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Advanced EE: Caterpillars and Moths

  • 1:00pm Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 1:00pm Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Advanced Environmental Education (EE) series of workshops is designed for environmental educators who want to deepen their knowledge of the natural world through interactions with veteran naturalists and natural science experts. This series strives to build a network of like-minded educators and cultivate the next generation of master North Carolina naturalists.

Caterpillars and Moths

Do you give an insect or life cycle program at your park or nature center? Take your program to the next level!

Join Museum experts in in the field to increase your knowledge of caterpillars and moths. Discover tips for finding, raising, and identifying caterpillars and moths. Gain a deeper understanding of species diversity and natural history to add depth to your programs. And take home a copy of the Wagner’s Caterpillars of Eastern North America to continue learning!


  • How to find and raise caterpillars and attract moths
  • Lepidoptera anatomy and life cycles
  • Caterpillar and moth identification
  • Equipment and resources for studying lepidoptera


Chris Goforth is the head of citizen science at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. She leads citizen science educational experiences for educators, school groups, and the public, and develops and manages new citizen science projects for the Museum. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in entomology and spent over a decade studying aquatic insects in Arizona before moving to North Carolina. Since her arrival at the Museum, her entomological research has focused on dragonfly swarming behaviors and behavioral responses to weather, both of which rely on citizen scientist-generated data, but she also studies how people learn through citizen science experiences. Chris’ twin passions are entomology and teaching, so she is at her happiest with a group of people interested in learning about the amazing things that insects do and documenting the species they see for science. She loves moths almost as much as aquatic insects and is a dedicated moth-er. She also adores “blacklighting,” or using light to attract insects at night, and is knowledgeable about the varied means entomologists use light to find, document, and collect insects that are often hidden during normal business hours. As a self-identified night owl, Chris has stayed up all night on more than one occasion to look for moths and other insects at lights and enjoys that there are insects that share her preference for staying up really late.

Melissa Dowland is the coordinator of Teacher Education at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. She provides professional development workshops to schools, teachers, and informal educators from across North Carolina. Since starting her career at the Museum, she has participated in and coordinated a major station on caterpillars for the Museum’s Bugfest each year. She has found and identified hundreds of caterpillars, and she has temporarily housed or raised many caterpillars as well. Melissa’s educational training is in geology and environmental sciences. She has led educational field experiences to all corners of North Carolina, from the mountains to the coast, on topics ranging from the state’s geological history to the ecology of coastal ecosystems, and further afield to Yellowstone National Park. Her passion is experiencing the outdoors and sharing it with others.


Email Melissa Dowland with your name, organization, county, and cell phone number.


  • Fee: Free; registration required
  • Requirements: This workshop is specifically designed for environmental education professionals, though all educators are welcome to attend.
  • Program Instructor: Chris Goforth and Melissa Dowland
  • Categories: , ,


September 14, 2019 @ 1:00 pm
September 15, 2019 @ 1:00 pm
Free; registration required


Melissa Dowland


Prairie Ridge
1671 Gold Star Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607 United States
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