My primary outreach activity is as an Executive Committee Member of the Friends of the Frost Entomology Museum. The Friends of the Frost is a volunteer non-profit organization devoted to supporting the mission of the Penn State Frost Entomological Museum. We do activities to raise public awareness of arthropods and biodiversity.

Exhibit: Flash and Glow - communication through flashing

Coming soon: Early Feb 2013

As the newest permanent exhibit of the Frost Entomological Museum, this lightening bug exhibit will feature the flash communication patterns for three species from the genus "Photinus". Using this modified image as the background of a vintage museum case, I designed the exhibit to simulate looking out the window to watch fireflies in a back yard. LEDs will light up the male and female flash patterns in this scene. The video (below) is a partial demonstration of LED flash patterns for "P. consimilis". Check back in Feb 2013 for more. (Photo: Justin Wheeler (2012). Concept adapted from Lloyd (1966))

Demonstration of LEDs representing a male flash or "call" to females followed by an "answer" from a receptive female.

Engineers from Penn State Chemistry Research Instruments Facility designed circuit boards complete with PIC or microcontroller chips that are programmed to display each firefly flash pattern as an LED sequence.

Great Insect Fair - 2012: Video of insects in action.

Penn State Entomology has a grand annual outreach event attended by thousands. This year I created this video display from my video archive for the Friends of the Frost Museum display.