Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Gift Ideas for the Holidays and Beyond

Here at Bug Eric blog, we like to promote excellence and encourage innovation, inclusion, equality, and diversity in the professions of entomology, science communication, citizen science, research, and biodiversity education. To that end, you may wish to bookmark this post for reference at any time of the year.

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Make a Difference

The voices of non-Caucasian scientists have too often been absent, or outright silenced in publications, at conferences, and elsewhere. This must change. It is without hesitation that I suggest making donations to Entomologists of Color. Consider taking the next step and inviting a featured “scientist of the month” to address your organization, classroom, or citizen scientist group. Black in Ento is another avenue to sponsor and support Black entomologists. Both initiatives enjoy the support of professional societies and organizations.

© SpiderdayNightLive.com

The leading global invertebrate conservation organization continues to be the Xerces Society, and they keep getting better. An annual membership gets you many benefits, not the least of which is the stellar journal Wings. What began with an emphasis on butterflies has now blossomed into advocating for every taxon.

Reward Good Work

There is no shortage of ambitious and important citizen scientist initiatives and platforms. Please donate to the ones that serve you best. As for individuals doing vital work in entomology, few compare to The Bug Chicks, Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker. They are leaders in science communication, curriculum development, professional development, entomology consulting, and media production. They will debut some “bug dork” merchandise soon to help fund their ever-growing business.

© TheBugChicks.com

Aussie friends, you have a fierce advocate for your native bees in Dr. Kit Prendergast, the Bee Babette. She has published a booklet about Creating a Haven for Native Bees that is applicable virtually everywhere, not just Australia. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook for more of her accomplishments.

Dr. Kit Prendergast, © Researchgate.net

My good friend Nancy Miorelli is based in Ecuador where she runs tours that benefit local and indigenous people. She also has a Youtube channel, is “queen” of the “SciHive” on Facebook, and has a sustainable jewelry-making business. All of this falls under her SciBugs banner. Did I mention she is a talented artist?

Dr. Stephanie Dole © BeetleLady.com

Those of you in California, USA, will want to book the new Bug Pop-up Museum created by the “Beetle Lady,” Dr. Stephanie Dole. Not in California? No problem, she also does virtual classes. I know Stephanie, Nancy, and The Bug Chicks personally and can attest to the quality of their enterprises.


You want something tangible? Check out some of the books I have reviewed this year. Patronize your local booksellers, toy stores that emphasize science and learning, and museums, zoos, and aquaria. There are locally-owned outdoor stores selling gently used gear for hiking and camping to get you out into the wilderness, even if that is simply your own back yard or the grandparents’ farm.

Speaking of gear….Idea Wild furnishes equipment to indigenous and local scientists in countries all over the globe, enabling underfunded scholars to do important conservation research work. Idea Wild is over thirty years old, with many success stories under their belt.

Thank you for taking the time to read the above. Please let me know of other worthy endeavors that I can promote here. Happy holidays!

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