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Insect Biodiversity in Your Backyard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADESCRIPTION: How many species of insect live in the United States? The answer is we don’t know! This internship will focus on the sorting, mounting, and labeling wasp specimens collected within a two hour drive of Washington, D.C., a biodiversity hot spot severely under studied. Interns will curate specimens that will then be used in species descriptions, new species records, and traded with other insect collections nationally and internationally. In addition, interns may learn to generate species or genus levels keys for identification.

QUALIFICATIONS: Attention to detail; some experience with microscopy; good eye-hand coordination; patience; desire for learning.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Learn about entomology and collections managements techniques including how to sort, mount, and label insect specimens.

TIMETABLE: Indefinite


Project Contact Name: Matthew Buffington

Phone: 202-633-4552

E-mail: matt.buffington@ars.usda.gov