Registration is now open for the 2015 Master Volunteer Entomology Specialist (MVES) Training program to be held this year at the fantastic facilities at the Montgomery County AgriLife Extension Office (9020 Airport Road) in Conroe, TX between September 28 – October 2, 2015. The Montgomery County Master Gardener Association (MCMGA) is cooperating with this event.
Purpose of the Class. MVES training provides a unique opportunity for Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of arthropod life. The purpose of the program is to equip Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists to support and expand insect-related county educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The goal of the Entomology Specialist program is not to produce entomology “experts”–rather it is to identify and recognize master volunteers who have received special training to support specific entomology-related programs or projects. In the past, projects have included educational projects for school children about bugs, building entomology collections for county programs, training other master volunteers, developing presentations, and/or applied research relating to insects.
What we’ll do. We will explore insects and their relatives as an important part of both the human and the natural environment. Expert speakers will address topics covering insects in the environment, insect identification, integrated pest management, pesticide safety, bees, biting and stinging insects/arthropods, collecting methods and preservation techniques. You will have an opportunity to start an insect collection during the course. This year’s course will include night insect collecting at the Texas A&M Forest Service location in Jones State Forest, 1328 FM 1488 Road, Conroe, 77384.
Expectations. Upon completing the course, you will be asked to begin entomology projects within your county to complete the training, and receive a special pin and official title of Master Volunteer – Entomology Specialist.
Registration. Click here for Registration form and information about accommodations around the Conroe area. Registration is on a first come/first serve basis. Only 30 participant spots are guaranteed for this training, along with 5 auditing slots (see below). Submit your registration forms as soon as possible. Payment and forms must be in the Montgomery County office by July 18, 2015 and no refunds will be given for any reason after this date. A detailed agenda is being prepared and once all speakers are confirmed it will be advertised.
Cost. Registration fee of $325 per person that includes:
- Three lunches (T,W,Th), one dinner, snacks and drinks during the week
- Insect collecting kit including collapsible insect net, collecting jars, vials, glassine envelopes, spreading board, pinning strips, insect pins, pinning block, pin holder, insect repair adhesive, micron pen, labels, soft forceps, straight forceps, butterfly forceps, aspirator, hand lens and insect storage box
- Extension entomology bulletin set and other misc. publications.
Transportation. We rely on participants to provide their own transportation for travel to local insect collecting and possible field trip sites. Participant should be prepared for outdoor activity and dressed appropriately. We recommend long pants and shoes with socks, long sleeved shirt, sunscreen, insect repellent, flashlights or headlamp, and any other personal items you require.
Auditing the Class. Any volunteer who has previously completed the MVES training and would like to audit an individual class day this year, will be charged a $25 fee per day which only applies to T, W and Th classes ($70 for all three days) to cover costs of meals, snacks and drinks (no collecting supplies). Please pre-register for the number of days that you plan to attend. Only 5 auditing slots each day are available.***
Still Have Questions? For more information, contact Dr. Paul Nester, PNester@ag.tamu.edu or call 832-265-5639.