Steps to Photographing Insects

 Once the snow flies, Dr. Len Ferrington, a Professor in the Department of Entomology in CFANS at the University of Minnesota, and his team of researchers would like you to join them in a citizen science project that could expand the scope of their research. Participants simply identify and submit photographs of midges on the snow, often near stream banks. Your help can grow our understanding of how the unique Minnesota climate reveals valuable insights about interactions between weather, water, insects, and food webs for researchers across the globe. See directions and form below for more details.


Walk along stream banks to find insects; the insects tend to be on the surface of the snow where the banks meet with the water


Take one photo of the water and its surrounding banks to showcase the landscape  


Take one closeup and detailed photo of the insect (see example below)


Record the location (county, state, stream name), date, and notes on weather/temp, time, stream conditions (ex. presence of ice) with your photographs


Take one photo further away from insect (to show both the insect and its location)


Send pictures and recorded information using the survey form (linked below). 

Example of photographs

If you have any questions regarding the project please feel free to reach out!​

Research project email:

Len Ferrington:

For more information visit:

Science stories like Bugs Below Zero are created by Agricultural Communication & Marketing (ACM) students at the University of Minnesota.

See for more information and examples. 

Funding for this project was also provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). The Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.


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