Kristie is an entomologist, writer and award-winning lecturer who received an M.S. in entomology from Texas A&M University. Her research focused on the biology, biodiversity, and distribution of solifuge arachnids (camel spiders!) in Kenya. She lectured a course called Insects and Human Society, which explored how insects have shaped human history and culture. She recently described a new species of solifuge from the Sudan/Kenya border.
Kristie is the Founder and Creative Director of The Bug Chicks (TBC), an educational company run by two entomologists, Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker who met in graduate school. They teach about the incredible world of insects, spiders and their relatives through their fun videos, sci-comm writing and consulting.
For the past ten years, while teaching about arthropods, she has used them as tools to talk to young people about social issues like prejudice, racism, educational potential and personal development. She promotes women in STEM and the idea that you can create a life from the things that you love. She inspires kids to ‘Be Brave’ in an effort to help them achieve success in school and life.
Some of TBC’s proudest moments have happened in collaboration with incredible institutions. They have traveled to Guatemala as consultants to teach Mayan farmers the difference between pest and beneficial insect species with the Norman Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture. They have created over 50 videos for organizations like Texas A&M University, The National Ag Science Center, the US Forest Service and the Junior Master Gardener program. Their writing has been featured on NPR’s Science Friday blog and they have taught over 100,000 people in person over the last four years with their interactive bug programs for schools, libraries and museums.
After several years of teaching in Portland, Oregon, The Bug Chicks are getting back to their roots! By creating partnerships with large organizations that share the core values of TBC, Kristie and Jessica will be able to reach an even wider range of students from all over the world. Celestron is one of these incredible partnerships!
The Big Dream? Kristie wants to train teachers in refugee camps to use insects as educational resources. Children the world over play with insects, and with the right information, teachers can harness that fascination to teach about science, inquiry, history, math, and even literacy using bugs!