The Entomology Club at LSU helped organize and participated in numerous social and outreach events this year.
The Fall cookout was held at the LSU AgCenter Termite Training Center on Dec. 5, 2009. On this cold but gorgeous day, staff, faculty, students, and friends enjoyed burgers and a variety of drinks. Many thanks to the master chefs (Lee Eisenberg, Pan Luo, and Xuan Chen), Jen and John Donaldson (provided the grill), and Drs. Bollich and Boethel for letting us use the facility.
During the Entomological Society of America National Meeting held in Indianapolis, IN (Dec. 13-16, 2009), Entomology Club members manned a booth promoting the Department of Entomology. We distributed Entomology Club pens, T-shirts, mugs, and water bottles with our tiger swallowtail logo, as well as calendars with great pictures from club members. We also distributed pamphlets and departmental newsletters and engaged a sizable proportion of the more than 2,600 participants. Special thanks to those who manned the booth and to department faculty and alumni who stopped by.
In March, Mike Ferro, Anna Meszaros, Katherine Parys, Erich Schoeller, and Julien Beuzelin worked in the Kid Zone at the Annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show. More than 500 adults and 350 kids visited the Entomology Club display during the weekend. Many thanks to Gregg Henderson for termite-related material and to Bob Danka for the observation bee hive. In April, Entomology Club members helped set up and work the entomology section of the weeklong LSU AgCenter’s AgMagic. It was a great opportunity for children and their parents to learn more about both useful and harmful arthropods. Attractions included petting hissing cockroaches and marked tussock moth caterpillars. Special thanks to club members of the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum (Victoria Bayless, Chris Carlton, Mike Ferro, Stephanie Gil, Matt Gimmel, and Jong-Seok Park), Katherine Parys, and Dorothy Prowell who interacted with more than 3,250 participants during the weekend.
Mike Ferro and Julien Beuzelin presented five “lectures” about insects to 15 classes of second and third graders (≤ 300 students) at Zacchary Elementary School on Apr. 27, 2010. In June, Mike Ferro and Crystal Maier taught arthropod biology to participants of a Junior Master Gardener Program hosted by Hilltop Arboretum, and Stephanie Gil lectured on insects for the Hilltop Arboretum Summer Academy. On Jul. 23, 2010, Julien Beuzelin and Katherine Parys interacted with 25 students (4-12 years old) at St Alphonsus School Summer Camp.
The Entomology Club had a busy third week of May. The Entomology Crawfish Boil was held at John and Jen Donaldson’s house on May 15. On this hot, humid, and at times rainy day, all those who made it had a chance to enjoy the best crawfish of the year. Special thanks to John Donaldson and Mike Becker for their mudbug boiling skills. On May 19, Mike Ferro, Matt Gimmel, Julien Beuzelin, Chris Carlton, Crystal Maier, Anna Meszaros, Jong-Seok Park, and Katherine Parys organized and participated in an evening of light trapping at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center in Baton Rouge. It was the perfect night to observe, and unfortunately swallow, thousands of swarming termites. The day after, those who survived the swamp and several other club members went to the Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans for a special “behind the scenes” tour. The Second Mad Dog Marathon was held on May 22-23. Mike Ferro and Matt Gimmel organized and participated in this bio-blitz style insect collection and curation competition that involved 8 participants this year. Although Matt Gimmel officially won the competition, everybody else was a winner because finishing the Mad Dog Marathon is winning it. Many thanks to Gregg Henderson for providing breakfast to the participants, and to Victoria Bayless, Chris Carlton, and Dorothy Prowell for judging the collections. In total, participants collected 171 insect families on the LSU Campus within a 24-hour period, helping raise more than $500 for the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum Foundation. A paper discussing the first Mad Dog Marathon was recently published by Gimmel and Ferro in American Entomologist (Am. Entomol. 56: 74-77). The authors express their appreciation to Gene Reagan for providing funding for color reprints.
Entomology Club officers for the 2009-2010 year were Julien Beuzelin (president), Matt Gimmel (vice president), Katherine Parys (treasurer), and Jennifer Gordon (secretary). For more information and pictures, please visit our “The Entomology Club at LSU” Facebook page.