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But Evelyn went anyway.

— Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist by Christine Evans

On Saturday, January 30th, 2021 the Florida Museum and the Alachua County Library District (ACLD) met to talk all things insects by digging into the book Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist, an illustrated picture biography of scientist Evelyn Cheesman and her perseverance in science during a particular male-dominated era by Christine Evans. This event was part of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read.

The NEA Big Read is a series of free events building community in Alachua County by uplifting the stories of women in science. The program is a partnership between the Florida Museum of Natural History and Alachua County Library District.

The book Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist tells the true story of Evelyn Cheesman, a world-traveling bug-hunter in the late 1800’s. As you’ll learn in the book, there were many obstacles for Evelyn but like many scientists of today, she was able to her achieve her goals despite her challenges.

The meetup kicked off with an interview between Alachua County Children’s librarian Madison Snyder and author Christine Evans where we learned more about the path to becoming a children’s book author and where the idea for writing a book about Evelyn Cheesman came from.

Next up, we were introduced to entomologists of today, Rachel Atchison, Biological Science Technician at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and VR Seagal, Graduate Student in UF’s Entomology and Nematology Department who told us all about what got them in the field of studying insects, why they care about insects, and all the cool stuff they get to do in their jobs!

Suggested Reading List

To read more books about sharks and women in science, check out this list curated by Madison Snyder and the Alachua County Library District.

  • What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett
  • Dinosaur Lady by Linda Skeers
  • Caroline’s Comets by Emily Arnold McCully
  • Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor by Patricia Valdez
  • How to Build a Hug by Amy Guglielmo
  • I am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer
  • Ada Lovelace and the Number Crunching Machine by Zoe Tucker
  • To the Stars! by Carmella Van Vleet

Links & Resources

More Evelyn Activities from the author can be found on her website.

Homemade pooter instructions: