Did you know that insects represent more than fifty percent of all named species on the planet? It's true. They may be tiny and we may not notice them, but insects are pretty much everywhere. They have a bigger effect on our lives than most people think. Welcome to Bugs 101, a Massive Open Online Course brought to you by the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta. My name is Maya Evenden, and I will be your professor for the next 12 weeks. My background is in insect chemical ecology and insect behavior. I'm interested in how insects produce, perceive, and respond to chemical cues in their environment. Whether those cues are produced by other members of the same species or different species including the plants they feed on. At the University of Alberta, the study subjects in my lab include insects considered to be pests of agricultural and forest ecosystems in Alberta. We apply our knowledge of insect chemical ecology and behavior for the development of integrated pest management tactics against these economically important species. The University of Alberta and the province of Alberta have rich traditions in entomology, the study of insects. Edgar Harold Strickland was the first entomologist to join the faculty here in 1922. He made important contributions to agricultural entomology in the young province and established the Department of Entomology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Strickland's legacy lives on at the University of Alberta in the EH Strickland Entomological Museum, which houses approximately 1 million insect specimens including his own important collections of Albertan fauna. Throughout this course, you will get to see how entomologists use insect museums like the Strickland for research, community engagement, and teaching purposes. Following service in World War II, Colonel Strickland was joined in the Department of Entomology by Professor Brian Hocking in 1946, whose research and teaching interests included insect morphology, physiology, and pest control. Professor Hocking broadened the expertise of the department to include research on insect flight as well as medically important research on biting flies and how to manage them. Professor Hocking was passionate about communicating research to entomologists and non-entomologists alike. He was the founding editor of the department�s scientific journal, Quaestiones Entomologicae. Insect questions. To inform non-entomologists of the importance of insects, Professor Hocking talked bugs to the public on a radio broadcast for over 10 years. In 1954, Dr. George Ball, an insect systematist, someone who studies evolutionary relationships with an inordinate fondness for beetles, joined the department. Dr. Ball's legacy in training entomologists would establish the University of Alberta as an entomological powerhouse in Canada and the world. Dr. Ball's research established the EH Strickland Entomological Museum as world-renowned resource for ground beetle specimens. The museum houses approximately 300,000 ground beetles specimens alone. Over the next 40 years, the department continued to expand, adding new expertise and graduate students from all over the world. In 1994, the Department of Entomology left the faculty of Agriculture and Forestry where it had been housed since 1922 and joined the Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Entomology continued to be recognized as an important part of this new department, and arthropod researchers continued to be added to the faculty. Insect research continues to flourish at the University of Alberta. To develop this course, we have drawn on this wide range of expertise and experience. Bugs 101 is a course that examines the impact of insects and their close relatives on humans. Specifically, we'll highlight insect related research from researchers here at the University of Alberta and in Western Canada. In the 12 modules of Bugs 101, we'll explore the history of insect evolution, their anatomy, behavior and complex interactions that insects have with plants and other organisms. We'll explore examples and techniques in insect pest management, and discuss the important ecological roles of beneficial insects. Like pollinators, decomposers, and biological control agents. Finally, we'll examine the roles of insects in human culture and learn how insects have inspired human religions, art, movies, literature, and scientific advancements. Whether you're passionate about insects or terrified of anything that crawls, Bugs 101 will provide insight into the key adaptations that have made insects such successful inhabitants of this planet and, in turn, so important to human society. You'll discover how an understanding of insect biology and behavior can help us to better manage the direct and indirect impacts insects have on humans. Throughout the course, you will meet several instructors. All of whom are associated with entomology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Joelle Lemmen, Ilan Domnich, and Valerie Marshall, will introduce themselves right now. Hi. My name is Valerie Marshall. I studied ecology here at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Science, and I'm excited for you to learn about the fascinating ways that insects interact with each other, their environments, plants, and other animals. Every module has something really interesting to learn from the chemical cues that insects used to select a host plant, to the transmission of diseases, to their presence in literary classics. So I hope you find something that really interests you. Hi. I'm Ilan Domnich. My animal biology degree from the University of Alberta was focused on invertebrate zoology. Insects have truly inspired me throughout the years. The fascinating adaptations and sheer diversity of insects may leave you speechless. I can't wait to tell you about how these strange creatures operate, and the many ways these small organisms have big impacts on our lives. From mating for months at a time, to parasitic wasps that hijack the minds of their hosts. This course is full of interesting concepts that are sure to expand your appreciation of the natural world. Hi. I am Joelle Lemmen Lechelt. I received my PhD in Ecology here at the University of Alberta and I studied insect chemical ecology in Maya Evenden's lab. I love insects, and I'm constantly amazed and excited to learn about new insects, where they live, and how they have flourished. To me, they are endlessly fascinating. I am, especially, interested in how insects interact with their environment and food sources, which is something that is a common theme throughout this course. I really hope you enjoy learning about insects here, and that you take some of what you learn out into the world to appreciate the little things in the natural world around us. Each module includes videos, course notes, and supplementary readings, and should take you about two to three hours per week to complete. Throughout the course, important vocabulary words and concepts are highlighted as glossary terms in two ways, course terms and reference terms. Course terms are presented in bolded font in the lectures and in uppercase text in the glossary. The reference glossary terms are presented in regular font and lowercase in the lectures and glossary, respectively. Bugs 101 comes with a downloadable packet that describes how the course works and includes a course map, so you can see what you will learn in each module. Make sure you download the PDF file after watching this video and before you start the lessons. Before you begin, we encourage you to take the pre-course quiz. Don't worry, it won't affect your grade. The purpose of the pre-course quiz is to gauge your initial impressions and pre-existing knowledge of insects. We'll repeat it as a post-course quiz, so you can see how your answers change and measure the knowledge you've gained by the end of the course. After you've finished this introduction, simply open the quiz in module zero to get started. We also have interactive learning objects or ILOs, available throughout the course for you to test your knowledge and skills in a different way. These are small web-based apps that incorporate the concepts you will learn into engaging activities. If you have any questions or concerns during the course, feel free to post on the Coursera discussion forums. Our course facilitator will be there to help. You can also talk to lots of other people going through the course. In fact, why not start a conversation now? Click on the link to the forum, select the thread titled, "Why Study Insects?" Let us know why you think people should learn more about insects. Do you feel that insects have important roles to play in our ecosystems? Or do you think of them as more of a nuisance? Let us know. We look forward to hearing from you. When you are ready, take the pre-course quiz. Then you can either join us in the forum or click on the first module to begin the course. See you again in module one.