Sep 082016

The Connecticut Audubon Society, Center at Pomfret,  is looking for volunteers.


Citizen Science Volunteer Monitoring Program Fall 2016  

River Bio-assessment for Volunteers
Training Dates: (pick one)
Friday, September 9th, 9:00 a.m.-noon.
Saturday, September 10th, 9:00 a.m.-noon.

Did you know that aquatic insects are indicators of the health of streams?  Dragonflies and damselflies are among the many insects that spend most of their lives in water. Eggs are laid in streams where the tiny nymphs spend weeks to months eating and growing before transforming to their adult, flying stage. Come dressed for stream exploration; we’ll provide waders and nets and teach you how to net and identify aquatic insects. Our stream water quality data is shared with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, as well as, local conservation groups. Visit the DEEP website to view data from past years.

Training fee: $7 CAS members; $15 non-members.

Register with Paula Coughlin at or by calling 860-928-4948.

Please call to register for one training session. Optional field work: Friday/Saturday mornings in September or October.

May 302016

Silk-Moth-800x500 The 2016 Connecticut State BioBlitz (3-4 June 2016) will be the largest BioBlitz event in the United States, out of more than 200 planned across the country to celebrate the centenary birthday of the National Park Service.

Location: Two Rivers Magnet School in East Hartford. Map:…/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e6539b…

Overall BioBlitz information:

Below are top reasons why the Two Rivers Magnet School is the right destination for your friends and family on Saturday June 4th 2016:

1. Peruse a huge live insect zoo including giant beetles, praying mantes and caterpillars. The Caterpillar Lab will offer hands-on activities for kids – they can touch and hold the menagerie of harmless caterpillars.
2. Admire impressive museum specimens of butterflies and more – two of Connecticut’s most spectacular collections will be on display.
3. Explore a giant floor map of Connecticut and an assortment of other exhibits and activities. The event is family friendly with hands-on activities and crafts for kids.
4. Learn about the lives of northeastern birds of prey from Horizon Wings Raptor Rehab and about CT reptiles and amphibians from Riverside Reptiles – live animals will be present, including an eagle!
5. Ever wondered what science looks like in action? Interact with some of the 180+ participating scientists while they work towards identifying as many species as humanly possible within the 24hr window. Our scientists will represent all branches of the tree of life, and will be coming from 10 states and provinces. Connecticut will enjoy the greatest amassing of taxonomic expertise that has occurred in the State’s history.
6. Learn about eating insects from the world expert on the topic, Louis Sorkin – and try samples! Or learn about butterflies in your backyard from Victor DeMasi. Both presentations are part of our speaker series.
7. Go on a nature walk or a mini-safari with an expert to learn about birds, plants, mushrooms and insects that live near you. Accessible to all ages.
8. Learn about the thousands of microbes that live with, within, and around us through an interactive display. Our microbiology experts have collected samples from the Two Rivers school grounds, the Connecticut River, Mark Twain’s Park River, various types of compost, and other places. Using cutting-edge DNA methods they have determined how many microbe species live there. How many? We don’t know yet – it will be revealed at BioBlitz on Saturday.
9. Contribute your own observations to our scientific efforts via iNaturalist. Learn about iNaturalist from its creator Ken-Ichi Ueda, who will be giving a hands-on workshop at 11am. iNaturalist just might be your next favorite hobby.
10. Participate in a rapid stream bioassessment to find out how healthy the Hockanum River is.
11. Was there ever a connection between Hartford’s own Mark Twain and Charles Darwin? Find out at a presentation given by a Mark Twain House historian at 11am. And if you are lucky, you may bump into Charles Darwin himself!
12. Get half-priced family tickets to the Connecticut Science Center (just across the river from Two Rivers) for even more amazing displays and activities. Tickets available to the first 500 families to attend the BioBlitz. Shuttles will be running between the two venues.
13. Admire the findings of the State’s top mushroom experts from the CT Valley Mycological Society. You will be amazed at the diversity that can be found in urban and suburban areas!
14. Buy a book and get it signed by the author – at least nine authors will be selling and autographing copies of their field guides and other nature-inspired literature.
15. More than 20 additional exhibitors (whose underpinnings are rooted in the State’s plants and wildlife) will be assembled in the gymnasium for public visitation from 10am to 3pm.

Sep 112014

The Connecticut State Museum of Natural History is offering a variety of outreach programs this fall, one of which is on using stream insects to evaluate water quality. It sounds like a fun event for adults and children alike, see their website for more details!

Paula Coughlin, Science Educator
Saturday, September 27, 10 am to 12 noon
Pomfret, CT (directions will be sent to participants)
Advance registration required: $15 ($10 for Museum members)
Adults and children ages 5 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Connecticut’s streams play an important role in maintaining a healthy environment. While they may appear to be crystal clear, the water quality in some streams can be questionable. The presence of certain aquatic insects can be indicators of water quality as some types of aquatic life are more sensitive to pollutants than others. Join naturalist and science educator Paula Coughlin and explore a small stream to learn about a community of aquatic insects that are water quality indicators. Bring appropriate footwear for moderate hiking and boots or old sneakers that can get wet. Dress for mucking about in the stream. Special nets and waders will be provided during this family friendly activity.

Registration form can be found here.