Cedar Creek
Ecosystem Science Reserve


In the winter of 1997 Clarence Lehman noticed on a bench in my office the insect family narratives and species tables that I had been compiling for the last fifteen years. I remember his jaw dropping just a little, then he asked whether this information might be available for a new insect web site. I was happy with the idea, though at that time I did not quite know what that involved.   Dave Bosanko helped me convert the disks to a format our web server could use, then Clarence wrote programs to convert the raw data to web pages, with narratives automatically linked to species tables, and with indexes by common and scientific names.  After two iterations we got something we both liked.  All this he basically did in his spare time.  The result was nearly 700 html web pages.

After that initial phase, Erin Bartlett, a summer intern and brilliant computer programmer continued to work on the Insect Web--cleaning up Tables, creating Links between Narratives and Tables, developing additional filters to sort and organize files etc.  A third computer whiz, Nick Spilman,  helped with contatenating Tables and Narratives, relinking reorganized sections, etc.  Rao Tatini provided invaluable technical assistance during his all too brief tenure here.

Nick Haddad, while working as a Post-doctoral Researcher for Cedar Creek LTER, wrote two NSF Supplemental grants for upgrading the Cedar Creek Insect Collection and improving the Insect Web Page.  The first went primarily for materials (insect drawers, cabinets) and intern help to create a reference collection and labelling specimens by experiment collected.  I thank Amy Bivins for her enthusiastic, unfatiguing help.  Angie Moshier scanned many of my slides of insects in natural settings, and Tiffany Miley continued that work and started the Photo Album portion of the Web.  This task was greatly accelerated the past winter with the purchase of an Olympus stereoscope and digital camera purchased with the second NSF supplemental grant written by Nick Haddad.  Two exceptional interns, Tony Baumert and Lenny Sheps, photographed and processed more than 3000 images during the winter of 1999-2000. In addition, they created Family Trees of the various orders, and created pictorial keys to subfamilies of a few larger families.  See, for example, the Pictorial Key to Chrysomelidae in Coleoptera.

Presently, work on the Insect Web is proceding more slowly.  Though by now I am an experienced picture-taker, I stumble through the image processing, linking, and fancier stuff that Tony and Lenny became adept at.

I thank all who have contributed to this enormous project.  Individuals examining and identifying material are acknowledged in the appropriate section of the Taxonomic Survey.  However, I especially want to thank Sue Seabolt for light-trapping, preparing, and identifying many of the Macromoths,  John Luhman for identifying many of the Ichneumonids and Braconids,  John Lattin for identifying many of the Hemiptera, and Michael Schwartz for identifying the Miridae. I take responsibility for errors in identification, but hope these are minimal and with help and further contributions they will become less over time.

John Haarstad
East Bethel, Minnesota
May 2000

webmaster@cedarcreek.umn.edu Last updated 7/27/2000 6:01 pm (Thursday)