The fourth day of the conference (Saturday) was a day of new experiences, as well as an unexpected surprise.
The day began with great morning presentations regarding how various institutions involve teenagers in carrion beetle and butterfly conservation activities, an update regarding American burying beetle establishment and conservation efforts in the northeast, establishment of outdoor dragonfly ponds for education efforts, an extraordinarily enjoyable update regarding morphs and activities at the Audubon Nature Institute’s arthropod center, education activities focusing on carbon changes in the environment (as opposed to focusing on the more politically charged “global warming”), and enrichment of arthropod housing from both the arthropod and facility visitor perspectives.
I followed that immediately with David Faulkner’s outstanding five-hour forensic entomology training session, the same one offered to police and law audiences. It was spectacular from start to finish. I will devote an entire entry to it (including images!) later this week. A shower and good soaking of all of my clothing after the forensic session was VERY necessary.
Still without any significant break, the forensic entomology workshop was followed by the close of the silent auction and raffle (the two major fundraisers for the Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group) and the IECC closing banquet and evening activities. Because I REALLY needed a shower after the forensics session (more to come regarding that!), I missed the close of several tables of auction items.
The banquet was really enjoyable. Good food combined with great conversation with great colleagues. The banquet was followed by lots of community building announcements and good-natured ribbing. Zack and Jayme’s rap performance was great.
Photography contest results were presented and raffle award winners announced. For the first time, photographers could leave their photos out for others to buy, with the proceeds going to TITAG. I really like that. My toad bug image did well. It and three other images added additional funds to the TITAG coffers. Good thinking, TITAG folk!
My last minute raffle ticket was pulled out for first prize – free base registration for either the 2012 or 2013 Invertebrates in Education and Conservation Conference. Looks like I’ll be going back to Arizona!
At last year’s conference I continually heard about TITAG, but lacked any real knowledge of the organization. Erin Sullivan’s presentation, followed by the TITAG overview lunch meeting showcasing TITAG-supported invertebrate conservation efforts, made clear that I’d like to support their efforts in some way. I need to delve further.