Missouri Master Naturalists Seminar

Missouri Master Naturalist Confluence Chapter Seminar | December 9, 2014. Photo by Lee Phillion.

Speaking to the Missouri Master Naturalist Confluence Chapter, December 9, 2014. Photo by Lee Phillion.

Earlier this week I had the privilege of speaking to the Confluence Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalist Program, the members of which are all graduates of the Missouri Master Naturalist Program. This community-based natural resource education and volunteer service program, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the University of Missouri Extension Service, seeks to engage Missourians in the stewardship of our state’s natural resources through science-based education and volunteer community service. To accomplish such, members support conservation efforts and natural resource education in their local communities.

Since I’ve studied the insect fauna of Missouri for many years now, especially in its threatened and endangered natural communities, I thought a talk on this subject might be of interest to the group. I decided to focus on some of the work I’ve done in two of our state’s most critically imperiled natural communities: loess hilltop prairies in the northwest corner of the state and sand prairies in the southeastern lowlands—with a talk titled, “From Hilltops to Swamps: Insects in Missouri’s Rarest Prairies”. The presentation provided an overview of each of these natural communities, the circumstances that have led to their rarity in Missouri, and the insects associated with them with special emphasis on species that are dependent upon these natural communities for survival. For those who might be interested, I’ve posted a PDF version of the presentation here.

From Hilltops to Swamps: Insects in Missouri’s Rarest Prairies

Truth be told, it was one of the most enjoyable seminars I’ve ever given, due mostly to a wonderfully engaged audience of about 70 people. It was a perfect opportunity for me to promote awareness of insects and the need to consider them in conservation efforts with an audience whose members are at the forefront of the citizen science effort within our state. I extend my heartiest thanks to Leslie Limberg for giving me the opportunity to speak, Lee Phillion for sending me photos from the event, including the one posted above, and—most importantly—the members of the audience for the warm welcome they extended to me and the interest they showed during my presentation.

© Ted C. MacRae 2014

Seminar on Oklahoma’s Glass Mountains

Earlier this week I gave a seminar to the Entomology Group of the Webster Groves Nature Study Society. Founded in 1920 and known locally as “WGNSS”, the organization seeks “to stimulate interest in nature study on the part of adults and children, to cooperate with other organizations in nature study, and to encourage amateur research in the natural science.” I’ve been an active member in the society’s Entomology Group since the early 1980s, and for almost five years now I have also served as editor for the society’s newsletter, Nature Notes (see this archive of recent issues). Occasionally they invite me to talk—sometimes to just the Entomology Group and other times to the Society as a whole—about my entomological exploits. This time I chose to focus on my several visits to the Glass Mountains in northwestern Oklahoma over the past few years, which readers of this blog may remember has been the source of an inordinate number of new state records and other significant finds for the beetles I study. The presentation provided an overview of the insects I’ve encountered during these visits, and for those who might be interested a PDF version of the presentation is posted here. 

Natural History of Oklahoma’s Glass Mountains…

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2014

INHS Seminar: Tiger Beetles of Missouri

If you are in the Champaign, Illinois area on Tuesday, 29 October 2013, I will be giving a seminar as part of the Illinois Natural History Survey Fall 2013 Seminar Series. I hope to see you there!

My thanks to Dr. Sam Heads for extending to me the invitation and to Jennifer Mui for preparing the very nice poster and attending to travel details.

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2013

Registration is now open for my ESA Webinar

Just released from ESA (Entomological Society of America):

Approaching the Unapproachable: Tips and Tricks for Field Photography of Wary Insects presented by Ted MacRae.  Learn valuable field photography techniques from Ted MacRae, Senior Research Entomologist at Monsanto Company.  Ted specializes in photographing tiger beetles in their natural habitats. These colorful beetles are fast runners and powerful fliers, making them among the more difficult insects to approach. Ted will describe some of the techniques that he uses to obtain close-up and macro photographs of these beautiful beetles and also techniques for field photography of other insects as well.

There’s no cost and you learn right from your desktop, laptop, or smart-phone.  This 60 minute webinar takes place August 8 at 2 PM  Eastern Time (US Time) and will be a great investment of your time.

Register for the live Webinar, August 8th at 2 PM Eastern Time (US Time).

Unable to attend, an archive of the presentation will be available at http://www.entsoc.org/students/esa-webinar-series for ESA members only.

Make a list of your pressing questions on this topic, as we’ll allow plenty of time for you to participate in the Q & A portion of the session. You may also send in questions prior to the event and this will assure you that the presenter will address your queries.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

“My peripatetic quest for North America’s rarest tiger beetles”

This week I gave a presentation on my latest Annual Fall Tiger Beetle Trip to the Entomology Group of the Webster Groves Nature Study Society. With the exception of a brief 5 year period in the early 1990s while I lived in California, I’ve been active with this local nature study group for the past 30 years (and serving as newsletter editor since 2009). I’ve given my share of entomology presentations over the years to both professional and amateur audiences, but no matter how far I might travel or the size of the audience, I always enjoy my time with this small group of local entomologists. They are my roots—the people with whom I learned to collect and began my explorations of Missouri and beyond. We are joined not only by the bonds of common interest, but by shared experiences as well. There was a good turn out for the presentation, and my thanks to the Group for the interest they showed.

Nine days, ten states, 4,300 miles:
My peripatetic quest for North America’s rarest tiger beetles

The photographs used in the presentation have been seen in various posts here over the past few months, but I thought some may appreciate the chance to see them all together in presentation format. A PDF version of the original Powerpoint presentation can be downloaded by clicking on the link above (although with a file size of just over 18 MB a high-speed internet connection is recommended). My thanks to David Pearson, Professor of Biology at Arizona State University, for permission to include in the posted version scanned images and distribution maps from his supremely useful A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada (the bible of North American cicindelophiles¹).

¹ If you have not yet bought this most excellent book, paperback versions can be bought new for as little as $41.74. Buy it and you’ll never fail another BitB tiger beetle ID Challenge!

If you download the presentation, please remember that all materials are copyright Ted C. MacRae unless attributed otherwise and may not be used without permission (personal use excepted) .

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae