Update (5/10/21): Visitors are once again welcome to drop off samples at the diagnostic lab. Please follow all posted signs in Russell Labs regarding campus mask policies.
Some work of the IDL continues to be done remotely. A sample drop-box has been installed on the IDL lab door, if the lab happens to be closed when you stop by.
Original Post Date: 3/20/2020
Since early 2020, COVID-19 has changed the ways that Americans go about their everyday lives. Here in Madison, WI, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has taken a number of steps in response to the COVID-19 situation such as switching to online classes and having most employees work remotely. The full details of UW-Madison’s response can be found here: covid19.wisc.edu.
Despite the disruptions, part of the Wisconsin Idea is that the activities of institutions like UW-Madison should provide benefits to residents in all reaches of the state. To that end, the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab remains open to provide insect/arthropod identification and outreach services to residents of Wisconsin, with some notable changes. Bookmark this page for updates which will be posted as they arise.
General Diagnostics & Questions:
Many of the services of the IDL, such as email photo submissions, remain unchanged. Important points are noted below:
- Arthropod ID requests (insects, spiders, etc.) can still be submitted to the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab
- Digital photographs are the best way to submit an ID request in the time of COVID-19. See this webpage for required information and tips on submitting insect images.
- Visitors are still not allowed in the diagnostic lab at this time, but can drop off samples in the drop box on the lab door. Samples are picked up multiple times per week.
- Physical samples are still accepted by mail, UPS, FedEx or other couriers. Please see this webpage for instructions on how to submit physical samples by mail.
- General insect questions can still be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (best option) or by phone. I will continue to have regular email access while working remotely, but phone responses will likely be delayed. Email is the best way to reach me.
The UW Insect Diagnostic Lab regularly provides outreach around Wisconsin via public radio, workshops, public seminars, and other venues. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation is impacting in-person delivery of this outreach. See below for additional details:
- In-person presentations provided by the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab have been cancelled until further notice.
- If interested in distance education (via Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.), feel free to reach out to me by email (email@example.com).
In the meantime, stay safe and feel free to check out the many insect-related blog posts over the last few years to take your mind off of COVID-19: https://insectlab.russell.wisc.edu/blog/