Calling all scientists

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If you have ever wondered what kind of creatures are wading the frigid waters of Waterton Lakes National Park then the Alpine Aquatic Insect Bioblitz may satisfy.

From Aug. 25 through 27, volunteer scientists and explorers can assist Parks Canada staff sample high-elevation streams to find aquatic invertebrates.

Although Waterton has fewer bodies of water than other mountain parks, the difference in water and temperatures has created the perfect ecosystem for a variety of unique creatures such as the Lednia tumana, or the meltwater stonefly — a rare and endangered aquatic insect that resembles a skinny cockroach that is dependent on cold-water.

Volunteers of the Bioblitz will be exposed to a learning experience unlike any other, as they try to catch ’em all — it’s like Pokémon Go, without the expensive data charges.

"Developing new and innovative programs and services such as this Bioblitz allows more Canadians, including youth and newcomers, to experience the outdoors and learn about our environment," Parks communications officer John Stoesser said.

A plethora of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, larvae, planktons, amphibians, snails and worms are living in the below 15° C waters that are waiting to be found this week during the Bioblitz.

Interested volunteers are to register online, or by calling Dianne Pachal at 403-859-2224. Participants can volunteer for one day, or all three if they’d like. It is recommended to dress appropriately for any kind of weather and bring day-packs and food for the full-day trips.