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PEOPLE'S UNIVERSITY LIVESTREAM: Bugs & People - An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles

June 17, 2021
6:30pm - 8:00pm

Calendar Event Photo

What do cicadas and people have in common? Both are re-emerging and re-uniting this summer.

Inspired by the return of Brood X or the Great Eastern Brood of periodical cicadas, the People's University at the Ohio County Public Library is offering an 8-class summer series on entomology (insect biology) called "PU Livestream: Bugs & People." The series will feature some of the best entomologists and experts from all over North America to teach attendees about the six major insect orders, as well as the history of human and insect interaction, a subject known as cultural entomology. Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions still affecting in-person library gatherings, the series will remain an online live stream (see below for details of how to view), which facilitates the nationwide, prestigious faculty.

CLASS 4: An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles

Instructor Dr. Art EvansAbstract: This engaging and colorful overview of beetles, one of the largest and most diverse group of animals on earth, will cover their distinctive physical features, biology, and natural history, then explore beetles in light of their coevolution with plants and other organisms, as well as the complex history of beetle and human interactions. All too often dismissed as pests, beetles are essential for the proper functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, have long influenced popular culture, and provide countless scientific insights and technological inspirations.

Instructor Bio: Dr. Art Evans earned his PhD in entomology at University of Pretoria, South Africa. He’s an adjunct professor at Randolph-Macon College, University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University where he teaches Entomology and Insect & Humans. He is also a Research Associate at the Smithsonian and the Virginia Natural History Museum. Dr. Evans has published 40 scientific papers on scarab beetles, as well as over 100 articles and books on insects and spiders, including Field Guide to Beetles of Eastern North America. His next book, Field Guide to Beetles of Western North America, will be published this August.

This program will be available to watch live on Facebook Live, on YouTube, and on the OCPL website's People's University People & Bugs Livestream page Log into your Facebook or YouTube account during the program to leave questions for our presenters in the comments box. They will answer them during the live broadcast. 

Thursday | June 17, 2021 at 6:30 pm
LWB LIVESTREAM: Bugs & People, CLASS 4: An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles with Dr. Art Evans

Help the DNR track Lightning Bugs in WV!

Firefly sightings reported in WV in 2019 and 2020In an effort to understand declining lightning bug populations, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is inviting the public to participate in a citizen science project to track sightings of them in the state. West Virginia has up to 40 species of lightning bugs that may have declined in number because of habitat loss, pesticide use, and other environmental causes, such as light pollution, but can still be seen in fields and forests after sunset during the summer.

West Virginia residents can be part of the conservation efforts and participate in the survey of lightning bugs by going outside, looking for lightning bugs, and reporting the location of the sightings online. Using the hashtag #lightupwestvirginia or #lightupWV you can also share photos and basic info and it may be included on the WVDNR Facebook page to celebrate World Firefly Day on July 3-4, an annual event in July.

Learn more at Light Up West Virginia: A citizen science survey of lightning bugs, fireflies, and glow-worms.

An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles,  by Dr. Arthur V. Evans. (Henry Holt and Company, 1996)
[Reserve a copy from the Library ]

There is a story, possibly apocryphal, that an English cleric asked the noted evolutionist J.B.S. Haldane what could be inferred about the Creator from the works of nature. Haldane is reported to have replied, "An inordinate fondness for beetles." In fact, approximately one-fifth of all known species are beetles—350,000 and growing (and yours truly even discovered a beetle species in 1986)—yet most people know very little about this remarkable group of organisms. This is one of the best coffee-table books I have ever seen about the creepy critters, and the full-color photos of iridescent, brightly colored, or architecturally elaborate beetle gems is sure to instill an inordinate fondness for beetles among children, artists, and anyone with a love of nature.

An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles is an authoritative reference in a breathtakingly beautiful volume, one that will leave every reader with a deeper understanding, appreciation, and—yes—fondness for these amazing creatures and their place in nature. In terms of numbers, beetles are the most successful creatures on earth: about 350,000 species of beetles have been described since 1758. They range from tiny to gigantic, occupy sundry habitats, and eat everything—plants, animals, and their own remains.

Participants in this summer's People's U will have the opportunity to learn about insects while becoming eligible to win various insect-related prizes through interaction with the instructors. 

Classes for People’s University LIVESTREAM—"Bugs & People," will meet on Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm, May 27 through July 15, with an in-person field trip to be scheduled the week after our last class. All programs are free and open to the public. Patrons may attend as many classes as they wish. There are no tests or other requirements. For more info about the People’s University LIVESTREAM—"Physical Science, the Joy of Discovery," email [email protected], visit the OCPL's website, or call 304-232-0244.

View a full schedule of classes and instructors for People's U: Bugs and People
➤ View our full calendar of events to see our upcoming programs

See full Instructor Bios and Class Abstracts, visit: Click on “Events.” Also, check back for information on a field trip to be scheduled the week after our last class.

- People's University Online-
Thursdays from 6:30 pm to 8 pm on YouTube Live and Facebook Live

Subscribe to the People's University Youtube channel or like us on the People's University Facebook page or to receive notifications of our upcoming People's U broadcasts. To receive emails about our upcoming programs, visit our News page, click the "Subscribe" button to sign-up for our news blasts or download our free OCPL Connect app from your smartphone's app store. 

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In 1951, the Ohio County Public Library's librarian, Virginia Ebeling, referenced British historian Thomas Carlyle, who said, “the public library is a People’s University,” when she initiated a new adult education program with that name. Miss Ebeling charged the library with the responsibility of reaching “as many people in the community as possible.” In keeping with that tradition of public libraries as sanctuaries of free learning for all people, the Ohio County Public Library revived the series in 2010.

The People’s University features courses (taught by experts in each subject) that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in classic subjects such as history, music appreciation, philosophy, and literature. Patrons may attend as many classes as they wish. There are no tests of other requirements and all programs are free and open to the public. For more information about PU Livestream, Bugs & People, EMAIL US,  visit or call the library at 304-232-0244.

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