- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology won two of the six special exhibit awards given at the 104th annual UC Davis Picnic Day, held April 21.
“Entomology at UC Davis (122 Briggs Hall) swept the category, “One with Nature,” while the Bohart Museum of Entomology won the wildcard award with its “Hidden Insects: Where the Sun DOESN'T Shine.”
The Picnic Day, themed, “Where the Sun Shines,” encompassed more than 200 exhibits or events throughout the campus. Popular vote determined the award recipients.
Other winners were:
Hunger Fix category: “Cool Science of Ice Cream” in the Mondavi Institute South Building Courtyard, where visitors could learn about and taste ice cream made by the UC Davis Pilot Plant
Earth and Engineering category: “Flight Simulator and Aerospace Displays”, the work of the Center for Human/Robotics/Vehicle Integration and Performance and held in in Academic Surge Building 1113
Taking Center Stage category: “Lord of the Strings,” physics demonstrations in Roessler Hall 66
Arts and Humanities category: “Musical Expedition” featuring the joy of music and hands-on experiences with musical instruments and jam sessions at a site outside the Music Building.
Coordinating the events at Briggs Hall were forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey and doctoral candidate Brendon Boudinot of the Phil Ward lab and president of the Entomology Graduate Students' Association. Heading the activities at the Bohart Museum were director Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology, and Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
Activities within 122 Briggs Hall included Virtual Reality Bugs by UC Davis medical entomologist Geoffrey Attardo; the Dr. Death (forensic) table featuring forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey; entomological forestry displays, medical entomology displays showcasing different species of mosquitoes; ant displays from the Phil Ward lab; a honey bee display providing comparisons of meals with and without the aid of pollinators and tools of the trade, including beekeeping supplies; and nine spectacular or “oh, my” drawers of insect specimens, primarily bees, beetles, butterflies. from the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
Other activities at Briggs Hall, either inside the atrium, in an adjoining room, or fronting the building, included maggot art, cockroach races, honey tasting, Bug Doctor booth, Integrated Pest Management table, Sacramento Yolo-Mosquito and Vector Control district booth, Davis Fly Fishers, scavenger hunt, insect face painting, t-shirt sales and a bake sale.
The Entomology Graduate Students' Association organized and ran most of the displays, while undergraduates in the UC Davis Entomology Club staffed their own displays (sold mantises, carnivorous plants, mealworm cookies) and did face paintings, Boudinot said. Students, faculty, and staff participated.
A performance by the Entomology Band, with three original tunes composed by Michael Bollinger of the Frank Zalom lab, ended the daylong activities at Briggs. The band included Jackson Audley of the Steve Seybold lab, rhythm guitar; Wei Lin of the Brian Johnson lab, bass guitar; Yao Cai, drums and Christine Tabuloc, vocals, both of the Joanna Chiu lab; and Zachary keyboards; Jill Oberski; tenor saxophone; and Brendon Boudinot, bass guitar, all of the Phil Ward lab. Dressed in insect costumes, they performed four tunes
For its open house offerings, "Where the Sun DOESN'T Shine," The Bohart Museum highlighted nocturnal insects, cave dwelling insects, and beaver butt beetles or Platypsyllus castoris, an ectoparasite on beavers. Visitors also held live tarantulas, with entomologist Jeff Smith, curator of the butterfly and moth section, engaging the crowd and supervising the activity. The Bohart, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, houses some 8 million insect specimens, plus a live “petting zoo” and a year-around gift shop.