Dr. Lockwood will discuss the topic of his 2009 book, Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect that Shaped the American Frontier. The infamous Rocky Mountain locust was the most abundant terrestrial creature on earth in the 19th century, but the last living specimen was caught in 1903. The extinction of this species was one of the great, ecological mysteries in the decades that followed—and now that we know its fate, there are profound lessons for our own future.
Jeff Lockwood was hired as an insect ecologist at the University of Wyoming in 1986. But over the course of 20 years he metamorphosed into a Professor of Natural Sciences & Humanities. His position is split between the department of philosophy and the MFA program in creative writing—along with an appointment in the Program in Ecology. He teaches courses in environmental ethics and the philosophy of ecology, along with writing workshops in nature and environmental writing. His essays have been honored with a Pushcart Prize, a John Burroughs Award, and inclusion in Best American Science & Nature Writing. His most recent books are Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War and The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe and Love Insects.