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NMSU students travel to Belize to study arthropods

Students in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will travel to Belize for 10 days in March to study arthropods.


A group of people standing, holding bug nets
New Mexico State University students and entomology professor Scott Bundy traveled to Belize in 2014. Bundy and another group of students will study diversity of arthropods in Belize again in March 2016. (NMSU courtesy photo)

The 10 students are enrolled in the tropical insect ecology course with Scott Bundy, who is an entomology professor in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science.

“The students will compare the diversity of arthropods in a different habitat,” Bundy said. “I will also be teaching them how to sample insects in various habitats.”

Bundy, who is also the director of the NMSU Arthropod Museum, is preparing the students by providing them with lectures regarding Belize’s people, history and habitat.

“There is so much history in Belize,” Bundy said. “The students will appreciate the country so much more if they know about it before they make the trip.”

In addition to learning about arthropods, the students will have the opportunity to see a Mayan ruin, a cave, the coast, a jaguar preserve in a rainforest and the island Tobacco Caye.

This year’s trip will be the second Belize outing for senior agricultural biology major Danielle Lara. Lara joined Bundy and other students on the most recent trip in 2014.

“The coolest thing is that the insects are so huge, and they’re everywhere,” Lara said. “It’s very eye-opening and much more diverse than it is here.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree, Lara plans to pursue a master’s degree in entomology, and she is confident she will benefit from both Belize trips.

“My experience abroad will help me regarding learning different sampling techniques,” she said. “I also think the cultural experience in another country will be beneficial.”

Bundy works with the NMSU Study Abroad program to organize the trip, which is part of Faculty-Led International Programs.

To stay updated on the students’ discoveries and exploration, follow the class on its blog at: eppwsbelize2016.blogspot.com.