Upcoming Workshop Spotlights Beneficial Insects

June 14, 2011
ICM News

By Matt O'Neal and Kelly Semen, Department of Entomology

Farmers, researchers and native plant aficionados are invited to a one-day workshop exploring how to enhance the ecosystem services provided by beneficial insects. Iowa State University's Departments of Entomology and Natural Resource Ecology & Management, with support from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will host the workshop on Aug. 4.

Beneficial insects provide services like pollination and the suppression of pests. Farmers and gardeners can encourage these insects by creating a refuge that supplies them a source of pollen and nectar. At the workshop, participants will learn how to identify helpful insects and the native plants that attract them. Experts will discuss how to create resilient landscapes that provide multiple services, and federal and state programs that help support this form of conservation.

Participants will have a chance to examine insect specimens and visit the Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL), where researchers are testing the ability of native plants to attract helpful species, like bees and lady beetles.

Speakers include Iowa State's Lisa Schulte and Mary Harris, natural resource ecology and management; Kelly Seman and Matt O'Neal, entomology; Meghann Jarchow, agrono; and Practical Farmers of Iowa representative, Sarah Carlson.

The workshop will take place at FEEL, five miles west of Ames. Register by July 15 at event website. Reduced hotel rates are available for out-of-town visitors through the ISU Memorial Union. Lunch will be provided. 

Matt O'Neal is an assistant professor of entomology with teaching and research responsibilities. He can be reached at oneal@iastate.edu or at 515-294-8622. Kelly Seman is graduate student in entomology. She can be reached at kaseman@iastate.edu or 515-708-6108.

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