The 12th annual event, set Saturday, Feb. 18 on the UC Davis campus, will showcase 11 museums or collections. Known as a "Super Science Day" and a day to chat with scientists and check out the displays, it's free and family friendly.
All sites are within walking distance of the campus except for the Raptor Center, which is two miles away on Old Davis Road. Maps and directions are posted on the website. The maps also will be available the day of the event.
The UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day is traditionally held during Presidents' Weekend. The list of the 11 museums or collections:
- Anthropology Museum, 328 Young Hall and grounds, noon to 4 p.m.
- Arboretum and Public Garden, Habitat Gardens in the Environmental GATEway, adjacent to the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Bohart Museum of Entomology, Room 1124 and main hall of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.
- Botanical Conservatory, the greenhouses along Kleiber Hall Drive, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- California Raptor Center, 340 Equine Lane, off Old Davis Road, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Center for Plant Diversity, Sciences Laboratory Building/Esau Science Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Nematode Collection, Sciences Laboratory Building/Esau Science Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, 9 am. to 3 p.m..
- Marine Invertebrate Collection, Sciences Laboratory Building/Esau Science Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, 9 am. to 3 p.m.
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Room 1394, Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Paleontology Collection, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 1309 Earth and Physical Sciences Building, 434 LaRue Road, 12 noon to 4 p.m.
- Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute Brewery and Food Processing facility, Old Davis Road, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (See news story)
Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, chairs the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day and is a founder of the event.
Those who wish to donate to the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day can access the crowdfunding site. Donations may be made in honor or memory of someone, said Yang. A donor wall is online.
For more information, see the Biodiversity Museum Day website.
- Author: Randall Oliver
Reposted from UC ANR news
Early detection increases the chances of eradicating pests
Trees provide shade to keep us cool, produce oxygen for us to breathe and calm our nerves. Numerous studies have demonstrated that even brief contact with trees and green spaces can provide significant human health benefits such as reductions in blood pressure and stress-related hormones. Trees also reduce noise and visual pollution, help manage storm water runoff, reduce erosion and provide habitat for birds and wildlife. Trees naturally capture carbon, helping to offset the forces of climate change. They also increase the value of our properties and communities. In short, trees are essential to our well-being.
Unfortunately, invasive pests pose an ongoing threat to California's forests in both urban and wildland settings. Invasive insects such as goldspotted oak borer and invasive shothole borers have killed hundreds of thousands of trees in Southern California and are continuing to spread. Meanwhile, other pests and diseases such as Mediterranean oak borer and sudden oak death are killing trees in Northern California.
While the situation may sound dire, it is not hopeless. Of course, the best way to stop invasive pests is to prevent them from entering the state, as the California Department of Food and Agriculture has done on many occasions. For example, several months ago, CDFA border inspectors seized a load of firewood containing spotted lanternfly eggs (a pest that is causing extensive damage on the East Coast). When pests do sneak in, the next defense is to catch them early before they become established. Finally, even if pests do become established, they can be managed if not completely eradicated.
A few examples may help to illustrate why invasive tree pests deserve action, but not panic.
Red striped palm weevil eradicated in Laguna Beach
When red striped palm weevil, a highly destructive palm pest native to Indonesia, was discovered in Laguna Beach in October 2010, a working group was quickly formed to develop a management plan. The small but diverse group included international palm weevil experts, research scientists from University of California Riverside, CDFA and U.S. Department of Agriculture, UC Cooperative Extension personnel from San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties and county entomologists from the agricultural commissioner's offices in Orange and San Diego counties.
The resulting response included a pheromone-based trapping program, public advisory and targeted insecticide treatments. Within two years, additional trapping and inspections could not find any signs of continued infestations. Early detection was key to the success: the infestation in Laguna Beach was identified early, so the weevil population was still relatively small. In addition, Laguna Beach is geographically isolated, the local climate is much cooler than the weevil's place of origin, and the eradication effort was well funded by state and federal agencies. Eliminating invasive pests where such conditions are not present may prove more difficult.
Invasive shothole borers attack Disneyland
The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim contains 16,000 trees and over 680 different tree species. When park officials identified an infestation by invasive shothole borers in 2016, their initial attempts at vanquishing the insects with pesticides produced mixed results. Then, they consulted with experts from UC Riverside and UC Cooperative Extension and together designed and followed an integrated pest management program that included monthly ground surveys, a trapping program that helped to detect infestation hot spots and find and remove the source of beetles, and occasional pesticide treatments on selected trees. The park went from a large number of beetles in 2017 to very low levels today. There are still some beetles, but resulting damage is extremely low, and although monitoring programs continue, the park's landscape team has been able to turn its focus elsewhere.
Goldspotted oak borer spotted in Weir Canyon
When goldspotted oak borer was confirmed in Orange County's Weir Canyon in 2014, a team from Irvine Ranch Conservancy, the organization that manages the area on behalf of Orange County Parks, sprang into action. UC Cooperative Extension and the US Forest Service assisted IRC in developing a management program, and over the ensuing years, IRC has actively collaborated with OC Parks, The Nature Conservancy, OC Fire Authority, and CAL FIRE to control the existing infestation and stop its spread. IRC has surveyed the oaks in the area yearly to monitor the infestation and guide each year's management actions.
To reduce the spread of the infestation, IRC removed more than 100 severely infested oaks in the first few years of management (no severely infested oaks have been found in the last few years of surveys). Additionally, more than 3,000 tree trunks have been sprayed annually in the late spring to kill emerging adult beetles and newly hatched offspring.
In the most recent survey of the oaks in Weir Canyon, the IRC team found only 12 trees with new exit holes, and most of those had just one to two exit holes per tree, which is an extremely low number. With the situation well under control, IRC is now considering modifying its annual spraying program and adapting other less aggressive treatment options. Finally, IRC has been actively planting acorns to mitigate losses due to the removals as well as the Canyon 2 Fire of 2016.
As these brief examples demonstrate, insect pest infestations can be managed or even eradicated if caught early enough. Early detection not only increases the chances of success, but also minimizes the cost of pest management efforts.
What you can do to prevent infestation
While management actions will vary depending on the insect or disease, species of tree and location, there are a few steps that will lead to greater success in fighting tree pests and diseases.
- Keep your trees healthy. Proper irrigation and maintenance go a long way toward keeping trees strong and resistant to pests and diseases.
- Check your trees early and often for signs and symptoms of tree pests and diseases. These may include entry/exit holes, staining, gumming, sugary build-ups, sawdust-like excretions, and branch or canopy dieback. Use available tools like the UC IPM website to determine probable causes of the problems.
- Talk with experts (arborists, pest control advisers, researchers and advisors from the University of California and other institutions), and report pest findings to your county Agricultural Commissioner.
- Evaluate the extent of tree damage and determine a management plan. Remove severely infested branches and trees that may be a source of insect pests that can attack other trees.
- Properly manage infested wood and green waste. Chip wood and other plant materials as small as possible. Solarization or composting can further increase the effectiveness of chipping. It is generally best to keep those materials close to where they originated, but if you absolutely need to move them, first make sure the facility where they will be sent is equipped to process them. Always tightly cover materials while in transit. If working with a tree care professional, insist that proper disposal is part of the job requirements.
- Many invasive tree pests can survive in down wood for long periods. When buying or collecting firewood, always obtain it as close as possible to where you are going to burn it and leave leftover firewood in place.
The 12th annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day, billed as "A Day to Celebrate Science," is set for Saturday, Feb. 18. Traditionally held during Presidents' Day Weekend, the event is free and family friendly. Parking is also free.
Biodiversity Museum Day chair Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum of Entomology, today announced that 11 museums or collections on campus will showcase their work:
- Anthropology Museum, 328 Young Hall and grounds, noon to 4 p.m.
- Arboretum and Public Garden, Shields Oak Grove, alongside the Vet School, Garrod Drive on campus, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Bohart Museum of Entomology, Room 1124 and Main Hall of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.
- Botanical Conservatory, the Greenhouses along Kleiber Hall Drive, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- California Raptor Center, 340 Equine Lane, off Old Davis Road, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (tentative)
- Center for Plant Diversity, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Nematode Collection, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive, 9 am. to 3 p.m.
- Marine Invertebrate Collection (Sciences Laboratory Building), noon to 3 p.m.
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Room 1394, Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Paleontology Collection, Earth and Physical Sciences Building, 434 LaRue Road, to be determined
- Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute Brewery, Winery and Food Processing facility, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (See news story)
Biodiversity Museum Day is considered a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity and variety of species on planet Earth and learn about the research being done at UC Davis. The event is also considered a great opportunity for scientists-to-be to consider their career options. Some of the museums and collections are open to the public only on Biodiversity Museum Day, Yang said.
The Labudio is located in Room 128 of the Environmental Horticulture Building, 200 Arboretum Drive, UC Davis.
The public is invited. "Please bring a t-shirt if you'd like to screen print one of our designs on it, too," they said. "Kids can make shirts, too. The event will be indoor/outdoor, so please dress accordingly." No reservations are necessary.
"The students were each assigned an insect species in decline or moving about the planet and becoming invasive in new habitats," said Meineke, an urban landscape entomologist and assistant professor. "The insects students were assigned are among those most impacted by humans, and students were given an opportunity to re-envision how people might interact more gently and intentionally with insects, our small, yet consequential co-inhabitants."
"We are so proud of how the students interacted with this topic," Meineke said. "They were charged with researching their insects and turning that research into designs that could be screen printed on watercolor paper, ceramic tiles to be installed in Briggs 122, and fabric. Their designs are nothing short of spectacular!"
UC Davis distinguished professor Diane Ullman, an artist and entomologist, "helped immensely," said Meineke, adding that she wasn't "an official co-teacher but she essentially acted as one."
Meineke was recently named one of the 12 UC Davis recipients of the prestigious Hellman Fellowships, an annual program supporting the research of early-career faculty. Her project, “Assessing Preservation of Chemical Compounds in Pressed Plants," focuses on whether herbarium specimens collected over hundreds of years harbor chemical compounds that reveal mechanisms responsible for changing insect-plant interactions.
Meineke was among the scholars and artists who helped spearhead the newly created Harvard Museum of Natural History's “In Search of Thoreau's Flowers: An Exploration of Change and Loss," hailed as an examination of the natural world and climate change at the intersections of science, art and history. She helped launch the project in 2017 when she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard University Herbaria. The 648 plant specimens that Henry David Thoreau donated to the museum form the foundation of the exhibit. It opened to the public May 14.
A native of Greenville, N.C., Meineke joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology on March 1, 2020, from the Harvard University Herbaria. As a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow, she studied how urbanization and climate change have affected plant-insect relationships worldwide over the past 100-plus years.
She received her bachelor of science degree in environmental science, with a minor in biology, in 2008 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She obtained her doctorate in entomology in 2016 from North Carolina State University.
Professor Ullman, a celebrated teacher, artist and researcher, is the 2014 recipient of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) National Excellence in Teaching Award and the UC Davis Academic Senate's 2022 Distinguished Teaching Award for undergraduate teaching. She is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2014) and the ESA (2011).
When she was singled out for the UC Davis Academic Senate Award, her nominators praised her as providing "superb teaching and mentoring for many years, not only in the Department of Entomology and Nematology but as a leader in the Science and Society program. She has brought art-science fusion alive in innovative ways. Her nominees and students rave about her deep dedication, care, and knowledge in all teaching interactions, as well as her overall commitment to student success. One student nominee summed it up: "My experience in her course last spring was one that lifted my spirits, enriched my education, and strengthened my love for art and science during a time when it was difficult to feel positive about anything.”
Ullman's research encompasses insect/virus/plant interactions and development of management strategies for insect-transmitted plant pathogens. She has worked with many insect vector species (thrips, aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, mealybugs) and the plant pathogens they transmit, including viruses, phytoplasma and bacteria.
One of her latest art projects--with colleagues, UC Davis students and community members--is the Sonoran Dreams Art Project in the Garden Apartments of the University Retirement Community, Davis. Handmade ceramic tiles depicting the flora, fauna and symbols of the Sonoran Desert surround the elevator.
Ullman received her bachelor of science degree in horticulture from the University of Arizona and her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 1985. She joined the UC Davis faculty in 1991 after serving as an associate professor of entomology at the University of Hawaii. Her credentials include: chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, 2004-2005; associate dean for undergraduate academic programs for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 2005 to 2014; and co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, launched in September 2006.
The Bohart Museum is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane. The event is free and family friendly.
Among artists represented will be UC Davis graduate student Srdan Tunic; undergraduate students Allen Chew, Francisco Basso and Brittany Kohler; and UC Davis alumna Megan Ma; plus the work of the late scientific illustrator Mary Foley Benson (1905-1992), who worked for the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture, the Smithsonian before retiring and moving to Davis. She also worked for UC Davis entomologists.
Tunic, a UC Davis candidate for a master's degree in art history, will present a seminar on Benson from 11 a.m. to noon, Oct. 15, in Room 1010 of the TLC Teaching and Learning Complex, 482 Hutchison Drive. (See separate news story on Tunic and see research story on Mary Foley Benson by forest entomologist Malcolm Furniss)
"I will focus on the visual material, and start by saying a few words about the museum, and then talk about Mary's life and art chronologically, paying special attention to her work at UC Davis," Tunic said. "At some point I will briefly touch on scientific illustration and how artists make this sort of work, and near the end, mention other illustrators I encountered during this process, and wrap up motivating people to dive into their local collections."
The family arts-and-crafts activity at the open house will be to "create your own Pokemon card," said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology. Also planned: eating insects, creating gall ghosts (from oak galls), learning about cochineal dyes, and showing off insect tattoos.
"We would love to have folks come and show off their insect tattoos," Kimsey said.
The UC Davis museum, founded in 1946 by noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007), is dedicated to teaching, research and service. It is the home of a global collection of eight million insect specimens. The collection is now the seventh largest in North America and includes terrestrial and fresh water arthropods. The museum is also home of the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity of California's deserts, mountains, coast, and the Great Central Valley. In addition, the Bohart features a live "petting zoo" (Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas) and an insect-themed gift shop, stocked with T-shirts, hoodies, jewelry, posters, books and insect-collecting equipment.
The Bohart is open to the public year-around (except for holidays) Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. It is closed to the public on Friday to enable research activities. Admission is free. For more information, access the website or contact the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org.