World of the Insect Scholarship

Posted February 1, 2023 by Winton Ray

On the 45th Anniversary of the World of the Insect, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is honoring two entomologists, Milan Busching and Randy Morgan, who played integral roles in the World of the Insect’s success, with the creation of the Busching/Morgan Invertebrates in Education and Conservation Conference (IECC) scholarship. The scholarship will send an aspiring greater Cincinnati entomologist to the IECC conference.


This conference, held annually in Tucson, AZ, brings together people from across the entomological community to experience paper presentations, specialty workshops and field trips that are blended together to create a one-of-a-kind curriculum.

Topics covered typically include (but are not limited to):

  • Terrestrial invertebrate husbandry
  • The design and operation of insect zoos, butterfly houses and other invertebrate exhibitions
  • Education programs that utilize invertebrate animals
  • Regulatory issues
  • Conservation initiatives and programs that focus on terrestrial invertebrates.

It is our hope that by attending the IECC aspiring entomologists will have their passion for entomology strengthened, build connections across the entomological community, and identify potential career paths.

Applications for the 2023 Busching/Morgan IECC Scholarship will be accepted from Wednesday, February 1 – Wednesday, March 15, 2023. The 2023 IECC will be held July 19 – July 22, 2023. Travel dates TBD.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s World of the Insect opened on August 5, 1978 and was the first zoo building in the United States designed and built specifically to display live terrestrial arthropods. Nearly 45 years later the World of the Insect is regarded as one of the best insect zoos in the world. It displays a diverse group of live terrestrial invertebrates, and its staff participates in public engagement, education, and conservation initiatives.

Milan Busching (1951-2022) was the Cincinnati Zoo’s first Curator of Invertebrates, a role he fulfilled from 1977 until 2002. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Busching was considered a leader in the burgeoning insect-zoo field and enthusiasts from across the country and around the world sought out his advice.

Milan Busching

Randy Morgan was the Cincinnati Zoo’s Curator of Invertebrates from 2002 until his retirement in 2013 and was a part of the World of the Insect for 32 years. Morgan is credited with working to establish several species in zoos, including sunburst diving beetles, giant jumping sticks and Peruvian firesticks.

Randy Morgan
Randy Morgan

The Busching/Morgan IECC Scholarship will cover.

  • IECC 2023 registration, one workshop and one field trip
  • Round-trip airfare from Cincinnati to Tucson
  • Transportation while in Tucson
  • Lodging at the conference host resort
  • A stipend to cover meals

Rules for Application

Applicants must…

  • Be at least 19 years of age at the time of application.
  • Have a passion for, and a demonstrable interest in the study, display, conservation and/or educational use of terrestrial invertebrates.
  • Live in the greater Cincinnati area.
    • Ohio counties – Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, Warren
    • Kentucky counties – Boone, Kenton, Campbell
    • Indiana Counties – Switzerland, Ohio, Dearborn
  • Submit a letter explaining why they would like to attend the IECC.
  • Provide one letter of recommendation.
  • Be attending the IECC for the first time.
  • NOTE – Scholarship winner is required to submit a report summarizing their experience attending the IECC to Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Curator of Ectotherms, Winton Ray, by September 1, 2023.