Monday, August 13, 2007

Entomology Help!

So, some faculty member we know of was already teaching an overload (14 hours- Bio 101, Ecology with lab, Plant Anatomy and Morphology with lab, and Techniques of Science) when something possessed her to agree to teach the Entomology Class and lab rather than cancel it.

As the professor in question is a plant ecologist, this is somewhat of a stretch (not to mention a crazy crazy schedule-- and they took out the line in the faculty handbook that said one could hold fewer than 10 hours of office hours if one is teaching an overload). So I need help.

Irene-- want to give a guest lecture when you come?
Molly-- want to come and give a guest lecture? Would it be worth doing a field trip there?
Jenny-- visits planned?

This class is supposed to be partially web-based (to accomodate the schedule of the guy who's not teaching it-- 4 hours Monday night [1 lecture and 3 lab, with the rest made up by electronically delivered content] Night insect lab!?!). Anyone know any great web resources?

Suggestions of fun activities? Ideas?


Jennifer said...

Wow - Lisa you are a better person than I. I will put some thought to it.

Hmmm night-time entomology class - you could make a major portion of the lab having the student's putting together an insect collection. And in the evening lab periods you could go around and collect the insects that are attracted to lights. Having the lab focus on insect collection and ID I think is really cool and useful. And it is plenty challenging enough.

If you wanted a more ecological lab - get a mercury vapor lamp (or some other kind of bug collected lamp. Mercury vapor's what I used when trying to collect hawkmoths.) Get a white sheet. Put the set up in different environments (woods, agricultural land, town) and see if there is a difference among species diversity.

Irene said...

You really like pain, huh... I'll see what resources I can dig up that would be useful.

I wasn't planning on being in town on a Monday night, but we'll see what can be arranged.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Irene- no need to change schedules. I'll write you.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

I'm not sure that it has anything to do with goodness. I'm getting excited about the class now though (and I only have one student in my plant anatomy class, so it will be a very different class, too).
Anyway, the class is set up for one hour of lecture and 3 hours of lab on Monday nights with the other two hours of lecture delivered via web lectures. I'm going to structure it so that we have an hour lecture each week on straight entomology, a half-hour to hour of movie or guest lecture on applied entolomology (we have a field malaria expert, a wooly adelgid expert, a gypsy moth guy on staff, several bee-keepers close-by and a aqautic water quality guy all handy), a student presentation on an order and lab about that order and cool stuff (like mercury vapor lamps--need to find out if we have one) every Monday.
There will be open lab times when they work on their collections and I will have field trips, guest lectures, movie nights at other times that they will need to attend a certain amount of.
Should be cool.
Except for me doing the straight entomology lectures because, well, I don't know the external (or internal) anatomy of an insect. Or the orders. Or suborders. Or families.

Jennifer said...

You should show THEM! (a giant ant movie) and then talk about why insects can't get that big in real life.

Jenny said...

Sounds like it will be a fun class. I have some ideas but they aren't really solidified yet. For now, check out ISU's index for some good references:
Microcosmos might be a really neat documentary to has incredible footage.
I can't come on Mondays (I have a lab then, too) but could help out via web somehow, if needed.
By the way, Molly may know more about this, but once upon a time Chip was interested in making part of his intro to ent. lab course web-based. You might contact him about ideas.

Beth said...

another task you can do is to ask the students to find education websites on insects and see if they can do some of the work for you.

Molly said...

I could have sworn I'd checked this site sometime in the last week, but this is the first I've seen your post, Lisa! Let me find my notes from when I taught entomology. When do classes start?