- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Or "B" is for Biodiversity Museum Day.
You, no doubt, saw the stick insects, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and millipedes. And you may have handled them. Scores of children--and many adults--asked to touch or hold them.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology, shared a booth at the Conference Center with the laboratory of Jason Bond, who is the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair in Insect Systematics, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and associate dean, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Arthropods from the Bond lab also included a scorpion and a trapdoor spider. The Bohart displayed a number of specimens, including the state insect, the California dogface butterfly, and the Asian giant hornet (nicknamed "murder hornet" by the news media.)
Some 1300 visitors checked out the displays, staffed by scientists from 11 museums or collections on campus:
- Arboretum and Public Garden
- UC Davis Bee Haven
- Bohart Museum of Entomology
- Botanical Conservatory
- California Raptor Center
- Center for Plant Diversity
- Department of Anthropology Museum
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology
- Nematode Collection
- Paleontology Collection
- Phaff Yeast Culture Collection
This was the first year the free, science-based event has been held exposition-style in one facility. A special feature: side trips to several of the museums or collections.
Senior museum scientist Steve Heydon periodically escorted tours from the Conference Center to the Bohart Museum located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building. Currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions, the Bohart houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens, plus a live "petting zoo" (Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas) and an insect-themed gift shop (now online).
(Editor's Note: More coverage pending)