The IABC takes place in the #1-ranked Entomology department in the world! The University of Florida’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences proudly houses one of the world’s largest and best entomology teaching and research programs. This course is taught in a recently refurbished laboratory space furnished with state of the art microscopes for up to 30 students. The classroom facilities include visualization tools such as scope-to-screen projections for group learning at high-magnification; this technology, combined with individual student collections of globally invasive ants, makes for an ideal lab-learning setup.
Field collection and observation are fundamental to hands-on learning in this workshop. We don’t spend all of our time in the lab, though; field trips to visit colony rearing sites, greenhouse facilities, a working farm, and a nature preserve show off invasive ants in various environments so participants can observe behavior and nest characteristics. This also gives everyone a chance to practice different collecting techniques and see active infestations. Gainesville itself has a lot to offer! Weather is warm this time of year and ants are abundant. Expect to see a lot of exotic and native ants in the field. Note that the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, the largest insect collection in the Southeastern USA, is located in walking distance of our classroom. There truly isn’t a better place to learn about invasive ants than right here!