In the News
September 20, 2004
Patrick O'Connor-Marer retires
When Patrick O’Connor-Marer retired on Sept. 30, he left behind a gratifying and successful career of helping to reduce the environmental and human health risks of pesticide use.
Since the UC IPM Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) was established in 1988, he and his staff have developed an impressive array of workshops, seminars, publications, videos, and classes for California’s pesticide handlers and farm workers. His team wrote the UC Pesticide Compendium Series, which is the authoritative reference for pesticide safety and the official study guide for people studying for California’s pest control license.
Rick Roush, director of the UC Statewide IPM Program, praises the pesticide safety education coordinator and his colleagues. "Pat has led PSEP through a number of accomplishments and milestones, but perhaps one of the most impressive is that they have trained more than 4,600 pesticide safety instructors who, in turn, trained more than 870,000 workers in California."
Over the years, O'Connor-Marer's staff used new and innovative programs to bridge the cultural, language, and educational barriers found in California's diverse agricultural workforce. One example is a successful project to help Hispanic and Hmong farmers read and understand pesticide labels.
Under his leadership, and in collaboration with the Department of Pesticide Regulation, PSEP established the criteria for state-approved train-the-trainer programs and implemented the first approved program in the state. Not only has the program been used in California, but also in Mexico, and for the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., to benefit 15 western tribes.
As the UC IPM Program continues its mission, many will remember O'Connor-Marer for his significant contributions to the welfare of California.
Stephanie Klunk, Communications Specialist