Workshop: Identification of the Northeastern Bee Species 22-24 March
- Identification of Northeastern Bee Species WorkshopTaught by Dr. John AscherCourse Dates: March 22-24, 2013Course Location: University of Massachusetts – AmherstCourse Leader: Dr. John S. Ascher, Research Scientist of the American Museum of Natural HistoryCourse Assistant: Eli S. Wyman of the American Museum of Natural HistoryCourse Length: 3 days, (optional evening of March 21 to set up and meet participants)Course limit: 14 participants (contact joan_milam@... to register)Cost: $150.00Course Description:The purpose of this advanced workshop is to help participants identify bees, including tricky species pairs, using a variety of efficient methods including but not limited to working these bees through online and published keys. Participants are encouraged to bring in bee specimens to study during the workshop, and can expect to make or confirm identifications for many of these. This will aid in building a reliably determined synoptic collection of the bee fauna in their area.The course will take place over three days and will largely consist of discussions of regional identification problems led by Dr. Ascher and microscope work using appropriate keys with assistance from him and Eli Wyman. In particular, Dr. Ascher will share his experience separating tricky species pairs so as to supplement and clarify information available in well known print and online resources. As a lifelong birder, he will also discuss field identification techniques widely applied to identify birds but less often used by entomologists. In addition, methods of efficient sorting and curation will be discussed so as to improve workflow.By the conclusion of the workshop students should have an improved understanding and confidence to more efficiently recognize obvious species and to reliably separate tricky bee species pairs, allowing them to identify a greater proportion of their own material to species and to better prepare remaining specimens for further study by regional and global taxonomic experts.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own specimens to the course for identification. Ideally, participants should attempt to identify a proportion of their material using the keys prior to the course to familiarize themselves with the structure of the keys and to determine which couplets they find difficult to interpret.PLEASE NOTE: This is an advanced workshop and will not cover the basics. We are assuming that you have considerable experience with bee identification and are familiar with dichotomous keys and external bee anatomy.Students will bring to the workshop:1) microscope (a limited number may be available so please indicate to us if you are unable to bring your own)2) light source (a desk lamp with a movable neck and an energy-saving light bulb is sufficient – a good light is crucial for identifying Dialictus – fibre optic lights are NOT recommended without a ring light)2) specimens to identify3) a laptop to link with online keys4) coffee mug5) pen, paper, scissors (for taking notes and adding determination labels)6) a pillow if needed for extra height. The desks in the lab are a rather high making access to eye pieces a bit of a challenge7) extra specimens if you have some to share or swap.Recommended reading/keys:Discoverlife: www.discoverlife.orgBugguide: www.bugguide.netWho Should Attend: This is an advanced workshop and will not cover the basics. We are assuming that you have considerable experience with bee identification and are familiar with dichotomous keys and external bee anatomy.Cost: Tuition is $150.00.Questions: Please contact Joan Milam (jmilam@...), University of Massachusetts - Amherst