Z373 is an integrative biology class that happens to focus on insects. Although the lab concentrates on diversity—akin to traditional entomology classes—is more than an identification class. You'll study what insects are made of inside and out, how insects build themselves during development, how they have evolved over time, and how their nature has both constrained as well as facilitated their remarkable diversification. You'll learn about morphology, “evo-devo,” genetics, ecology, and behavior.
Only one lab assignment: A collection of representatives of 40 families and 18 orders of insects. Supplies necessary to catch, preserve, and display the collection are provided. Students are taken into the field and taught how to collect insects and then how to mount and identify them. You submit individual collections but are allowed to work together and trade specimens. All specimens are collected locally and are testament to the surprising diversity and beauty of the insects of south-central Indiana. Collections are then used in K-12 education, but students have the option to keep their personal collection if they so desire.