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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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bumble bee photo by K. Darrow

Mission of the Department of Entomology,
Smithsonian Institution

  • To describe and understand the evolutionary and ecological diversity of insects and other terrestrial arthropods through global field and laboratory research.
  • To care for and improve the world's largest and most comprehensive terrestrial arthropod collection
  • To make these discoveries known via scholarly and popular publication, databases of systematic and collection information, training at the intern, graduate and post graduate level, lectures, teaching and consulting, and through museum exhibits.

Mission of the Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA

  • To develop comprehensive global classification systems for insects and mites.
  • To furnish taxonomic services to Federal, state, and private organizations involved in agriculture, biological, and health services.
  • To cooperate with the Smithsonian Institution to develop and maintain the U.S. National Collection of Insects to support systematic studies and identification for Federal, state, and private users.
  • To develop storage and retrieval systems for systematic and biological information available via print and the World Wide Web.

Mission of the Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit, U.S. Department of Defense

  • To protect military personnel from arthropod borne diseases, particularly malaria and leishmaniasis.
  • To develop morphological and molecular methods to identify arthropod vectors and their pathogens.
  • To develop better insect repellents and control methods for arthropods that spread disease.
  • To provide taxonomic support, training and diagnostic analyses for deployed military and the general scientific community.

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