The Little Things That Run the World

As E. O. Wilson says, “It’s the little things [insects] that run the world.” Join Dr. Boyce Drummond on a two-day exploration of how they do it. Scientists estimate that there are 200 million insects for every human on the planet, making up about 85% of the total weight of all land animals combined. Colorado’s incredible geography fosters a tremendous diversity of insect life and hosts over 35,000 insect species. Insects are easily observed, readily identified, and offer a wide array of behaviors to study and interpret. We will visit a variety of habitats to explore the diversity, ecology, and behavior, emphasizing their important roles in natural ecosystems. Where we look we find bugs in the system --underwater, inside trees, in the soil, currowing into mushrooms -- as well as in the usual places, such as flying overhead, visiting flowers, and chomping on leaves. Our study of the fascinating behavior and ecology of insects, will leave you with a new understanding of the myriad adaptations that make insects so successful and important in mountain environments. A variety of simple but powerful field investigative techniques will be learned that the participants can use in research, teaching, or for personal enrichment.

This class requires advance registration to ensure appropriate planning for the field experience.

About the Instructor:

Dr. Boyce Drummond is a biological consultant and a visiting Associate Professor at Colorado College. He is a Research Associate at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Gillette Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity at Colorado State University, and the Florida State Collection of Arthropods at the University of Florida.  A past Director of the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Dr. Drummond is co-author of Florissant Butterflies: A Guide to Fossil and Present-day Species of Central Colorado

Educators, when registering online for this class, please click on scholarship button and write EDUCATOR in the comments field so we can apply additional discount for you. The educators' discount is for teachers who take ACES classes for their professional development. Educator class cost is $95 or $50 for ACES members. This class is offered for 1 graduate college credit through Adams State University for additional cost that goes directly to ASU. In addition to registring through ACES, register here for graduate credit.

What To Bring:

Come prepared for a full day in the field, including non-strenuous hiking on and off trails. Please wear layered clothing for both the chilly morning and warmer daytime temperatures. Wear sturdy footwear and bring rain gear, sun hat, sunglasses, sunblock, a hearty sack lunch, snacks, and plenty of water. Bring your binoculars (or borrow ours) and your field guide (optional). We will provide binoculars, a scope, reference books, and handouts. 

How To Get There:

Please bike or walk to ACES  whenever possible! We understand that you'll need to drive to ACES for certain classes - 6am birding classes, photo field trips, etc. However, when you can, make it a personal challenge and see if you can drive fewer times than last year! Parking at ACES is limited.





Non-member price:
Member price:


  • Adults
    • Class maximum: 13
    • Spots available: 5
    Registration closed on 07/18/2019