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Welcome to the website of the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum (LSAM) Foundation
We provide a valuable service to the citizens of Louisiana and elsewhere through diagnostic, outreach, and repository services. To ensure a steady source of income during periods of financial uncertainty, our foundation fund was created.? It provides a reliable source of interest-generated income for our museum.
Gifts of all sizes are appreciated. Donations may take the form of cash, pledges over time; donations of securities, tangible personal property, real estate, bequests and other types of planned giving.
For more information call 225-578-1838 or e-mail Victoria Bayless at (email@example.com).
Thank you! Your donations, large and small, are extremely important to our work!
What Your Donations Support
Insect identification and diagnostic services
Accurate identification is the first and most important step in combating potential insect threats:
- Public Health
West Nile virus, Chagas disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and various pet diseases are all transmitted by various arthropod species. Using resources available through the LSAM, these pests can be properly identified and evaluated so that money, resources, and time are not wasted on cases of mistaken identity.
- Agriculture, Forestry and Urban Pests
Newly introduced crop pests have the potential to cause millions of dollars of damage over a short period of time. Often, much information is available about how to control these pests in their native lands, but without a proper identification this body of knowledge cannot be accessed.
Waves of invasive bark beetles, Gypsy moths, and other insects pose a continuous threat to Louisiana?s valuable timber resources. Treatment must involve accurate identification of these foreign pests. A growing collection of insect specimens from around the world greatly assists in these identifications.
The Formosan Subterranean Termite costs southern states over $1 billion a year in damages, repairs, and control efforts. New Orleans alone has spent nearly $300 million as a result of these destructive insects. Our ports of entry are constantly being threatened by pests such as these, and diagnostic services are necessary to prevent future attacks from potential billion-dollar pests.
Public outreach and education
Insects are an important part of the natural environment, and are absolutely essential in maintaining ecological systems. One of the most important insect services is pollination of natural and crop plants such as strawberries, cotton, and soybeans. Decomposition of dead plant and animal matter is another important role that insects play. Additionally, the succession of these insects can be utilized by forensic entomologists to determine the time of death for both humans and poached animals. Providing favorable conditions for existing insect predators and parasites of harmful pests can help reduce the cost and potential ecological harm of pesticide usage.
Public outreach via presentations and displays help communicate a better understanding of the importance of insects and the services they provide. LSAM participates in AgMagic, GEMS Day, and other notable campus-wide events. We have also given several day-long public display presentations and teacher workshops.
Louisiana's largest insect collection
Insect research collections are a valuable and indispensable connection with the past. Each specimen represents a species recorded from a time and place. It carries with it a unique morphology and genetic code. These specimens allow one to analyze past populations and track changes in geographic range and draw connections with changes in weather and climate. It is important that the collection remains active, both to preserve these specimens from the past (our oldest specimen is from 1895!) and to continuously add new specimens, so that researchers of the future will have a link to the past.
Another aspect of the living museum is collaboration; allowing researchers from around the world to utilize our insect collection for their own studies is an important function of our museum. Specialists have come from such prestigious research facilities as The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and from as far as Florida, California, Norway, Russia, and New Zealand.
Please consider a lasting donation to the LSAM Foundation so that we may continue and increase our ability to service stakeholders in Louisiana and the systematics community around the world.