Members of the public are invited to indulge their curiosity about spiders during a special event featuring some of the foremost arachnologists in the country.
“Casual Night With Arachnids” will take place from 7-9 p.m. Sunday, July 22 in Mary Ann Cofrin (MAC) Hall on the UW-Green Bay campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. The event is part of a national meeting of the American Arachnological Society, which UW-Green Bay is hosting July 20-24. More than 100 spider experts from around the country will attend the meeting and the “Casual Night” event, according to UW-Green Bay’s resident arachnologist, Associate Prof. Mike Draney.
The evening will kick off at 7 p.m. in MAC Hall, Room 210, with spider activities led by Matt Welter, curator of education at the Neville Public Museum of Brown County. Video and Power Point presentations on various arachnid-related topics will begin at 7:30 p.m., with at least five individuals presenting.
“Casual Night” attendees are invited to bring spiders or spider photos with them for assistance in identification or to receive answers to spider-related questions. Throughout the evening, research posters on assorted subjects will be on display in the MAC Hall Winter Garden, and attendees will be able to view interesting photos and a Wisconsin spider research display. Members of the public are invited to come and go as they choose, but are encouraged to arrive by 7:30 to secure a spot for viewing presentations.
“Casual Night with Arachnids” is a good chance for members of the public to get information on — and maybe just change their minds about — often-maligned spiders, Draney said.
“It might be a good thing, even if you are a little bit arachnophobic, to come and meet people who are, you know, arachnophillic,” Draney said. “And you might have a different perspective on spiders after meeting a hundred people that spend their lives studying them.”