New Field-based Course in Insect Taxonomy
SHORT-INTENSIVE COURSE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO FALL TERM
in between Summer & Fall terms:
COMING FALL 2017!
The Pacific Northwest is home to an amazing array of unique animals and plant, especially insects. This field based short course, to be taught by Dr. Christopher Marshall will provide students a unique opportunity to see our local insects in the field. The course will take the general framework of a insect biodiversity survey, with students spending a 5-7 days at an actual field station in Oregon. The days and some evenings will be spent learning how to find and scientifically document the insect species in the various habitats around the station, but students will also spend time at lab benches, working their samples up in to scientifically valuable voucher specimens, sorting and identifying them to various taxonomic ranks.
EVER WONDER WHAT ITS LIKE TO SEARCH FOR NEW SPECIES?
This course is for students who love exploring and making new discoveries! Will we find new species? Maybe...this can't be promised, but there are plenty of undescribed insect species in Oregon...and the only way to find them is to get out and look! Finding any insect is easy...finding specific ones (especially the interesting ones) can take a lot of work. This courese will focus on 'discovery' in the field and what it takes in order to discover new insects or new facts about known insects.
IS THIS GOING TO BE A LOT OF NAME-MEMORIZING?
This course is meant to give students a hands-on, immersive, experience into insect diversity and field biology in general. By the end of the course, you'll definitely feel comfortable with the major lineages of insects (and I hope you'll know their names), but more importantly, you'll know what they are; you'll have seen them in their natural habitat doing what they do in the wild. We'll go over field techniques that are necessary for most all types of field biology (field notes, planning, dealing with the unpredictable nature of field work, etc.). This really is a 'get your hands dirty' approach to insect diversity. The companion course, that takes place during Fall term, will dive more deeply into the taxonomy and nomenclature - but there is no way to replace the knowledge one gets about an insect group when seeing them in the wild.
IS THERE A COURSE FEE...
Yes, the course fee will cover the basic costs of being in the field for a week, which includes transportation to/from the station, use of the field station itself and a few supplies that will be used up during the course.
Think of it as a textbook you can hike around in for a week!
WHAT ELSE WILL I NEED?
We'll have a full list of gear we expect every student to have BEFORE they show up on Sept 8th.
But it will include basic field gear such as:
- hiking shoes or boots,
- tent & sleeping bag*
- a headlamp (or flashlight),
- water bottle,
- food (see below)
*some of this gear can be rented from Dixon Sports http://oregonstate.edu/recsports/equipment-rental-bike-shop
A full list will be put here later this month, and sent to registered students.
We'll be using the station kitchen to prepare our own meals. Prior to the trip, we'll figure out how many people are attending, and will plan group lunches/dinners. Food will be purchased beforehand and the cost divided fairly among the diners. Breakfasts and snacks will be the responsibilities of each student, as well as any special foods you prefer. If for some reason you cannot participate in the shared meals - please contact the course instructors to make arrangements.
Photo Credit: Scaphinotus angulatus - shot by Ivan Phillipsen. http://www.volcanolands.com/animals-found-only-in-the-pacific-northwest