Passions come in all shapes and forms, and sometimes, passions are found in the most interesting places. Lane Baguss' passion can be found just about anywhere on the planet with six legs, antennae, thorax and usually four wings.
"Insect collecting started in Dr. Kurt Schmude's entomology class. It was an opportunity I didn't expect to have. We had to create our own collection, but I went a step further. I took on the project of re-pining, re-labeling and re-identifying UW-Superior's insect collection," Lane said.
There are over six million species of insects, so this project was a lot of hard work for Lane. With the help of his instructors and great resources from the Jim Dan Hill Library, he proved to himself that he could do even more.
"I got really good at identifying, and in the summer of 2015, I decided to put together my own collection. With the different seasons and environments here in the Twin Ports, there is a lot of insect diversity here," he said.
Lane originally came to UW-Superior for the unique aquatic biology major because he loved the water. The campus helped him realize what his strengths were. With discovering insect collecting, yet another passion came about. Lane started taking photographs of the insects he collected.
"One day I was identifying under a microscope, and I tried to use my phone to take an up-close picture. It worked! After a while, I put in the money to buy some serious camera equipment, so I could do macro photography legitimately," he explained. "There are people doing this all over there world, and few in the U.S. specialize in photographing insects. I want to stand out."
Lane's insect collection and macro photography were a big hit at Science Night - an on-campus event that gets youth in the community involved with science. This is exactly why Lane is pursuing his passion. He wants to get kids interested in science.
"I'd really like to teach younger kids about insects. There is so much advancement in science, and getting kids interested at a young age will benefit us all in the future," Lane said. "I believe bugs have the potential to spread science awareness. Insects are seen so negatively, and with my photography, I'm showing them in a positive light."
Even though there is no entomology major or minor at UW-Superior, Lane's instructors provided him with many opportunities and outlets for his interests. In the future, Lane hopes to come back to UW-Superior and possibly make the start of an entomology program at the university.
"Photography provides a lot of opportunities for learning. You can use the pictures in classes and for research. It's even better for schools because cameras are much cheaper than microscopes, benefiting everyone," he said. "I would love to affiliate myself with UW-Superior after graduation. This place allows for such personal growth. I got to study what I wanted, and it turned me around as a person."
Lane found he was able to explore different avenues and do the things that made him happy with an education at UW-Superior. If you're interested in exploring your options, contact Admissions today and Be Superior.