News Release

Scientists, Students And Volunteers To Identify And Count Species At Rocky Mountain National Park BioBlitz

Verizon Wireless Technology Used To Observe, Record And Learn About Park's Diverse Ecosystem; Company Awards $60K Grant To Help Fund Learning Initiatives

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August 16, 2012

Bob Kelley
Robert.Kelley@VerizonWireless.com
303-694-8990
http://twitter.com/VZWbob

DENVER, CO — Verizon has provided a $60,000 grant to National Geographic in support of educational programs at the Rocky Mountain National Park BioBlitz 2012.  The National Park Service and National Geographic Society are teaming up to host a 24-hour BioBlitz species count and a two-day Biodiversity Festival at Estes Park on Aug. 24-25, 2012.  Verizon will offer on-site technology assistance to students, volunteers and scientists.   

In addition to the grant, Verizon Wireless will provide 4G LTE smartphones and tablets for students and scientists to use while they comb the park to observe and document as many plant and animal species as possible in just 24 hours.  Inventory activities include counting elk, catching insects, spotting birds, exploring and examining aquatic invertebrates and using technology to better understand the diverse ecosystems of this unique national park.  

Rocky Mountain National Park boasts one of the most expansive areas of alpine terrain in the United States as well as beautiful forests and mountain meadows.  Thousands of people are expected to attend the free family event including elementary, middle and high school students from the Estes Park School District, official school groups from throughout the state, Costa Rica and Tucson and 150-200 scientists.

“Many of the scientists, students and volunteers at BioBlitz 2012 will rely on Verizon Wireless devices and service to help identify and document all the organisms they can find in Rocky Mountain National Park,” said Chris Lewter, Verizon Wireless regional president.  “Verizon is thrilled to support this great event that allows students to explore nature and engage one another using the mobile technology and devices they love.  This project with National Geographic is a great example of how mobile technology can be used innovatively to help us understand nature and become better stewards of our environment. It’s also an excellent way of getting kids more engaged and interested in science.” 

Mobile technology is a critical component to better understanding, appreciating and protecting the environment at BioBlitz.  Free smartphone apps such as Project Noah and the National Parks by National Geographic provide tools for everyone, not just scientists, to explore and discover nature.

  • Project Noah
    A tool to explore and document wildlife that provides a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.
  • National Parks by National Geographic
    Award-winning guide to 20 of the most visited U.S. national parks.  Contains personalized user space to track favorite parks and activities, top must-sees for each park and more.   

Resources created from BioBlitz will be available on the Verizon Thinkfinity.org website.  Students, parents and educators can access free content on the website across all subject areas from leading institutions including National Geographic.

The Rocky Mountain National Park BioBlitz is part of the organizations’ latest joint venture.  The Biodiversity Festival, which will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24 and 25, will feature music, live animals, science demonstrations, hands-on activities provided by prominent science and environmental organizations, food and art.  This free event is open to “explorers” of all ages.  Members of the public can even “graduate” from Biodiversity University by participating in select activities.  No registration is required for the festival.  For a schedule of events, go to www.nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network.  The company serves 94.2 million retail customers, including 88.8 million retail postpaid customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 78,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com.  To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation helps people to live healthy, safe and independent lives by addressing disparities in education, health care and sustainability.  Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live.  Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities.  For more information, visit www.verizonfoundation.org or follow @VerizonGiving (www.twitter.com/VerizonGiving).

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