News and Events
Pepperdine Students and Faculty Help Unearth 1,361 Species at BioBlitz
Seaver College students and professors from the Natural Science Division joined hundreds of scientists, naturalists, and volunteers from all over the California and other parts of the country at BioBlitz, a 24-hour species inventory, combing more than 150,000 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Held from noon to noon, May 30 to 31, BioBlitz was presented and sponsored by National Geographic and the National Park Service in collaboration with Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and California State Parks. Teams of scientists and volunteers scoured Griffith Park, Topanga State Park, Malibu Pier and Lagoon, King Gillette Ranch, and Leo Carillo State Park. The final event culminated with a Celebrate Biodiversity festival at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, where the final number of species was tallied. A total of 1,361 species were recorded.
"The BioBlitz program was not designed to provide an accurate inventory of all biodiversity living in or adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountains," explains Rodney Honeycutt, professor of biology. "Rather, the program emphasizes environmental awareness by introducing children and adults to the wonders of their natural surroundings."
Honeycutt contends the most valuable lesson of Bioblitz is that humans are part of the Santa Monica ecosystem. "As the presumably more 'advanced species,' we need to learn how to be good stewards of the natural beauty that exists in this area of Southern California," he says.
Participating Pepperdine faculty included Honeycutt; Stephen Davis, Distinguished Professor of Biology; Lee Kats, associate provost for research; Terry Kite, associate professor of physics; Karen Martin, Frank R. Seaver Chair in Natural Science; and Tom Vandergon, professor of biology. Participating Seaver College students included Charles Wang, Spencer Vaughn, Amelia Clark, Iolana Kaneakua, Ashley Rose Snyder, Jennifer Sledge, Sarah Beth Moore, Gabriella Orona, and Amory Deroulet.
For more information, please contact the Natural Science Division at (310) 506-4321 or visit the division's Web site.