A new look for UC Davis Biodiversity Day: It's a month

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By Kathy Keatley Garvey Special to the Express The 10th annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day will be different this year. It will not be a day–it will be a month, the month of February. It will not be a walk-around event–it will be virtual. Traditionally billed as a “free, educational event for the community where visitors get to meet and talk with UC Davis scientists “and see amazing objects and organisms from the world around us,” it’s a science-based event showcasing the diversity of life, according to Biodiversity Museum Day coordinator Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum of Entomology. Over the last nine years, it took place the Saturday of Presidents’ Day weekend. Last year more than 4,000 attended. Information on the event is being posted on the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day website as plans unfold. The 12 museums or collections participating in the virtual program this year via Zoom webinars, Facebook programs and YouTube will be: Anthropology Museum, Arboretum and Public Garden, Bohart Museum of Entomology, Botanical Conservatory, California Raptor Center, Center for Plant Diversity, Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Nematode Collection, Marine Invertebrate Collection . Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Paleontology Collection, and Phaff Yeast Culture Collection. The live talks and demonstrations and pre-recorded talks and activities are being posted on the Biodiversity Museum Day/Month website. Live talks will encompass such topics as heliconius butterflies, bees and gardens, orchid bees, plants in the Botanical Conservatory, Asian giant hornets (aka murder hornets), ants, yeasts, mammal specimen preparations and raptors. Pre-recorded programs will cover bee diversity, millipedes, herbariums and marine life, as well as how to make a bee condo and how to prepare insects (spread the wings of butterflies and moths) for display, among other subjects. All participating museums and collections have active education and outreach programs, Yang said, but the collections are not always accessible to the public. More information is pending on the website at http://biodiversitymuseumday.edu, and on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, @BioDivDay. The UC Biodiversity Museum Day/Month program is participating in Crowdfund UC Davis “where alumni, students, parents and friends can make donations to support innovative projects that propel student engagement, new research discoveries, and efforts to expand UC Davis impact on California and the world.” The funding program will continue through the end of February. To donate, visit https://crowdfund.ucdavis.edu/project/24310.

Ernesto Sandoval of the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory answers questions from visitors at a Biodiversity Day. This year it will be a month and it will be virtual. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
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