Spiders.us originally launched in 2009 as SpiderIdentification.org. In October, 2011, we decided to rebrand as Spiders.us. The .us domain extension communicates our desire to focus our efforts on spiders found in the United States and North America. The purpose of this site is to provide spider education and identification resources to both experienced arachnologists and less spider-savvy individuals. We want to provide you, our guest, with the best user experience possible combined with the best spider resources on the web.
Kyle Williams – Project Director
Kyle’s role is to direct the overall project direction, with a focus on the user experience and strategy behind the content and technology used to power Spiders.us. His experience with creating content-driven websites began in 1996, when his first website launched covering the popular video game Final Fantasy 7. Well before Google, Kyle realized the power of search and leveraged search engines like WebCrawler, AltaVista and Excite when growing web projects. Kyle’s interest in information strategy, organic natural search, ethical search strategy and online culture lead to the development of SurviveOutdoors.com in 2000 (which was later sold in 2010). During his time managing Survive Outdoors, Kyle witnessed how fearful people were of spiders. Having interest in the subject himself, he decided to launch Spiders.us to remedy public fear and online misinformation surrounding spiders.
Mandy Howe – Education Director
Although Lady Arachnophile wishes that were her real name, her driver’s license says otherwise. Mandy Howe is a spideraholic. She has practiced a relaxed form of auto-didacticism most of her life. She is fueled by curiosity and only satisfied by knowledge. While attending Western Washington University, she studied many subjects but the sciences have always been her true loves. Around 2004, she decided to seriously pursue her spider passion and began studying Araneae systematics, while also dabbling a bit in the more complex area of phylogeny. She owns research equipment for collecting, preserving, identifying, and viewing spiders. Mandy breeds and raises a countless number of “pet” spiders in her makeshift lab and documents the details of their lives. She is a contributing editor at BugGuide.net, a member of the American Arachnological Society, the British Arachnological Society, the International Society of Arachnology, and the Entomological Society of Canada. On any given day, her routine is brimming with spider related research and activities. She finds spiders to be beautiful, misunderstood creatures and she loves nothing more than to dispel the public’s fear of them and pass on her knowledge to others. She understands there is no end to what can be learned or witnessed and, in that way, we will all be eternal students of nature. She is thankful for all the professionals that have patiently helped her along the way, especially Rick Vetter, Lenny Vincent, and Rod Crawford. She currently resides in the shadow of the mountain near Enumclaw, Washington, USA.
Eric Eaton – Director of Content
Eric R. Eaton is principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007), and contributor to several other books. He has also written articles about insects and other animals for Ranger Rick, Missouri Conservationist, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society), and other popular magazines. Mr. Eaton studied entomology as an undergraduate at Oregon State University, and has worked as a professional entomologist most recently at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). Previously, he has worked at Cincinnati Zoo and Chase Studio, Inc., as well as on private contract for the Smithsonian Institution, Portland State University, and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. He enjoys the respect of his network of professional colleagues, and has built a loyal following as a volunteer expert and consultant at WhatsThatBug.com, AllExperts.com (where he was one of the top 50 experts for the year 2009), and volunteer editor at Bugguide.net. His empathy for the squeamish and scared, knack for identification of mystery bugs, and his accurate, jargon-free explanations of insect biology have made him a leading figure in popular entomology. Eric currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, having grown up in Portland, Oregon and Cincinnati, Ohio.