Entomology 102

Entomology in Human Health

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: R.S. Zack

An Insect’s Eye View of the Course

Elephants are always drawn smaller than life, but a flea always larger.
– Dean Swift

“What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where you come from? ” the Gnat inquired.
“I don’t rejoice in insects at all, ” Alice explained …..

– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass


1. To provide an introduction to arthropods and to foster an interest in them as agents of medical maladies.
2. To develop an appreciation of arthropods as one of the dominant vectors of communicable diseases.
3. To explore the historical and contemporary significance of insect/human interactions.
4. To provide students with an appreciation of the science of entomology and the significance of entomological research in their daily lives.


The course consists of two lectures per week and various in and out of class activities. Attendance at class periods is mandatory, as most course information is not easily attained other than by attending class.


  • Service, M. W. Medical Entomology for Students. 2004. Cambridge University Press. New York, New York
  • Arguin, P. M., P. E. Kozarsky, and A. W. Navin, editors. 2005. Health Information for International Travel. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia. 534 pp.



  • A. Quizzes (25% of final grade)
    A number (at least 15) multiple choice, fill-in and/or short answer quizzes will be given at the end of class periods. Quizzes will cover readings and material presented in the classroom from the previous class or that day’s class.
  • A. Two quizzes will be dropped – these can be missed quizzes or low score quizzes.
    There will be no make-up quizzes. Please note that these quizzes are a very important part of your grade so, do not take them lightly.
  • B. Midterm (19% of final grade)
    There will be one midterm exam as indicated on the course schedule. It will consist
    of multiple choice, fill in the blank, and short answer questions. An example of a
    midterm exam will be available on the course website.
  • C. Final Exam (19%)
    A final exam will be given during our scheduled time during finals week. The
    format for the exam will be the same as the midterm. It will only include material
    covered during last half of the course (since the midterm).

2. Project (20% of final grade)
I would like you to take one arbodiseases (or a set of related diseases) and prepare a research paper discussing the disease and its social or cultural implications. Diseases such as malaria, plague, and yellow fever have had profound effects on human development, historical expansion, cultural development, and economic development to name just a few of the influences. Many of these diseases have had significant effects on the outcomes of wars. You can take this paper in whatever direction you wish.

Your paper should include references and be at least 5-6 pages long (12 point font, double spaced). Include illustrations if possible. Be creative. For example, do not just settle for the fact that malaria is responsible for a million or more deaths each year. How has malaria affected the economic and cultural development of sub-Saharan Africa? What programs have been instituted to try to manage malaria? What is the future of malaria and the millions that suffer from it? I would be happy to talk to you about a possible project subject. Please get started on this as soon as possible! If you wait until the last minute, you will have a poor paper. Think about using this paper for your writing portfolio if you still need to compile one.

3. Book Review (17% of final grade)
Each student is asked to select a book from the list provided on this page. Copies of these books are available for you to examine in my office – you will need to order a copy of the book for yourself. All of these books are available from local (by order) or .com bookstores. If you wish to review a book that is not included on the list, you must have it approved by the instructor. You will read the book and write a review of it. Your review should be at least 4-5 pages in length and include discussions of the contents of the book as well as its quality. The review should be typed, double-spaced.

6. Bonus Points
Bonus points will be offered throughout the semester. These bonus assignments are at the whim of the instructor but the instructor likes to give them. Take advantage of them.

Class Etiquette

Please turn off and do not use cell phones in class.
Please do not use your MP3 player in class
Please do not carry on conversations with other students during class
Please respect your fellow students and the instructor


Cheating is the copying or plagiarizing of the work of another. Please do not cheat.
1. for the first offense the student will receive a “zero” for the test or assignment.
2. A second offense will result in the dropping of or the failure of the course.

Students with Disabilities

I am committed to providing assistance that will help all students be successful in this course and reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities. Please feel free to visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC) during the first two weeks of the semester to seek information or to qualify for accommodations. All accommodations MUST be approved through the DRC, which is located in room 205 of the Administration Annex Bldg. Please call 509-335-3417 to make an appointment with a counselor.

Grades will be determined as follows:
90-100% A
80-89% B
70-79% C
60-69% D
Below 60 % F