Ascend with Bay Area Insects

Ride, walk, or jog along the Greenway in Emeryville and you will be greeted by a swarm of Bay Area “bugs”. Commissioned by the city of Emeryville, Joey Rose created two murals, titled “Ascend”, depicting some of the Bay Area’s most important inhabitants – the insects. Part of Emeryville’s park system, this green space cuts through the heart of Emeryville connecting Oakland to Berkeley. “The Greenway hopes to connect people with nature and serves as an “escape” in a historically industrial city,” says Rose. “My murals reflect this ideal. The intended audience is anyone who may happen to see them. It’s important for people of any age or demographic to feel connected to nature and see the importance of preservation.”

For inspiration, Joey visited the Essig Museum to photograph and sketch his subjects. I asked him why insects for this project. “Insects are an often ignored part of the ecosystem. Unfortunately, there is a stigma against insects. They are usually portrayed as being disgusting or scary. I wanted to show the true beauty of insects. This is a sight-specific mural, so I wanted to highlight local and native Bay Area insects. I hope people will be reminded of my painting when they see these insects around the Bay and vice-versa.”

The murals were unveiled on May 10, 2018 at 5768 Peladeau Street in Emeryville to an enthusiastic crowd. “The two figures in the murals are literally being carried by these insects,” says Rose. “I think that is really the core of what I want people to come away with. It’s not so important that they can identify each and every insect. What’s important is to get people thinking about how essential every creature is to not only our ecosystem, but to us (humans) as fellow members of that ecosystem. Even the little guys are important!”

by Peter Oboyski

Darwin (Evolution) Day 2018

On February 12, 2018 the Essig Museum hosted another great Evolution Day in honor of Charles Darwin’s birthday.  Over 120 students, staff, faculty, and folks from all around the Bay Area got a behind the scenes look at the Museum and some of our special displays. Thank you to our colleagues at the UC & Jepson Herbaria, UC Paleontology Museum, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and UC Botanical Garden for supplying specimens and information for the displays.

At a reception afterwards, Dr. Peter Oboyski summarized some of the outstanding achievements of the Essig over the past year, including: a collaboration with the Muzeum of Vertebrate Zoology on a multi-taxon survey of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia (hear more about this project this Friday at Essig Brunch); an Entomology at Cal Reunion in October; new specimen donations and accessions, and a temporary funding increase from the Vice Chancellor of Research and the Deans of Letters & Science and College of Natural Resources. The temporary funding increase will facilitate efforts to secure the financial future for the Essig Museum.

Our next big event is Cal Day on April 21 when we will welcome guests to view displays, touch live insects, and get behind the scenes tours of the museum in English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin – hope to see you there!

Entomology student, Jessica, talking about Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets).

   

Students checking out the giant African termite queens, and a marine iguana from the MVZ.

Specimens collected by Charles Darwin in Tierra del Fruego during the Voyage of the Beagle.

Entomology graduate student, Sean Perez, admiring a mimicry display by Professor Nipam Patel.

Carnivorous plants from the UC Botanical Garden.

Lots of happy guests enjoying their visit to the Essig Museum.

 

Thanks to Helina Chen (University of California Paleontology Museum) for taking photos!

Darwin (Evolution) Day – February 10, 2017

Darwindday2007_frontFebruary 10th, 2017 (Friday) 12:00 – 5:30pm

Each year, the Essig Museum celebrates Darwin’s birthday on February 12th. Visit the Essig for special behind-the-scenes tours of our museum in the Valley Life Sciences Building; see specimens of Galapagos finches, iguanas, and tortoise shells; herbarium specimens, live orchids and insectivorous plants; and learn how Darwin and other naturalists improved our understanding of how evolution works in the natural world. RSVP to essig.museum@gmail.com for tours at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, or 5:00pm.

Lepidopterists Aggregation – January 27, 2018

Lepidopterists Aggregation – January 27, 2018

SilveryBlueYou  and your guests are invited to UC Berkeley for the annual mid-winter gathering of Northern California Lepidopterists and Essig Museum of Entomology open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2018. As in previous years, you need not be a Northern Californian or a Lepidopterist to attend.

Visitors are encouraged to bring specimens, photos, Power Point presentations or slides from collecting trips, and tales of collecting triumphs to share with others. There will be no formal program. There is no charge. Attending lepidopterists may be able to help you identify specimens, and the museum collection will be open for your inspection. For further information, contact your hosts – Peter Oboyski and Jerry Powell, essig.museum@gmail.com, 510-643-0804.

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