Faculty Spotlight: Doug Golick, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

What is your position at UNL?

Doug Golick

I am an Assistant Professor of Entomology. I have a teaching and extension appointment. I teach classes on scientific presentation/communication, developing distance-delivered courses and teaching with insects. In my research, I work on science literacy understanding, impacts of different teaching approaches on science understanding and pollinator conservation. I spend a good portion of my extension appointment working on native pollinators and educational programming around this issue.

What drew you to UNL?
I went to undergraduate and graduate school at UNL. I worked as a staff member in the Department of Entomology until 2006. I knew many of the staff and faculty around campus – all very warm and welcoming. The people here were a big attraction to coming back to UNL. The main reason I came back was the position. My position was created as a part of an initiative to enhance STEM education at UNL. I was IANR’s initial Discipline-Based Educational Researcher (DBER) hire. Now there are several other faculty on campus doing DBER, work including the Science Literacy team. Its great to have a number of collaborators across UNL to work with.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
I love to teach. I really enjoy working with both children and adults in informal educational settings. My students and I incorporate hands-on learning activities and educational technologies in our teaching. It’s fun to teach to crowds hungry to learn. I love engaging others in dialog around understanding how science works.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I have three children ages 6 (Braden), 3 (Grace) and 3 (Will) and a beautiful wife, Erinn. My children are obviously at the top of my list. I can think of a couple of work-related things that have been fun. We have a National Science Foundation funded STEM teaching improvement grant that I am proud to be a team member on. I think the work we are doing with STEM educators and department heads/chairs across the university will make a lasting impact on undergraduate teaching. One of the cooler projects that we started just this year is the new pollinator garden and outdoor classroom located at the northwest corner of 48th and Holdredge. It is a 1/2 acre space demonstrating different types of pollinator gardens. There is also a honeycomb-shaped native bee house there. Much of the materials and funds were donated by private partners, public partners and UNL departments with additional support from grant funds. Check it out this spring when the plants start to bloom again.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
This is a hard one. What to reveal? I love to create art. I don’t get a lot of time to do it as a hobby. I do use my artistic skills in my job when I design projects (e.g., websites, educational materials), put together presentations and charts, and posters and presentations. I think that I sometimes drive my students crazy with alignment of objects and which photos to use in print and Web materials. I also tend to think about things differently (maybe creatively, or maybe I am just weird?). I think it helps me when problem solving and thinking about different approaches to research.

What is your life like outside of work?
Outside of work, I spend time with my family. I really enjoy being a dad. I try to take my children to as many UNL-related events as I can. It allows me to spend more time with them and exposes them to university culture a bit. Having three small children takes a lot of energy. Our kids are getting a little older now. So our (wife’s and my) 2016 New Year’s resolution is to go out on a date once a month.
– See more at: this link.

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Discover how to support pollinators with cover crops

PollinatorPhacelia (pictured at right) can attract pollinators and beneficial insects to your farm. Photo by John Hayden.

Cover crops can do a lot for your farm. To learn how they can support a thriving community of pollinators and beneficial insects—which in turn can improve crop quality and yield—check out SARE’s new 16-page publication, Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects.
Available for free as either a download or in print,Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects helps farmers make thoughtful changes in cover crop selection and management that support pollinators along with their other goals, such as suppressing weeds, managing nitrogen and improving soil health.

Pollinators provide a critical service in food production. As honey bees continue to suffer from Colony Collapse Disorder, providing pollinators with a healthy on-farm environment is essential. In October, the USDA SARE logoNatural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced $4 million in assistance for Midwestern farmers to plant bee-friendly cover crops, wildflowers and native grasses to help ensure farm productivity.

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects includes information on pollinator and beneficial insectecology, including details on common cover crop species and their insect attractiveness. It also addresses the limitations of cover crops, describes relevant crop insurance regulations and gives guidance on reducing harm to beneficial insects when cover crops are used in rotation with pesticide-treated crops.

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects can be ordered for use as a handout at conferences, workshops or field days. It was written by Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation staff members, with contributions from the NRCS. Download from this link.
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USDA to host listening sessions on public access to scholarly publications and digital scientific data

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public comment on the USDAdevelopment of a policy to increase access to the results of federally-funded agricultural research. Dr. Catherine Woteki, the USDA’s Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE) announced that USDAwill receive comment at two live teleconferences and via email through Dec. 9, 2015.

“Our goal is to help stakeholders understand and participate in planning for an increase in public access to scholarly publications and scientific data funded by USDA,” said Dr. Woteki. “We see this increased access as an opportunity to raise the profile of the field of agricultural research, highlighting its many contributions to scientific innovation and its value to society. Stakeholder insights are vital to planning this new era of open access so we can best meet the needs of society and of scientists.”

The two webinars and their topics have been scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, Nov.23, 2015, 2 p.m. EST: Policy impacts related to scholarly papers

Participant Instructions

The conference begins at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 23, 2015; you may join 10 minutes prior.

Step 1: go to this website

Step 2: Instructions for connecting to conference audio will then be presented on your computer. If you will be connecting via the AT&T Connect Participant Application, we strongly recommend that you install version 11.5 prior to the conference. If you are unable to do so, we recommend you join the conference using the Web Participant Application. If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0387588# or Find an Alternate Number. If you need technical assistance, call the Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.

  • Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, 2 p.m. EST: Policy impacts related to scientific data

Participant Instructions

The conference begins at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 4, 2015; you may join 10 minutes prior.

Step 1: look at this website.

Step 2: Instructions for connecting to conference audio will then be presented on your computer

You will be connected to the conference with the AT&T Connect Web Participant Application – there is no software download or installation required. If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0392090# or Find an Alternate Number If you need technical assistance, call the Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.

The public can also submit comments in writing by either sending them online to: (USDAresearchaccess@nifa.usda.gov) or mailing them to:

United States Department of Agriculture
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
c/o Paul Tanger, Institute of Food Production and Sustainabilit
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 2240
Washington, DC 20250-2201

Comments will be received through Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015.

In 2013, the current Administration directed federal science agencies to develop plans to increase access to the results of federally funded scientific research. Since then, USDA has been drafting a public access policy for federally funded scholarly publications as well as for scientific datasets produced with the use of federal funds.

The listening sessions should be of particular interest to stakeholders who have an interest in the public access of federally funded agricultural research data. These stakeholders include federally funded researchers, industry scientists, producers, universities, libraries, publishers, users of federally funded research results, and civil society groups.

For more information on public access to scholarly publications and digital scientific data policy development and implementation plans, visit this website.

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Resistance management is topic of webinar series

The University of Massachusetts is offering a new professional development program aimed at bringing educators to a common level of knowledge about resistance management: at this websiteResistance management the topic of highly needed IPM training session in the NortheastIt is not often that attempts are made to unify groups and individuals around a controversial topic, yet that is the goal of a professional development program being offered by the University of Massachusetts. Resistance management has long been a focus of integrated pest management or IPM and now a new series of webinars will attempt bring educators to a common level of knowledge for unifying programs aimed at helping constituents growing fruits and vegetables.The four part webinar series will include experts discussing general resistance management and specific topics related to fungicide, insecticide, and herbicide resistance using an IPM approach. It is expected that the series will result in increased understanding of pesticide and resistance modes of action, allow participants to better educate growers about resistance management, and promote the use of IPM as a consistent and comprehensive approach to slow the development of pesticide resistance, improve pesticide efficacy and longevity, environmental stewardship, and farm sustainability.

“This has been a topic that Extension professionals have asked for training on and we’re trying to provide that,” says Hilary Sandler, University of Massachusetts Cranberry Station researcher and project leader. In a recent survey, over 90% of respondents from the Extension field were concerned about resistance management issues, yet less than half felt they were well-prepared to teach about it. “We want to change this,” says Sandler, “and one of the best ways is to bring in experts to share the IPM science that is best for addressing resistance issues.”

The upcoming webinars are scheduled to begin on Nov. 30 and will continue through December. The entire webinar series is free and open to Extension specialists, as well as growers, farmers, and anyone working in vegetable and fruit production in the Northeast or across the country. All of the details including registration information can be found at the University of Massachusetts website or by contacting Hilary Sandler (hsandler@umass.edu or 508-295-2212 x21).

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Update on sulfoxaflor shared

Following up on my brief statement at the North Central integrated Pest Management Center EPA(NCIPMC) Stakeholder Panel meeting in October (and my posting here later that month), here is the latest on the sulfoxaflor cancellation. Sulfoxaflor is an active ingredient in several products from Dow AgroSciences, including Closer®SC, Transform®WG, TwinGuard®WG, and GF-2860 Ornamental.

 On Nov. 12, 2015, EPA issued a cancellation order for all registered sulfoxaflor products. This cancellation order is in response to the order of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (dated Sept. 10, 2015) finding that EPA improperly approved the FIFRA registrations of the pesticide sulfoxaflor; the Court’s order became effective on Nov. 12. 

 As a result, and beginning Nov.r 12, 2015, distribution or sale by the registrant (Dow) of cancelled sulfoxaflor products is prohibited, except for the purpose of disposal or lawful export. In addition stocks of cancelled products held by persons other than the registrant may not be sold or commercially distributed in the United States, except to facilitate return to the manufacturer or for proper disposal or lawful export. Use of existing stocks by end-users is permitted provided such use is consistent in all respects with the previously-approved labeling for the product. [emphasis added]

Tolerances, that is, the maximum pesticide residue levels for sulfoxaflor are not affected by either the court’s decision or EPA’s cancellation order, so crops that have been properly treated with sulfoxaflor or that may be treated with existing stocks as described in the final cancellation order can still be sold legally. [emphasis added]

All sulfoxaflor product registration are now considered pending at the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. Dow AgroSciences may decide to amend their registration application for different uses (i.e., crops where toxicity to bees is of less concern), or supply additional information on the products effects on bees.  

More information, including a copy of the cancellation order, is available at this site.



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The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois announces postdoc fellowship

The closing date for all positions is Dec. 15, 2015. Fellows will be announced on or about Jan. 15, 2016.Job Opportunity

In 1977, Carl R. Woese overturned one of the major dogmas of biology with his discovery of the Archaea, the third domain of life. The methods he utilized involving ribosomal RNA have become the standard approach used to identify and classify all organisms today. As a faculty member of the University of Illinois for nearly 50 years and a founding member of the Institute for Genomic Biology, we honor the legacy of Carl R. Woese with the renaming of our institute to the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and the establishment of the Woese Fellowship.

The Woese Fellows will be truly exceptional young scholars who have completed their Ph.D. within the last several years, and are at the forefront of their field in evolution and the emergence of life, or other rapidly developing areas of quantitative biology and genomics. Woese Fellows will combine a quantitative outlook on biology with creative, possibly interdisciplinary, approaches to deep scientific questions, and will be able to take advantage of the stimulating IGB environment to carry out independent and collaborative research in a field of genomic biology. Woese Fellows will typically spend two to three years conducting research in one or more of the several research themes in the Institute. An annual salary of $55,000 will be provided, with a yearly stipend of $10,000 to be used in support of research.

The closing date for all positions is Dec. 15, 2015. Fellows will be announced on or about Jan. 15, 2016. To apply, please visit this webpage.

The University of Illinois is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology is a pioneer in advancing life sciences research with program areas in systems biology, cellular and metabolic engineering, and genome technology. Visit this page  for additional information.

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New business planning manual for organic transition

The booming profit potential of organic production has farmers, ranchers and SARE logofood business owners nationwide switching to organic production. But successfully managing the risky multi-year transition requires careful business planning.

SARE’s new Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs is the perfect tool to help business owners develop an actionable organic transition plan suitable for management teams and lenders. The Organic Transition Planner explores organic transition strategies and asks critical questions that help you decide whether organic makes sense for your farm or business.

Farmers bring the planning process alive by sharing their personal transition challenges and the business plans that helped them succeed. Minnesota dairy producers Nate and Angie Walter relate that going organic “was a way for us to remain a family farm. We were considering growing the farm (conventionally); getting bigger in hopes of paying off our debt. We knew that might be a losing proposition.” Organic Transition also includes an overview of certification, helpful worksheets and AgPlan, a business planning software program that facilitates the business planning process.

Organic Transition is available as a free download at this website. Print copies can be ordered for $16 plus shipping and handling by calling (301) 779-1007. Discounts are available for orders of 10 items or more.

Organic Transition can be used as a companion to SARE’s popular business planning guide, Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses. Both were written by University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics Research Fellow Gigi DiGiacomo, University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics Professor Robert P. King and Center for Farm Financial Management Associate Director Dale Nordquist.
Organic Transition was developed as part of the Tools for Transition Project, a four-year research program on the economics of organic transition funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, with support from the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. It is published by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).

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Postdoctoral Associate position at University of Minnesota announced

Available: Feb. 1, 2016, or ASAP. We will begin reviewing applications Dec. 20, 2015, and on a continuing basis, until the position is filled.Job Opportunity

Postdoctoral Associate Position
Population Ecology and Management of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
A 12-month Postdoctoral Research Associate is available working with Dr. Bill Hutchison, in collaboration with Drs. Bob Koch and Chris Philips, Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota. This position is supported by a recently-funded grant from Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center (MITPPC), within the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS).

The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team studying ways to improve the early detection, mapping and prediction of the geographic range expansion, and temporal dynamics of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys, under current Midwest conditions. Forecasts will also be conducted for climate-change scenarios. Studies will focus on the development and validation of population and phenology models of BMSB for improved IPM for multiple field, fruit and vegetable crops. Biological parameters for response of BMSB to temperature/photoperiod will be developed using complementary laboratory and field studies. Spatially explicit phenology models will be coupled with climate change forecasts by collaborating with a postdoctoral associate and Co-PIs in the Department of Soil, Water & Climate. While the project is of a regional scale, the position will provide opportunities for nationwide networking, travel and outreach.

Qualifications: Interested individuals must have a PhD in entomology, ecology or related field, ability to work independently, and experience with one or more areas of quantitative ecology; written and oral communication; and managing lab and field-based applied ecology research projects. Previous experience with stink bug research methods is desired.

Responsibilities: The successful candidate will be responsible for:
1. designing research protocols and conducting laboratory and field experiments to develop and validate BMSB phenology and spatial models,
2. developing and testing an early detection monitoring and distribution system for BMSB in MN,
3. data analysis, and the preparation of research articles for refereed journals,
4. presentation of results at professional meetings and in outreach settings.
Compensation & Duration: Salary is commensurate with experience, with a competitive benefits package included. The initial appointment is 1 year, and renewable given satisfactory performance, for up to three additional years.
Available: Feb. 1, 2016, or ASAP. We will begin reviewing applications Dec. 20, 2015, and on a continuing basis, until the position is filled.

Application Process
1. Visit the University of Minnesota Employment website.
2. Select External Applicants, University of Minnesota Employees or University Students
3. Select Advanced Search, enter Job ID 303726, job posted “anytime”, then click “apply”
4. Submit your letter of interest, including research experience, professional goals, CV, and contact information for 3 references (also send your cover letter and CV to: hutch002@umn.edu ).

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. As an institution committed to demonstrating excellence through diversity, the College (CFANS) and the UMN are committed to hiring a diverse faculty and staff, and strongly encourage candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply. We welcome you to visit our college’s Diversity and Inclusion web page: http://www.cfans.umn.edu/diversity/

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4th National Vegetable Grafting Symposium set for Dec. 7

Submitted by Matt Kleinhenz

For more information and to register visit this website. See bottom of the page.4th-national-grafting-symposium-flyer-nov-15-1

Growing New Roots for the U.S. Vegetable Industry
Monday, Dec. 7, 2015
Held in conjunction with the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo at the DeVos Place Convention Center and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
University, government and industry experts will come together to share the latest research findings on, techniques for, and experiences with vegetable grafting as it applies to commercial vegetable production in the U.S.
Topics to be covered at the symposium include propagation technology (including grafting methods), rootstock breeding and evaluation, and the performance of grafted plants under many conditions. Growers will discuss their successes and challenges in preparing and using grafted plants at all scales and for grafted plant use in various production systems.
A full Symposium schedule with speakers and topics is available at this link.  for the PDF.
Online registration will begin on Sept. 28, 2015. We encourage you to register and make hotel accommodations early as they fill up quickly.
To learn more about vegetable grafting, visit the grafting portal at this website.

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Specialty Crops Research Initiative under award Number 2011-51181-30963. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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White Paper published on organic and IPM partnership needed to address critical food production challenges

MADISON, WI. Nov 9, 2015—Society faces enormous challenges to meet the food needs of a rapidly growing global population, while addressing the adverse impacts of food production on human health, air and water quality, greenhouse gas emission, soil health, pollinators and biodiversity. Improvements are also critically needed to improve the economic viability of farming, and to recruit new farmers and the next generation of researchers and extension scientists to support farmers’ efforts to improve sustainability.

A new publication, Organic Agriculture and Integrated Pest Management: Synergistic Partnership Needed to Improve the Sustainability of Agriculture and Food Systems, is a product of a dynamic coalition of intellectuals and scientists. The report details the challenges we face, opportunities for collaborative pursuit of solutions, and recommends institutional and policy reforms to accelerate progress.

“Meeting current food needs is a necessity, no doubt, but we also need to take a long view.” declares Dr. Brian Baker, co-editor of the document. “The threats current agricultural technology pose to future productivity and resilience must be addressed if we are to meet the needs of future generations.”

Dr. Thomas Green, president of the IPM Institute of North America, based in Madison, WI, adds, “While many farmers, scientists, food companies and others are working hard on solutions, collaboration among leaders and supporters of organic agriculture and Integrated Pest Management is a missed opportunity that can help us move towards more sustainable practices.”

Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a common-sense approach where pests are monitored and action is taken only when needed. Pest control options are evaluated and selected to minimize harm to health and environment. Certified organic producers are required to use IPM, as are growers in many other eco-labels consumers can find in stores including Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council and others.

Organic and IPM practices fall far below their potential, with less than 10 percent of US cropland benefiting from these opportunities to reduce impacts. “Public and private investment in research, development, technology transfer and demonstration of organic, IPM and other sustainable farming systems has not kept pace with the demands of the global food system’s economic, ecological and social imperatives” states Dr. Baker. “While organic and IPM have some differences, we have much more in common and have opportunities to work together to fulfill these shared priorities.”

Additional recommendations include eliminating publicly funded programs that encourage unsustainable practices, and increasing incentives including pesticide registration improvements for product and service providers to develop, formulate and market more options that are compatible with organic and advanced IPM systems, including biologically based pesticides.

Authors include Dr. Daniel Cooley, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Susan Futrell, Red Tomato; Lyn Garling and Dr. Edwin Rajotte, Penn State University; Grace Gershuny, GAIA Services; Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute; Abby Seaman, Cornell University; and Dr. Stephen Young of the Northeastern IPM Center. The publication is an effort of members of the Organic and IPM Working group and is available at this link

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, North Central IPM Center projects AG 2012-51120-20252 and AG 2014-70006-22486

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