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Making Room for More Bugs

Gift from recent Bug House retiree Gary Parsons will expand capacity, outreach at the facility

Two men in the MSU Bug House look at a collection of beetles in a drawer

Making Room for More Bugs

Gift from recent Bug House retiree Gary Parsons will expand capacity, outreach at the facility

Gary Parsons has invested a lot of heart and soul over the past 22 years as collection manager for the Albert J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection, and now, as a recent retiree, he continues to do so as a Bug House volunteer and a philanthropist.

Recently, Parsons received a financial gift from his mother and in reflecting how best to use it, he realized improving the Collection’s space would support something he is passionate about and would improve working conditions for all volunteers.

Collection director Anthony Cognato secured more space when he arrived in 2006, allowing the collection to expand at that time, however, several private collections are expected to be donated in the near future, including over 300 drawers of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). This year, the underutilized library section of the facility is being converted to house more specimens with cabinets and drawers funded with Parsons’ gift.

“This is the first step in a multi-year plan to get the storage needed for the growing collection,” Parsons says. “We’ve packed as much as we can in the space we have, but further donations will be needed before too long.”

Read on about Gary Parsons’ long career at the MSU Bug House.

Visit the Department of Entomology to learn more about joining Parsons in supporting either the Bug House or the arthropod collection.

To learn more about supporting the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, contact Associate Director of Development Brittany Lawrence at mill2849@msu.edu or call (517) 355-0284.