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ESC Blog Classifieds: Greenhouse Entomologist (Beneficial Insects)

Great Lakes Greenhouses (Leamington, ON) is seeking a full-time entomologist to aid in the development and implementation of rearing protocols for the production of beneficial insects used in the greenhouse industry. Knowledge and experience with experimental design, statistical analysis, beneficial insect propagation and maintenance, and the ability to perform independent research are all necessary to succeed in this position.

Great Lakes Greenhouses has been a family owned and operated hydroponic vegetable grower in Leamington, Ontario since 1983. Our original 2-1/2 acre greenhouse operation has evolved into an environmentally friendly 90 acre state of the art facility that propagates, grows, packages and ships more Long English seedless cucumbers on a year round basis than any other greenhouse operation in North America. Due to our commodity share hold in the market and our Primus Certified Food Safety designation for both our greenhouse and packing operations, our cucumbers have reached most major retailers’ shelves across the USA and Canada. 

See full job ad for more details, and send resumes to James Tetreault (james@greatlakesg.com) to apply.

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Don’t read this article

I will admit that the headline was thoroughly and completely “click bait”. That’s because I was worried that “The new ESC Science Policy Committee and its mandate” would have you move along to the next article. And I hope that giving you the goods now on what this article is about doesn’t cause that right… now.

For those of you who are still with me, and I hope that is a majority of our members, I am aware that policy is not generally considered an exciting topic. But in this era of climate change, environmental degradation, increasing population pressure on our agricultural and silvicultural output, emergent and spreading vector-borne diseases, research funding challenges, and rapidly shifting politics in Canada and many of our largest trading partners, we as entomologists cannot merely sit back and let policy happen. We need to engage with policy makers to encourage careful decision making with the long view in mind.

Our diverse Society membership has an equally diverse set of skills and perspectives to offer to Canadians and the rest of the world. But engagement can only happen if we are willing to put fingers on the pulse of various issues, and to collaboratively marshal responses to issues as they begin to emerge. In other words, we can only be effective if we are able to anticipate in time and react with collective care and wisdom.

Over the past many years, the ESC has maintained a Science Policy and Education Committee. That committee has been effective in many areas including over the past several years:

  • expressing concern to the federal government about travel restrictions on federal scientists wishing to attend ESC meetings,
  • encouraging the continued support of the Experimental Lakes Area,
  • responding to NSERC consultations, and
  • drafting the ESC Policy Statement on Biodiversity Access and Benefit Sharing which was later adopted by our Society.

However, because the combination of both public education and public policy was a substantial and growing mandate, the ESC Executive Council Committee decided in 2015 to split the committee into two, each part taking care of one of the two former aspects.

In October 2016 I was asked to chair and help to formulate the new ESC Science Policy Committee. Your committee now consists of (in alphabetical order):

  • Patrice Bouchard (ESC First VP, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
  • Crystal Ernst (appointed member, postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University)
  • Neil Holliday, (ESC President, ex officio committee member, University of Manitoba)
  • Dezene Huber (appointed member as academic representative, Chair 2016/2017, University of Northern British Columbia)
  • Fiona Hunter (ESC Second VP, Brock University)
  • Rachel Rix (appointed member and student and early professional representative, Dalhousie University)
  • Amanda Roe (appointed member as government representative, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service)

Each executive member’s term is specified by their ESC executive term. Each appointed member is a member for up to 3 years. The Chair position is appointed on a yearly basis. The terms of reference specify that the committee should contain members “who (represent) the Student (and Early Professional) Affairs Committee, and preferably one professional entomologist employed in government service and one employed in academia.

We are officially tasked “(t)o monitor government, industry and NGO science policies, to advise the Society when the science of entomology and our Members are affected, and to undertake tasks assigned by the Board that are designed to interpret, guide, or shift science policy.”

We are now working on putting together an agenda, and have started to work on a few items. For instance, you may recall an eBlast requesting participation in Canada’s Fundamental Science Review that was initiated by Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science. We hope that some of you took the opportunity to send your thoughts to the federal government.

As we develop an agenda, we would like to consult with you, the ESC membership. Please tell us:

  • What policy-related issues do you see emerging in your area of study, your realm of employment, or in the place that you live?
  • How might the ESC Science Policy Committee integrate better with your concerns and those of the rest of the membership? 
  • How can our Society be more consultative and responsive to the membership and to issues as they arise?
  • Who are the people and organizations with which ESC should be working closely on science policy issues?
  • How can you be a part of science policy development, particularly as it relates to entomological practice and service in Canada and abroad?

 

Please email me at huber@unbc.ca with your thoughts, questions, and ideas. We know that many of you are already involved in this type of work, and we hope that we can act as synergists to your efforts and that you can help to further energize ours.

 

Dr. Dezene Huber

Chair, ESC Science Policy Committee

This article also appears in the March 2017 ESC Bulletin, Vol 48(1).

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Insects as works of art

Many of us appreciate insects, spiders and other arthropods for more than just their scientific, biological or ecological value: they also have an aesthetic that some of us find irresistible, inspiring us to capture them in photographs or in paintings rather than sweep nets or aspirators.

For this special feature, we interviewed Elizabeth Goluch, a Halifax artist, and asked her about her breathtaking insect sculptures.

PRAYING MANTIS
Sterling silver, copper, 14K & 18K gold
18.5″l x 12″w x 9.5″h

ESCBlog: Please tell us a little bit about your background – where you grew up, when you started doing art, where you did your formal training.

EG: I grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario.  I have been making drawings and objects for as long as I can remember.

I took summer drawing classes at the University of Western Ontario, after which I acquired my BFA in 1976 at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.  However, my major was in Painting.  Much later, around 1997, I learned to solder by taking continuing education classes at NSCAD.  I also became a member of the Metal Arts Guild of Nova Scotia which is a Guild in the traditional sense.  If you wish to learn a certain skill, you have only to ask and another member will provide the help that you need.  Over time, I enrolled in several summer sessions at Haystack Mountain School of Craft thereby acquiring additional metalsmithing skills.  So I would have to say that I have had little formal training in working with metal and am, for the most part, self-taught.

ESCBlog: Why insects? Have you always been interested in insects as subjects for your art?

EG: Insects have always attracted me.  As a child I collected and examined dead insects, seeing them as objects of beauty.  An early memory is one of drawing page after page of spiders which gave me a great sense of satisfaction.

TARANTULA
Sterling silver, 14k & 18k gold, tourmaline
7.25″l x 8″w x 2.25″h

ESCBlog: Most of your sculptures have movable parts; many contain hidden trinkets that can be removed and even worn as jewellery.  Tell us about this choice to include interactive components.

EG: When I first began to make metal insect sculptures, I concentrated on the insect form.  Over time, I realized that I wanted to add another dimension to each sculpture which resulted in the secret compartments containing hidden treasure.

ESCBlog: Although your pieces are incredibly lifelike, they also include many whimsical elements (a children’s poem enacted in a lady beetle) and often embrace word-play (e.g., the violin beetle).  Tell us about your choice to blend the realistic with the fantastical.

EG: As my work has grown I have come to realize that, as much as I enjoy accuracy in building the body parts of each insect, I am also interested in telling the story of the insect.  This is accomplished by including information about the insect’s life, lore and environment in the decorative details and secret spaces, increasingly important elements of each work.

ESCBlog: Insects are so often portrayed as something dark and sinister – something to fear. Your work, however turns insects and spiders into precious things made of gold, silver, pearls and gemstones. Can you talk a bit about your choice of materials in your pieces?

EG: Conversely, I have always seen insects as living jewels. However, I enjoy the combination of fear and attraction engendered in the viewer by the juxtaposition of the subject matter (insects) and the richness of the materials used (gold, silver, gemstones) in the making of the object.

ESCBlog: You’ve tackled many different types of insects, and even arachnids, in your work. Is there anything you haven’t attempted to sculpt yet that you’d like to?

EG: There are so many insects in the world that I can’t imagine ever running out of options for the next piece.

(However, I must confess that after repeated requests, I recently completed a commission that was not an insect.  I made a Snail which turned out to be one of the most complex pieces that I have made to date.  It will appear on my website in the near future.)

ESCBlog: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, why is it your favorite?

EG: I can’t say that I have one favourite piece.  What I will say is that I enjoy the increasing complexity of story and detail incorporated in each new piece.

LADYBUG
sterling silver, 18k gold, garnets, enamel, ceramit
4.75″l x 3.75″w x 2″h

ESCBlog: Can people purchase the work your have shown on your website? Do you ever do commissioned pieces?

EG: Much of the work on my website has been sold or was a commissioned piece.  I have, on occasion, made a second or third version of one insect (Dragonfly, LadyBug). However, no two pieces are ever the same, each differing in size, details and story.

ESCBlog: Is there anything else we should know about you or your work?

EG: I have won numerous awards including Finalist for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, the Frank Phillips Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship,  Best in Show in many Metal Arts Guild of Nova Scotia Competitions/Exhibitions, grants from the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, and from the Canada Council for the Arts.

My work has been exhibited internationally, including the 2009 Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea where Canada was invited as the guest country, the Cultural Olympiad in the Museum of Vancouver BC to coincide with the 2010 Olympics, Cesky Krumlov in the Wenceslas Cellars of the State Castle of the Czech Republic, SOFA New York and the Mary E. Black Gallery in Halifax NS.  One of my works was included in the Metal Arts Guild of Canada Exhibition in Print 2011 curated by Gloria Hickey.

My sculptures can be found in public and private collections in Canada, the USA, Denmark, Australia, Turkey and Hong Kong.

I have given lectures in Halifax at the Joint Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Entomological Society & the Acadian Entomological Society and at NSCAD, in South Korea at the 2009 Cheongju International Biennale, in New York at SOFA, and in Cornwall ON as the keynote speaker at the Artpreneur Conference.

I sit on the Exhibition Review Committee of the Mary E. Black Gallery Halifax NS and on the Standards Committee of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council.

ESCBlog: Where can we go to see some of your work?

EG: My work will be included in upcoming exhibitions at the Mary E. Black Gallery Halifax NS and at The Rooms Provincial Gallery in St. John’s NL, both of which will subsequently travel across Canada.

I am in the Studio Rally Map and will participate in the upcoming Studio Rally Weekend.
Dates:  Saturday September 29th and Sunday September 30th
Hours:  10:00 am to 5:00 pm – by chance or appointment
more info:  www.StudioRally.ca

BUMBLEBEE
Sterling silver, 14K & 18K gold
7″l x 7″w x 4″h

If you’d like to reach Elizabeth, here is her contact information:
Website:  www.elizabethgoluch.com
email:  e@elizabethgoluch.com
Representation:  Mobilia Gallery,Cambridge/Boston MA.

Availability in Halifax:  my Studio – 6913 Tupper Grove, Halifax, NS.

Visitors & commissions welcome.
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Do you know any other incredible Canadian artists who feature insects in their work? We’d love to hear about it?