Centers for Disease Control announces RFA for Vector-Borne Disease Regional Centers of Excellence

The Centers for Disease Control is sponsoring a funding opportunity for vector-borne disease regional Centers of Excellence.

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to establish vector-borne disease (VBD)Ā regional Centers of Excellence (COEs) aimed at building the capacity to address the problem of emergingĀ and exotic vector-borne diseases in the U.S., including Zika virus infection. The specific goals of theseĀ centers are to: (1) conduct applied research to develop and validate effective VBD prevention and controlĀ tools and methods necessary to anticipate and respond to disease outbreaks; (2) train a cadre of public health
entomologists with the knowledge and skills required to rapidly detect and respond to VBD threats in theĀ United States; and (3) build effective collaborations between academic communities and public healthĀ organizations at federal, state, and local levels for VBD surveillance, prevention, and response. The ultimateĀ objective is for these centers to help generate the necessary knowledge and capacity to enable appropriateĀ and timely local public health action for VBD to be taken throughout the U.S., given significant regionalĀ differences in vector ecology, disease transmission dynamics and resources. Continue reading

School integrated pest management featured prominently at eXtensionā€™s I-Three Issue Corps

Children cartoonChildrenā€™s health is at the forefront of every political discussion, every school board meeting and every school district decision. So when teachers want to help students learn about eating healthy foods by growing a garden, where do they go to make sure that the garden will be successful and healthy? Where do school maintenance professionals go to learn how to keep rodents and roaches from contaminating the food in the school cafeteria?

In a recent blog at the I-Three Issue Corps at eXtension, Kathy Murray, an entomologist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry explains how the I-Three Corps Urban IPM project developed new tools and training resources for school staff and volunteers. Included in these resources is the ischoolpestmanager.org website that contains online learning modules and other documents to help a school pest management team successfully keep insect and mammal pests out of school.

Learn more about the I-Three Corps Urban IPM project and other school IPM websites available for school personnel by clicking here. And stay tuned for other blog posts about urban and school IPM at eXtension.

Do red imported fire ants have any redeeming qualities?

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Red imported fire ants have earned a justifiably bad rap across the south and most Texans would be hard put to name a single redeeming quality the ants have.

But a team of Texas A&M scientists and a colleague from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceā€™s Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge have published a manuscript offering a glimmer of redemption for the invaders. The paper, ā€œDecreased small mammal and on-host tick abundance in association with invasive red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta,ā€ was published in the scientific journal Royal Society Biology Letters on Sept. 21. The work and list of collaborators are available at http://bit.ly/2cDdgWy. Continue reading

Texas High Tunnel Conference, SARE Strawberry Workshop set for Oct. 11, Oct. 12

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

People interested in high tunnel horticulture and strawberry production will have two opportunities to get the latest information on both during back-to-back workshops Oct. 11-12 at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth.

The Oct. 11 Texas High Tunnel Conference will start with registration at 8 a.m., followed by the program from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the botanic gardenā€™s Lecture Hall. Continue reading