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13 November 2008

How about a career as an entomologist?

Yesterday I participated in career day at Lake Butler Middle School, in Lake Butler, FL. I spoke about careers in entomology, and hoped I inspired at least a few children to at least consider the discipline as a lifelong interest, if not a career. I talked about my education at the University of Florida Entomology Department, working for Dr. Phil Koehler at the Urban Entomology Lab, and then my current dig as owner of this bee removal gig.

Of course I showed videos of various projects I've been associated with... Areawide Fire Ant Suppression, Bed bugs, Behaviour of Widow spiders and of course, African honey bees (killer bees for you media sensationalists ).. I'll try to get videos posted of all the videos that i've done soon. The young adults were very attentive, asked questions and I even noticed a few amateur entomologists.

It's always interesting to see what the interests of children are. We had about 40 presenters of different careers, with varying attendance, as the children were free to choose 4 different careers to visit. The zookeepers had standing room only on each of their 4 talks, whereas I had anywhere from 2 to 10.

I'm cool with that, I know that some careers are more exciting than others, but I always talk about employment. Are there jobs in the field you are interested in? Take me for example.. I wanted a natural science degree, and would have been equally happy studying sea turtles, manatees, birds or insects. But a major factor in my decision to choose entomology was the availability of JOBS. How many sea turtle positions are there in Florida? The US? The World????? I don't know the numbers, but they have to be really low. Entomology enjoys a very high placement of students to actual, paying jobs. Especially here in Florida..one can always find positions in some aspect of Pest Control. Maybe not as glamorous as rescuing a sea turtle, but it's helping people in a big way, and can definitely help put food on your table. Not bad, especially in these hard times.

By the way, we are donating our removed honey and comb wax to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center for wound treatments. It supposedly really helps speed recovery. See... I do really like turtles :)

Thanks for Lake Butler MS for inviting me, and I look forward to talking next year!

05 November 2008

We're invited speakers at yet another conference (FAMU)

Yep, our busy entomologists, Richard Martyniak & Jonathan Simkins are speaking at the "Florida A&M University Thirty-Second Annual Field Day and Workshop in Entomology" in Tallahassee, Nov 5-7. We'll be sharing the podium with Bill Kern from UF's Ft. Lauderdale Research & Education Center giving presentations on proper treatment of African Honey Bees ( Killer bees for the sensationalists).

We love going to FAMU and will report back on what should be a great entomology conference. (oh yeah, we promise to include some FSU jokes in our presentations..)