Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about the Department of Entomology. 

Where can I find job opportunities?

Please visit the Careers website for job announcements. 






Can you ID this insect?

We highly recommend downloading our iNaturalist app to crowdsource the identity of your mystery bug. BugGuide is also a great resource.


How do I donate specimens?

The Department has received tens of thousands of donations from over a thousand sources during its history. Please keep in mind that controlling the growth of our collection and allocating resources to process specimens remains one of our most difficult challenges. Contact Collections Manager Chris Grinter cgrinter@calacademy.org for more information about donating.


How do I volunteer?

There are lots of volunteer opportunities in Entomology! Don't hesitate to contact the collection manager directly for general inquiries (cgrinter@calacademy.org). Be sure to visit the volunteer website and apply to volunteer via this application. Please specify on the form that you're interested in working with Entomology or Arachnology.


From what sources do you get your collection?

The collection has developed and continues to grow through the acquisition of materials from diverse sources. Historically, field studies and expeditions by staff researchers have served as the primary source of materials for growth of the collection. About 50% of the entire collection of accessioned and unaccessioned specimens has been acquired through collections by staff. Especially during the past decade, donations from external sources have become a major component of collection growth.

The acquisition of so-called "orphaned collections" has also contributed to collection growth. Fewer, yet significant, materials are also acquired through exchanges, direct purchases, and the financing of fieldwork by non-staff collectors and researchers, who obtain material for the collection in exchange for partial field support. During the period 1989 – 1993, more than 564,000 new specimens were accessioned into the collection. Of these, about 50% were additions by staff, the other 50% from other sources.


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