Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Going West

For the past few weeks, I've been trying my best to tie up some loose ends. Last week, I deposited 141 specimens of arthropods I collected in Ohio (mostly Washington County) in the Marietta College Arthropod Collection.
All in all, I've contributed about 350 specimens to the MC Collection, and I'm proud of that. They have proper labels and hopefully will be useful to a student/enthusiast/scientist somewhere down the road. There are some really neat species, including 15 assassin bugs collected from the county, a nice set of millipedes and centipedes with identifications, and a lot of records for the Barbara A. Beiser Field Station.

So why did I deposit so many specimens last week (including my personal collection)? I'm moving.

This fall, I will be a graduate student at the University of Arkansas, pursuing my Masters degree in Entomology. I'm starting my research in July, then classes begin in August, so I'm heading down there a little early.

Obviously, this will change the content of this blog and probably the frequency with which it's updated too. I have no intention to stop blogging, and you can still expect more posts about Ohio bugs. I have a lot of stories and bugs I haven't written about, and I still have projects I want to pursue with ties to Ohio. In addition to Ohio, I'll expand to what I'm finding in Arkansas. My project is crazy exciting, and I'll take some time to write a post about it soon.

This is a big change for me, and it feels right to be able to devote myself full-time to the study of insects and other many-legged critters.

I want to make sure to thank each of you who are reading this and have been following my blog. It's been a joy to meet some of you, whether on Twitter/Facebook or in person, and I hope you continue to follow my adventures in Arkansas.

I also want to thank a few more people:

Dr. Dave McShaffrey, one of many great Biology professors at Marietta College, who got me interested in insects in the first place.

Jim McCormac, who many of you are familiar with from his blog, Ohio Birds and Biodiversity. Jim inspired me to start blogging, and meeting him was like meeting a rock star. Since then, he's invited me to hunt for beetles and helped me connect to Ohio's natural history scene. Jim's a stellar guy and is always willing to share his knowledge.

 Rachel Shoop, my very supportive girlfriend. She knows why I'm thankful for her.

There are many more people to thank by name, but in the interest of not droning on in this post (and allowing me to get to bed soon--it's 3 AM, so I'm sure they'll forgive me), I'll just name them rather than giving background (this is not an exhaustive list, I'm certain I've left out people). Andrew Gibson, Dennis Profant, Katy Lustofin, Marilyn Ortt, Eric Eaton, MaLisa Spring, Tim Catalano, Morgan Jackson, Kathy McDonald...the list really does go on and on. I couldn't have done even a quarter of what I have without you all, and I thank you.

I still need to talk about Mothapalooza, so expect that post soon.

For now, it's time to start a new chapter.