Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for HYM Course?
Complete the application form and ask someone familiar with you and your interest in HYM Course to write a letter in support of your application. Applications and letters of support should be sent Dr. Michael Gates, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, Washington DC, 20013-7012, U.S.A. Telephone: 202-633-4554. Email: email@example.com. Applications and letters of support are due February 1, 2016.
How do I pay for HYM Course?
Participants must pay tuition for the course, as well as meals and lodging for twelve
nights at Highlands Biological Station, to the Entomological Society of
Washington by April 1, 2016. Tuition covers the cost of
holding the course.
Costs for HYM Course 2016
Meals and lodging = US$600
Tuition = US$1000
Payments (US$1,600) must be made in U.S. dollars. Checks drawn on a U.S. bank
or money orders or cashier's checks (international/domestic) should be made
payable to Entomological Society of Washington and mailed to: 8305 Mary
Lee Lane, Laurel, MD 20723, U.S.A. If payment via personal check or cashier's
check is difficult, contact the ESW Treasurer via email (firstname.lastname@example.org
or email@example.com) to arrange payment via bank-to-bank electronic funds
What is Highlands Biological Station like?
The Highlands Biological Station (HBS) was founded in 1927 as a small private
research facility by a group of amateur and professional biologists and
concerned citizens in the Highlands, North Carolina area. Organized initially
as the Highlands Biological Laboratory, Inc., its first laboratory building was
built in 1930. The rich diversity of the region attracted researchers working
on many different taxa and systems; this led to growing support from the State
of North Carolina and the National Science Foundation, with additional labs and
dorms built in the 1950s and 60s, land and building acquisition in the 1980s,
and further infrastructure and facilities improvements in 2001 and 2012. Highlands,
and its immediate surroundings, are arguably the most biologically significant
area in the Appalachian Mountains. The Station is located near the crest of the
Blue Ridge on a high plateau at an elevation of 4,000 feet (1,200 m); the town
advertises itself as the "highest incorporated town east of the Rocky Mountains."
It lies just west of the main drainage divide of the eastern part of the
continent. Surrounding peaks on the Blue Ridge exceed 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in
elevation. The Cowee Mountains lie to the north, and beyond them lie the
Balsams. To the northwest are the Great Smoky Mountains, with the Nantahalas to
the west, across the Little Tennessee Valley. South and southeast of the
Highlands Plateau is a series of river gorges, with the highest waterfalls in
eastern North America. These rivers include the Toxaway, Horsepasture,
Thompson, Whitewater, and Chattooga. The latter has been designated a National
Wild and Scenic River and flows through the Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area a
short distance south of the Station. Much of the land in the vicinity of Highlands
is part of the Nantahala National Forest. Sections of the Pisgah, Chattahoochee
(Georgia), and Sumter (South Carolina) National Forests are nearby.
How do I get to Highlands, North Carolina?
There are three airports around Highlands, North Carolina,
ranging from 1.5 to 3 hours away in Asheville, N.C., Greer, S.C., and Atlanta,
G.A. The Asheville
Regional Airport is 58 miles from the Highlands Biological Station,
or 90 minutes. Allegiant, Continental, Delta, United, and US Airways operate at
this airport. Atlanta is the largest international hub in the United States,
making international travel to this Hym Course quite easy. Shuttle service to
Asheville Regional Airport will be provided for Hym Course attendees.
How do I return home from Highlands Biological Station?
HYM Course will provide van shuttle service from Highlands Biological Station
to Asheville Regional Airport. Participants can return home using the modes of
transportation mentioned above.
What do I need to do to prepare for HYM Course?
Preparation for the course is not required. However, acquiring and reading
introductory portions of the recommended texts on the "Home" tab of
this website, especially Hymenoptera of the World (Goulet and Huber 1993),
would be helpful for individuals with little or no entomological background.
Other general references that students might find useful (excluding those on
the "Home" tab of this website).
Askew, R. R. Parasitic Insects. American Elsevier Publishing Company,
Inc., New York. 316 pp.
Clausen, C. P. Entomophagous Insects. Hafner Publishing Co., Inc., New
York. v–x+688 pp.
Gauld, I. and B. Bolton. 1988. The Hymenoptera. Oxford University
Press, New York. v–xi+332 pp.
Godfray, H. C. J. 1994. Parasitoids: Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology.
Princeton University Press, Princeton. i–ix+473 pp.
Hanson, P. E. and I. D. Gauld. 1995. The Hymenoptera of Costa Rica.
Oxford University Press, New York. i–xx+893 pp.
Hölldobler, R. and E. O. Wilson. 1990. The Ants. The Belknap Press of
Harvard University Press, Cambridge. i–xii+773 pp.
LaSalle, J. and I. D. Gauld. 1993. Hymenoptera and Biodiversity. CAB
International, Wallingford. i–xi+348 pp.
Michener, C. D. The Bees of the World. The Johns Hopkins University
Press, Baltimore. i–xiv+913 pp.
O'Neil, K. M. 2001. Solitary Wasps. Behavior and Natural History.
Cornell University Press, Ithaca. i–xiii+406 pp.
Quicke, D. L. J. 1997. Parasitic Wasps. Chapman & Hall, London.
Raman, A., C. W. Schaefer, and T. M. Withers. Biology, Ecology, and
Evolution of Gall-Inducing Arthropods. Volume 2. Science Publishers, Inc.,
Enfield. i–xviii+817 pp.
Shaw, M. R. and T. Huddleston. 1991. Classification and biology of the braconid
wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Handbooks for the Identification of
British Insects 7: 1–126.
What taxa are covered in HYM Course?
The following taxa are covered in HYM Course. Coverage for each taxon is at the
family-level unless noted in parentheses. Chalcidoidea (subfamily for most),
Mymarommatoidea, Ceraphronoidea, Cynipoidea (subfamily and lower),
Platygastroidea, Proctotrupoidea, Apoidea, Chrysidoidea, Vespoidea (subfamily
for ants), Ichneumonoidea (subfamily), Evanioidea, Megalyroidea, Stephanoidea,
Trigonalyoidea, and Symphyta. Please note that while sawflies,
woodwasps, bees, and ants are covered in this course to provide a complete view
of Hymenoptera, parasitic and predatory wasps are the focus of the course.
What do I need to bring to HYM Course?
Highlands will provide beds; bedding and towels must be brought by
course participants. Individuals who have certain supplies of their
own are encouraged to bring them. This is especially true with regard to items
such as the recommended texts (see "Home" tab of this website),
particularly Hymenoptera of the World, insect nets, aspirators, fine
forceps, and specimen manipulators. Students are welcome to bring specimens
from their projects (preferably dehydrated and mounted) to consult with the
instructors on identification as time permits.
The following supplies will be available to all students for use during
Insect pins (#2 & #3)
Point punch, heavy-weight archival paper (e.g., bristol board), and glue for
point and card-mounting small specimens
Ethanol for specimen preservation
Insect storage boxes
The following items are things that you are expected to bring.
Notebook for course lectures, labs, and symposium
Pens or pencils
Field notebook [pocket-sized notebook]
Flashlight or headlamp (for nocturnal collecting and walking safely at night)
Coat or jacket
Field clothes (i.e., clothing for which you do not care if it gets wet,
stained, or torn)
Sturdy boots or shoes for the field (i.e., footwear for which you do not care
if it gets wet, stained, or torn)
Canteen or water bottle
Collecting bag or backpack to carry gear in the field
Paper and Ziploc bags to collect materials for rearing
Cash for local personal purchases
Insect repellant (also, we recommend treating field clothing, at least one set,
with a permethrin soak)
The following items are things that you might consider bringing.
Swiss Army knife or Leatherman multi-tool
Can I keep the specimens I collect during HYM Course?
Yes. Permits are not needed to collect insects on the field station grounds and
environs. Pinned specimens or specimens in vials should be placed in checked
baggage. Alcohol should be drained from vials so that only the specimens remain
in the vials. Participants interested in keeping the specimens they collect will
be given a letter explaining what the material is and that it can be taken out
of the USA.
HYM Course 2006 Photos