Monday, October 16, 2017

Minnesota Department of Agriculture is looking for an Entomologist!

Image result for MN dept of ag

Vacancy for Entomologist in Plant Protection at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is looking for an entomologist in Plant Protection. If interested in a full-time, permanent position in St. Paul all the info is below! 

"This a full-time, permanent position with the State of Minnesota located in St Paul, Minnesota. This position exists in the Pest Detection and Management Unit which is part of the Plant Protection Division at Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

This position is classified as a Research Scientist 2 and duties for this position will include:
·         Direct policy and lead multi-agency planning efforts related to prevention, early detection and rapid response to invasive pests
·         Direct project staff and budgets, and work collaboratively with scientists and other professionals within the Department of Agriculture
·         Design surveys and other activities related to target pests, as well as analyze and report resulting data
·         Lead inspections and issue state directives in the case of detections of target pests, as well as investigate violations of quarantine or other MDA directives

Candidates must meet these minimum qualifications to apply:
·         A Bachelor's in Biology, Entomology, Botany, Plant Pathology, or equivalent AND three years of professional level experience conducting survey, applied science or research of insects, plant pathogens or plant biology. (A Master's Degree in Biology, Entomology, Botany, Plant Pathology, or equivalent may substitute for one year of experience.)
·         Knowledge of scientific survey and sampling techniques, including knowledge of invasion biology
·         Leadership skills sufficient to guide activities related to survey, outreach and regulations for invasive plant insects and diseases, and explain those activities to partners and clientele.
·         The ability to operate computer software including word processing, spreadsheets and web browsers.
·         Working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), databases, statistical analysis packages.
·         The ability to plan, organize, execute and evaluate research designs and activities independently.
·         Excellent verbal and written communication skills sufficient to write reports, summarize results, interpret technical information, and prepare information for distribution and publication.
·         Possess and maintain an active/valid driver's license with an acceptable motor vehicle record subject to review.
Preferred qualifications for candidates include:
·         Master's Degree or PhD in Biology, Entomology, Botany, Plant Pathology, or equivalent.
·         Experience conducting research of insects, plant pathogens and plant biology.
·         Experience writing and managing grants.

This is a 40 hour/week position and the salary range is $52,659 - $77,590 annually

Applications will be accepted through November 1, 2017, to apply visit the job posting at the Minnesota Careers Builder Website: search JOB ID 16975

For more information contact

Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer
This information can be made available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling (651) 259.3637 or (651) 282-2699 (TTY)."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Antkey Mobile, USDA ITP's newest app

Check out this app from USDA APHIS ITP! Identifty species in the field from your smartphone or tablet. 

Cover art

"The USDA APHIS ITP team is pleased to announce the latest addition to our mobile app collection: Antkey Mobile. Developed in cooperation with the tool’s author, Eli Sarnat, and Australia’s Identic team, this app is based on ITP’s web-based tool, Antkey.

Lucid Mobile apps offer you the identification keys you’ve come to rely on from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet. Antkey Mobile (free for Android or iOS) allows you to take your Lucid key with you into the field for surveys and screening, even if your field site lacks internet access. 

This key allows both specialists and novices to easily identify invasive, introduced, and commonly intercepted ant species from across the globe. You can help confirm whether you have found the correct species by comparing your specimen with the images and descriptions on the fact sheets, which are included for each species."

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Want to move to Wisconsin?

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is looking to hire an assistant professor in the Forest and Wildlife Ecology department of the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences. You, yes you, are needed in the land of dairy to research and teach in forest ecology! Candidates need to have a PhD in forest ecology or in a closely related discipline. To apply check out the job posting here. The anticipated starting date is August 10, 2018.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Webinar on Invasive Species and Legal Challenges, Sponsored by: Agricultural and Food Law Consortium

Tackling the Challenge of Invasive Species to Reduce Impacts to Agriculture

Topic: Invasive species negatively impact agricultural operations across the country. Invasive plants reduce crop and livestock production. Invasive animals damage farmland and spread diseases. The webinar will discuss some of the major pathways for invasive species introduction and spread, the roles of federal agencies and state departments of agriculture in invasive species management, and legal challenges in the prevention and control of invasive species. The webinar will also provide an overview of the recent D.C. Circuit Court decision in U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers v. Zinke. The D.C. Circuit held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not have authority under the federal Lacey Act to restrict the movement of injurious species across state lines, dealing a significant blow the Service’s invasive species program.

Time and Date: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 from 12:00 – 1:00 (EDT)

This webinar is offered free of charge and is limited to the first 100 registrants. It is recommended that you test your computer for software compatibility prior to the webinar by clicking here.

There is no pre-registration for this webinar. To enter the webinar, simply click here shortly before it begins.

Presenters: Stephanie Showalter Otts, Director, National Sea Grant Law Center
Stephanie is the Director of the National Sea Grant Law Center and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Stephanie received a B.A. in History from Penn State University and a joint J.D./Masters of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and Mississippi. As Director, Stephanie oversees a variety of legal education, research, and outreach activities, including providing legal research services to Sea Grant constituents on ocean and coastal law issues. Stephanie also teaches a foundational course on ocean and coastal law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Stephanie has conducted extensive research on marine aquaculture.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Using Drones to Track Dangerous Invasive Species

A very interesting article in NextGov Newsletter about tracking down wild pigs, a “dangerous, destructive, invasive species wreaking havoc on the nation's crops, pets and outdoor historical sites" using drones. Feral or wild pigs also cause damage to wetlands which often contain rare or endangered plants and other species. Pigs are omnivores which means they will eat animals as well as plants. They also pose a danger to humans who encounter them. 

Damage caused by wild hogs in a pine stand in south Georgia
Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia,
They often do not fear humans and have damaged yards in this neighborhood.
The Nature Conservancy,

Wild pigs digging for roots or tubers can severely danmage a wetland.
Billy Higginbotham, Texas AgriLife Extension Service,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Privet biology and management in southeastern U.S. forests

This webinar will cover privet biology, ecology, and management as it pertains to forests in the southeastern U.S.

Chinese and Japanese privet (Ligustrum spp.) are now prevalent across much of the southeastern U.S.  Once a prized landscape shrub, privet has become extremely common in many wooded areas, impacting wildlife, native vegetation, and biodiversity.  Privet management is essential when reforesting harvested areas.  This webinar will discuss different species of privet, and their biology and ecology.  Different management tactics will be covered, including those for small and large privet-infested areas.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia Invasive Plant Control Update

Dobbins Air Reserve Base,
Georgia Invasive Plant Control Update

Management of invasive plant species has been a core part of the natural resources program at Dobbins ARB since the original Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) was established in 1996. Dobbins ARB has been treating nonnative and invasive species regularly since 1997. A total of 24 acres remain in the kudzu eradication program and roughly 20 to 40 acres of privet and wisteria are being treated annually.

Thirteen invasive plant species have been found on Dobbins ARB. Of these, 12 were identified as Category 1 and one as Category 2 (or watch list). In addition, none are identified as federal or state noxious weeds.
Summary of Nonnative and Invasive Species on Dobbins ARB
Invasive Plant Species
Current Status

Common Name
Scientific Name

Tree of heaven
Ailanthus altissima

Albizia julibrissin

Autumn olive
Elaeagnus umbellata

English ivy
Hedera helix

Cogon grass
Imperata cylindrica
Not present

Sericea lespedeza
Lespedeza cuneata

Japanese privet
Ligustrum japonicum
May not be present

Chinese privet
Ligustrum sinensis

Japanese honeysuckle
Lonicera japonica

Japanese stiltgrass
Microstegium vimineum

Princess tree
Paulownia tomentosa

Pueraria lobata
Mostly eradicated

Multiflora rose
Rosa multiflora

Chinese wisteria
Wisteria sinensis
Present, ongoing treatment

Phyllostachys aurea?
Mostly eradicated

Until the recent implementation of a base-wide eradication program, kudzu was considered the priority invasive plant species at Dobbins ARB. Kudzu control efforts have been successful, and this plant was not widely observed since 2004. Continued monitoring and treatment has been implemented for the long-term control of this species, particularly along the NW boundary, where it is still appears. Autumn olive was also targeted for treatment and has now been eradicated from Dobbins ARB. Several additional species have been targeted for treatment as well, with Chinese privet the most persistent and difficult to control.
Due to the widespread occurrence, either on-base or off-base, of many of these exotic, invasive plant species, total eradication would be extremely difficult on Dobbins ARB. Therefore, invasive plant management at Dobbins ARB focuses on control efforts to eliminate invasive plants occurring in ecologically significant areas and preventing their spread to new areas. Most of this management is completed by the USACE as part of the forestry management program.

In 2017 Dobbins ARB completed a 20 acre privet foliar treatment and 40 acres of spot treatment for wisteria, mimosa and kudzu. This is part of an annual invasive plant species control treatment program. Similar acreage is treated each year. This past and current control is having a positive impact on forest stand health at Dobbins ARB.