Behind the Scenes: Getting the Bugs Out on Bohart Museum Website
Sept. 30, 2011
Madeline McCurry-Schmidt created the newly launched Bohart Museum website. (Photos by Kathy Keatley Garvey) Madeline McCurry-Schmidt (left) and Tabatha Yang work on the Bohart Museum of Entomology website.
DAVIS-- Like a Monarch in metamorphosis--from an egg to a caterpillar to a chrysalis to a butterfly-- the Bohart Museum of Entomology website sports a fresh new look and new beginnings.
And it’s a gift from a former University of California, Davis, student who “almost” became an entomologist.
Madeline McCurry-Schmidt, a 2011 graduate UC Davis where she majored in English and design, “combined her love of science, writing, and communication to help us produce this website the last quarter of her senior year,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator of the Bohart Museum, located at 1124 Academic Surge, California Drive, on the UC Davis campus.
“I wanted to be an entomologist when I was younger,” said McCurry-Schmidt, a former science editor of the California Aggie, the student newspaper. A former resident of El Cajon in San Diego County, she recently accepted a position as scientific communications associate for the America Society of Animal Science, University of Illinois.
“It’s a wonderful gift to us and I am sure she is going to go onto great things in the field of science communication,” Yang said.
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis, said McCurry-Schmidt did a wonderful job. “Our old website was out of date and needed a new look. Madeline took on the task of developing a whole new look and we think it’s fabulous. She did a really terrific job.”
The site spotlights an insect on the home page and links to news and events, research, collections, services, a kids’ corner, and the popular gift shop, where the Bohart Museum sells posters, t-shirts, insect collecting kits, jewelry and candy.
Yang said the website is programmed in a way that “we can easily update it.”
“We are excited to offer some new pages on our Kids' Corner. The reading list was offered to us by a librarian at the Vacaville Public Library, Nancy Vitavec. She loves insects and is a supporter of the Bohart's programs.”
“This is just the beginning,” Yang said. “We have plans to expand and improve upon what is offered. We welcome people's feedback or comments. Thus far, that feedback, has been very positive. “
The R. M. Bohart Museum of Entomology, founded in 1946, is dedicated to teaching, research and service. Housing more than seven million insect specimens, it also includes a live “petting zoo,” where visitors can hold Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks.
The Bohart, home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, includes the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity of California's deserts, mountains, coast, and the Great Central Valley.
The museum is open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. It is closed on Friday and on all major holidays. More information is available from Tabatha Yang, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-0493.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology