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Communicating Entomology Through Video: Q&A With Erin Hodgson

“Black Cutworm Adult Trapping” was a finalist in the 2016 ESA YouTube Your Entomology Contest. Co-creator Erin Hodgson, Ph.D., says she likes to present hands-on demonstrations and factual management recommendations in her videos, which often serve as a tool in her work as an extension entomologist.

Continuing our three-part series showcasing advice from entomologists experienced in video communication, we turn to Erin Hodgson, Ph.D., associate professor and extension entomologist at Iowa State University.

Hodgson has produced or been featured in several entries in ESA’s annual “YouTube Your Entomology” video contest, including a finalist in the 2016 contest titled “Black Cutworm Adult Trapping” (see above) and a 2012 entry titled “Spider Mite Management in Corn and Soybean” (below), among others.

Hodgson shared her experience in making videos about entomology with Entomology Today. The following Q&A is part two in a three-part series. Read part one, and come back next Thursday for part three.

Erin Hodgson, Ph.D.

Erin Hodgson, Ph.D.

Entomology Today: How do you choose topics for the entomology videos you work on?

Erin Hodgson: I am a field crops extension entomologist and therefore I pick topics based on interest of my clients. I like to show action, or something hands-on to demonstrate. Overall, I do like to provide factual information and management recommendations.

How much do you plan out the script and scenes of your videos in advance?

I do like to plan out the script, particularly the intro and exit so I sound more confident. This includes piecing together different video shots and photos. Throwing in a bit of humor is always a good idea. Having multiple people in the video adds interest, too.

What other advice would you offer to fellow extension entomologists on video communication?

Don’t be afraid to create a video on a low budget—or no budget! I’ve literally created videos from my smartphone resting on top of a car!

What past video of yours is your favorite, and why?

My favorite video was the one I did with Brian McCornack and Wendy Johnson where we talked about SoyPod paperless speed scouting. It was so fun to make it because Brian was so creative. I loved the animations and play on speed (normal, slow, fast).

YouTube Your Entomology ContestCall for Videos

2017 ESA YouTube Your Entomology Video Contest

Entries due July 2

Also, new this year: ESA Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section’s Pollinator Video Contest, entries due October 1

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