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Student BioBlitz Film Premieres

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

National Park News

Count Me In,” a film by two graduates from Lewis and Clark National Historical Park’s award-winning Teen Film Camp, premiered this summer as part of Nature Matters, a monthly speaker series held at Ft. George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon.

The filmmakers helped craft a unique documentary about the park’s first BioBlitz held in October 2012. The three-day biodiversity festival – part scientific endeavor and part outdoor classroom - included approximately 300 students, university researchers, park staff and “citizen scientists.”

The students, along with several volunteers and a few staff members, spent time on the ground, literally, looking at bugs, scooping up samples from a pond and sampling cookies made out of fungi. They interviewed scientists to learn about insects and students to find out what they had learned.

Haley Werst, a 15-year-old student, who played host of the film, found the process of making a travelogue documentary a creative challenge. “Being in charge of the script, sound, and camera, plus doing the hosting and interviewing takes responsibility,” said Haley.

Calean Hensley, a four-time alumnus from Teen Film Camp, shot numerous scenes and performed a unique interpretive dance sequence as a bug for the closing credits.

Mentorship and direction was provided by park education ranger Will George, who greatly appreciated Film Camp alumni returning to the park and offering their new skills for film projects. “Haley worked incredibly hard,” said George. While some volunteers rotated in and out during the 8 to 10 hour days of production, she was there every day. “With Haley’s theatrical talent in front of the camera and adroit technical skills behind the camera, the film came together perfectly.”  

Chris Clatterbuck, chief of resources, said, “The special effects, microscope images and costumes showed the park’s microfauna are quite charismatic.

From tiny sand creatures to dragonflies, the film portrays the rich biodiversity found on Oregon’s North Coast, through the eyes of the young documentarians.

The North Coast & Cascades Science Learning Network supported creation of this student-led short. Count Me In! BioBlitz 2012 can be seen on the Lewis and Clark YouTube channel at the “More Information” link below.


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