Posts Tagged: Steve Heydon
Sometimes you'll see him sitting cross-legged on the floor, circled by first graders. They're asking questions like "What is an insect?" and "How long do insects live?" and "What do they eat?"
Sometimes you'll see him holding Madagascar hissing cockroaches and explaining why they hiss.
Other times he's engrossed in answering questions from a fellow scientist, a walk-in visitor or a journalist.
Very dedicated, committed and enthusiastic. That's Steve Heydon, senior museum scientist at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis.
That's why we're glad to see Heydon receive the top award in the general contributions category at the UC Davis Staff Assembly's Citation for Excellence awards ceremony, held Aug. 2 at the chancellor's residence.
Chancellor Linda Katehi presented him the award.
Heydon was among two other individuals and two teams singled out for distinguished awards. Their names will be engraved on a perpetual plaque at the Walter A. Buehler Alumni and Visitors' Center.
Katehi praised them for their time, efforts and investments. “I’m so proud of you,” she told them. Rob Kerner, Staff Assembly president, read the accolades and described them as the “cream of the crop” of UC Davis employees.
“Steve is a true UC Davis goodwill ambassador in that he takes pride in the university, his department, his colleagues, and his work, which in itself, has drawn national and international acclaim, Kerner said, in announcing the award.
His colleagues, who nominated him for the award, lauded him for bringing out “the best in everyone” and as someone who “sincerely cares." They added: "In his collaborations with other universities and government agencies, he is known for his almost intuitive competency and his quick response to queries. In short, he is a prized employee, the best of the best.”
Anyone who knows Steve Heydon (who has a doctorate in entomology) knows that he is "always willing to drop what he’s doing to help out a scientist, reporter, staff member, volunteer or the public," his colleagues wrote. "Steve treats everyone with the utmost respect and understanding, an earmark of an outstanding UC Davis employee."
Steve Heydon joins other outstanding UC Davis employees as 2012 recipients of the distinguished awards.
Individual Award, Supervision: Kathy Canevari, a former supervisor with UC Davis Extension who retired earlier this year.
Individual Award: Campus Service: Paul Cody, coordinator of the Campus Union Center for Student Involvement.
Team Award: General Contributions: School of Veterinary Medicine Dean’s Office, Curricular Support, comprised of Mike Beech, Melinda Carlson, Robin Houston, Linda Royce, Erin Seay, Linda Souza, Teresa Suter, and Ken Taylor.
Team Award: Campus Service: Office of Student Development management team comprised of Catrina Wagner, Courtney Robinson, Richard Ronquillo, Chuck Huneke, and Lisa Papagni.
What's it all about? The Staff Assembly annually seeks nominees for these honors. UC Davis employees must have distinguished themselves in one or more of the three areas of outstanding achievement: general contributions, campus service or supervision.
Hats off to all the winners and nominees who make UC Davis proud!
Bohart senior museum scientist Steve Heydon with Chancellor Linda Katehi. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Madagascar hissing cockroaches are a favorite of Bohart Museum visitors, and senior museum scientist Steve Heydon is eager to talk about them. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Scorpions--to fear or to revere?
The Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house last Sunday drew visitors of all ages who marveled at the scorpions glowing under ultraviolet light.
UC Davis entomology major Alexander Nguyen flashed a UV light on the critters as his audience watched in amazement.
Most--but not all--of the world's scorpions glow under ultraviolet light, says Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum, which houses more than seven million insect specimens.
Scorpions are not insects, but arachnids, the same as spiders. Ranging in size from 9 mm to 21 mm, scorpions have eight legs (arachnid alert!) and grasping claws that help conquer their prey. But it's their venom that kills. And all scorpions possess venom.
UC Davis entomologist Bruce Hammock and his lab made the news back in 2003 when they published a study that showed that scorpions produce two venoms: a pre-venom to deter predators and immobilize small prey, and then the good stuff, the powerful venom that's meant to kill.
It's like saving the best for last or waiting for the venom glands to pump and reload, so to speak.
So, why do they glow?
Scientists believe it's because of the fluorescent material found in the scorpion's hard outer covering.
"The fact that they glow serves no physiological function," said Bohart senior museum scientist Steve Heydon. "It's probably a quirk of chemical makeup."
Great quote..."a quirk of chemical makeup."
Scorpion glowing under ultraviolet light at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UC Davis entomology undergraduate student Alexander Nguyen flashes a UV light on a scorpion, as Professor Demosthenes Pappagianis, M.D., Ph.D., of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, watches. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Gotta love those entomologists and all the "bug people" who love bugs.
The folks at the Bohart Museum of Entomology on the UC Davis campus not only love their bugs but they're quite creative in showcasing them.
Take Fran Keller, a UC Davis Department of Entomology doctoral candidate who studies beetles with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart. Several days ago, during lunch, Keller crafted a colorful outline of a yule tree using assorted beetle specimens.
That was the tree. Then came the wreath.
Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator, figured--and correctly so--that the metallic greens and reds would make a stunning wreath. So, she assembled a wreath starring carabids (ground beetles), scarabs, buprestids (metallic wood-boring beetles), a katydid and a praying mantis, among other insects.
James Heydon, 10, of Davis, whose father is a senior museum scientist at the Bohart Museum, thought it quite pretty as he watched Yang make the wreath on Friday, Dec. 23.
Will he become an entomologist?
“I’m not sure,” he said, but he does like bugs.
There’s no “Bah, humbug!” in his vocabulary.
Meanwhile, Bohart Museum personnel are gearing up for the next weekend open house, themed “A New Year, a New Bug, How Insects are Discovered.” Free and open to the public, the event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the museum, located at 1124 Academic Surge on the UC Davis campus.
The Bohart Museum, home of more than seven million insects, houses the seventh largest insect collection in North America. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.
On any given day, visitors also can enjoy a live “petting zoo” with such permanent residents as Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. A gift shop, where visitors can purchase t-shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry, insect nets and “insect candy,” is also open.
It's a fun and educational place to be.
The Bohart Museum launched its series of weekend openings for the fall season on Saturday, Sept. 24 with “Catch, Collect and Curate: Entomology 101.”
The remaining schedule for the 2011-2012 academic year:
Saturday, Jan. 14, 1 to 4 p.m.: “A New Year, a New Bug, How Insects Are Discovered”
Sunday, Feb. 12, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Bug Lovin’”
Saturday, March 10, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Hide ‘n’ Seek: Insect Camouflage”
Saturday, April 21: 10 to 3 p.m.: UC Davis Picnic Day
Saturday, May 12, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Pre-Moth’ers Day”
Sunday, June 3, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Bug Light, Bug Bright…First Bug I See Tonight.”
The Bohart's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. It is closed on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
More information is available on the Bohart website or by contacting Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-0493. (Due to limited space, group tours will not be booked during the weekend hours.)
James Heydon, 10, of Davis, admires a “bug” wreath made by Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The colors of the season at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
No, not the one below, a banded-winged grasshopper (family Acrididae and subfamily Oedipodinae) that we spotted west of the UC Davis campus--and identified by Steve Heydon, senior museum scientist at the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
These particular locusts will be something you've never seen before--and will probably always remember.
Sculptor Cyrus Tilton will display his work in a solo exhibition titled The Cycle that runs Oct. 4-29 in the Vessel Gallery, 471 25th St., Oakland. He's created a kinetic locust swarm and two 11-foot sculptures of mating locusts.
Morphologically correct, too.
Tilton will unveil his work at a press preview party on Saturday, Oct. 1. Until then, it's a surprise, but the photo below (of the work in progress) gives you a glimpse of what's to come.
Who is Tilton? He's an Oakland-based artist and the art director of the Scientific Art Studio in Richmond. His work includes a bas-relief of Barry Bonds' 500th home run. A 1998 graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle, Tilton was born in Palmer, Alaska in 1977 and spent his early years in a one-room cabin near Anchorage. His parents, he recalls, embodied the "back-to-nature movement" of the 1960s.
The Cycle "explores the parallels between locust swarms and humanity's habits of mass consumption and overpopulation, throiugh sculpture and site-specific installation," says Vessel Gallery director Lonnie Lee.
Of his work, Tilton says: "I am making a huge generalization but a lot of people I know work in offices and behind computers. I am not judging them because people have to make a living. But are we becoming more like insects? When I drive by an apartment building, I can’t help but see it as a hive. Seems like compartments for individuals to live in. We are connecting to one another in ways that look to me like we’re worker bees or worker ants, feeding the queen ant. Are we more insect-like in our behavior? And is that bad? Or maybe we are closer to insect hierarchies than we like to think.”
Lee describes Tilton's work as "a fine example of an artist who taps into the collective subconscious of humanity. The Cycle reveals the self-defeating and contradictory behaviors of society. Most will be moved to discomfort and reflection. Hopefully the audience will experience both an internal shift and a change of behavior. I urge everyone to see this show, as being enveloped by a giant locust swarm just might open pathways to our salvation.”
Fifty percent of the net sales of "Individuals" (the site-specific kinetic installation) will benefit the Alameda Food Bank.
Admission to show, which can be viewed Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Oct. 4-29, is free. A reception is set Friday, Oct 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. In addition, Tilton will talk about his work from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, discussing his processes, thoughts, and approach toward creating this body of work.
"Are we insect-like in our behavior?"
"Are we like worker bees or worker ants?"
The Cycle should prod us to ponder those questions.
This grasshopper, aka locust, is a banded-winged grasshopper, family Acrididae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A work in progress by Oakland-based artist Cyrus Tilton. (Courtesy Photo)
If you see a patch of California native wildflowers known as "Tidy Tips," look closely.
The yellow daisylike flower with white petals (Layia platyglossa) may yield a surprise visitor.
You may see an assassin.
An assassin bug.
A member of the family Reduviidae, this is a long-legged, beady-eyed beneficial insect that stalks its prey and snatches it with its forelegs, somewhat like a praying mantis. It conquers its victim with a squirt of deadly venom from its beak (the collective term for its piercing, sucking mouthparts).
Once it has immobilized its prey, the assassin sucks the bodily contents, like a milkshake slurped through a straw.
The assassin bug, true to its name, ambushes, attacks and captures other insects, such as aphids, flies, crickets, mosquitoes, beetles, caterpillars and "sometimes a hapless bee," said Bohart senior museum scientist Steve Heydon.One thing about the Zelus assassin bug--it does not fly very fast. In fact, it totally ignored the camera poked close to its protruding eyes.
The camera neither looked like or acted like a predator or prey.
Patch of Tidy Tips
Sip of Nectar