1. Completed Projects: Although AAAI is less than a year old, we already have a number of accomplishments.
NEW! NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Acridogenic and Anthropogenic Hazards to the Grassland Biome
NEW! Optimization Trials, Operational Evaluations and Adult Efficacy Trials of Reduced Agent-Area Treatments for Control of Rangeland Grasshoppers
a. Technical Translation: The "From Fipronil to Adonis®" (a product Guide for Fipronil) was translated from French to Russian by Alexandre Latchininsky for Rhône-Poulenc. AAAI also handled the printing and production of the translated guide. The translation was received with great interest by plant protection specialists in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Georgia, and a reprinting is anticipated.
b. Scientific Publication: A report entitled "Distribution of the Italian Locust (Calliptamus italicus L.) in the Western Part of the Altai Region" by Michael Sergeev was published under the joint auspices of AAAI and Novosibirsk State University.
c. Workshop Co-sponsorship: The AAAI co-sponsored a NATO Advanced Research Workshop on "Acridogenic and Anthropogenic Hazards to the Grassland Biome: Managing Grasshopper Outbreaks without Risking Environmental Disaster" in Estes Park, Colorado.
d. NGO status: After seeking legal counsel regarding the nature of non-governmental organizations, AAAI has been determined to meet the criteria of an NGO, and we are now using this term in describing ourselves.
e. Website: The AAAI website is now up and running. We will be making periodic updates and corrections, so if you find any element of the site that needs revision, please call it to our attention. This site should prove a valuable tool in informing our Associates, Institutional Partners/Participants, Sponsors, and potential clients of our organization.
f. Workshop: The first AAAI workshop was held in Australia and hosted by the Australian Plague Locust Commission. By any measure, the workshop was an enormous success, and there can be no doubt that this project will be vital to the continued health and growth of AAAI.
2. Ongoing Projects:
NEW! Emergency Program for the Control of Locust Outbreaks in Kazakhstan
NEW! Guide to the identification and management of the grasshoppers and locusts of Kazakhstan (in Russian)
a. Guide to Central Asian Acridids: A "Guide to the Common and Harmful Grasshoppers and Locusts of Central Asia" is now fully funded and in development. A consortium of industry and academic sources have supported this venture, while AAAI played the leadership role in generating and conducting this project. An international team of 8 specialists (including 4 AAAI Associates) from 4 countries is preparing the guide, which covers >300 species of acridids. Publication is expected in May 2000.
b. NATO Proceedings: The NATO Advanced Research Workshop (see Item IIA1c) is publishing a book "Grasshoppers and Grassland Health", and AAAI will be recognized as a co-sponsor of this venture and is serving as the editorial board.
c. UN NGO: The application for official recognition of AAAI as an NGO by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization has been submitted (June 1999) and acknowledged. We will be providing an update of these materials with respect to the developments emerging from our workshop, and we remain optimistic that our application will be favorably received.
3. Projects in Development:
a. Working Groups: The Associates felt that "working groups" organized around areas of particular strength, interest, and need would facilitate the development of collaborative projects. As such, we are proposing three working groups (the exact names of which can be modified by the members), and we are asking Associates to let us know which of these groups they would like to join and whether they would be willing to serve as a (co)-leader of the group.
The Board will put the members of the working groups together and assure that there is at least one leader to move the effort forward. The directions and functions of the working groups will be largely self-defined, but we are suggesting that each group consider developing an applied research project and a 1-5 day training program that AAAI could market to prospective clients. Please consider the following groups:
i. Non-uniform Application Methods: This group would work on barrier, irregular, RAATs, and other application tactics.
ii. Biocontrol/Metarhizium: This group would work on the development and application of biological controls, with Metarhizium serving as the current focus.
iii. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Impacts: This group would work on the evaluation and mitigation of environmental effects associated with grasshopper and locust control.
b. Central Asia: We are engaged in discussions with the FAO regarding the possibility of collaborative consulting, training, and research programs in Central Asia. It appears that there are excellent opportunities for parallel and mutually supportive efforts between our organizations in this region.
c. Development Agencies: We have opened discussions with the European Union, US Agency for International Development and the World Bank concerning the sorts of projects that AAAI can offer with regard to ongoing and impending grasshopper and locust outbreaks.
d. "Development Marketplace": This new program of the World Bank is offering grants to organizations to address poverty issues in developing countries. We have submitted an AAAI proposal supported by collaborators in the World Bank, European Union, and Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan Plant Protection Institutes.
e. Associate Projects: We are strongly encouraging every Associate to seek opportunities to include AAAI as a partner or leader in applied acridology projects. Such efforts can be as simple as including your AAAI association on publications, reviews, acknowledgments, and other documents. Associates and Institutional Partners/Participants might also consider using AAAI as a means of peer review, program review, or proposal development. Ongoing projects that AAAI could "coat-tail" with regard to assessment, review, or participation would be extremely welcomed. If AAAI could co-sponsor a meeting, workshop, or training session by facilitating communication/advertisement, providing materials/expertise, or editorial services, please let us know. Of course, "major" projects would be most welcomed, and we look forward to initiatives arising from the working groups. It is critical that AAAI develop a record of productivity, and no project is too small if the quality of the product reflects well on the Association.
f. Next Workshop: The workshops are a central "project" for the
Association. It was generally agreed that the primary function of the workshop
must be to facilitate personal communication and foster collegiality and
collaboration among the Associates. It may be useful to have a theme for
the workshop to focus discussion or to organize sessions around the working
groups. The location of the workshop is considered a "value added" element,
with the goal of selecting a site where we can benefit from the knowledge
of our hosts (i.e., Associates-as-students) and/or provide a service via
consultation or training to our hosts (i.e., Associates-as-teachers). The
possibility of a workshop in Central Asia was discussed, and other venues
were suggested. The pros and cons of a laboratory-based workshop were also
discussed. It may be possible to precede a 1-week workshop for Association
business and Associate communications with a 1-week optional field-based
workshop. At this time, no commitments have been made, but we are exploring
several options. If the workshop is held during a "field season" in the
northern hemisphere, the next workshop may not occur for another 15 months