Love Those Bugs? Insecta-Palooza 2011 Unveils the Various Guises of Metamorphosis, Oct. 29

insecta_front.jpegMetamorphosis in its many guises is the theme of Sonoma State University's third annual Insecta-Palooza, Saturday, October 29, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. in Darwin Hall on the Rohnert Park campus. Hosted by the SSU Preserves & Field Stations, the event includes activities for all ages and expertise.

Explore the fascinating and diverse world of insects at interactive exhibits and lectures covering a broad swath of entomology - from insectivores to medical entomology, garden insects, and aquatic invertebrates.

In keeping with this year's theme, Insecta-Palooza will feature a special exhibit by the Hallberg Butterfly Sanctuary, and the University Library Art Gallery showcases several talented artists in their new exhibit 'Metamorphosis'. The popular silkworm exhibit will return, and examples of metamorphosis will appear throughout the event.

A stellar line-up of speakers includes:
- Vic Smith, from the California Academy of Sciences, with an entertaining all-new presentation of 'Basic Bugs'
- Kate Frey speaking on Habitats for Garden Allies
- Bee Biodiversity Panel with Dr. Gretchen LeBuhn, Melissa Ponder (Gordon Frankie Lab) and Dr. Eric Mussen
- Lepidopterist Liam O'Brien telling the story of the Mission Blue Butterfly.

A series of graduate student talks introduce ongoing research, and an opportunity to tour labs and the Biology Department Museum.

Trained 'worker bees' will be on hand for guided explorations in SSU biology labs, and an opportunity to view insects using top-notch microscopes. A self-guided garden tour meanders past the native and butterfly gardens, and includes the thriving Garden Classroom, where helpful worker bees will be on hand to point out insectary plantings. A sale of native wildflower seedlings is also planned.

For the children, crafts projects are sprinkled throughout Insecta-Palooza. Learn how to draw a skeleton, make a classic 'egg-carton' caterpillar, stop by the insect origami workshop, and decorate the concrete wall outside Darwin Hall with imaginary insects.

Children are provided with a 'Passport to Insecta-Palooza'; the completed passport may be redeemed for insect stickers at the Entomology Outreach table. The Children's Museum of Sonoma County will once again host their wildly popular insect-building activity.

The Insect Parade, led by the Hubbub Club, will be fun for all. Not only insects, but arthropods of all sorts are invited to participate at 12:30 p.m.

In addition to participation by departments and student clubs across campus, local wildland preserves and agencies will be on hand with exhibits and activities.

A silent auction provides an opportunity for early holiday shopping.

Admission is $10 adult, $5 children, students, seniors, SSU staff and faculty. Children under 12 enter free with an illustrated 'one-breath' insect poem on the theme 'metamorphosis' (see website for more information).

Check or cash only. Proceeds benefit the SSU Entomology Outreach Program (

For more information, contact Frederique Lavoipierre, Insecta-Palooza Coordinator,, (707) 327-9746 or follow the event on Facebook.

Digital photos from the event are available upon request by contacting Jean Wasp, Media Relations Coordinator, (707) 664-2057

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