Arachnids have been around for as long as insects, and spiders for nearly as long, yet insects have tremendously diversified morphologically, while spider morphology has remained virtually unchanged. Why? Because spiders are tool users. Their tool is silk, and they have adapted to new circumstances by adapting their use of silk. In this talk we'll trace the evolution of spiders from their arachnid ancestors and see how spiders came to use silk in so many different ways. This is an introduction to spider taxonomy, evolution, and ecology. The speaker, Joe Lapp (aka "Spider Joe"), will also share some of his own research on flower crab spiders and show how even amateurs can make discoveries.