Kirsti: I am teaching a unit this coming trimester called Insect-Plant Interactions. It’s a third year subject that can be part of a Bachelor of Zoology, Bachelor of Science or similar at University of New England, developed as part of the Entomology Curriculum Australia.
Yes, that’s right. There are people who care about insects so much that they have swarmed, collaborated and produced this great resource called Entomology Australia that tells you – apart from many other things – where you can study entomology in Oz.
I’ve been teaching fundamental science, writing, communication, ethics, history & philosophy of science and other topics that unite scientific disciplines for long enough now that I feel a bit out of the education side of entomology.
As a researcher not directly involved in specific units on entomology it is semi-easy enough to keep abreast of my own field and teach broadly into relevant subjects. But I have a feeling this entomology subject coming up is going to awaken my sleeping expertise! Sleeping, that is, since my postdoc days in New Zealand where I helped teach a fabulous insect diversity subject at Victoria University of Wellington.
One of the features of the Entomology Australia site that I really like is that it has a tab called Bugs @ Home specifically to help amateur entomologists increase their knowledge and provide access to specialty areas and resources. There are so many brilliant amateur entomologists in Australia, including one of the guys working with me on School of Ants. His day job is an outdoor education teacher at TAFE, but he has been collecting, mapping and identifying ants in the New England region for over 20 years.
So if you have any interest in bugs at all, head on over to Entomology Australia.
Then head outside and see what you can see!