They Came, Caught, They Collected and They Curated
Sept. 26, 2011
Bohart Museum associate/entomologist Jeff Smith shows Irene Engilis how to pin a butterfly. (Photos by Kathy Keatley Garvey) Hands of Bohart Museum associate/entomologist Jeff Smith demonstrating how to pin a butterfly.
DAVIS--They came, they saw…
And they caught, collected and curated insects.
Visitors to the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis, did just that in the first of the 2010-2011 series of 10 special weekend openings.
The Sept. 24th event, titled, “Catch, Collect and Curate: Entomology 101,” drew some 161 people, including youths, adults and grandparents. They included UC Davis students and residents of Yolo, Solano, Sacramento and Placer counties, plus residents of the Bay Area and as far as south Riverside County.
"There were people ages 5 to 65 going home with insects that they pinned," said Tabatha Yang, Bohart Museum education and outreach coordinator.
Six-month-old Matilda Matern, daughter of Philip and Leia Matern of Woodland, eagerly tried to grasp a walking stick held by her father. She showed none of the apprehension that some school children exhibit.
Irene Engilis, collections manager of the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, UC Davis, learned from Bohart associate/entomologist Jeff Smith how to pin a butterfly.
Eight-year-old friends Lyle Hahn and Kavi McKinney, both of Davis, pinned cockroach specimens and then listened intently as volunteer Kyle Phillips, a senior double-majoring in wildlife, fish and conservation biology, and entomology, explained the strength of a black widow spider web.
Philip Matern of Woodland shows his daughter, 6-month-old Matilda, a walking stick.
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis, said it was an opportunity tailored for high school and college students to learn how to make an insect collection. But it was also an opportunity for the general public to see how it’s done and to check out the specimens and live "petting zoo," which includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks.
The visitors were invited to log onto a Bohart computer to watch “How to Make an Insect Collection,” the work of professor James Carey’s entomologist class last spring. The entire series, totaling 11 clips ranging in length from 32 seconds to 77 seconds, can be viewed in just less than 10 minutes. (See news story with link to video clips).
The videos, also online on the UC Davis Department of Entomology website and on YouTube, are both informative and succinct.
UC Davis student Kyle Phillips volunteering.
“Our next public hours will be on Sunday, Oct. 30 and they won’t be as intensive but they may be equally popular,” said Yang. The theme, in keeping with Halloween: “Blood Bugs.”.
The remaining schedule:
Sunday, Oct. 30, 1 to 4 p.m., “Blood Bugs”
Saturday, Nov. 19, 1 to 4 p.m., “Thankful for the Bugs”
Sunday, Dec. 18, 1 to 4 p.m., “Insects in a Winter Wonderland”
Saturday, Jan. 14, 1 to 4 p.m.: “A New Year, a New Bug, How Insects Are Discovered”
Sunday, Feb. 12, 1 to 4 p.m., “Bug Lovin’”
Saturday, March 10, 1 to 4 p.m., “Hide ‘n’ Seek: Insect Camouflage”
Saturday, April 21: 10 to 3 p.m., UC Davis Picnic Day
Saturday, May 12, 1 to 4 p.m., “Pre-Moth’ers Day”
Sunday, June 3, 1 to 4 p.m., “Bug Light, Bug Bright…First Bug I See Tonight.”
The R. M. Bohart Museum of Entomology, located at 1124 Academic Surge, California, Drive, is dedicated to teaching, research and service. And houses a global collection of more than seven million insects. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.
The Bohart’s regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. It is closed on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
More information is available on the Bohart website at http://bohart.ucdavis.edu/ or by contacting Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-0493. Due to limited space, group tours will not be booked during the weekend hours.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology