04 2018 (April)Why study bugs? As students worked to identify insects under microscopes, we asked what brought them to the 14th Annual Entomology Short Course March 13-15. The course is led by Alex Latchininsky and Scott Schell of UW Extension and the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, with special guest presenters such as Paula Cushing, president of the International Society of Arachnology. Les Gordon, Fort Collins: I’m a student of life, and insects are one of my interests. (Alex Latchininsky helps him learn more.) Jill Weigel, Golden, Colorado: “They’re fascinating. We need to learn more about the natural world and these little fellas.” Gleny Laffitte, Platte County Weed and Pest District: “People come in and say ‘What is this?’” She’s working with Alex Latchininsky to learn. Sabrina Pierre, Public Health, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Cheyenne: “I’m an entomologist. I wanted to learn more about what insects are in this area and what they can carry.” Braxton Clark, assistant supervisor, Laramie County Weed and Pest District: “I took the course as part of my job to further my education and assist customers with the identification of insects.” Evalyn Reed, student, age 9, Denver: “I studied spiders, and since it’s spring break, I thought it would be good to study other insects, too.” Mary Bowers, Laramie: “I am interested in birds, so I wanted to learn more about what they eat.” Brian Sebade, UW Extension Master Gardener educator, Laramie: “Entomology is good to know. Plus, I can cut down on what I send to Scott’s lab to id!” Sarah Wick, Niobrara County Weed and Pest: “I do the chemical sales, and people bring in bugs for identification. I need to at least know what to rule out.” Diana Dwyer, volunteer educator, Fort Collins Master Naturalist Program: “Kids bring me insects and ask what they are. I want to be able to tell them.” There are a lot of good reasons to study bugs!