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(In Person) Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates w/ Charley Eiseman

August 15, 2020 @ 8:00 AM - August 16, 2020 @ 5:00 PM


Biodiversity University: Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates
Instructors: Charley Eiseman
August 15 – 16 | $265
Course size: 8 students

This course addresses the full spectrum of topics covered in the book by the same name, with an emphasis on signs found on plants. We will explore nearby habitats in search of leaf mines and other feeding sign, galls, eggs and egg cases, cocoons, nests, webs, burrows, and other objects and patterns created by insects, arachnids, snails, worms, etc. In the process of identifying these features we will discuss the life histories and ecology of numerous species. Back in the lab we will examine items collected in the field, both to observe details that require magnification and to investigate mysteries. Slideshow presentations will give overviews of most categories of invertebrate signs as well as introduce students to the often little-known creatures responsible for them.

Course Goals

  • Begin to make sense of the bewildering array of patterns and structures created by insects and other invertebrates.
  • Appreciate the diversity, ingenuity, and specificity of invertebrate lifestyles.

Course Objectives

  • Understand insect life cycles and associated terminology.
  • Recognize the different types of feeding sign and other damage to vegetation.
  • Become familiar with the major groups of gall-inducing invertebrates.
  • Become familiar with the major groups of leaf-mining insects.
  • Introduce participants to resources for pursuing invertebrate-related mysteries.

About the Instructor(s)

Charley Eiseman is a freelance naturalist based in western Massachusetts. He has been conducting plant and wildlife surveys and natural resource inventories throughout New England for over twenty years, as well as teaching courses and workshops on interpreting animal tracks and sign (both vertebrate and invertebrate). He holds an MS in Botany (Field Naturalist) from the University of Vermont and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management from the University of Massachusetts. Charley is the author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates (Stackpole Books, 2010), Leafminers of North America (self-published e-book, 2019), and an insect-themed blog called “BugTracks.” He has also published over 40 scientific papers on insect natural history, including the description of over 60 new species.




August 15, 2020 @ 8:00 AM
August 16, 2020 @ 5:00 PM
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North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602