Our Program

Science and Discovery

Bug BlitzEmeritus Professor Edward O. Wilson, patron of Bug BlitzTM, believes that discovery is an essential part of learning about the environment. When he was a child he discovered things for himself on his wanderings through his local ecosystems. He explored all manner of life, looking under logs and in ponds, for any objects or creatures of interest.

These earliest wanderings lead to an interest in nature that bloomed into a dazzling scientific career.

The wanderings had spawned a lust for knowledge about the natural world in E. O. Wilson and he became an entomologist, specializing in the study of ants. He's sometimes referred to as "Lord of the Ants." Even though Wilson has gone on to discover and name over 300 species of ants, the word ‘discovery' is not only applied in Bug Blitz context to mean: - to discover something for the first time.Golden Grevillea

Rather, in a Bug Blitz context the word ‘discover' should be thought to include: to discover something new to one's self for the first time.

Bug Blitzers in Gippsland, Australia recently made a discovery that explains this point.

A local nurseryman had recently successfully grown an endangered indigenous plant species he discovered in his local area, from cuttings. Even though this plant species has existed for millions of years, growing at the edge of where a local tip is now located, the local community knew nothing about its existence. They didn't know it existed at all.

A couple of Bug Blitz people were sharing knowledge through discussion when they found out about this rare plant. They didn't discover its existence and reveal a new species to the world; it had already been discovered officially long before, probably by a botanist wandering through habitats that looked appealing.

What they did discover was that an endangered plant existed on their doorstep. They discovered it existed close by. Then they discovered what it looked like and the habitat it preferred. They discovered why it was worth protecting and they have discovered a way to share it with their community so all can enjoy it and hopefully work towards protecting it.

Bug Blitzers will plant a small number of this species at a Bug Blitz Field Event at Heyfield Wetlands in September, 2009. People will be able to visit to discover for themselves what Golden grevilleas look like. All of the local students who participate will discover for themselves what Golden grevilleas look like and they will hopefully discover why it's worth protecting.

Bug BlitzStudents went on a trip into the bush with a local Park Ranger, Michael Harper, after bushfires ravaged the Gippsland area in 2008. They discovered what some of the effects of the bushfire were first hand.

One Bug Blitz student discovered that beetle grubs have six legs and a segmented exoskeleton..

Pauline Pendric from Parks Victoria played drama games with Bug Blitz students in an old growth forest. The kids had to act out how forests were used by people. The students discussed ways to minimize human impacts on the environment. They discovered ways they can use forests to minimize impacts on biodiversity.