As Clark tells Boyd, she’s not looking for Prince Charming. Instead, she is studying how the diet of frogs in Madagascar relates to the toxicity of their skin.
00:11:00 Lee Berger Audio
National Geographic grantee and paleoanthropologist Lee Berger has been searching for the fossils of human ancestors, but it was his 9-year-old son who stumbled upon the find of a lifetime: a partial skeleton that may very well change our understanding of the genus Homo.
00:07:59 Brad Norman
Some go swimming with dolphins or stingrays, Brad Norman, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and marine conservationist, talks about swimming with the largest fish in the world: the whale shark. Norman speaks with Boyd about his research concerning whale shark habitats, tracking and conservation.
00:11:00 Losang Rabgey
National Geographic Emerging Explorer Losang Rabgey has found her life's work in strengthening rural communities on the Tibetan plateau, which includes building schools to educate local students. Rabgey joins Boyd with updates on the successful work of Machik, the non-profit she founded and now directs.
00:11:00 Dereck and Beverly Joubert
National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert capture astounding images of African wildlife in their beautiful films. The Jouberts live in the African bush alongside the lions and other animals they profile. They explain to Boyd that, because big cats are in such danger, their work is now focused on conservation projects such as the Cause an Uproar program.
00:11:00 Nathan Wolfe
National Geographic Emerging Explorer and virus hunter Nathan Wolfe says there is a disease pandemic lurking just around the corner. But, we can prepare ourselves. Wolfe says there are even ways to harness and use the power of viruses. Wolfe joins Boyd to talk about his new book, The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age, which is changing the way we think about viruses.
00:09:00 Joshua Ponte Audio
National Geographic Emerging Explorer Joshua Ponte was a successful young English entrepreneur when, over breakfast one morning, his eye fell on a newspaper ad that said "Gorilla Reintroduction Program, Gabon." His life has never been the same since. Pursuing his passion for conservation, Ponte moved to a central African forest where 13 orphaned gorillas were being studied. Boyd talks with Ponte about the joys and dangers of raising young gorillas.
00:11:00 Wade Davis
How did the death and destruction of World War One lead young British climbers to attempt an epic conquest of Mount Everest? National Geographic Explorer in Residence Wade Davis answers that question in his new book “Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest.” Davis joins Boyd in the studio to chat about the book.
00:11:00 Sylvia Earle
National Geographic Explorer in Residence Sylvia Earle has been deeper undersea than any other woman. Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, lecturer, field scientist, and an inspiration to women around the world. She recently received the Royal Geographic Society’s 2011 Patron’s Medal. Boyd talks to Earle about some of her early dives in the Jim Suit.
00:11:00 Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner(blurb here)
00:08:00 Bruce Bachand
Many people picture archaeology as the swashbuckling adventure portrayed in the Indiana Jones trilogy. But in reality, it can be much more tedious than discovering the Holy Grail and fighting Nazis. National Geographic grantee Bruce Bachand has been meticulously sewing a 3,000 bead necklace back together in Mexico after discovering a pre-Olmec burial site that housed a tribal chief and his wife, undisturbed for several centuries.
00:09:00 Catherine Jaffee
Turkey is famed for its honey, which is music to Boyd's ears—he has a notorious sweet tooth. He visited National Geographic grantee Cat Jaffee, a beekeeper who left her job in Washington, D.C. to make honey in rural Turkey. She says that bees harvest pollen from their surroundings: the best honey comes from bees with natural surroundings, large meadows, rather than urban environments. Most people, Jaffee says, eat honey that is basically a synthetic mix of sugars from all over the world.
00:09:00 Elizabeth Lindsey
Most of human history existed before the advent of GPS technologies that can pinpoint where we are at any time. National Geographic Fellow and ethnonavigation expert, Elizabeth Lindsey has taken it upon herself to understand what it was like for Polynesian explorers to colonize tiny, remote islands across the south Pacific Ocean. To better appreciate the skills it takes to study the clouds and winds in search of land, Lindsey plans to join a team of Polynesian women who are island-hopping using traditional methods: no GPS, no cellphones and no compass.
00:11:00 Lucy Cooke