To bring together students from TAMU with faculty, staff, and amateur enthusiasts from around the state to learn about the diversity of arthropod communities and natural ecosystems in Texas, and to learn applicable field techniques for collecting and observing them.
- Graduate students will organize an annual field seminar and collecting trip to various regions in and near Texas.
- Participants will collect, curate and organize specimens that will go into the teaching, outreach, and research collections of the department.
- Informal field seminars will be presented by experts so that students may learn diverse collecting and observing techniques.
- ENTOBLITZ participants will learn how various aspects of climate, topography, and vegetation affect arthropod communities.
- HAVE FUN!
Entomologists are extremely diverse in their research interests and backgrounds. Through the course of a typical graduate program most students become highly focused experts on a small group of insects in a targeted habitat type or on some detailed aspect of an organism’s biology through laboratory studies. We are exposed to irresistible pressure to specialize, which may lead to a lack of understanding about other areas of the discipline. Field crop specialists, biocontrolers, systematists, ecologists, physiologists, forestry entomologists and molecular biologists tend to drift apart even though we all study insects. It is necessary to broaden the experience of students with increased opportunities to expand their knowledge. The ENTOBLITZ concept was created to push us in the direction of unity. Where do we overlap? The insects in the field……. Let’s go collecting! It will partially fill the deficiencies arising from over-specialization. It will help fill gaps in our knowledge of Texas’ arthropods because it will be directed at areas of the state and habitats that are under represented in our research collections. It will provide specimens to replace worn teaching collection material. It will funnel specimens into the departmental outreach program. It will foster community within the wide empire of the Department of Entomology. Field trips provide a form of didactic education that surpasses the classroom lecture. Field seminars will provide students with direct access to experts in the department in a fun, hands-on and informative way.