EPA Offers Webinars on Pollinator Health and Habitat

Beginning in March 2020, EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs will host a series of public webinars highlighting ongoing work to promote pollinator health and habitat.

These webinars seek to increase awareness of the evolving science on pollinator health, promote efforts to improve pollinator habitat, and engage stakeholders in addressing factors associated with declines in pollinator health.

Each webinar will target different stakeholders, including the general public; homeowners; school officials; scientists; conservation groups; beekeepers; growers; and state, local and tribal governments.

EPA will hold the first webinar, Creating Monarch Habitats in Schools and Communities, on March 10. Presenters will explain the monarch butterfly’s importance as an iconic species; why safeguarding monarch habitat is critical to overall ecosystem health; and how schools can create living educational environments that provide safe habitat. Participants will learn about threats to the monarch butterfly, monarch migration patterns, and the role groups and individuals can play in conserving monarch habitat by adopting integrated pest management practices.  

The remaining webinars will address pesticide risks, agricultural stewardship, and pollinator protection plans:

  • Advancing the Science of Assessing Risks to Bees from Pesticides (July 2020) – Exploration of advancements in standardized test methods and efforts to leverage existing data through retrospective analyses with consideration of both pesticide exposure and effects. Focused on scientists and pesticide manufacturers.
  • Agricultural Stewardship and Best Management Practices to Reduce Pollinator Risk (August 2020) – Presentations on various agricultural stewardship and best management practices, including integrated pest management techniques, that aid in reducing pollinator risk and enhancing pollinator habitat. Geared toward growers, pesticide applicators, agricultural land managers, and stakeholders working in crop production.
  • Engaging Stakeholders: Development and Implementation of Pollinator Protection Plans (September 2020) – Discussion of managed pollinator protection plans as a way to engage stakeholders in improving pollinator health and efforts to coordinate research on the effectiveness of these plans.Target audience will be state, local and tribal governments; conservation groups; and the agricultural community, including beekeepers.

Visit EPA’s website on Protecting Bees and Other Pollinators from Pesticides for the latest information on Agency efforts on pollinators. Registration information will be available on that webpage in advance of each webinar.

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EPA Releases Proposed Interim Decisions for Neonicotinoids

EPA is taking the next step in its regulatory review of neonicotinoid pesticides – a group of insecticides used on a wide variety of crops, turf, ornamentals, pets (for flea treatment), and other residential and commercial indoor and outdoor uses. The agency’s proposed interim decisions for acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam contain new measures to reduce potential ecological risks, particularly to pollinators, and protect public health.

EPA is proposing:

  • management measures to help keep pesticides on the intended target and reduce the amount used on crops associated with potential ecological risks;
  • requiring the use of additional personal protective equipment to address potential occupational risks;
  • restrictions on when pesticides can be applied to blooming crops in order to limit exposure to bees;
  • language on the label that advises homeowners not to use neonicotinoid products; and
  • cancelling spray uses of imidacloprid on residential turf under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) due to health concerns.

Additionally, the agency is working with industry on developing and implementing stewardship and best management practices.

Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, the agency invites comments on the proposed decisions in the following dockets for 60 days. After reviewing public input, the agency will issue final interim decisions.

More information on EPA’s proposed interim decisions for neonicotinoids is available atwww.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/epa-actions-protect-pollinators#Proposed-Interim-Decisions.

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EPA Finalizes Glyphosate Mitigation

EPA has concluded its regulatory review of glyphosate—the most widely used herbicide in the United States. After a thorough review of the best available science, as required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen. These findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the European Food Safety Authority, and the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The agency is requiring additional mitigation measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays to the intended pest and reduce the problem of increasing glyphosate resistance in weeds.

Glyphosate has been studied for decades and the agency reviewed thousands of studies since its registration. Glyphosate is used on more than 100 food crops, including glyphosate-resistant corn, soybean, cotton, canola, and sugar beet. It is the leading herbicide for the management of invasive and noxious weeds and is used to manage pastures, rangeland, rights of ways, forests, public land, and residential areas. In addition, glyphosate has low residual soil toxicity and helps retain no-till and low-till farming operations.

More information on glyphosate and EPA’s interim decision is available at www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/glyphosate

Background

EPA uses interim decisions to finalize enforceable mitigation measures while conducting other longer-term assessments, such as an endangered species assessment. EPA will next complete a draft biological evaluation for glyphosate, which is anticipated for public comment in Fall 2020.

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New Associate Director of IPM Position with University of Minnesota Extension

A new full-time position of Associate Director for the UMN Extension IPM program has been created to provide statewide leadership, effective spring, 2020. The position is located on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.

ABOUT EXTENSION and IPM

The University of Minnesota Extension is the major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota (UMN), a land grant institution with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. The mission of the UMN-Extension is making a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota. https://extension.umn.edu/

The UMN-Extension IPM program was established in the early-1970s, within the land grant university, Extension organization in every state through US Congressional funding. Primary funding is through USDA-NIFA. The program works with numerous UMN Extension Educators across the state, as well as campus faculty in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences. The program also works within the University to build a workforce knowledgeable about IPM and to advance IPM goals to key clientele groups, including farmers of agricultural and horticultural crops, organic growers, crop consultants, and agric. professionals who advise farmers. These interactions may involve undergraduate and graduate students, interns, and Extension educators.

As the Assoc. Director of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, the successful applicant is expected to work closely with Extension administration to strategically integrate the program’s research and education activities. Key roles of the position include:

  • Provide strategic direction, statewide leadership of the IPM program, aligned with national IPM goals (USDA-NIFA), North Central Region initiatives, and UMN Extension goals
  • Maintain nationally competitive external funding for IPM (e.g., USDA)
  • Promote and facilitate the implementation of IPM programs across disciplines
  • Integrate IPM programming with Extension Crops & Horticulture teams, and the Pesticide Safety & Environmental Education (PSEE) program
  • Supervise IPM staff

All details regarding the position and salary range, commensurate with experience, is located at:

https://extension.umn.edu/about-extension/careers#center-for-agriculture%2C-food-and-natural-resources-153962

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Community IPM Coordinator— IPM Institute of North America

Full-time coordinator position available with a growing independent non-profit organization working to improve sustainability in agriculture and communities through Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The community IPM program partners with communities, including schools and other facilities to manage pests while reducing risk to occupants. Responsibilities include program outreach and communications; completing evaluation reports to confirm client compliance with program criteria; and coordinating logistics and preparing materials for meetings and in-person trainings.
The individual in this position will work with project teams, project partners, clients and project scientists to research pesticide active ingredients, toxicity and legal requirements; create outreach and informational materials; develop, implement and verify standards focused on sustainability, IPM and pesticide risk reduction. The scope of work includes communications, database management, website maintenance, standards development, training, client/program evaluation and reporting.
The ideal candidate will have strong attention to detail and demonstrated commitment to non-profit work. Excellent organizational, verbal and written communication skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office are essential. Spanish language proficiency is a plus.
Flexible schedule, 30 – 35 hours per week, hourly compensation commensurate with skills and experience ($15 – $17 per hour). Our growth provides for excellent opportunities for long-term advancement. Benefits include health insurance, retirement plan, and paid vacation and holidays. Located on the near east side of Madison.
The IPM Institute of North America, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed in 1998. Our mission is to improve sustainability in agriculture and communities by using the power of the marketplace. Our team currently works on more than a dozen projects to increase adoption of IPM and other best practices that reduce risks to health and the environment from pesticide and nutrient use in agriculture and communities, improve working conditions, soil health, water and air quality.
Send a resume, cover letter, salary history and three professional references to Richard Mansheim at 211 S. Paterson Street Suite 380, Madison, WI 53703, or email info@ipminstitute.org

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University of Wisconsin Postdoctoral Research Associate Fruit Crop Entomology Laboratory

A postdoctoral position is available in the Department of Entomology at UW-Madison to further our understanding of population dynamics and movement and to refine management strategies for insect pests of Wisconsin berry crops. The postdoctoral researcher will focus on two pest species of interest: Drosophila suzukii (spotted-wing drosophila) and Systena frontalis (red-headed flea beetle). We are looking for a motivated and flexible researcher who will be able to manage several projects and balance field work with laboratory assays. The primary focus of the
researcher will be to lead a grant that assesses genetic diversity and population structure of spotted-wing drosophila in the North Central region. Additional projects will focus on assessing landscape factors affecting the movement and distribution of flea beetle in cranberry as well as addressing questions on the basic biology of this emerging pest in cranberry. The researcher will be responsible for designing and conducting the research, analyzing the data, and reporting results in peer-reviewed publications.
The position will be at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in the Department of Entomology in the Guédot’s Fruit Crop Entomology Laboratory
Ideal candidates should have a Ph.D. in entomology, ecology or a related field with experience in molecular techniques and chemical ecology as well as on farm field research. Demonstrated record in writing peer-reviewed publications, being comfortable working independently and with grower-cooperators, and supervising undergraduate students is expected. Funding is available for two years with the possibility to extend based on performance and funding.
Deadline for application: For full consideration, submit applications by December 15, 2019 (applications will be accepted until position is filled). Anticipated Start Date: May 1, 2020.
To apply: Interested applicants should submit a current CV, statement of research interests and experience, contact information for three references, and copies of 3 recent publications to Christelle Guédot at guedot@wisc.edu.
For further inquiries, please contact Dr. Christelle Guédot at guedot@wisc.edu or call 608-262-0899.

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EPA Announces Requests for Applications for the 2020 Environmental Education Grants Program

WASHINGTON (October 24, 2019) — As authorized by the National Environmental Education Act of 1990, EPA is pleased to announce the availability of up to $3 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education projects under the 2020 Environmental Education Grant Program. EPA will award three to four grants in each of the agency’s 10 regions. Groups interested must submit their application by Jan. 6, 2020, to be considered. The Requests for Application (RFA) is posted on: www.grants.gov.

“This funding will support projects aimed at educating and inspiring the next generation of Americans to tackle pressing environmental challenges like marine litter and food waste,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Through EPA’s Environmental Education Grant Program, we are able to bring more environmental education opportunities to local communities across the country.” 

In addition to other environmental topics, the 2020 Environmental Education Grants Program will fund education-based projects pertaining to marine debris mitigation, food waste and loss reduction, and recycling. Funded projects will both increase public awareness on various environmental matters and enhance participants’ abilities to make informed decisions on environmental issues prospectively. 

Additional Background on How to Apply

Determine Eligibility.

  • Applicants must represent one of the following types of organizations to be eligible for an environmental education grant:
    • local education agency
    • state education or environmental agency
    • college or university
    • non-profit organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
    • noncommercial educational broadcasting entity
    • tribal education agency (which includes schools and community colleges controlled by an Indian tribe, band, or nation and which are recognized as eligible for special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians and which are not administered by the Bureau of Indian Education.)
  • Applicant organizations must be located in the United States or territories and the majority of the educational activities must take place in the United States; or in the United States and Canada or Mexico; or in the U.S. Territories.

Complete the Application and Budget Forms, according to the directions.

  • Each RFA contains complete instructions for submitting a proposal, including all required information and limitations on format. A summary of the required information is below. Read the RFA thoroughly for application procedures. All applications must be submitted through: www.grants.gov
  • Find the forms on the “Application Forms” tab. Materials should be submitted in the following order:
    • Two Federal forms: Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424) and Budget (SF 424-A)
    • Work Plan (up to 8 pages):
      1. Project Summary (recommended 1 page)
      2. Detailed Project Description
      3. Project Evaluation Plan
      4. Detailed Budget Showing Match and Subawards (not included in the page limit)
      5. Appendices (not included in the page limit)
        • Timeline
        • Logic Model Showing Outputs and Outcomes
        • Programmatic Capabilities and Past Performance
        • Letters Stating Responsibilities of Partners, if applicable

Submit the Proposal Materials.

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Assistant Professor of Agroecosystems Entomology @ University of Wisconsin

The Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to announce the recruitment for a tenure-track faculty position at the Assistant level (9-month) in Agroecosystems Entomology with strengths in the understanding and management of pest suppression, pollination, and
other ecosystem services provided by insects. Candidates with research interests and experience in integrating diversified agroecosystems with urban agriculture, organic and low-input systems, habitat management and diversification, and environmental and human health are particularly exciting. The ideal candidate will use experimental and quantitative approaches to understand the dynamics and management of pest and beneficial insects, such as predators, pollinators, or decomposers, to improve the sustainability of diversified agroecosystems through novel management approaches.
The position carries a commitment to the three important functions of resident instruction, research, and outreach, as well as professional and university service as appropriate to the faculty rank. The candidate is expected to contribute to both undergraduate and graduate instruction with responsibility for teaching an introductory course in the emerging AgroEcosystems undergraduate major, and an upper-level course in a more specialized agricultural ecology area. All of our faculty contribute to our graduate seminar series and mentor undergraduate students in independent studies, as well as training graduate students and post-doctoral scientists.
Candidates must have a PhD in Biological Sciences with expertise in agroecosystems entomology. Postdoctoral experience is highly desirable. Preference will be given to candidates that present evidence of excellence in teaching, a record of publishing in peer-reviewed journals, and success in attracting extramural funding. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an independent, extramurally funded research program; develop an innovative undergraduate and graduate teaching program; build collaborative relationships in research and instructional programs; and contribute to service and outreach functions of the Department, College, University and professional societies.

Application Procedure: Apply online at “Jobs at UW” (http://jobs.wisc.edu) under job number 100755. Or follow this link: https://go.wisc.edu/lx515e and begin the application process by clicking “Apply Now”.
Applications must be received through UW-Madison’s online application system.
Applications are accepted through December 15, 2019.
The following information will be requested:
1) Letter of application

2) Curriculum vitae
3) Names and contact information of three letter-writers
4) Two-page statement of research interests and future research plans, highlighting the fit to this position and how the candidate would complement the departmental expertise
5) Two-page statement of teaching philosophy, approach and experiences
6) One page statement on how your scholarship, teaching, and mentoring align with the commitment of the Dept. of Entomology to foster an inclusive and diverse academic community
7) One PDF document demonstrating a representative sample of published papers (3 max) We advise that applicants notify potential letter-writers in advance that letters will be required to the department by January 15, 2020, if the candidate is advanced to the next round of screening.
Applicants can find relevant information about the Dept. of Entomology at
http://www.entomology.wisc.edu, and interested individuals are welcome to contact Associate Professor Christelle Guédot (guedot@wisc.edu) to discuss this opportunity.

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2020 NORTH CENTRAL IPM GRANTS

The North Central IPM Center has released its RFA’s for the 2020 Working Groups and Critical Issues grant programs, as of September 24, 2019 at 4 p.m. CST. The proposal submission date for both RFAs is November 22, 2019, by 5 p.m. EST. Proposal start dates are March 3, 2020. The proposal submission web portal can be found here. 

2020 North Central IPM Center Working Group RFA
The NCIPMC announces the availability of funds and requests proposals for Working Groups that support the NCIPMC and regional IPM priorities. Working Groups are to support collaboration among diverse groups to collaboratively address a regional IPM priority. Multi-state/tribal nation Working Groups address information, resource, and research needs in region-wide or broad areas to enhance communication and collaborations for the IPM topic area addressed by the Working Group. A Working Group could also coordinate efforts to develop proposals for additional funding to address critical issues within the North Central region. To see 2019 projects, click here.

2020 North Central IPM Center Critical Issues RFA
The NCIPMC announces the availability of funds and requests proposals for Critical Issue Proposals that support the NCIPMC and regional IPM priorities. Competitive proposals are solicited for critical issues that address information, resource, and research needs with regional importance to minor crops, major crops, non-crop areas, IPM metrics and/or impact assessments, urban IPM, forestry, cropping systems, resistance management, advanced genetic tools and IPM, School IPM, Tribal IPM and other issues. The program is designed to provide one-time seed funding to help initiate work requiring immediate attention until other longer-term resources can be secured to address the issue. To see 2019 projects, click here.

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EPA Seeks Public Comment on Pesticide Applications for Hemp

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the receipt of 10 pesticide applications to expand their use on hemp. The 10 requests are the result of the December 2018 Farm Bill provisions that removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, legalizing hemp for commercial use and production.

“EPA is taking the next step toward registering crop protection tools for hemp in time for use during the 2020 application and growing seasons,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The Agency is announcing a 30-day public comment period on ten existing pesticide product applications for industrial hemp. We hope this transparent and public process will bring hemp farmers and researchers increased regulatory clarity in time for next growing season — something they have asked for since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalization of commercial hemp.”

To ensure transparency and improve EPA’s process for considering pest management tools for the emerging American hemp industry, EPA is seeking public comment on these applications. The list of pesticides can be found in prepublication copy of the Federal Register notice. Comments are due 30 days after the notice publishes in the Federal Register.

Once public comments are received, EPA anticipates deciding about the possible use of the specified products on hemp before the end of 2019 to help growers make informed purchasing choices for the upcoming growing season. Moving forward, EPA will review, approve or deny applications for use on hemp as the agency would for any other use site.

The enacted 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry-weight basis. Thus, the 2018 Farm Bill allows for expanding cultivation of hemp but not marijuana.

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