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Annual Reports

2002Letter from the Interim Director

The Statewide IPM Program: An Historical Perspective

Comments by Jim Lyons, Interim Director

July 1, 2003 will mark the 24th anniversary of the UC IPM Program—a program established by the State Legislature in 1979 and charged with coordinating and enhancing UC research and extension activities to encourage implementation of integrated pest management in California.

Ivan Thomason, Statewide Pest Management Coordinator for DANR at the time, was named Director of the project, but since he was on leave, I had the opportunity to serve as the Acting Director. I asked Andrew Gutierrez, Professor of Biological Control at UC Berkeley, to serve as Associate Director, and during that year we began to implement the key elements of the mandated project, namely

  • establishing a publications unit to develop pest management manuals;
  • hiring an IPM Coordinator to oversee the recruitment of IPM Area Advisors to demonstrate and promote IPM practices in the field;
  • implementing a computer-assisted communications system for processing and disseminating IPM information; and
  • establishing a Technical Committee to define research priorities for competitive grants to develop IPM programs on selected crops.

When Frank Zalom stepped down as Director to became a full-time entomologist last year, I was asked to serve as Interim Director—coming full circle from the program’s inception. And it has indeed been a rewarding opportunity to again be immersed in the program, which has gained worldwide recognition as the standard of excellence for IPM programs. I was privileged to be reunited with old friends and introduced to many new faces added as the program expanded over the years.

The program has continued to attract the very best and brightest. UC IPM’s new Director, Rick Roush, will be taking over in February 2003 and brings a new and different set of skills and perspectives. I am confident he will contribute to the excellence of the program and lead it in many new and exciting ways.

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