- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The public will benefit from the Bohart Museum of Entomology's UC Davis Crowd Fund, a $5000 fundraising drive that ends at 11:59 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31.
With the funds, UC Davis students will create portable insect-specimen traveling boxes that make their way throughout Northern California to help folks learn about the exciting world of insect science, including bees, butterflies and beetles. The glass-topped boxes travel to school classrooms, youth group meetings (such as 4-H, Boy Scouts and Grange), festivals, libraries, fairs, special events, museums, hospitals--and more.
The Bohart Museum, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, originated in 1946 when noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007), UC Davis professor of entomology, filled two Schmitt boxes with insect specimens. That was the beginning of the UC Davis insect museum. Named the Bohart Museum in 1982, it is now the home of nearly eight million insect specimens, collected worldwide
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart and a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology, drew praise last Saturday at the museum's 75h anniversary party, hosted by the Bohart Museum Society.
Emcee Jason Bond, the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair and professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and the newly named Associate Dean for Research and Outreach for Agricultural Sciences, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, urged the crowd to help support the outreach mission of the museum.
“Collections have a tremendous educational value,” Bond said, “and they also have amazing research value as well. Discoveries of new species don't actually happen in the field, they happen in the museum collections. New species on the average spend about 25 years on the shelf before a graduate student, undergraduate student or a researcher pulls them off shelf and describes or discovers them.”
He offered a toast to Kimsey, who in turn praised the thousands of collectors “who have their names” on the specimens. “We've been doing this for a long time. Eventually we'll be able to serve the public again like we should. Otherwise it would just be a dead collection in a building somewhere.”
Kimsey interviewed “Doc” Bohart, then 82, in 1996 as part of the Aggie Videos collection. (See https://bit.ly/2Zv8rvO.) Bohart, who began his UC Davis career in 1946, chaired the Department of Entomology from 1963 to 1967.
Unparalleled Research. “His scientific research on insect taxonomy and systematics is unparalleled,” Kimsey wrote on the Bohart website. “His publications include three of the most important books on the systematics of the Hymenoptera, including the well-used volume Sphecid Wasps of the World. His journal publications total over 200 articles. He revised many groups of insects, discovered new host-associations or geographic ranges, and described many new species."
Kimsey, an alumnus of UC Davis, received her undergraduate degree in 1975 and doctorate in 1979. She joined the UC Davis faculty in 1989. A two-term president of the International Hymenopterists, and a recognized global authority on the systematics, biogeography and biology of the wasp families, Tiphiidae and Chrysididae, she won the 2020 C. W. Woodworth Award, the highest award given by the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America, for "her 31 years of outstanding accomplishments in research, teaching, education, outreach and public service."
The need to update and expand the Bohart Museum's traveling display is urgent, the scientists said.
“We have all these bright, students on campus with fresh and diverse perspectives," commented Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator. "We want to support their talent, so the funds we are raising will go to students for the creation of new traveling displays. This fleet of new educational drawers will expand and update what we can offer. Some of our current displays were created 15 years ago! One can only imagine all the places these drawers have been and all the people who have been inspired."
Donors can do so in memory of someone, a place, or a favorite insect. Bond donated $500 in honor of Lynn Kimsey, and Lynn Kimsey donated $500 in memory of the founder, Richard M. Bohart. The donation page, which includes a U.S. map of where the donors reside, is at https://bit.ly/3v4MoaJ
The Bohart Museum, currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 precautions, is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. In addition to its insect collection, which is the seventh largest in North America, the museum houses a live “petting zoo,” comprised of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas, and a gift shop (now online), stocked with insect-themed t-shirts, hoodies, jewelry, books, posters and other items. Further information is on the website at https://bohart.ucdavis.edu.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
If you've ever seen youngsters jumping up and down in pure delight--and pure enthusiasm--you've probably been to an event spotlighting the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology insect specimens.
And now you can help.
The Bohart Museum of Entomology has launched a CrowdFund project to raise $5000 by 11:59 p.m., Oct 31 to purchase traveling display boxes for their specimens, which include bees, butterflies and beetles.
These are portable glass-topped display boxes that travel throughout Northern California to school classrooms, youth group meetings, festivals, events, museums, hospitals--and more--to help people learn about the exciting world of entomology (insect science).
“When COVID halted our in-person outreach programs, we were still able to safely loan these educational materials to teachers,” said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator.
Supporting the Talent. “Now that UC Davis is open again to students we have all these bright, students on campus with fresh and diverse perspectives,” she said. “We want to support their talent, so the funds we are raising will go to students for the creation of new traveling displays. This fleet of new educational drawers will expand and update what we can offer. Some of our current displays were created 15 years ago! One can only imagine all the places these drawers have been and all the people who have been inspired."
The Bohart Museum, a research collection and public museum dedicated to understanding, documenting and communicating terrestrial arthropod diversity, is now celebrating its 75th year. It maintains a robust outreach program that typically connects with more than 10,000 people annually, according to Lynn Kimsey, director of the museum and a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology.
Portable educational boxes are considered a great way to share the museum experience with others. They are housed in the same specimen boxes that the Bohart scientists use for their research collections. UC Davis students, staff, teachers and scout leaders routinely borrow these materials to enrich their programs.
"Our current educational boxes were created 15 to 20 years ago by staff and students at UC Davis," the scientists related on the CrowdFund page. "After years of wear and tear and new developments in biology, we need to update and create a new suite of display boxes. These displays will not only be scientifically accurate, but they will be intriguing to view by all ages. With every $500 in donations, a student will be able to create a fresh new box, complete with an informational sheet and a short video. The goal of this fundraiser is to provide 10 students the opportunity to create 10 portable educational displays that will enhance the outreach mission of the Bohart Museum and the University of California."
Virtual Tour. The public is invited to access the Bohart's Facebook Live virtual tour for Aggie Spirit Week on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The "Bugology" link is https://fb.me/e/XKtXPrsB. Plans are to spotlight Professor Kimsey; senior museum scientist Steve Heydon; Lepidoptera collection curator Jeff Smith; and graduate student Socrates Letana (who researches bot flies), among others.
The Bohart Museum, temporarily closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. It houses nearly eight million insect specimens, collected from around the world. It also houses a live "petting zoo" comprised of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas, as well as an online gift shop stocked with insect-themed jewelry, clothing, books, posters and other items.