I was fortunate enough to travel to Fairbanks, Alaska to visit LM, an omaliine rove beetle systematist, and prepare for my qualification examination at the University of Alaska Museum of the North.
While there, I was able to check out the range and help curate their (very) small praying mantis collection! I guess for those living and working in Alaska, collecting praying mantises isn’t nearly as feasible as collecting alpine and arctic insects. The Ken Philip Lepidoptera collection at the Museum of the North, containing over 83,000 specimens, was an inspiration in specimen collection, preservation, and curation (a synoptic drawer of Alaskan butterflies curated by Philip is featured in the figure below, on the right). I got the chance to see some of these specimens before they are eventually accessioned within the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
While at the Museum of the North, I was fortunate enough to give a talk at the museum and to the UAF entomology club. I also got the opportunity to improve my cross country skiing skills on a short 16 mile cabin trip along the Stiles Creek/ Colorado Creek trailhead. Alaska is incredible– I can’t wait to go back!