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"Entomology Today" a Website Sponsored by the Entomological Society of America

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Dr. Arthur V. Evans teams up with WCVE Public Radio producer Steve Clark for a weekly feature, “What’s Bugging You?,” which airs during NPR’s Morning Edition. The program takes its name from another of Evans’ books “What’s Bugging You – A Fond Look at the Animals We Love to Hate.”

Tune-in each Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. or at 5:44 p.m. on 88.9 WCVE, Richmond’s Public Radio station.

On this weeks episode, Entomologist Dr. Art Evans and WCVE producer Steve Clark talk about "Entomology Today," the free website sponsored by the Entomological Society of America. This online magazine highlights the latest in entomological research and other bug news.

Learn more from their website.

Transcript:
SC:  I'm Steve Clark with Dr. Art Evans, entomologist, and this is What’s Bugging You.  Several times over the last few days, I've heard people say, “Where did this year go?  It’s spring!”

AE:  (laughing) No kidding.  Well, you know what spring means don't you?

SC:  What does it mean to you?

AE:  As an educator it's the time of year that I teach my non-science majors course, Insects and Humans.  And that course is all about exposing non-science majors to the wonder of insects and their study, entomology.  I tried many things over the years to engage them in observing insects and appreciating their role in the environment.  One of the techniques that I've discovered the last few years is a wonderful service called Entomology Today.  This is a free subscription service offered by the Entomological Society of America.  Several times a day they highlight different research articles and fun things that are happening in the world of entomology.

SC:  Isn’t that something?

AE:  Yeah, and so I have my students subscribe to that on the very first day of class, and they're assigned to pick an Entomology Today article anytime from two years before to the present day.  And they not only have to read the essay, but they also have to read the original research article.  And then I have them identify different elements of that article, because one of the things that we're trying to do with non-science majors is to get them to appreciate the scientific methods, so we have them identify the hypothesis. “What's the question that's being addressed in this research?  What is the methodology that’s being used to conduct this research?  What are the impacts of this research on society?  What were the results based on their understanding of the article?  What do they think might be future avenues of research?”  And then finally I asked them, “Why did you pick this article?”  And I ask them to be honest.  “You're desperate.  You couldn't find anything else.  This is the best you could find.  It was short.” 

SC:  Maybe it piqued their interest?

AE:  Maybe it piqued their interest.  It spoke to them because it's based on something they experienced or something one of their family members has been involved with.  Sometimes it could be related to their research topic they had just selected, also the same day.  It could be anything.  But there's two reasons for this - one, I want them to be invested in the project, but also it's a way for me to find out where they are.  Are they getting it?  Are they developing an appreciation for insects and entomology, and I'm always gratified to find out that's what's happening.  I think the best comments I get are,” I'm a golfer, and I love playing golf, and I had no idea all the work and research that goes into studying turf pests, and what's being done.”  That's music to my ears.  It's opening up a whole new world to them.  Once again, I'm not trying to turn them into entomologists, but I'm trying to open them up to the possibility of insects and the study of insects.  And hopefully they'll become better informed citizens. And if there's an opportunity to fund research and entomological activities, they will view it in a positive light.

SC:  So this is an online free service or magazine.

AE:  Right, and we’ll be sure to post the link.  And if listeners are interested in subscribing for themselves and seeing what's going on in the wide world of entomology, they can do just that.

SC:  Dr. Art Evans is a Research Associate at the Virginia Museum of Natural History.  You’ll find photos, audio, and links to the museum and Art’s Facebook page at ideastations.org/radio/bugs.

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