Research Background:

Location: USDA - Southern Plains Area - Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center
I did my initial study on the life cycle of the Corn Earworm in .  In 2003, I was hired as a research assistant to Dr. Juan Lopez and extended my project.

The unit "The Corn Earworm - Friend or Fiend?" was designed for students and teachers in grades K - 8.  It put the student in the role of a USDA scientist given the task of figuring out if this critter was a friend or fiend.  My intent for this unit was to also provide teachers with a sample activity they can replicate using insects, pests, or animals pertinent to their geographical region.

My 2003 research project was to evaluate the effects of host plant stimuli on reproduction and flight of the Corn Earworm reared from laboratory and field sources.  This was a more indepth study from my previous unit ,"The Corn Earworm - Friend or Fiend", and incorporated more advanced classroom activities found in the higher grades.  These include dissection, advanced classification, use of a flight mill, and sample collection. These activities may be replicated by students for observations and study but part of the intent was to provide a guide and framework for this kind of research into insect and animal behavior.