- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The theme: Bugs, Boom, Bang!
"We had over 1500 people through the museum in just 4 hours," said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator.
UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum, and her crew--all wearing newly designed "Tardigrades in Space" t-shirts--displayed specimens and live insects; chatted with visitors; and answered scores of questions between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 15.
Tardigrades, also called "water bears" or "moss piglets," are microscopic animals found everywhere on earth, from the deep sea to rainforests, and they can even survive in space, Kimsey noted. The Bohart Museum maintains one of the world's largest collections of tardigrades; it includes more than 35,000 glass slide-mounted specimens "and many more on dried materials." A tardigrade sculpture, the work of artist Solomon Bassoff of Faducci LLC, North San Juan, Calif., graces the entrance to the Bohart Museum, located in the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus.
The Bohart Museum houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens, including a live "petting zoo," comprised of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, tarantulas and other species; and a year-around gift shop, stocked with insect-themed t-shirts, hoodies, jewelry, posters, books and collecting equipment. The newest T-shirt is the "Tardigrades in Space," designed by entomologist Fran Kelly, professor at Folsom Lake College and a UC Davis doctoral alumna, is now available in the gift shop.
The next open houses (all free and family friendly) are:
- Ants! Sunday, May 21 from 1 to 4 p.m., featuring the Phil Ward ant lab of UC Davis. Professor Ward is an internationally known myrmecologist.
- Insects and Forensics, Saturday, June 3 from 1 to 4 p.m., featuring UC Davis forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey.
- Night at the Museum, Saturday, July 22, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., featuring moths and blacklighting displays.
More information is available on the website at https://bohart.ucdavis.edu or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.