UGA workshop set for Aug. 23 will cover integrated pest management for schools

By Cristina deRevere for CAES News

Georgia has strict regulations and rules when it comes to managing pests at schools. The University of Georgia Structural Pest Management Program (SPM) offers a biannual workshop on integrated pest management (IPM) for pest control operators who have school contracts in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee. The program will host the fall 2018 School IPM Workshop on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Registration is open until Wednesday, Aug. 22 for the workshop that begins at 9 a.m. at the Student Learning Center on the UGA Griffin campus. The workshop ends at 3 p.m. Continue reading

Foundations of Building Health: Scientific Evidence for Action

With another school year approaching, it is essential that we find novel ways to optimize student learning, promote teacher quality and retention, and support staff and facilities effectively. An evidence-based approach is a step toward this goal.

In 2017, the Healthy Buildings Team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health released the report Schools for Health: Foundations for Student Success, which clearly demonstrates that health is foundational to student thinking and performance. The report includes findings from over 250 research articles and more than 70 health and performance metrics. The goals of the document were to—

  1. Synthesize more than 30 years of scientific research about the impacts of indoor environmental quality in schools.
  2. Identify diverse metrics of success beyond standardized test scores.
  3. Provide an accessible, evidence-based guide to the acute and chronic effects our school buildings have on us each day.

Continue reading

Summer Management Considerations for School Sports Fields

by Becky Grubbs, Texas A&M AgriLife

Summer management for both active and inactive sports fields is critical to maintaining healthy, safe fields year-round. Even just light maintenance can make a huge difference in what is possible when school starts again in the fall. The tips below apply to all kinds of turf, from sports fields to golf courses to home lawns.

Irrigation

To prevent surface hardness from creeping up to dangerous levels, regular irrigation is important – even for those fields that remain otherwise inactive during summer months. In many parts of the state where fields are constructed atop our trademark “shrinking and swelling” clays, the lack of irrigation can result in significant cracks in the field surface by the time football season is upon us. It can take a considerable amount of time and water to properly re-saturate the fields and bring them back to a safe surface capable of supporting healthy vegetation. Deep watering even once a week during dry periods can prevent this. Water early in the morning. This will optimize water use and prevent disease on your fields as fall approaches. Monitor and correct any malfunctioning irrigation. Uniform coverage will prevent dry spots where soil will harden and pests will move in. Consider a catch can audit. Continue reading

AgriLife Extension program bolsters Texas schools’ pest management approach

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

More than a decade of work alongside Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts in integrated pest management, or IPM, has culminated in the national certification of four Texas school districts as “IPM Stars,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension school IPM specialist in Dallas.

IPM Star certification from the IPM Institute of North America was awarded in April to Plano, Conroe, East Central and Killeen independent school districts for consistent exemplary marks on the institute’s 37-point evaluation. Continue reading

Four Texas school districts receive national IPM certifications

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

More than a decade of work alongside Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts in integrated pest management, or IPM, has culminated in national certification of four Texas school districts as “IPM Stars,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension school IPM specialist in Dallas.

IPM Star certification from the IPM Institute of North America was awarded in April to Plano, Conroe, East Central and Killeen independent school districts for consistent exemplary marks on the institute’s 37-point evaluation. Continue reading

2018 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Misidentified Pests in the Landscape

The 2018 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar for March is next Friday, March 2 at 2 pm Eastern time.

 Pests in the landscape?? We deal with it everyday. Did you know that many pesticides are often misused simply because the pest was not identified correctly? Beneficial insects also feel the wrath of our misuse. Let’s learn about some of our Misidentified Pests in the Landscape in this webinar presented by Erfan Vafaie, Texas A& M Agrilife Extension.  The link to the event is:  https://auburn.zoom.us/webinar/209793415   Note: on March 2, the link to the live webinar opens about 15 minutes before the webinar. If you try to log in earlier, you will get an error message Continue reading

Kathy Murray wins Healthy Kids Hero award

Kathy Murray has a national reputation for dedication, expertise, and leadership. Murray is co-coordinator of the Northeastern School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Working Group and a member of the National IPM School Steering Committee. The Northeastern Group is a regional group with representatives from land-grant IPM programs, government, private industry, and nonprofits from eleven northeastern states.

Read her whole story and why she won the award.