Extension & Outreach Mission
The Entomology Department's extension program applies the results of research to alleviate insect problems in New York State, the US, and throughout the world. This effort reflects the ever-changing needs of the State's agricultural industry, its recreational resources, and its urban dwellers. A primary reason for a department devoted to the multifaceted study of insects and related arthropods is to bring our collective expertise to bear on important insect-related issues of society.
A crucial mission of the Cornell Entomology Department is to provide accurate, current, and effective educational programs and resources in entomology and related disciplines to our commercial/professional, consumer, and public clientele. We consider both Cornell Cooperative Extension programs, partially funded by Federal Formula funds, as well as educational outreach programs, as important avenues for accomplishing this mission. Most extension programs are closely integrated with research so there is a seamless transition between developing new knowledge and providing clients with access to this new information. We have particular strength in developing IPM solutions for diverse clientele and, especially in cooperation with the New York State IPM Program, are able to move applied research to extension solutions.
The strong commitment of the Department of Entomology to outreach is reflected in our diverse efforts to effectively communicate the value of arthropods and entomological research to the broader community. These efforts include our popular annual 'Insectapalooza' event, a one-day Insect Fair, which attracts ~3,000 people each Fall. Insectapalooza reflects the culture of participation and involvement in outreach through over 30 hands-on educational and entertaining exhibits contributed by the faculty, active undergraduate community, and graduate students. Insectapalooza is one of the largest and most beloved science outreach events at Cornell University.
Efforts have begun to create a new 'Arthropod Museum' with displays on the benefits of arthropods, innovative ways that insects avoid being eaten by predators, arthropod diversity, and many live arthropods.
The Naturalist Outreach Speakers Bureau trains Cornell undergraduate and graduate students to do effective scientific outreach. The students form the Naturalist Outreach Speakers Bureau which goes into local classrooms in 7 Upstate counties to give free hands on presentations on natural history, ecology and conservation.
The Lost Ladybug Program, involves children from around the country in locating and identifying ladybugs. In addition, several faculty and staff contribute their time to numerous outreach events in schools and other organizations in our area.
Empire Farm Days, located in Seneca Falls NY, is the largest agricultural outdoor farm show in the Northeast and typically draws 50,000-70,000 visitors. The Entomology Department presents a large display on insect diversity, invasive species, and insects that are of importance to local agriculture. The display is in the building housing a number of other Cornell University exhibits and over the 3-day event draws many hundreds to thousands of visitors. Many of the visitors bring specimens or photos for discussion and identification. Over the years the display has been organized by Charlie Linn (Geneva), with help from other faculty and graduate students (including last year Art Muka, Masanori Seto, Erik Smith, Heather Connelly, and Aloy Gu).