UF/IFAS is all about the bugs during Bug Week 2015, May 18-23

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida campus is aflutter with activity as it gears up for Bug Week 2015, with various online and campus activities for students of all ages and their families.

“Bugs are serious business in Florida,” said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “Learning about bugs, though, should be fun. That’s why we have Bug Week.”

Bug Week 2015 is scheduled for May 18-23. To get started, check out the Bug Week website at http://bugs.ufl.edu/. UF/IFAS has a number of online resources there to explore including bug photos, feature stories, and the popular “Bug of the Day” and “Bug Word of the Day” items. Citizen science projects – in which anyone can participate – are spotlighted on the website, along with videos about everything from ants and butterflies to spiders and ticks.

UF/IFAS is also encouraging people to post their best bug photos and – new this year – photos of original artwork during Bug Week on the UF/IFAS Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/UFIFASNews), Twitter (#UFBugs), or email them to socialmedia@ifas.ufl.edu. Facebook users are encouraged to change their profile pictures to their favorite insect for the week. Teachers and parents can find fun and engaging lesson plans for all grade levels in the “Resources” section of the Bug Week website.

Also on the website, you’ll find information on UF/IFAS’ Department of Entomology and Nematology, the kinds of things their scientists study and even information on how to become a scientist. Finally, clues for the UF/IFAS Bug Week Scavenger Hunt, scheduled for May 23 at The Florida Museum of Natural History and Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, will be posted on the website the morning of the hunt.

“Humans have a complicated relationship with bugs. On the one hand, some species spread disease and threaten the existence of our citrus industry, but they also pollinate our crops and help us gauge the health of our environment,” Payne said. “We hope people will take advantage of our expertise so they can better protect themselves against bug threats and more deeply appreciate the benefits of bugs.”

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Contacts

Writer — Kimberly Moore Wilmoth

For information contact Tom Nordlie, 352-273-3567, tnordlie@ufl.edu

Source: Jack Payne, 352-392-1971, jackpayne@ufl.edu