Community Outreach

Bug Fest 2013

Featured Speakers
Eric R. Eaton - Insects are wildlife, too!
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Principle Author - Kaufman Field Guild to Insects of North America

Eric R. Eaton is principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007), and contributor to several other books including The Butterfly Gardener’s Guide (Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2003) and Wild in the City:  a guide to Portland’s natural areas (Oregon Historical Society Press, 2000).  He has also written articles about insects and other animals for Birds and Blooms, Ranger Rick, Missouri Conservationist, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society), and other magazines. 

Mr. Eaton studied entomology at Oregon State University, and has worked most recently as Assistant Butterfly Curator for “Butterfly Magic” at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  He provided insect and spider identifications for an ongoing ecosystem project at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in 2009. 

Field guide to insects of North America iconPreviously, he worked at Cincinnati Zoo and Chase Studio, Inc., as well as on private contract for the Smithsonian Institution, Portland State University, and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.  He enjoys the respect of his network of professional colleagues, and has built a loyal following as a forum moderator for, and volunteer expert and consultant to, (where he was one of the top 50 experts for the year 2009), and  His empathy for the squeamish and scared, knack for identification of mystery bugs, and his accurate, jargon-free explanations of insect biology have made him a leading figure in popular entomology.  He writes the blogs “Bug Eric” and “Sense of Misplaced.” 

Eric currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Insects are wildlife, too! 

We may consider most insects to be garden-eating, garbage-infesting, blood-sucking pests, but the truth is the overwhelming majority are vital to our lives, and the cornerstones of healthy habitats.  While we have traditionally neglected to look at insects the way we watch birds, that culture is changing.  Butterflies, dragonflies, and even tiger beetles are rising in popularity among naturalists.  Sure, there are barriers to "bugwatching," like needing different equipment, and changing one's search image, but the rewards are well worth the effort and minor inconvenience.  Insects are beautiful, diverse, and the chances of making new discoveries about them is vastly greater than it is with any other organism.

Please join us for a rare look at some of the most watchable "bugs," and an entertaining explanation of how to observe them.