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ENT109: Insect Taxonomy and Field Ecology

Insect Diversity and Natural History in the California Sierra Nevada


  • Achieve familiarity with a diverse insect fauna (>300 families)
  • Learn insect identification, collection and curation techniques
  • Conduct fieldwork in a variety of life zones and communities


Entomology 109: Insect Taxonomy and Field Ecology, 7 Units. An intensive five-week field course based at Sagehen Creek Field Station, in the northern Sierra Nevada of California, with excursions to different habitats ranging from alpine meadows to Great Basin Desert. The course is directed towards students with previous entomological experience such as Ent100 or an equivalent course. Under special circumstances this can be waived, but previous exposure to insects (and insect anatomy), at least in a laboratory setting, is most helpful.

Deadlines: The application deadlines fall in the spring quarter, but class enrollment should be settled by March, at the latest, to facilitate planning for lab space, teaching supplies, vehicles, etc. Please note that this course is offered only in even-numbered years.

Shingid and Saturniid

Costs (2010):
  • Tuition: UC students (registered spring quarter/semester) – no cost
    Others – approximately $700 (through UC Davis University Extension)
  • Food (~$350) and accommodation ($700)
  • Equipment – approximately $300-$350
Philip S. Ward
Department of Entomology
One Shields Ave.
University of California
Davis, CA 95616-8584
(530) 752-0486, message 752-0475


All photos © Alex Wild 2002 and may not be used without permission

Entomology 109 – Insect Taxonomy
and Field Ecology
Bug Boot Camp: The Experience
Above: Aerial nets and Winkler samplers against Sagehen's laboratory at dusk
Above: Aerial nets and Winkler samplers against Sagehen’s laboratory at dusk
Dinner on the porch Sagehen Creek Field Station is located at about 6,800 feet on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, in a vegetation mosaic of Jeffrey pine, fir and sagebrush. Conditions at the field station are “comfortably rustic,” with dormitory cabins, and communal eating, washing, and laboratory space.We take excursions to a wide range of other habitats, including mixed (transition zone) forest, montane chaparral, alpine meadows, and Great Basin desert.
All photos © Alex Wild 2002 and may not be used without permission

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