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.
Abstract: Insects influence our lives in innumerable positive ways, such as pollination, decomposition of organic matter, and food chain links for other animals. Insects can also be dangerous and even deadly to humans. This has been brought to the forefront with the spread of the Zika and West Nile viruses by mosquitoes. Dr. Michael Strand will talk about the diverse and fascinating biology of insects in the order Diptera, which are commonly referred to as flies. While some flies like mosquitoes can adversely affect humans, many others are beneficial to our planet.
Instructor Bio: Michael R. Strand, PhD., is H.M. Pulliam Chair, Department of Entomology, at the University of Georgia, where he has been a professor since 2001. Prior to moving to Georgia he was a Professor of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 14 years. Dr. Strand's research laboratory features a team of researchers with various backgrounds who investigate many areas under the broad umbrella of Insect Physiology. Results of the team's findings are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and shared via presentations at scientific meetings and seminars around the world.
Insights from Insects: What Bad Bugs Can Teach Us, by Gilbert Waldbauer. (Prometheus Books, 2005)
[Reserve a copy from the Library ]
Insects get a bum rap. So says world-renowned entomologist Gilbert Waldbauer, whose enthusiasm and engrossing writing on the subject of insects have been praised by the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and many other prestigious publications. In this fascinating, beautifully illustrated book, Dr. Waldbauer explains that the bum rap is mainly due to the small percentage of bugs that are a nuisance or harmful to humanity, the pests that make up less than 2 percent of all insects. He profiles twenty such troublesome bugs, showing how the study of these creatures has led scientists to many basic discoveries that have enhanced our understanding of life. The reader learns how an American entomologist was awarded France's gold medal of honor for rescuing the French wine industry from destruction by the aphid-like grape phylloxera; how the World Health Organization almost completely eradicated malaria through the use of DDT before the insect adapted to the insecticide and became resistant; how some insects disguise themselves to avoid detection; how others survive the subzero temperatures of winter; why some flies have a uterus and a mammary gland; and many more strange and tantalizing true tales about these wonderful, troublesome pests-pests that have taught us vital lessons about survival, nature, and the environment.
Mosquitoes can be deadly, transmitting malaria, dengue, and Zika. But tracking them is tough. Now, researchers—led by bioengineer Manu Prakash of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California—have developed a new, cheap way to monitor these insects with mobile phones and a Shazam-like app that tells them apart based on their “songs.” Most mosquito species can be identified by the frequency of their wingbeats, so the web app—aptly named Abuzz—lets users upload recordings of mosquito sounds, identify the species, and map its location. But getting a good recording can be tricky: The insect cannot be more than 10 centimeters away from the microphone, and background noise cannot be louder than light traffic. Learn more on Standford's Abuzz webpage.
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.
See full Instructor Bios and Class Abstracts, visit: www.facebook.com/peoplesuniversityOCPL. Click on “Events.” Also, check back for information on a field trip to be scheduled the week after our last class.
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.
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 ohiocountylibrary.org or call the library at 304-232-0244.
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