The Bohart Museum of Entomology is planning an open house, "Insects and U," on Sunday, Sept. 24, 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.
The open house, a family friendly event, is free and open to the public of all ages.
"This purposely coincides with UC Davis dorm move-in weekend," says Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. "Our target audience is new students and their families, but everyone is welcome. The focus is how to study insects at home and in school--any age."
Entomologist Jeff Smith, who curates the moth and butterfly collection, will show attendees how to pin and spread butterflies during the three-hour open house.
Smith, a resident of Rocklin, curates the 400,000-specimen (and growing) collection. The entomologist has spread the wings of more than 200,000 butterflies and moths, or about 7000 a year, since 1988. “I do most of the work at my home (Rocklin), where I spread and identify specimens and add them to the museum collection,” he said.
“My life is dedicated to this passion of entomology,” said Smith, an associate of the Bohart Museum and a member of the Bohart Museum Society and the Lepidopterists' Society. He was named a recipient of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' "Friend of the College" award in 2015.
“Entomology is my passion and the Bohart Museum is my cause.” He retired in 2013 from a 35-year career with Univar Environmental Science but that just means he can spend more time at the insect museum.
The UC Davis Entomology Club, headed by Chloe Shott, will participate. Undergraduate entomology student advisor Brandy Fleming will be on hand (tabling) to talk about classes, careers, and fun with entomology. She is also the global disease biology student advisor. Yang is also planning a display featuring cabbage white butterflies for educators.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology, is a world-renowned insect museum that houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It also maintains a live “petting zoo,” featuring walking sticks, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, praying mantids, and tarantulas. A gift shop, open year around, offers T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The museum is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
Smith, who curates the 400,000 butterfly and moth collection at the Bohart Museum, will be honored Friday, Oct. 2 at the college's Award of Distinction ceremony in the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Pavilion.
“Alumni, students, staff and faculty will gather to celebrate the contributions made by our college,” said coordinator Carolyn Cloud. “This year the college will present the Award of Distinction to seven outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to our college's success.”
The other 2015 recipients are Jacqueline Beckley, Chuck Nichols and Tony Smith, alumni awards; Chris van Kessel, faculty; David Ginsburg, staff, and John Meyer, friend. The ceremony begins at 5:30 and will be followed by a reception and farmers' market from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. See http://collegecelebration.ucdavis.edu.
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and UC Davis professor of entomology, nominated Smith for the award. “You could not ask for a better friend than Jeff Smith,” she said, noting that he has “brought us international acclaim and saved us $160,000 through donations of specimens and materials, identification skills and his professional woodworking skills. This does not include the thousands of hours he has donated in outreach programs that draw attention to the museum, the college and the university.”
Kimsey, who has directed the museum since 1989, remembers when Smith joined the museum. “When Jeff was working for Univar Environmental Services, a 35-year career until his retirement in 2013, he would spend some of his vacation days at the museum. Over the years Jeff took over more and more of the curation of the butterfly and moth collection. He took home literally thousands of field pinned specimens and spread their wings at home, bringing them back to the museum perfectly mounted. To date he has spread the wings on more than 200,000 butterflies and moths. This translates into something like 33,000 hours of work!”
Kimsey praised Smith for completely reorganizing the butterfly and moth collection. “It's no small feat to rearrange this many specimens, housed in roughly one thousand drawers,” she said. “Many thousands of the specimens needed to be identified, and the taxonomy required extensive updating and reorganization.”
“As if this weren't enough, Jeff has made many other contributions to the museum. He donated his brother's collection and library when his brother died unexpectedly. He and his wife have made financial contributions towards the museum's endowment, and he donates other materials and specimens he collects on various collecting trips in the U.S. and overseas.”
Lauding Smith's “phenomenal knowledge of urban insect and spiders,” Kimsey said: “We often go to him with questions we get from the public and from colleagues. He volunteers for our weekend open houses as often as he can, as well as the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day in February and UC Davis Picnic Day in April. Few volunteers, faculty, students or staff work as well with the public as Jeff does. He has a wonderfully engaging way of talking to children and adults, and he knows just how to inspire and educate every age group. It's awesome to watch.”
“Overall, Jeff has made major contributions to the Bohart Museum of Entomology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and UC Davis in his work with the museum collections and his tremendous public outreach and education efforts,” Kimsey concluded. “For him it's a labor of love, for us he's the best thing that ever happened.”
Smith, a resident of Rocklin, is not only a Bohart associate but a member of the Bohart Museum Society and the Lepidopterists' Society. Of his work, he puts it this way: “Entomology is my passion and the Bohart Museum is my cause.”
The Bohart Museum houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum.
Special attractions include a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to hold the insects and photograph them. The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The museum is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free. Open houses, focusing on specific themes, are held on weekends throughout the academic year.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or Tabatha Yang, education and public outreach coordinator at email@example.com
Smith curates the 400,000-specimen Lepidoptera collection at the Bohart Museum, a world-renowned insect museum that houses a global collection of nearly 8 million specimens. Smith organizes and identifies the butterflies and moths, creates the drawers that display them, and the labels that identify them. In between, he shares his passion for insects and spiders at outreach programs.
The entomologist has spread the wings of 200,000 butterflies and moths, or about 7000 a year, since 1988. “I do most of the work at my home (Rocklin), where I spread and identify specimens and add them to the museum collection,” he said.
“My life is dedicated to this passion of entomology,” said Smith, an associate of the Bohart Museum and a member of the Bohart Museum Society and the Lepidopterists' Society. “Entomology is my passion and the Bohart Museum is my cause.” He retired in 2013 from a 35-year career with Univar Environmental Science but that just means he can spend more time at the insect museum.
“The Lepidoptera collection is an excellent worldwide resource,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. “Jeff has completely reorganized the butterfly and moth collection. It's no small feat to rearrange this many specimens, housed in roughly 3000 drawers. They have to be identified, and the taxonomy requires extensive updating and reorganization. He has re-curated all of the major moth families.”
If anyone were to put a monetary value on Jeff Smith's museum donations, it would exceed $160,000, said Kimsey, calculating that the 200,000 curated butterflies and moths alone translates into 33,000 hours of work.
A philanthropist extraordinaire, Smith has donated more than 35,000 specimens from his own collection; gifted more than 6000 foam-bottomed unit boxes, 5000 pins and seven reams of label paper; and crafted more than 2000 glass-topped specimen drawers to the Bohart Museum. He loves doing outreach programs, including classroom visits, Bohart open houses, state and county fairs, festivals, school science events, UC Davis Picnic Day and other educational opportunities. He engages crowds with specimens, but also with the permanent residents of the Bohart's live “Petting Zoo.” It was Smith who donated the crowd favorite, Rosie the Tarantula, who lived to 24 years.
In 2000, a scientific team led by Heydon returned from Papua New Guinea with a vast amount of specimens, and over the next two years Smith spread around 18,000 moths and butterflies, all now incorporated into the Bohart collection.
Smith can spread the wings of a butterfly or moth in several minutes, from the smallest to the largest. His smallest moth was a 1 mm long moth (about the size of a period at the end of this sentence) with a wingspan of 2 to 2.5 mm. Heydon collected it in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, central Africa,
The largest moth he's spread? The Atlas moth, which has a 12-inch wingspan.
Smith worked at the Bohart on vacations, evenings and weekends while working full-time at Univar, a major product supplier to the professional pest management industries. “As a salesman of 23 years and then resource development with our website until I retired, I had the chance to teach our customers how to do pest control properly,” Smith related. “I taught probably thousands of classes on safe and effective use of pesticides, personal safety, pest identification and biology, etc., and like to think I made an impact on increasing the professionalism of this industry.” A frequent speaker at industry conferences, Smith was often the “go to” person for insect identification and technical questions.
Smith credits his parents with sparking his interest in insects. As a child growing up in Campbell, Calif., he collected butterflies, moths and other insects. “My parents loved the outdoors and taught us to be curious,” he said. His father, Al, now deceased, was a general contractor, and his mother, Alice, now 98, worked in the business.
From his father he learned woodworking. Of the some 2000 drawers he has made for the Bohart Museum “about half are from scratch,” he said. They include 150 drawers from recycled redwood decking and fencing. He makes and donates spreading boards for open houses and for UC Davis Entomology Club clinics.
“I love retirement and all the additional time I now have for the Bohart and oh, for my wife," Smith said. "Our daughter and one granddaughter live in Prescott, Ariz., and I make things for them such as beds, bookshelves, and other wood objects.”
One of Smith's philosophies is “to leave the world better than I found it, and that pertains not only to my work in the Bohart but also to my 35-year career at Univar.”
Another involves the Golden Rule, or as he says “If you wouldn't want someone doing it to you, don't do it to them.” And a third philosophy "that I stole" from an inspirational man who teaches music to inner city youth in Los Angeles: “Love what you do, do what you love, and take the time to teach others about your passion.”
Jeff Smith is doing all three.
"We really don't know what we would do without Jeff Smith," Kimsey said.
Hosts are Bohart senior museum scientist-entomologist Steve Heydon and entomologists John De Benedictis and Jeff Smith.
Visitors are encouraged to bring specimens, photos, PowerPoint presentations or slides from collecting trips and tales of collecting triumphs to share with others. Butterfly t-shirts and other entomological merchandise are available from the gift shop.
Interested persons are invited to attend. Lepidopterists are researchers or hobbyists who specialize in the study of butterflies and moths in the order, Lepitopdera.
For more information, contact Steve Heydon at (530) 752-0493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bohart Museum is located on Crocker Lane, near the intersection of Crocker Lane and LaRue Road. Visitors can park in Lot 46. Academic Surge is the building north of Lot 46.
The museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens, and is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. It was founded by noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007).
Those are a few of the hands-on activities that will take place in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's insect booth in the Floriculture Building during the May 8-11 Dixon May Fair. The fairgrounds are located at 655 S. First St., Dixon.
Entomologists, researchers, beekeepers and honey experts will be among those staffing the booth and answering questions from fairgoers.
The interactive exhibit will include a bee observation hive from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility; specimens and live insects from the Bohart Museum of Entomology; insect posters from the recent UC Davis Picnic Day, and information about the Honey and Pollination Center.
Entomologist Jeff Smith of Rocklin, a 27-year volunteer at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, will be at the fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can hold a 22-year-old rose-haired tarantula, one of the most popular insects at the Bohart Museum open houses. Other live insects are scheduled to include Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks.
Smith worked in pest management for two years and then worked for Univar USA for the next 35, up to his retirement in 2013. Univar is the leading national supplier of the full range of pest control products to the professional pest management industries. Twenty-three of those years were in sales and the last 12 years with the E-business group, creating resources and training on the website PestWeb.com. Smith has written many training manuals and taught thousands of classes in pest management.
Now he fully pursues his passion for Lepidoptera (a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies), with the Bohart Museum of Entomology, where he has managed and improved the Lepidoptera collection for the past 27 years as a volunteer. He studied and collected insects on 10 excursions to Latin American rainforest areas.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, is the global home of nearly eight million insect specimens. Exhibits at the Dixon May Fair will focus on wing diversity; insects of California (10 orders (includes dragonflies and true bugs), butterflies and other insects of the world, and predators and parasites.
Among others scheduled to participate are:
Billy Synk, staff research associate and manager of the Laidlaw facility. He will provide the bee observation hive, where visitors can look through the glass and find the queen bee, worker bees and drones and observe colony activity. He will answer questions from fairgoers from 11 to 4 p.m. Friday, May 9.
Cameron Jasper, a graduate student in the lab of Brian Johnson, assistant professor of entomology. He studies the genetic basis of division of labor in the honey bee. He is scheduled to be at the booth from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday, May 9. Jasper studies the genetic basis of division of labor in honey bee.
Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, headquartered in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. She will be at the fair from 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 10 and help youngsters make bee/flower puppets.
The Honey and Pollination Center showcases the importance of honey and pollination s through education and research. The center works with all aspects of the beekeeping industry, including agriculture, grocers and chefs, beekeepers and future beekeepers, urban homesteaders and students.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology was ranked No. 1 in the country, in rankings released in 2007 by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The ratings have not been updated.