Columbus Bug Zoo and Insectary

Contributed by Insectary and Outreach Program Director, Jeni Ruisch

This has been a year of change for the insectary at the Columbus campus of Ohio State. The lab has been in full-swing modernization mode, clearing out the old and making way for the new. Many repairs were made, and some parts of the lab were updated. The transition continues, with the end goal being a bright and open space with display tanks and signage. In-person tours have started back up in earnest, and barely a day has gone by without visitors of all stripes stopping in to meet the animals, or with trips out to local schools and community groups with bugs in tow. The exterior of the lab is in the process of being turned into an activity and engagement area that will help evolve the way outreach is done at the insectary, and even allow for larger groups in the small space. For the first time ever, a lab was designed and staged in this learning area. This one setup brought over 400 new faces to the insectary. The team has been growing, with new employees from various backgrounds being hired, and new volunteers coming onboard.

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