2002IPM in Action
Educational Materials and Programs
To implement todays IPM programs, pest managers need expertise. They must be able to recognize many pest and beneficial species, understand pest biology and ecology, assess damage, monitor and use treatment guidelines and thresholds, and be knowledgeable about many types of pest management tools and how to integrate them. UC IPM, in cooperation with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and PCA professional groups, has been working on a project to upgrade the California PCA licensing program.
More than a hundred experts from University of California, California State University, and industry including many practicing PCAs participated in the process of creating Knowledge Expectations lists for each of the seven licensing areas and IPM. These knowledge expectations also formed the basis for the study guide for PCAs, IPM in Practice: Principles and Methods of Integrated Pest Management, released in 2001.
The final step, completed this year, was to create new PCA licensing exams. The new exams were created on a software program that allows many formats of multiple exams to be drawn up from the question pool provided. DPR will be able to readily identify problem questions and consult with UC to reword questions or identify areas where more training is required. UC IPM has created a Web page for students that provides links to information and photos of all pests and beneficials that they will be expected to identify and be knowledgeable about.
This project was coordinated by IPM Education and Publications Director Mary Louise Flint; Patricia Gouveia worked on the early phases, and Emily Blanco was responsible for the final sets of questions, fine-tuning the new software, and training DPR employees. DPR plans to use the first of the new exams in February 2003.
In 2000, the California State Legislature passed and the Governor signed the Healthy Schools Act, which requires schools to notify parents of pesticide applications, post signs in treated areas, keep records, and report use of pesticides in schools. The Act also directed the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to assist schools in implementing IPM programs that might reduce their reliance on the most toxic pesticides.
The UC IPM Program has been contributing to this implementation effort. Both IPM Education and Publications Director Mary Louise Flint and Pesticide Safety Training Coordinator Patrick OConnor-Marer served on DPRs School Advisory Group.
The UC IPM Pest Notes are a key resource offered by DPR for information on managing specific school pests with less toxic methods and these are featured on the School IPM Web page) and in training materials DPR has been giving to school pest managers. Mary Louise Flint, Barbara Ohlendorf, and Joyce Strand worked with DPR staff to link specific pest management methods suggested in the Pest Notes with information for school pest managers about their relative hazards. This information is presented on DPRs School IPM HELPR Web database. UC IPM staff also participated in the states pilot IPM training program for school IPM coordinators in June 2002.
Over 150 pest managers working in schools, parks, public buildings, and other public sites attended an IPM for Public Agencies conference sponsored by the UC IPM Program on March 4 and 5, 2002. Conference organizers included Mary Louise Flint and Cheryl Wilen from the UC IPM Program, Deborah Raphael from the city of San Francisco Department of the Environment, and Nita Davidson from the School IPM program in the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
The conference presented the latest research-based practical information from University of California scientists on biology and management of key urban pests including cockroaches, weeds, ants, yellowjackets, and eucalyptus lerp psyllids. Following these presentations, practitioners from California cities, parks, and schools related their experiences implementing IPM programs in the field. The program produced lively discussions. Attendees initiated an effort to organize a professional organization for public agency IPM coordinators. There was great interest in having the UC IPM Program sponsor an annual conference of this type, because there are few networking opportunities for this group and limited UC resources in urban IPM.
One great feature of the UC IPM Programs Pest Management Guideline and Pest Note series is the fact that they are regularly updated to reflect the latest changes in pest management methods and tools. In 2001-2002 alone, 44 pest management guideline updates or revisions were issued (some crops twice), 12 new Pest Notes were published, and 13 Pest Notes were revised. All these publications have been available on the UC IPM Web site as HTML files, generously illustrated with color photographs, and through UCCE offices and ANR Communication Services as camera-ready, print-friendly paper versions that could be readily photocopied and distributed.
In August 2002, UC IPM ceased the paper distribution and made print-friendly versions of all updates available as PDFs on the UC IPM Web site along with the HTML versions. UCCE offices and other distribution centers can download them off the Web for clientele. Also, other users have ready access to the printable format, and we encourage public agencies, professional groups, educational institutions, and others to reproduce and disseminate the information widely. County offices and other UC distribution centers are notified by e-mail as soon as new updates are posted on the Web.
IPM Education and Publications staff involved in this transition from paper to cyberspace include Peg Brush, Shawn King, and Pest Management Guidelines Coordinator Barbara Ohlendorf in collaboration with the IPM Information Systems staff.
In a continuing outreach effort to health care providers, agricultural employers, and other interested groups, the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) again offered workshops on recognizing and managing pesticide illnesses and injuries.
This year three workshops were held in Phoenix and Yuma, Arizona for health care providers serving tribal communities. These workshops contributed to a nationwide effort to improve care for workers within agricultural communities by identifying strategies for educating health care providers in the recognition, diagnosis, management, and prevention of adverse health effects from pesticide exposures.
The Arizona workshops were a collaborative effort among PSEP, the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., the UC Davis Department of Environmental Toxicology, the California Department of Health Services, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and the California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. These workshops were jointly sponsored by the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., the UC Statewide IPM Program, the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, and the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Continuing Education Program, UC Berkeley.
Many lawn problems are misdiagnosed as pest problems and unnecessarily treated with pesticides. Recent detection of pesticides in creeks and rivers that receive urban storm drain flow has focused attention on educating the public about more environmentally sound approaches to lawn and garden pest management. If properly maintained, home lawns can be managed with very little application of pesticides. The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns Web site was developed to show people how to manage their lawns to maintain healthy turf and how to diagnose problems that do occur and manage them in a least toxic manner.
The first part of the UC Guide to Healthy Lawns program features a key to the 16 most common turfgrass species along with summary screens listing important qualities, problems, and management tips. The program also describes how to prepare and plant a site and how to maintain your lawn. Users can enter their turf species, area of the state, and sprinkler output, and tailor an irrigation program for their specific needs. Other interactive features show how close to mow a lawn, how to design and install a sprinkler system, and how to calculate and schedule fertilizer applications.
The program was developed by Interactive Learning Developer Cheryl Reynolds along with Mary Louise Flint working closely with UC Riverside Turfgrass Specialist Vic Gibeault and Horticultural Advisors Ali Harivandi and Pam Geisel. Joyce Strand advised on Web site issues. The second part of the program, to be released by July 2003, will include sections on pest diagnosis and management. Funding for this project came from the USDA Western Regional IPM Program and the Slosson Foundation.
The Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) is participating in a new workgroup collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Office of Pesticide Programs, the Texas Department of Agriculture, and health, labor, plant protection, environmental, and agriculture officials in Mexico.
Together, these collaborators have formed the Mexico National Training Program Team, whose goals are to coordinate the United States and Mexicos pesticide safety programs and educational materials for agricultural workers and to launch new pesticide safety train-the-trainer programs in Mexico.
In spring and summer 2002 the Team conducted four pilot train-the-trainer workshops in Mexico, in the states of Morelos, Sinaloa, Nayarit, and Puebla. These were intensive three-day hands-on workshops, each with about 30 participants. The Teams long-term goal is to produce a national pesticide safety education program in Mexico that can be offered to agricultural workers and rural community members throughout the country.