Saturday, October 29, 2016

My Journey In Becoming An Insect Science Minor

Hello! My name is Whitney Lovegrove, and I am a senior agronomy major with an entomology minor. I grew up on a farm near Geneva, Nebraska, so agriculture has always been something I've been interested in. For my agronomy requirements, I needed to take a crop pest management course. I loved it so much, I went on to be an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) scout for DuPont Pioneer for two summers. Those experiences inspired me to want to become an insect science minor. After making an insect collection and having my first pet as a Madagascar hissing cockroach, I realized how much passion I have for Entomology and how excited I get when I talk about it to friends and family! These realizations helped land me a job in the department as a lab worker for western corn rootworm research. In the lab, we test for resistance to pyrethroid insecticides amongst various beetle populations from different parts of Nebraska. Part of this research is also learning how to successfully rear beetles from egg-larva-pupa-adult and what their lifecycle needs to thrive (sweet corn because they are a significant crop pest). This job has been nothing but rewarding, and I have had the opportunity to meet almost everyone in the department. As I finish my last semester as an undergrad at UNL, I have been on the lookout for one more defining internship experience. Specifically, I have applied for a summer position in Yakima Valley, Washington as an IPM scout in hops production. As I continue to search for jobs, I hope I am able to take this job as it would provide me with experience outside of Nebraska. It would be neat to see the pest variability in Washington and to observe agricultural production that is not typically seen in Nebraska! After an internship, I am considering a masters in entomology. I love agronomy, but I think I am a bit more of a bug nerd! 

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