Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Entomological Society of America Names 2010 Fellows

The ESA Governing Board has elected ten new Fellows of the Society for 2010. The election as a Fellow acknowledges outstanding contributions in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration. The following Fellows will be recognized during Entomology 2010 -- ESA's Annual Meeting -- which will be held December 12-15 in San Diego, California:

Dr. Gary J. Blomquist received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin--La Crosse in 1969 and his Ph.D. degree in chemistry/biochemistry from Montana State University in 1973. He spent four years as an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Southern Mississippi and moved to the University of Nevada, Reno in 1977, where he has served as the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology since 2001. He has served as a mentor for 20 postdoctoral associates and 24 graduate students, and has worked with over 60 undergraduates. He has edited three books and has published over 200 research papers, reviews, and chapters. His research has focused on pheromone production--particularly in bark beetles, the housefly, and insect hydrocarbons--with an emphasis on their biosynthesis, endocrine regulation, and chemical analysis. He has served as the president of the International Society of Chemical Ecology and also hosted an annual meeting for the organization. He was elected a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was awarded the Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Alumnus award by the University of Wisconsin--La Crosse. He serves on the editorial boards of four journals and has been awarded the University of Nevada's Outstanding researcher Award and the Nevada Regents Research award.

Dr. David J. Boethel, vice-chancellor, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in entomology from Texas A&M University. After receiving a Ph.D. in entomology from Oklahoma State University in 1974, he joined the LSU Pecan Research and Extension Station with responsibilities for pecan insect IPM. In 1980, Dr. Boethel transferred to the LSU Department of Entomology, where for 17 years he conducted research on soybean IPM, taught biological control, and mentored 20 graduate students. The applied research of Dr. Boethel and his students advanced the understanding of multiple pest complexes, early season production systems on soybean IPM, and the role of stink bugs in delayed maturity, while fundamental studies examined multi-trophic interactions involving plant resistance and biological control. He published numerous original research and extension articles, many constituting the seminal basis of soybean IPM literature recognized nationally and internationally. In 1992, the Department of Entomology at OSU recognized him as a distinguished alumnus. He has served as chair of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (SAAESD), chair of the ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee, and as administrative advisor of the soybean entomology project. In 2009, he was awarded the ESCOP National Excellence in Multi-State Research Award, and in 2010 the SAAESD recognized him with its Excellence in Leadership Award. An ESA member since 1968, Dr. Boethel served as Program Chair and President of the Southeastern Branch, was a member of the ESA Governing Board, was on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Journal of Economic Entomology, and on the Editorial Board of Journal of Medical Entomology. He was also co-editor of The Handbook of Soybean Insect Pests, the first of the ESA pest handbook series.

Dr. Bruce Hammock, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, received his B.S. from Louisiana State University and his Ph.D. from the University of California in entomology. He trained with John Casida at Berkeley and Larry Gilbert at Northwestern. He worked at UC Riverside from 1976-80 and then at UC Davis, where he is a distinguished professor. He has been a visiting faculty member at CSIRO, ANU, and the Universities of Strasbourg, Brisbane, and Oxford. As an insect developmental biologist, his lab manipulated JH by inhibiting its degradation. This generated giant larval insects. Feeding could be terminated by inserting genes for insect enzymes into baculovirus vectors resulting in tiny insects. From a practical standpoint, his laboratory pioneereed the use of transition state theory to inhibit enzymes with small molecules and recombinant viruses as green pesticides. A major effort has been in environmental chemistry, where he pioneered the use of immunochemistry for pesticide analysis. The laboratory currently uses nanobodies and phage display technologies to improve reagents for the design of biosensors. From his time as a graduate student, his laboratory has focused on xenobiotic metabolism and largely on esterases and epoxide hydrolases. Current projects involve examining the role of esterases in insecticide resistance and human metabolism of pyrethroids. His laboratory is exploiting inhibitors of epoxide hydrolases as drugs to treat diabetes, inflammation, ischemia, and cardiovascular disease. Compounds from the UC Davis laboratory are in human trials. Dr. Hammock is a member of the UCDMC Cancer Center and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Zeyaur R. Khan, a distinguished international professional entomologist, has been working for the last 17 years at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Khan has dedicated his 30-year career as an entomologist to advancing the science and practice of entomology by studying and applying chemical ecology, behavior, plant-plant communication, and insect-plant interactions to improve agricultural production to combat poverty and food insecurity in Africa. He is responsible for the discovery and wide-scale implementation of a pro-poor, scientific innovation for enhancing food security and environmental sustainability in Africa. This was achieved through a biologically-based IPM technology called "Push-Pull" (, developed for small-holder cereal-livestock African farmers. This highly science-based technology makes innovative use of trap crops, whicht remove stem borer pests, and and fodder legumes, which repel borers, attract borer natural enemies, and have strong allelopathic effects on striga weed, a root parasite of corn. At present 250,000 African people, belonging to 30,000 families of smallholder farmers in East Africa, are benefiting from the push-pull strategy. Dr. Khan continues to expand the utility of the push-pull system for additional African producers in arid zones, and is also exploring ways to use induced defenses of crop plants and companion plants to improve the system. Dr. Khan's work is a wonderful example demonstrating that creativity and innovation in entomology can provide practical solutions for the real problems of thousands of small-holder poor farmers and promote their food security and sustainable livelihoods. The push-pull system results in better nutrition and purchasing power for small-holder cereal-livestock farmers, and the achievements of Dr. Khan are in line with the poverty-reduction strategies of African countries and the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Dr. Dennis D. Kopp was born and grew up in Dubuque, Iowa, and graduated from Loras College in 1965, majoring in biology. He taught high school biology and earth science from 1966-1968. In the summer of 1968, he entered graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, completing his M.S. in 1971, and his Ph.D. in 1977. In 1978, he accepted a position as extension entomologist at North Dakota State University, responding to public inquires and developing and presenting extension educational programs on pest management issues relating to crop and livestock production, public health, and urban entomology. He advanced to the rank of professor of entomology in 1987. In 1990, he accepted a position in Washington, D.C. as national program leader for entomology, and in 1997 became plant section leader in USDA/CSREES. In January 2003, he received a seven-month Brookings Institute LEGIS fellowship which allowed him to work as a legislative assistant in the office of Congressman Ron Kind, Third District of Wisconsin. Upon completion of his fellowship experience, he returned to the USDA and since March of 2005 he has served as assistant administrator for program and analysis for the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. His professional entomological interests have included insect identification and classification, insect ecology, insect biology, pest management, and the promotion of entomology as a career of choice for young people. He has been an active member of ESA since 1968, and he strongly supports the work of the Entomological Foundation.

Dr. Thomas A. Miller is a professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, where he got his Ph.D. in 1967. He worked as a research associate at the University of Illinois and as a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Glasgow University. He then returned to UC Riverside in 1969, where he has taught ever since. His research has included structure and function of the insect circulatory system; mode of action of insecticides; insect neuromuscular physiology; physiology, toxicology and behavior of pink bollworm in cotton fields; transgenic insects; and applied symbiosis for crop protection and biopesticides for crop protection. His university teaching includes insect physiology, insect toxicology and first year biology. Current projects include control of bush cricket pests of oil palm trees in Papua New Guinea, oversight of field trials of transgenic grapevines with resistance to Pierce's disease, biotechnology for control of desert locust, and regulatory control of insect transgenic technologies. In 2003 he was awarded the Gregor J. Mendel Medal for Research in Biological Sciences by the Czech Academy of Sciences, in 2005 he was invited to give the Verrall Lecture at the Royal Entomological Society, and in the summer of 2010 he is taking a one-year appointment as Jefferson Science Fellow at the US State Department.

Dr. Thomas W. Scott earned his Ph.D. in ecology from Pennsylvania State University, was a postdoctoral fellow in epidemiology at the Yale School of Medicine, and held his first faculty position in the Department of Entomology, University of Maryland. In 1996 he relocated to the Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, where he is professor and director of the UC Davis Mosquito Research Laboratory and was a co-founder of the Center for Vector-Borne Research, Director of the Davis Arbovirus Research Unit, and Department Vice-Chair. He has been a member of ESA since 1983, was Chair of Section D, and published over 175 research articles, reviews, and book chapters. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was a National Research Council Associate, is a past-president of the Society for Vector Ecology, is chair of the Mosquito Modeling Group in the program on Research and Policy in Infectious Disease Dynamics, and is a subject editor for the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Dr. Scott's research focuses on mosquito ecology, evolution of mosquito-virus interactions, epidemiology of mosquito-borne disease, and evaluation of novel products and strategies for mosquito control and disease prevention. He aims to generate the detailed, difficult to obtain data that are necessary for assessing current recommendations for disease prevention, rigorously testing fundamental assumptions in public health policy, and developing innovative, cost- and operationally-effective strategic concepts for prevention of some of the most important infectious diseases of humans.

Dr. Daniel E. Sonenshine is internationally recognized for his research on the biology of ticks and tick-borne diseases. He has published more than 200 refereed articles, as well as numerous monographs and chapters in books on this subject. He is best known for his seminal book, Biology of Ticks, a two-volume work on all aspects of tick biology, anatomy, ultrastructure, physiology, and tick-borne diseases. Among his most important contributions are his studies on the ecology and population dynamics of tick vectors of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease agents, the role of pheromones in regulating the mating behavior of ixodid ticks and host-parasite relationships, the importance of innate immunity and its relation to tick vector competence, and the molecular biology of tick reproduction. Dr. Sonenshine's studies on the pheromones of ticks led to the discovery of the components of the mate finding process in a variety of ixodid ticks, especially 2, 6-dichlorophenol, the female sex attractant, the mixtures of cholesteryl esters that comprise the mounting sex pheromone, and the fatty acid/ecdysteroid mixture that comprise the genital sex pheromone. These enabled him to formulate an artificial sex attractant device, the "tick decoy." Dr. Sonenshine showed that impregnating plastic mimics of the female tick body with these semiochemicals and an acaricide would attract and kill up to 100% of male ticks attempting to mate with these artificial devices. The technology was patented and led to a novel technology using pheromone-impregnated tail tags to control bont ticks, the vectors of the deadly heartwater disease in livestock in southern Africa and the Caribbean, providing a valuable alternative to pesticide-intensive tick control techniques. Dr. Sonenshine's studies on innate immunity showed that ticks express a variety of antimicrobial peptides, especially defensin and lysozyme, and that these molecules were important in preventing infection of Dermacentor variabilis by invasive microbes. In the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, he and his colleagues showed that defensin is expressed but not secreted, and that its absence may be an important factor in the survival and transmission of the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Further studies on these innate immune mechanisms are in progress. Dr. Sonenshine's most recent work focuses on the molecular biology of tick reproduction, including the identification and characterization of vitellogenin, vitellogenin receptor, the role of ecdsyteroids in regulating expression of these molecules, and the role of male factors in stimulating female engorgement.

Dr. Anthony (Tony) Shelton, a professor at Cornell University, has developed a program that is recognized worldwide for its excellence and breadth in developing crop protection practices based on sound ecological concepts and its ability to shepherd these practices into commercial practices. During the early phases of his research career at Cornell, he focused on ecological studies of pest and beneficial arthropods in the varied agroecosystems of the Northeastern U.S. and on developing the core IPM components for its major vegetable crops: monitoring, sampling methods, thresholds, and control strategies for the diverse set of insect pests infesting crucifers, sweet corn and onions. His program is credited with developing the first IPM program for processing sweet corn in the northeast, and these efforts led to a nearly 50% reduction in the use of insecticides. Similarly, his collaborative efforts on cabbage led to a 45% reduction in insecticide use and a nearly 50% increase in efficacy of insecticides, while maintaining high quality standards for the harvested product. From these early successes, his program branched off into longer term studies on insecticide resistance management for conventional insecticides and Bt crops, habitat manipulation, invasive species, trap cropping, host plant resistance, effects of conventional insecticides and Bt plants on non-target organisms, and international projects in dozens of countries. In addition to his research efforts, Dr. Shelton has demonstrated a strong outreach effort and has developed popular websites on agricultural biotechnology, biological control, organic agriculture, and pest identification and management.

Dr. F. Tom Turpin is a professor of entomology at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He received his B.S. degree in biology from Washburn University, and a Ph.D. in entomology from Iowa State University, where he worked on soil insects of corn. For two years during his Ph.D. study he was a high school science and math teacher and coach. He began his career at Purdue in 1971 as a researcher in the area of biology and management of insects associated with corn. His research resulted in a better understanding of the biology of corn rootworms, economic injury levels for insect pests of corn, and management decision processes of growers. Dr. Turpin has taught a variety of courses at Purdue, including insect pest management, introductory entomology, bee keeping, insects in prose and poetry, and honors courses on insects in literature and art and insects in theatre. He has won several teaching awards, including the ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, the Purdue Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, and the CASE professor of the year award for the state of Indiana. Dr. Turpin has served in many leadership roles for ESA, including President in 1992. He has always been a proponent of outreach for the science of entomology. In this regard he started the Bug Bowl at Purdue University and the Linnaean Games for ESA. He writes a regular popular column on insects for newspapers entitled "On 6 Legs' and is the author of two popular books on insects.

Founded in 1889, ESA is a non-profit organization committed to serving the scientific and professional needs of more than 6,000 entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. ESA's membership includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies, and private industry.


Kenneth F. Raffa to Give Founders’ Memorial Lecture at Entomology 2010

Dr. Kenneth F. Raffa, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Department of Entomology, has been selected to deliver the Founders’ Memorial Award lecture at Entomology 2010 – the 58th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) – this December in San Diego, California. The honoree is the late Dr. Andrew Delmar Hopkins.

ESA established the Founders’ Memorial Award in 1958 to honor scientists whose lives and careers enhanced entomology as a profession and who made significant contributions to the field in general and in their respective subdisciplines. At each Annual Meeting, the recipient of the award addresses the conferees during Sunday’s opening Plenary session to honor the memory and career of an outstanding entomologist.

Dr. Raffa has been professor of forest entomology for the last 25 years at the University of Wisconsin. He has been highly prolific, producing 290 scientific publications (200 peer-reviewed papers, two co-edited books, two annual reviews, 58 book chapters/proceedings, 28 technical/outreach reports). He has mentored 39 graduate students, 11 postdoctoral associates, 15 undergraduate interns, worked closely with approximately 200 undergraduate assistants, and served on approximately 65 graduate student committees. He teaches three regular courses, and has taught five graduate seminars. Dr. Raffa has participated in approximately 60 special committee assignments and panels for the university, and state and federal governments, many of the latter dealing with invasive species. He has served as an associate/subject editor for three major North American journals (currently Environmental Entomology and Ecology).

Dr. Raffa has devoted much of his career to studying factors that affect the population dynamics of bark beetles, particularly their interactions with constitutive and induced plant defense chemistry, microbial symbionts, and natural enemies. He has also studied the ecology and behavior of sawfly and caterpillar defoliators of conifers and deciduous trees, rhizophagous weevils, ground beetles, natural enemies, and gut symbionts of Lepidoptera.

Born in 1857, Dr. Andrew Delmar Hopkins is widely recognized as the father of North American forest entomology. His contributions were unique and far-reaching in that he generated vast amounts of basic information on species descriptions, host plant associations, geographic ranges, and insect life histories, and also developed some of the most formative basic theories of plant-insect interactions and bioclimatic principles. He headed the Division of Forest Insects within the fledgling USDA for 19 years, laying the groundwork for its mission, structure, and approaches for decades to come. He interacted with many of the formative figures of American entomology, first as an employee and then as a recruiter and supervisor. In the process he shaped much of the fields of insect ecology and forest entomology as we practice them today. He received a number of awards, including being named an ESA Fellow in 1938.

“It is highly appropriate that ESA acknowledges Hopkins, considered by some as ‘the Father of North American Entomology,’ and I do not hesitate to place Dr. Raffa among the handful of top forest entomologists of my own generation,” said Dr. John Spence, professor and chair of the University of Alberta's Department of Renewable Resources. “Ken’s collective accomplishments as a thinker, a researcher, and educator have been second to none and they connect strongly to the foundations established by Hopkins.”

Founded in 1889, ESA is a non-profit organization committed to serving the scientific and professional needs of nearly 6,000 entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. ESA's membership includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies, and private industry.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

ESA Program Committee Co-Chairs Welcome

Come, join us in sunny San Diego, California, for the 58th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America! The theme for ENTOMOLOGY 2010 is “ENTODIVERSITY: Disciplinary, Biological, and Geographical.”

The program this year includes record numbers of symposia, submissions of regular and student oral and poster presentations, and virtual posters. New this year is a special category for undergraduate students to present their research and compete.

The symposia include six program symposia, 36 Section symposia, and 42 member symposia. In addition to symposia are 940 ten-minute papers in 75 sessions divided among general submissions and student competitions. There are 741 posters divided among general submissions and student competitions.

The 29 sessions of student ten-minute papers include three undergraduate sessions with 27 presentations and 26 graduate sessions with 363 oral presentations. The 19 sessions of student posters include five sessions of 58 undergraduate posters and 14 sessions of 182 graduate posters.

Included again this year will be an opportunity for entomologists outside of North America to present their research through a Virtual Poster session led by Grayson Brown. The Virtual Posters can be viewed at the Annual Meeting in San Diego, and those who submitted posters will be virtually present to discuss their research.

We thank all the volunteers who help make the Annual Meeting possible. Volunteers are needed for judging the student competitions, moderators, members of committees, and many other activities. Volunteers also include 110 students.

We especially thank the ESA staff, including Liz Caesar, Adele Compton, Mary Falcone, Alan Kahan, Ann Kenworthy, Richard Levine, André Owens, Debi Sutton, and Neil Willoughby. ESA contracts with the Tri-Societies to help manage our Annual Meeting. Our meeting would not be possible without the hard work of Keith Schlesinger, Stacey Phelps, and Cassie Mescher with Tri-Societies.

The Program Committee this year is comprised of the following ESA members who are Presidents and Vice-Presidents of our Sections:

- Marianne Alleyne and Jeffrey Scott (Integrative Physiological and Molecular Insect Systems – IPMIS)

- Michael Merchant and Douglas Norris (Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology – MUVE)

- Paul Borth and B. Rogers Leonard (Plant-Insect Ecosystems – P-IE), and

- Anthony Cognato and Jason Cryan (Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity – SysEB).

Poster Co-chairs are Clint and Carol Pilcher (2009 Program Co-chairs). Student Competition Co-chairs are Paul Ode and Andrew Norton. The Student Liaison to the Program Committee is Ashfaq Sial.

Enjoy the diverse entomological program during ENTOMOLOGY 2010. Appreciate “ENTODIVERSITY: Disciplinary, Biological, and Geographical” as we network with colleagues and friends in sunny San Diego!

Megha Parajulee and Bonnie Pendleton
2010 Program Committee Co-chairs

Friday, July 9, 2010

Virtual Posters at Entomology 2010

Present your research to thousands of entomologists from around the world!

The Entomological Society of America expects nearly 3,000 entomologists to attend Entomology 2010 -- ESA’s 58th Annual Meeting -- scheduled for December 12-15, 2010 in San Diego, California. This year’s event will present the largest number of symposia ever and will include a wide variety of posters!

Take part in this exciting event where you’ll have the opportunity to present your work, network with colleagues, broaden your exposure, and expand your career.
If travel funds, visas, or other barriers prevent you from attending the largest research-focused conference on entomology in the world in person, ESA offers a new technology where you can still present your work ‘virtually’ and reach thousands of entomologists. It’s called ‘Virtual Posters’. You submit your presentation on line, and during ESA’s Annual Meeting, interested attendees view your research via live Internet video and ask you questions.

It’s that easy. And it’s a great opportunity to be cited, and to build your worldwide network.

Virtual Posters are only offered to individuals located outside of North America. Learn more here about Virtual Posters.

ESA’s Virtual Poster submission site is open until August 20, 2010. Don’t delay.
If you have problems or questions about an existing submission, please contact Cassie Mescher at or 1-608-268-4942.

Or click here for general information on Entomology 2010 -- ESA’s Annual Meeting.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

2010 YouTube Your Entomology Contest

ESA has begun accepting entries for the 2010 YouTube Your Entomology Video Contest. Following on its success from last year, this contest gives ESA members the opportunity to showcase their talents and creativity through video.

Members may submit entries in four different categories:

Discovery (research-based)

Instruction (teaching-based)

Outreach (extension-based)

Open category (anything goes, for the uber-creative entomologist)

The rules for this year's contest are:

1. Maximum length of videos is three minutes. Videos longer than 3:00 minutes will be disqualified from the contest.

2. At least one submitter of the video must be an ESA member.

3. After submitting a video, the submitter must contact the ESA office and designate a category (outreach, instruction, discovery, or open), title, and description for the submission.

All videos will be displayed on the ESA YouTube Channel, and the winning entries will be shown at the Opening Session of the ESA Annual Meeting on Sunday, December 12, 2010 in San Diego. In addition, winners from each category will receive $200.00 and a trophy.

All file formats that are compatible with YouTube will be accepted. To participate in the contest, write to Richard Levine at for instructions on how to send us your video.

The deadline is October 15, 2010.

Click here to view videos from last year's contest.

ESA Open Letter to NIFA and AFRI

Lanham, MD; June 30, 2010 – On June 7, 2010, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) wrote a letter to the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) concerning the 2010 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and the potential unintended consequences of the scope and implementation of the AFRI Request for Applications.

ESA supports the comments made by the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP), in particular, the importance of engaging Land Grant institutions in NIFA planning; the critical need for single-investigator and small-team grants to meeting agriculture’s needs; providing support for basic discovery and exploratory grants; providing capacity-building grants for small institutions such as 1862 and 1890 institutions; the importance of supporting planning grants; and the awareness that local issues are excellent models to address national and international concerns.

Additionally, ESA is concerned that the AFRI no longer addresses specific arthropod-related programs (such as those that were provided in the USDA-National Research Initiative-Competitive Grants Program in the past). We are very supportive of NIFA’s efforts to continue to grow the AFRI funding to a level sufficient to be able to address large-scale, complex problems over the long term. Production agriculture, which is so important to the economic health of the country, is not addressed specifically by the AFRI priorities, and ESA feels strongly that this is a serious gap in coverage.

Of greater concern is that the specificity of individual programs is being prescribed in very specific ways, rather than being driven by the best available science to solve a particular need. ESA feels that this limits potential submissions that could help meet the key society needs as identified in the five AFRI focus areas. By comparison, the National Science Foundation uses a model based on broad programs, and funding is based on an evaluation of the best science proposed to address needs in the broad programs. In the future, we urge NIFA to consider funding some programs under broad categories; e.g., any aspect of Plant Health, which would encourage creative submissions to meet the needs, and could involve, for example, single-investigator and small-team grants.

Further, ESA is concerned that it appears that funding will change from year-to-year. ESA encourages NIFA to fund more longer-term grants, such as five-year projects. Additionally, ESA urges restoration of the Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program (Section 406) research programs. Section 406 supports critical integrated pest management (IPM) research through initiatives such as Crops at Risk (CAR), the Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program (RAMP), Methyl Bromide Transitions (MBT), Regional IPM Centers, and the Organic Transitions Program. Funding for these programs was zeroed out in the President’s FY 2011 budget, leaving a critical lack of funding for IPM programs for production agriculture and other important issues.

Finally, there needs to be a specific and continuing mechanism provided by which the entomological community can help NIFA identity and implement agricultural research priorities. ESA is very supportive of the success of the new NIFA-AFRI program, and would like to be engaged in this process.

In summary, ESA supports the intent of NIFA to increase resources to support agricultural research and a problem-solving approach to meeting key societal needs. Some of the proposed changes in the AFRI program will greatly strengthen this goal. Other proposed changes, such as indicated above and in the ESCOP submission, could impede this effort. The ESA membership wants and needs to be a part of developing this new vision to support agricultural research.

Founded in 1889, ESA is a non-profit organization committed to serving the scientific and professional needs of more than 6,000 entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. ESA's membership includes representatives from educational institutions, government, health agencies, and private industry.

Read the full letter (PDF).