Entomology is an REU Site


Susan Fahrbach

Susan Fahrbach and Gene Robinson have been co-PIs for the past three years on grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (Biological Instrumentation and Resources Directorate) to involve undergraduates in research. The Honey Bee Neurobiology and Behavior Program is a 10-week summer program designed to introduce undergraduates to field work and to laboratory skills. Six students (selected from a large pool of applicants: typically half from UIUC, half from other campuses) spend approximately two weeks learning bee handling skills, bee brain dissection, and basic histology. For the remainder of the program they work as research teams under the supervision of Susan and Gene, with some assistance from graduate students in the Fahrbach and Robinson laboratories. Sarah Farris served as the graduate student mentor for the students during summer 1995. We were also pleased to welcome Darrell Moore, a visiting investigator from Eastern Tennessee State University, during the summers of 1994 and 1995.

The program emphasizes experimental design and evaluation of research results, as well as the mastery of techniques and readings in the relevant literature. Feedback from the participating students is enthusiastic. One student wrote, "I swear it's the best summer I've had since I was 10. It gives me hope for life after undergrad." Students also often comment on the intensity with which lab members pursue their research goals! Several students have been acknowledged as important contributors to published manuscripts, and several students have been co-authors. One student changed her plans to attend medical school and entered an M.D./Ph.D. program as a result of her summer experiences. Gene and I took a break to pursue other research interests during summer 1996, but are likely to consider another program in summer 1997.

In addition to major support from the National Science Foundation, the Honey Bee Neurobiology and Behavior Program also received financial support from the Department of Entomology and the School of Life Sciences. Jack Kuehn of the Bee Research Facility deserves recognition for his efforts in making the bee-keeping training as safe and rewarding as possible.

Prairie Restoration


Jim Nardi

Natural areas around Urbana are in short supply. While relatively undisturbed wooded areas such as Brownfield, Hart, and Trelease Woods occupy several acres, undisturbed prairie can only be found in scattered patches, each of less than an acre. Several members of Entomology are involved in remedying this shortage of prairie habitat through their volunteer efforts with local prairie preservation and prairie restoration groups. Grand Prairie Friends has been active in preserving cemetery prairies, railroad prairies, and other small prairie remnants in east-central Illinois. Champaign County Audubon Society has been active in restoring a 65-acre tract of tallgrass prairie at Meadowbrook Park on the south edge of Urbana.

Through annual harvesting and planting of seeds from many prairie species, in addition to diligent removal of exotic plants from the restoration, the number of acres of high-quality, restored prairie at Meadowbrook Park is slowly growing. The landscape is covered with a rich mosaic of over 40 species of native forbs and grasses. Visitors to this preserve and outdoor laboratory are rewarded at all seasons by beautiful vistas and an abundance of insects and birds.

Check out the Department of Entomology on the World Wide Web

The Department of Entomology (David Lampe) has recently developed a home page on the World Wide Web (http://www.life.uiuc.edu/entomology/index.html) that provides information about the department's program. The Web home page has a photo of each faculty member, a description of their research program, a departmental seminar schedule, and a collection of 32 original insect drawings. Course offerings for recent semesters and infor-mation on the biology library holdings are also available. If your browser supports forms, the home page also offers the option of asking questions and requesting specific information about the program.

To access this site, use the address above with a "browser" program such as Netscape or Mosaic. If you don't have access to a browser, you can use an FTP site to enter Mosaic: (ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Mosaic/Mac/NCSAMosaic200A8. 68k.hqx).

General information about the University of Illinois is accessible through the home page, including course offerings for all departments, a navigational campus map, a listing of campus organizations, an index of the student newspaper, and a link to the university library online catalog. Pictures of the university and the surrounding community and information about local arts, entertainment, and recreation are also accessible.