Cornell Class Tours

During the academic year we support class tours for a number of Cornell University classes representing a variety of departments and disciplines. We are able to call upon a wide variety of specimens allowing us to provide class experiences in a variety of formats. If you teach a class at Cornell and think that your students would benefit from exposure to an aspect of the worldwide diversity of insects, please contact us and we can help you develop a class experience appropriate to your curriculum. Given that such development takes some time and conversation among the interested parties, please contact us at least one semester prior to when you would wish your class to visit. Also, if you have a class with more than one section, we will work with you and your teaching assistants so that you will have all the materials and information needed to run the activity yourself. Given that we are a research collection, we must insist that all specimens stay within our Cornell display drawers inside the confines of our collection room. Also, we cannot develop such activities for public groups outside the university nor during our summer period (15 May – 25 August) for insect survey and field research.

Art 2303, Lithography with Greg Page

Professor Page’s class has visited the Cornell University Insect Collection room, where the students have explored texture and structure by sketching various insect specimens. These explorations serve as the inspiration for lithographic composition.

English 3790/Russian 3385, Reading Nabokov with Gavriel Shapiro

Mr. Robert Dirig, Associate Curator of Lepidoptera, is Cornell’s resident expert on the entomological life of Vladimir Nabokov. Bob introduces literature students to this side of Nabokov’s career using butterfly and moth specimens collected by Professor Nabokov during his tenure as a Cornell Professor. Here Bob is spreading the wings of a Toothwort White (Pieris virginiensis) that VN collected in the Great Smoky Mountains on his 60th birthday, 23 April 1959 (photo credit Torben Russo).

BIOEE 1780, Evolutionary Biology and Diversity

The Evolution class uses the Insect Collection as their laboratory in an exercise developed using specimens of a geographically variable, polymorphic butterfly species, the White Admiral or Banded Purple. Ithaca sits on the zone of intergradation between these two infraspecific forms. Students measure wing bands from specimens, using special photographic representations of actual butterflies, and explore aspects of hybridization between the northern White Admiral and the southern Banded Purple.

BIOEE 2670, Introduction to Conservation Biology with John Fitzpatrick

Students spend a class period where they can observe specimens of various globally endangered insect species housed in the Cornell Collection, and discuss special issues pertinent to insect conservation.

Entomology 2020, 2120, 2150, 2410, 3310, 3350

Students in introductory Entomology classes are guaranteed the opportunity to visit the Insect Collection. Given our many holdings, and the specialized courses we offer, we can tailor what the students see to the goals of the particular course.

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