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Faculty member's research published in American Entomologist

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

After teaching for 36 years with more than two decades at Breck, Lower School Technology Coordinator Dave Kust continues his learning in a topic he is passionate about: science, specifically the study of the Monarch Butterfly.

In 2001, after more than a decade at Breck as a Lower School instructor, Kust submitted a proposal for a sabbatical to study the butterfly.

“I wanted to be able to extensively explore one subject rather than just scratching the surface of so many topics,” Kust remarks in his sabbatical proposal.  He wanted to learn more about the species as well as the phenomenon of its migration.

The sabbatical led him to a year of exploration, study, and travel where he worked with Monarch experts and biologists in the U.S. and Mexico.

In March of 2016, Dave was asked to be part of a research team, making observations and gathering data following another severe storm in the monarch sanctuaries of Mexico.  After a week of work in the monarch region and several months synthesizing and collaborating with colleagues, parts of his work can be seen in the most recently published issue of American Entomologist. 

“Butterfly mortality and salvage logging from the March 2016 storm in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico” appears in the fall issue and can be found here

The article showcases the work of Lincoln Brower (Sweet Briar College) and Ernest Williams (Hamilton College) with contributing work by Kust and his colleagues M. Isabel Ramîrez (Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro) and Daniel Slayback (Biospheric Sciences Lab NASA Goddard Space Flight Center).

Congratulations, Dave, on your continued work!