By Joseph Alfonso
Did you stop by the Exhibit Hall at the ESA meeting this year? With so many booths to see and all the insect merchandise to check out, it’s a great place to spend time some time at the conference. Unfortunately, being a grad student limited the amount of insect related things I could buy, so it was a good opportunity to talk with people from university clubs, government agencies, corporations, students presenting posters, and other insect enthusiasts.
One of the organizations I stopped to talk with was the Entomological Foundation. I didn’t know anything besides the name, but they were happy to answer my questions. This nonprofit organization works to educate and engage K-12 students in science by using insects in the classroom. They provide online resources for teachers on their website, along with other outreach events. Before the ESA meeting, they held an Insect Expo for kids, and an educator workshop for teachers. Awards and recognitions are also given out to those in the entomological field who focus in outreach and education with K–12 students.
For those at the conference, the booth was set up as a silent auction fund raiser to support the organization. Everything from buprestid earrings to coleopteran candies and posters signed by Dr. E. O. Wilson were up for grabs. If you didn’t stop by the booth, you can still order a poster from their website, donate directly, or look for the next volunteer opportunity. You can see the whole interview below.
Joseph Alfonso is a graduate student at North Dakota State University studying how climate change affects species interactions.