Denali is home to more than 50 different butterflies. These elegant insects of Denali are among the smallest yet most numerous of Denali’s denizens. Without butterflies and other pollinators, the abundant wildflowers and berries that carpet Denali’s landscape would not exist. And pollinating is just one of many essential roles that these and other insects play in Denali. Insects are the most abundant wildlife in Denali, yet people know little about these tiny and easily ignored creatures. A close look into the park’s micro-wilderness reveals a whole new world of wonder. This summer Alaska Geographic offers a rare opportunity to explore Denali National Park’s micro wilderness with entomologists from the National Park Service and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Jessica Rykken, NPS entomologist, and Derek Sikes from the University of Alaska Fairbanks will draw on their five-year arthropod study in the park to teach the class. Participants will visit their research sites in the Denali backcountry and help with data collection. Space is limited for this June 22-24th course.
To sign up for Denali’s Micro-Wilderness: Insects and Spiders, visit the Alaska Geographic Field Course page.