Pacific Branch Meeting Program Information

Plenary Session

Sunday, June 10, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Keynote Speaker: Kevin Burls, Ph.D., University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Presentation Title: Using pollinators as "gateway insects" to the world of arthropods

Summary: Despite being the most numerous and diverse group of organisms on the planet, the general public has limited knowledge about arthropod diversity and the roles these organisms play in our everyday lives. Adults especially are often limited to interacting with a sparse but very annoying set of pest organisms. However, children and adults of all ages are still eager to learn about arthropods if given the chance, and are often curious about what they can do to conserve local insect populations. Nevada Bugs & Butterflies was established in order to fill this niche and to take advantage of Nevada’s surprisingly rich biodiversity to teach the public about the natural history, biology, and ecology of arthropods. In this talk, I’ll discuss some of the programs our organization uses that allow people of all ages to interact with native arthropods in a friendly environment. These programs include numerous partnerships with local organizations as well as contributing to nationwide citizen science projects. If we take our passion as entomologists and ecologists to the public, we can not only open a world of diversity right in front of them, but we can also convince them to change their behavior to conserve their local arthropod populations. 

Organization Bio: Nevada Bugs and Butterflies was started in 2012 by Cynthia Scholl and Kevin Burls as a way to use their love of insects to teach the northern Nevada community about Nevada’s amazing biodiversity. The mission of Nevada Bugs is to provide hands-on experiences with science and living things to cultivate love of the natural world and environmental responsibility. The organization’s flagship program is a seasonal science center and native butterfly house located north of Reno, Nevada. In addition, the group leads events throughout the community and has partnered with numerous local organizations to provide interactive science education to children and adults of all ages.

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