Visiting Chungnam National University

2017.04.06.

I visited Junggon Kim at Chungnam National University (CNU) located in Daejeon Metropolitan City of South Korea. He is a PhD candidate, 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 provide 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. Although it is not that distanced as 3 hours in the U.S., it takes quite a time to get to the end from the other end in South Korea.

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10,000 KRW is about 10.00 USD. It took me about one hour to reach Seongnam Intercity Bus Station (Seongnam, Gyeonggi) from my place, and from that bus station, it took another two hours to get to the Daejeon Metropolitan City.

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Finally, after three hours, on 6PM, I arrived at the CNU at Daejeon Metropolitan City of South Korea. This was my first visit to Daejeon, as I’ve never been far out from Seoul, the capitol city of South Korea in my childhood. I took a wrong bus and dropped off at the main entrance of CNU, took me a long walk to get to the place we decided to meet. I walked about a mile, and then Junggon decided to come pick me up with his car as it takes too much time to get there by just walking. I realized where I was picked up is only about a half of the route to reach the building, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

We went straight to dinner with a surprise guest, Hangyeol Ji, a MS Student studying Tingidae. I’ve been knowing him as he is the administrator of one of the top web beetle forums, 곤충사육필살기(gon-choong-saa-yook-feel-sal-gii, meaning a super technique of insect rearing) housing over five thousand members, at the time.

AND two undergraduate students, Jaedong Kim (micro-Lepidoptera) and Jihoon Kim (Scarabaeidae) joined our dinner table. Two are very knowledgeable students working toward getting entomology degrees. As they happened to be students of CNU, I decided to ask them to come over. Despite the great time I’m having with them, the very last bust departing back to Seongnam is on 9PM. So we had to hurry back to the CNU lab and observe the collection room and everything.

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Their collection room was quite messy as they were keep updating things. Junggon showed me around and explained that the lab is now preserving collections in fluid for, mostly, DNA sequencing. Also the current dried collections are from old adviser/head professor. Therefore, no one is having enough time to sort the specimens. 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 properly while some aren’t. Junggon said some portion of dried collections are donated from a students who previously took entomology courses, so some of them may not be properly preserved.

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

As the time closed by to 9PM, I REALLY 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 12AM. Although it was very short trip to CNU, I enjoyed my time with good people there.

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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.