Cuddle a cockroach? Snuggle with a stick insect?
When UC Davis Chancellor Gary May and Dean Helene Dillard of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recently toured the Bohart Museum of Entomology, they praised the scientific research and displays, but neither expressed an interest in cuddling a cockroach or snuggling with a stick insect in the live "petting zoo."
They were more interested in the science.
The news coverage, however, won a gold award (first place) in a competition hosted by the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences (ACE).
Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, covered the event with pen and camera. Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis, chronicled the history of the museum, relating that Professor Richard M. Bohart founded the insect museum in 1946. Now located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, it houses nearly 8 million insect specimens, plus a gift shop and the petting zoo.
Garvey headlined her news story, "To Boldly Go," referencing the theme of Chancellor May's 10-year strategic planning process launched in 2017. May, a Star Trek enthusiast, chose the theme to bring together everyone's bold ideas "to propel us to accomplish things we've only dreamed of in the past."
"So does the chancellor 'boldy go' into a museum with nearly eight million insect specimens and a live 'petting zoo' of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking insects, scorpions, tarantulas and praying mantises?" Garvey asked in her news story.
"Does he 'boldly go' to see a rose-haired tarantula named Coco McFluffin, a scorpion named Hamilton, and an orchid praying mantis named Marsha? And dozens of Madagascar hissing cockroaches fondly nicknamed 'Hissers?'"
"He does. Of course, he does!"
Judges lauded the coverage. "This great range of photos captures the event well," they wrote in their critique. "The diversity of angles, shot size, people, and insects make an interesting guide through the article. Definitely fulfilled the service mission, making a nice shareable piece for the university and the other involved entities...It's a good glimpse into the museum for people who can't visit and generates interest for those who can. Though the article explained the chancellor and dean were not keen on interacting with the insects, it would have been nice to have a photo of them smiling. They don't look very comfortable, though they do look interested...Great work, nice coverage." (See entry at https://bit.ly/2LJE65i.)
The award was one of 10 that communicators affiliated with UC Davis will receive at the ACE conference set June 24-27 in San Antonio, Texas. Communications coordinator Steve Elliott of the Western Integrated Pest Management Center won four, including two golds:
- A gold award for writing for the web for his "Preparing for the Invasion: Emerald Ash Borer in Colorado" (See entry: https://bit.ly/2YBaRTT)
- A gold award for writing within a specialized publications for “Learning to Manage – and Live with – Coyotes in Southern California.” (See entry: https://bit.ly/2LLFjZY)
- A silver award (second place) for the center's electronic newsletter, highlighting integrated pest management research, issues, funding opportunities, jobs and meetings each month. Issues available at (See entry: https://bit.ly/2M5mL6s)
- A bronze award (third place), with Will Suckow, for the Western IPM Center website (www.westernipm.org)
Science writer Gregory Watry of the College of Biological Sciences won a silver award in the promotional writing category for his story, ‘Feeding the Future: Growing Stronger Crops.” (Entry: https://bit.ly/2vZYZyz)
Garvey also won several other awards:
- A silver award for a feature photo of a honey bee covered with mustard pollen. (Entry: https://bit.ly/2I82fi2)
- A bronze award (third place) for "The Bee Man" newspaper story on Norm Gary, emeritus professor of entomology, book author, and retired bee wrangler (Entry: https://bit.ly/2w3yW9m)
- A bronze award for writing within a specialized publication. This was a feature on "Bugs and Beats," published in Entomology Today, a publication of the Entomological Society of America, and featuring the Entomology Band of UC Davis graduate students (Entry: https://bit.ly/2JHIfEa)
- A bronze award for her Bug Squad blog, "When Queen Bees Get Permanents," showcasing the art of Karissa Merritt, UC Davis entomology student, in a Bohart Museum calendar (Entry: https://bit.ly/2BWV7Ch)
ACE, headquartered in Morton Grove, Ill., and founded in 1913., is a non-profit international association of communications, educators and information technologists.
They brought home five gold or first-place awards: three silver or second-place awards; and two bronze or third-place awards. “That was quite a haul!” commented an ACE member on Facebook.
Diane Nelson, communication specialist with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, won two golds. One was for promotional writing, “Weighing Pig Personality” (https://bit.ly/2KDdYmQ), featuring animal science professor Kristina Horback's pioneering research examining the role personality plays in the welfare and sustainable production of pigs. The second gold was for web writing, “The Last Stop: When There's Nowhere Colder to Go” (https://bit.ly/2M6iOOR), spotlighting research by animal science professor Anne Todgham who studies how climate change affects polar species. Both of Nelson's submissions drew perfect scores from the judges.
Jim Downing, executive editor of California Agriculture, the peer-reviewed journal of UC ANR, won gold in the magazine division (http://calag.ucanr.edu/). California Agriculture is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal reporting research, reviews and news on California's agricultural, natural and human resources. First published in December 1946, it is one of the country's oldest, continuously published, land-grant university research publications.
Steve Ellliot, communication coordinator for the Western Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center, won two silvers and a bronze: a silver for his photo essay, “America's Arctic Agriculture: Growing Crops, Managing Pests and Monitoring Invasives in Alaska” (https://bit.ly/2OS2Vtc); silver for the diversity awards video category, “Gold Spotted Oak Borer: A Threat to California's Oaks” (https://youtu.be/In2e5atd3ZY); and a bronze for the Western IPM Center's monthly newsletter, “The Western Front” (https://bit.ly/2M5mL6s). The Center, a USDA-funded program, aims to promote smart, safe and sustainable pest management to protect the people, environment and economy of the American West, encompassing 17 Western states and territories.
Gregory Watry, science writer for the College of Biological Sciences, won a bronze award in the “Writing for Diverse Audiences” (https://bit.ly/2M4Nq3o) in a diversity awards category. It dealt with undergraduate research opportunities in the Rebecca Calisi Rodriguez lab.
ACE, a worldwide association of communicators, educators and information technologists, offers professional development and networking for individuals who extend knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences. At the Scottsdale conference, the ACE members joined forces with U.S. crop and livestock media professionals at the 2018 Ag Media Summit.
Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and Steve Elliott, communication coordinator for the Western Integrated Pest Management Center, both affiliated with the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, will receive the awards at the annual ACE conference, set June 13-16 in New Orleans.
Judges awarded Kathy Keatley Garvey:
- A silver award (second place) for a photo series entitled the "Predator and the Pest: What's for Dinner?" on her Bug Squad post on the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources website on Oct. 3, 2016. Her series showed a praying mantis eating a cabbage white butterfly. Judges commented" "Definitely tell a story, interesting angles and good macro technique. Caught in the moment, but has a still life feel to it, like it's a diorama in a museum and we get to look at the scene from all sides. A unique look and good capture. "
- A bronze award (third place) for her feature photo, "Save the Monarchs," posted Aug. 8, 2016 on her Bug Squad blog. It showed a monarch clinging to a finger. Judges commented "The detail in this photo is incredible. The lighting on the hand against the black background is definitely striking. And it makes the white spots on the monarch pop! Beautiful!"
- A bronze award (third place) for blog writing on her Bug Squad blog posted Sept. 6 and entitled "A WSU-Tagged Monarch: What a Traveler!" Judges wrote: "Short and sweet and to the point. Perfect for web reading. The photo is so helpful to the reader. The call to action at the end is a plus and not something I've seen on other entries. Fabulous use of social media to extend the reach of the article, too. "
Judges awarded Steve Elliott:
- A gold (first place) award for promotional writing for his story, "Safflower Makes an Areawide IPM Program Work. published in the newsletter, Western Front. Judges scored his work 100 out of a possible 100. They wrote: "You had me at Rodney Dangerfield. Very creative, the lead drew me right in wanting to read more. Excellent flow, packed with information in a narrative style. Congratulations on the terrific analytics for the newsletter."
- A bronze (third place) for his photo essay, "Loving the Land of Enchantment." Judges wrote: " Good variety of shot sizes which keeps it interesting. Diversity of stories along with photo content is engaging, and sticking to the IPM theme helps. There is so too much text info that it was difficult wade through. The words compliment the photos instead of the usual where the story supersedes the photos."
They also won ACE awards last year: Garvey, a gold, two silvers and a bronze, and Elliott, a silver.
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center is funded by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to promote the development, adoption and evaluation of integrated pest management, a safer way to manage pests. The Western IPM Center works to create a healthier West with fewer pests. It is located in the UC ANR Building in Davis.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, headquartered in Briggs Hall, is affiliated with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). The department is globally ranked No. 7 in the world.
DAVIS--Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, is the recipient of the top award in the service category of the UC Davis Staff Assembly's Citation for Excellence Program. She will be honored by the chancellor at a ceremony on June 26.
Yang, who joined the Bohart Museum nine years ago, coordinates museum tours, classroom visits, special weekend hours, summer camp programs, and other outreach activities that connect science and scientists with the public. She collaborates with interns, undergraduates, staff, graduate students and faculty to accomplish the outreach program.
Stacey Brezing, chair of the UC Davis Staff Assembly Citations of Excellence Committee, wrote to Yang: “It gives me great pleasure to notify you that you have been selected as the top selection for this category, the committee was greatly impressed with your work."
Yang will receive a cash prize of $1000 as a “gesture of appreciation for your contribution to the campus community,” Brezing said.
Nominations for the service award are based on achievements such as fostering engagement and inclusion in campus community, leadership, and volunteerism.
Yang was nominated, confidentially, by Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis; senior museum scientist Steve Heydon of the Bohart Museum, and Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
They wrote: “Our nominee is a treasure, a one-of-a-kind gem and an all-around ambassador who exemplifies all that is good and great about UC Davis. A friendly and caring person who joined the campus museum workforce in 2009, she makes all of us feel needed, wanted, and appreciated as if we were ‘Person of the Year.' Throughout the year, she engages more than 20,000 children, families, students, faculty and staff who visit the museum or attend her science outreach programs. She enthusiastically and freely gives of her time to plan and participate in weekend open houses. She co-founded the annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day six years ago, which this year drew 12 participating museums and an attendance of 3000. This year she chaired the committee.
“Five years ago, she launched an annual summer camp for children that is so popular it draws youths from around the nation, resulting in multiple camps and waiting lists. She helps coordinate the UC Davis Picnic Day activities in the museum, engaging more than 3500 excited and enthusiastic visitors. At the Solano County Ag Day, she shared scientific information with 3000 youngsters over a four-hour period, always smiling and genuinely interested in each person.
“Our nominee is kind, caring, thoughtful and never without a smile or a word of encouragement. She strongly believes in inclusion. For example, she wears a safety pin, a way of showing that she is a safe space for those who are afraid. She shows she is in solidarity with victims of racism, homophobia and religious discrimination and will protect everyone who feels in danger, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, disability or religion. 'You are safe with me!'
“We watched her lead a tour of children of migratory workers, educating them about what could be a lifelong interest or their occupation. ‘You can be anything you want to be. You can do this! We know you can!' She can reach the shyest of the shy.
“One volunteer at the museum says ‘Wherever I go, her name is legendary. People just rave about her and her work.' Said another: ‘She is one of the most patient, outgoing individuals I know who loves to teach and share information.'
“Said her supervisor: ‘She has greatly expanded our outreach programs, participating in Solano County Youth Ag Day, and many other STEM programs offered at libraries, schools and county facilities. She gives science outreach programs to about 15,000 adults and children every year. She is particularly good at working with groups of children and maintaining discipline at the same time as engaging them in the topic, so that everyone can see, hear and learn. We always request an evaluation from groups she talks to and they always rave about her presentations.'
“In summary, our nominee's exemplary service, high morale, encouragement, passion and inclusion are a treasure-trove of qualities that single her out as the gem she is.
The Staff Assembly's annual Citations for Excellence Awards Program provides recognition for individual staff and staff teams who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in one of the following areas: teaching, research, service, supervision and innovation. There is also a team award for campus community contributions and service. Teams include project or program staff, office staff, or other similar groups.
The Bohart Museum 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 and tarantulas. A 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, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won a gold or first-place award for her photograph, "It Tickles," of two youths getting acquainted with a rose-haired tarantula last April at the “Take Your Daughters (And Sons) to Work Day” at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. It was published in Garvey's blog, Bug Squad, on the UC Agricultural and Natural Resources website; on the Entomological Foundation's website, and in the Bohart Museum newsletter, among other sites.
The image shows Joel Fuerte, 6, of Woodland, and Roxanne Bell, 7, of Davis, reacting to a rose-haired tarantula named Peaches. The UC Davis event drew Roxanne's mother, Jenna Bell, who works at the Mondavi Center, and Joel's mother, Gabby Sanchez Fuerte of the School of Education.
Garvey also won a silver or second-place award for her feature story on entomology Jeff Smith, who curates the butterfly and moth collection at the Bohart; a silver or second-place award for her photo series, “Miracle of Life,” depicting a monarch butterfly egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and adult, and a bronze or third-place award for a feature photo of two praying mantids mating, also published in Bug Squad.
“California's aquifers are shrinking as more growers pump groundwater to keep crops alive,” she began. “But that fertile farmland may also provide the means for replenishing groundwater to benefit everyone in the drought-stricken state.” Nelson scored a perfect 100 from the judges.
Steve Elliott, communications coordinator for Western Integrated Pest Management Center, won a silver or second-place award in the newsletter category, for the monthly Western IPM Center's electronic newsletter, “The Western Front.” The Western IPM Center is a USDA-funded regional program housed within the UC ANR Statewide IPM Program.
“The Pest Wheel helps the user identify and manage 12 common pests, including ants, snails, powdery mildew, and scale insects,” according to Pests in the Urban Landscape blog on the UC ANR web site “The Weed Wheel covers 12 common garden and landscape weeds, including crabgrass and yellow nutsedge.” (The Pest and Weed Identifier Wheels can be purchased for $4 each; this includes tax, shipping and handling. For more information or to place an order, please contact Scott Parker at email@example.com or 858-822-6932.)
The UC communicators will receive the awards at the ACE conference, to be held June 13-16 in Memphis, Tenn. ACE, an international association of communicators, educators and information technologists, offers professional development and networking for individuals who extend knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences.