Visiting Chungnam National University

2017.04.06.

I visited Junggon Kim, a PhD candidate at Chungnam National University (CNU) located in Daejeon Metropolitan City of South Korea, studying systematics of Miridae (Hemiptera). We’ve been knowing each other for about or over 10 years now. Couple of years back, he requested me to collect some nearctic Miridae samples, and I gladly accepted to collect and send them to him. As I’m visiting South Korea this time, I decided to personally bring  the collections to him and meet with at his lab. As the place I’m staying is quite far away from CNU, I had to take an intercity bus (similar to Greyhound of the U.S., that goes across the cities and states), taking about 3 hours of total trip to get there.

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10,000 won in Korea is about $10 in the USD. It took about two hours just for the intercity bus, and about an hour from my place to the intercity bus station at Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.

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Finally, after three hours, I arrived at the CNU at Daejeon Metropolitan City of South Korea. This is my very first visit to this city, honestly, and didn’t really realize this city is very urban-like. I never really been to elsewhere from Seoul in my childhood, so I don’t know much about other places. With a wrong bus after arriving to Daejeon Metropolitan City, I dropped off at the main entrance of CNU, I had to walk like 0.7 miles, and as it took some time to get to the building we decided to meet, Junggon came to pick me up with his car. The building that we were suppose to meet was the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which is located far back in the campus, takes about a mile to get there from the front entrance.

As I found out the very last intercity bus which would take me back to my place departs at 9PM, and I arrived there at CNU on 6PM, we really had to be quick about everything. I met Junggon Kim (PhD candidate) and Hangyeol Ji (MS student, Tingidae). Ji is a current manager of online web community, 곤충사육필살기 (gon-choong-saa-yook-feel-sal-gii, meaning super technique to rear insects), housing over five thousand members. The community page has lots of adult-members compares to other communities so this page is very well sorted, with lots of well-mannered members, which is why I’m also a member there.

Right after I met these two, we went to have a dinner together. Then two current undergraduate students named Jaedong Kim (microlepidoptera) and Jihoon Kim (Scarabaeidae) came over to the restaurant. I’ve been knowing these two from other web communities, and they are very knowledgeable students working toward getting entomology degrees. As they happened to be there in CNU, I decided to meet them as well.

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Their collection room was quite messy as they were keep updating things. Junggon showed me around and explained why the place is quite messy and drawers are not sorted very well. He says Their new collections are separately sorted and maintained as fluid collections for the DNA extraction. All the dried specimens here are from old time with past advisers/professors. Still, there were A LOT of dried collections.

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It was interesting as there were lots of public display collections as well as bunch of mixed up butterflies, beetles, and other things. Some are labeled and some are not, but still mixed up altogether. Kim says everyone is busy as well as professors so no one really go back to the collection room to sort things to here and there. Lots of specimens were donated from the students took entomology lectures and labs, so some of them were in bad conditions as well.

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From the left to right: Jihoon Kim (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), Jaedong Kim (micro moth), Junsuk Kim (author), Hangyeol Ji (Hemiptera: Tingidae), Junggon Kim (Hemiptera: Miridae).

As the time closed by to 9PM, I had to hurry and leave the CNU. Thankfully, Junggon Kim gave me a quick ride to the intercity bus station so I wasn’t late, and I returned to home at around 12PM. Although it was very short trip to CNU, I enjoyed my time with good people there.

Visiting the National Institute of Biological Resources

2017.04.05.

National Institute of Biological Resources (NIBR) is an institute located in Incheon, South Korea, housing a great number of natural resources collections, working towards conservations of species, and many other projects. This was my second visit since the summer 2015, with small collections donation. Dr. Taewoo Kim, once again welcomed me with couple of other researchers of NIBR.

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Dr. Taewoo Kim told me as he got a meetings, I will have to go to his office at Department of Animal Resources, and wait for him. (Last time, he picked me up at the first floor of Research and Management Building)

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As I was an outsider to this institute, I had to wear this visitor’s pass. Two other researchers (Dr. Hong-Yul Seo and Dr. Tae Hwa Kang) welcomed me in, and Dr. Kang showed me around the collections room once again.

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Their cabinets were interesting, as they have to steer(?) each handle to move around the cabinets and access the drawers. I think it saves a great space.

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He also showed me how my last donations are sorted. At first, these were sorted together with Korean species, but as these aren’t the collections which always come in and added, the Dr. Kang said, any non Korean specimens are sorted separately from Koreans.

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Last time, I visited on Monday, which is a holiday for Exhibit & Education Building, so I did not get a chance to look around, but this time, Dr. Kang showed me around entire place and explained lots of things. I think this place has great collections even to the public. Then, we enjoyed a lunch with Dr. Taewoo Kim, and went couple of other lab rooms to meet many other researchers.

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As a gift to donors, I received two aspirators for different types of insect collecting from NIBR. I met couple of people I knew from the Internet as well. Also, as an appreciation to donors, there is this screen at first floor lists the donors and their information. (image below)

20170405_130535It is written in Korean, but it says my name, Junsuk Kim and the affiliation at the time of donation, which was University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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From left to right: Dr. Tae Hwa Kang(Coleoptera: Cantharidae), Junsuk Kim(Author), and Dr. Taewoo Kim(Orthoptera). A Young Kim (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Behind camera).

I’m really appreciated to visit there with a great welcome and advice with gifts, thank you all.

Visiting the Seoul National University

03 April 2017

Seoul National University (SNU) is a national research university located in Seoul, South Korea. It is the most prestigious university in the country. There are three campuses with main one located in Gwanak, Seoul.

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Jang, H., S. Lee, and W. Choi. 2015. Cerambycidae of Korea. Geobook, Seoul, South Korea. 399 pp.

I visited Seunghyun Lee, a PhD candidate of systematic of entomology, focusing on family Cerambycidae, at Seoul National University. He has published number of journal papers and a book of all the known Cerambycidae species occurring in South Korea with his colleagues, Hyunkyu Jang and Woong Choi. I brought him a gift of nearctic Cerambycidae in both dried collections and fluid collections for him to work on DNA sequencing. And then he treated me a nice, warm dinner with a tour to his laboratory. The purpose of visit is to meet Seunghyun Lee in person as well as to see how insect collections are housed in SNU.

_DSC5220This is how the entrance of SNU looks like. There is a big structure (partially shaded by tree on right). (Photo taken in June 2015).

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An image of collection room. The collection cabinets can be moved by door handle there. You will have to rotate it to access each cabinets. It seems it can save a lot of space, except it would be difficult to have many different people to work on their own things.

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Scarab drawers.

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Drawers had hooks to lock them up, which I’ve seen it couple of times.

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This room here is for graduate students to work on their research. This room had photographing equipment and the equipment for DNA molecular works.

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His photography were amazing, and says he just works in this set up, with StackShot device connected to the camera with electronic macro slide.

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From left to right: Seunghyun Lee, Junsuk Kim(author), Jinbae Seung(Eucneimidae, Histeridae), Minhyeuk Lee

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From left to right: Seunghyun Lee(Cerambycidae), Junsuk Kim(author), Jinbae Seung(Eucneimidae, Histeridae), Minhyeuk Lee(Scarabaeinae), Minseok Oh(Miridae). Sunghyeok Nam (Platygastridae, behind the camera).

I’m not completely sure whether the spellings of their names are correct as I only converted their Korean names to English pronunciation. I will update as I find out their names in English in future.

Korea Trip 2017 – Prologue

27 March 2017 – 25 April 2017

I had a trip to South Korea for about a month for my personal reasons, and then entomological businesses there. I planned and made appointments to visit institutions including Seoul National University (Seoul, South Korea), Chungnam National University (Daejeon Metropolitan City, S. Chungcheong, South Korea), National Institute of Biological Resources (Incheon, South Korea), and Seoul-forest (Seoul, South Korea). Also I made a visit to insect museums of Chungwoo Insectarium, Manchun Insectarium, and insect shop Insect Harmony.

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I got this many, about 600 or more collections of pinned, papered and fluid collections for donations to each institute.

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I departed from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) at Houston, Texas, and arrived in Incheon International Airport (ICN) at Incheon, South Korea.

DSC07424It was about 14-15 hours of flight with a little bit of turbulence. It was fine flight compares to past flight I had. I will only post about my visits to three institutes of:

Seoul National University
National Institute of Biological Resources
Chungnam National University

*Click them, you will redirected to each visit in a new tab.