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2011 Highlights: UC IPM Annual Report

New IPM course prepares practitioners
Students in a UC Davis IPM course identify plant disease symptoms. Photo by M. L. Flint.

New IPM course prepares practitioners


  • UC Davis course teaches practical IPM.
  • Course also supports pipeline of future IPM professionals.

Forty students are better prepared to practice IPM after taking Introduction to Integrated Pest Management PLS105, a new course at UC Davis. Mary Louise Flint, UC IPM associate director for urban and community IPM and an extension entomologist at UC Davis, and Kassim Al-Khatib, UC IPM director and a professor of weed science at UC Davis, developed and led the course in the fall quarters of 2010 and 2011.

The course aims to teach practical IPM and introduces the ecological principles of IPM, the biology of different classes of pests such as insects, weeds, plant pathogens, and vertebrates, and the kinds of losses they cause. Also covered are monitoring, factors related to decision making, and the range of IPM techniques—including biological, cultural, and chemical controls. The class uses as its text the UC IPM book and pest control advisor study guide IPM in Practice: Principles and Methods of Integrated Pest Management.

In its strategic plan, UC IPM noted the importance of educating future pest management professionals about ecologically based IPM. “Fewer and fewer IPM practitioners are being trained by the UC and CSU systems, but it’s so important that students are exposed to what it means to apply IPM in the field,” Flint said. “This class has been especially effective, because we have been able to bring in several of the IPM advisors and other IPM staff to demonstrate IPM techniques in the laboratory sessions.”

Students, many of whom plan to become pest control advisors, have indicated they especially like the hands-on labs on pest identification and IPM methods that support the classroom lectures. For example, students have examined pheromone trap catches and calculated degree-days with UC IPM advisors Walt Bentley and Lucia Varela, set gopher traps with IPM Advisor Roger Baldwin, surveyed the student farm for beneficial insects with entomologists Steve Dreistadt and Flint, and identified weed specimens using the UC IPM Web site weed identification tools with Al-Khatib and UC IPM Content Development Supervisor Tunyalee Martin.

> Next article: Bay-Friendly walks help home gardeners apply sustainable practices

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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