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The WaspID Course

The WaspID Course returned for its second session from 9-20 January 2023! We are hard at work preparing future course iterations, and we expect our next session will occur in 2024. Please watch this page for updates regarding future course offerings, and join our mailing list below to stay informed. You may also wish to interact with us through twitter and our Facebook group for updates regarding potential course offering! As with our previous sessions, upcoming courses will be delivered virtually over zoom. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive updates on possible next sessions, please click the button below:

About the WaspID Course

The WaspID Course was first envisioned by Louis Nastasi in August 2021 during a lively twitter conversation discussing identification of wasps. Just six months later, the first ever session of the WaspID Course was delivered from 3-14 January, 2022 for over 330 registered students. The first session included lectures from nearly 20 hymenopterists (scientists that study wasps and their kin) who shared their expertise on the incredible diversity of wasps. Our second course session, which was delivered from 9-20 January, 2023, was attended by over 400 students!

A cuckoo wasp (Chrysididae: Hedychrum) photographed by Sloan Tomlinson, one of the WaspID Course’s instructors. Members of the genus Hedychrum lay their eggs in nests of beewolves where their larvae will grow and develop into adults.

Course content

The WaspID Course covers the following concepts:

  • Introductory systematics, taxonomy, and biodiversity
  • Wasp morphology
  • General wasp biology
  • How to collect and rear wasps
  • Insect preservation and curation
  • Identification and recognition of every extant wasp family (over 80!)

A spider-hunting wasp (Pompilidae: Poecilopompilus algidus) photographed by Sloan Tomlinson, one of the WaspID Course’s instructors. Spider-hunting wasps such as this species paralyze spiders and use them to provide food for their offspring.

Why take the WaspID Course?

Fantastic instructors

The WaspID Course has recruited an incredible team of instructors, each of whom will teach students about their area of expertise. Course faculty include graduate students, museum specialists, and university professors from all around the world! The 2023 course session will feature content from 19 instructors.

Course resources

The WaspID Course supplies students with a vast array of resources for identifying wasps including comprehensive literature lists, identification guides, and even 3D specimen images! What exactly is a 3D specimen image? Sign up for the course and find out!

Accessible content

The WaspID Course is the first course of its kind to offer both synchronous and asynchronous participation! Lectures, workshops, and other course materials are available entirely asynchronously to allow students to investigate the diversity of wasps at their own pace. Each lecture includes transcripts and original lecture slides. Those desiring a more-traditional course experience can attend live zoom sessions including live Q&A and collaborative identification exercises.

A community of wasp fanatics

The first session of the WaspID Course allowed us to construct an extensive network of wasp fans from around the world! Our twitter page, Facebook group, and other forms of correspondence have sought to bring people together to discuss the incredible diversity of wasps. We are continually finding new ways to showcase these incredible insects and engage with the scientific community!

WaspID certification

The WaspID Course offers a certificate of completion for those seeking formal documentation of their participation in the course. Students may also opt for a graded version of the course to comply with institutional requirements.

Do you need more convincing? See what previous students have to say about the WaspID Course!

“I thought [the course] was a great way to connect a global audience. The virtual formatting encouraged interaction amongst participants, was well organized, and provided an abundance of information in various formats.”

Over 98% of students surveyed during the 2022 session say they’d recommend the WaspID Course!

A wonderful way to get immersed in wasps in the middle of the Canadian winter, super flexible in terms of managing other competing priorities through the asynchronous options, and an amazing way to meet people from all over the world!

A ophionine ichneumon wasp (Ichueumonidae: Ophioninae) photographed by Sloan Tomlinson, one of the WaspID Course’s instructors. Ophionine wasps are nocturnal and many species parasitize caterpillars.

Course cost

The WaspID Course is supported by a modest fee that is used to support instructors for their time and to generate new content for the course. The course structure for the 2023 session will be as follows (although exact amounts are subject to change):

  • Normal registration: $50
  • Student registration: $40
  • Normal registration including certification: $60
  • Student registration including certification: $50
  • Fully graded: $100 (this option is suitable for undergraduate/graduate students who are eligible for course credits through their home institutions for external workshops; more information here)

Options including certification will result in a certificate of completion for the enrolled student upon submission of completed course worksheets and an accompanying certification form.

The WaspID Course is an educational opportunity run through participation of many members of the entomological community. All materials used on this website are the property of their respective owners.