Chemical engineering senior Fernando Lopez is spending his summer checking bug traps hanging from pine trees in Green Valley, as part of a research project headed by Peter Warren of the Pima County Cooperative Extension.
He's looking for specimens of several specific bark beetle species. The insects are appearing at much lower altitudes than usual and badly damaging and killing trees.
“We're trying to find a solution to get rid of them. It's a pest problem, really. We're observing the life cycle,” he said.