Co-Instructor: Derek Sikes

A bit about me: I am the Curator of Insects at the University of Alaska Museum and a Professor of Entomology in the Department of Biology and Wildlife. I have been fascinated by insects since 1988 when I took my first entomology course and I love sharing cool information about insects with students of all ages.

You can email me with any questions about the course at

Co-Instructor: Melissa Sikes

A bit about me: I am the Natural Resource Education Specialist at the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District and have been there since 2010. I went to Unity College in Maine and got my BS in Outdoor Recreation in 1990. I am a Master Gardener and love to share my love for growing plants year-round.

You can email me with any questions about the course at

Invertebrate Investigators

Grades: 4-7

Dates: 3/22-4/30

Zoom Times: Tuesdays, 2 pm

Cost: $195

Description: Learn how to find and document invertebrates (often called "bugs") in and around your homes and neighborhoods. Instructors Derek and Melissa Sikes are professional naturalists who know tons about our local beetles, spiders, bees, butterflies, and all their many-legged relatives. Students will need a smartphone or help from a parent with a smartphone loaded with the iNaturalist app (& a free iNaturalist account).

Course Kit Content: soft forceps, smart phone magnifier clip for camera, bug box

Supplies You Will Provide: basic writing utensils and paper for notes