Moth Biodiversity Study

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Moth Biodiversity Study

Fall 2021-Research+Education+Student Engagement

Project Overview

Moths are an important—if often overlooked—component of biodiversity. Moths serve as pollinators and as food resources for other animals. This student-focused research monitored moth biodiversity at Pennsylvania Mountain near Fairplay, CO, where UCCS owns 10 acres of alpine tundra. These funds went towards resampling moths at this site, repeating an earlier study by UCCS faculty and students completed in 1978-1981. Such longitudinal tracking of insect populations can show how biodiversity is changing. Two field researchers collected moths and sample vegetation in the summer of 2022. The products of this field work further engaged students enrolled in BIOL 4930: Research Practicum in Biology in fall 2022 and BIOL 3750: Conservation Biology in spring 2023. In so doing, this broadened the engagement of students at UCCS in biodiversity research. Further, the project hosted a moth collection event as a part of National Moth Week 2022. This event was opened to the public to view moths visiting a blacklight trap on July 16th 2022. By increasing awareness of biodiversity and promoting education and outreach, this project satisfied key pillars of the GAF.