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Objectives | Quality, Credibility, and Objectivity | Timeline and Financial Plan | Organizational Structure

STRUCTURE AND LOGISTICS

INSTITUTIONAL SETTING

University of Wyoming campus

The University of Wyoming is an ideal location for the proposed Association in light of institutional expertise and broad interdisciplinary opportunities across programs, colleges, and departments. The University has had a strong program in acridology for decades, and the breadth of the faculty at the University offers a broad-base of expertise in agricultural, ecological, environmental, economic, and cultural contexts. The integration of an international cadre of acridologists with the University’s best scientists will provide critical avenues for an expansion of research, extension, and teaching programs in what is the University’s strongest interdisciplinary focus -- environmental sciences and natural resource management. The Association will have access to faculty in entomology (including biological control and parasitoid taxonomy), range management, wildlife management, agricultural extension, environmental monitoring and toxicology, and agricultural and resource economics. The university-wide Office of International Programs and Institute for Environment and Natural Resources also represent valuable assets.



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OBJECTIVES


The goal of the Association for Applied Acridology International is to form a coordinated, operational pool of world experts, thereby creating opportunities for collaboration and enhancing access to this expertise by governments, agencies, and companies.
This goal is explicitly intended to avoid competition with the outstanding programs in applied acridology found in many countries. Rather than replacing these programs, the Association intends to integrate these foci of expertise into a cohesive, stimulating, and synergistic organization that will allow these programs to expand and build their services. As such the term "Association" (rather than "centre" or "program") was explicitly chosen to reflect the goal of building a cooperative venture.

The Association will have three purposes that are designed to provide clear focus and to recognize current and future opportunities.

First, the Association will provide consulting services for grasshopper and locust managers throughout the world. Such consulting may take the form of counsel with governments, guidance to international agencies, and expert advice to private industries and agricultural producers. The Association will not interfere with consulting that is part of Associates’ professional responsibilities by virtue of their current employment.

Second, the Association will provide training programs for clients. Such educational efforts may involve governments (e.g., technical translations), agencies (e.g., workshops or manuals in particular management methods and strategies), agriculturalists (e.g., decision support software or advisory tools), and companies (e.g., seminars or reviews on recent advances in application and operational tactics). Association training programs will create rich opportunities for development of effective, customized, high-quality training programs for a wide range of clients in the native languages of the participants. The Association is also able to fill gaps in training programs offered by local agencies and Institutional Partners.

Third, the Association will provide expertise related to applied research ventures, with the possibility of conducting year-round testing of new products and strategies by utilizing Associates and Institutional Partners in both hemispheres. The classic context of this service would be contracts with agrochemical industries with respect to efficacy and environmental testing, and such work will undoubtedly continue and expand. However, the development of new methods for particular conditions, the refinement or adaptation of approaches for individual countries, and the comparison of various management strategies for agencies may all provide significant opportunities for the Associates and Institutional Partners. The potential for creative and supportive collaboration among Associates in large and complex research projects demanding the skills and experience of multiple experts will make the Association a very attractive source of services to a wide range of clients.



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QUALITY, CREDIBILITY, AND OBJECTIVITY


There can be no doubt that the viability of the Association is wholly and absolutely dependent upon its claim to be a world leader in terms of quality, credible, and objective information pertaining to applied acridology. Nothing can be allowed to compromise these fundamental principles, as these elements are literally the essence of the Association. To aggressively and unambiguously assure that these standards are established and maintained, the following five measures have been adopted and will be rigorously applied.

First, the Association will be comprised using an uncompromising standard of scientific quality. The Associates and Institutional Partners will represent the finest acridological and related expertise in the world. This policy will assure the highest possible level of scientific and technological quality in the work of the Association. Expectations are that Associates will be actively engaged in: applied acridology or related fields, ongoing professional training, peer review of Association projects, and contributions to Association publications.

Second, the Associates and Institutional Partners will represent a broad range of geographical, cultural, philosophical, and professional perspectives. Associates from 20 nations, including experts in chemical and biological control, integrated pest management, applied ecology, environmental toxicology, and agricultural economics will assure that Association’s consultation, training, and research are derived from both a rich depth of knowledge and a wide breadth of views. Rather than the client having to seek alternative perspectives, the Association will assure that competing views have been taken into account with regard to all of its products.

Third, the Association is committed to assuring that under no circumstances will the results of its work be influenced by the sources of funding, the biases of the Associates and Institutional Partners, or the interests of the Sponsoring Partners. This last source of potential conflict-of-interest is a matter of particular concern. In this regard, the acceptance of sponsorships requires the absolute and complete absence of conditions related to the economic and political interests of the Sponsoring Partners.

Fourth, the Association will pursue a diversification of sponsorship, including a range of industries and various international agencies. By acquiring support from multiple – even competing – Sponsoring Partners, objectivity (or at least multiplicity of perspectives) will be enhanced.

Fifth, to guarantee unbiased and objective work, all reports and programs developed for the Association will undergo an internal, peer review process by other members of the Association specifically chosen for their expertise and potentially alternative views. This process will assure the client that the work of Association meets the highest possible professional standards. In effect, a client receives not only the expertise of the selected Associate(s), but the Association’s assurance that the results are as reliable and credible as possible.



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TIMELINE AND FINANCIAL PLAN


Year 1 (1998-1999).

The timeline for the first year of the Association is:

October: Gain official approval and commitment of support; issue invitations to prospective Board members (completed)

December: Hold first meeting of the Board in Laramie (completed)
 
First meeting of AAAI Board of Directors First meeting of AAAI Board of Directors

January: Issue invitations to Associates and Institutional Partners

January-March: Finalize Associates and Institutional Partners; initiate marketing of the Association; solicit supporting sponsorships for 1999-2000

February-October: Implement Association-related consultations, training programs, and applied research projects

November-December: Conduct an Associate workshop in Australia and hold the annual Board meeting (Proceedings); prepare first Semi-annual Report on Acridid Infestations (southern hemisphere) and Annual Report on the State of Applied Acridology

The budget for the first year of the Association is:
 
 

Rhône-Poulenc Foundation University
Administration  $50,000 $51,600
1998/1999 Board meetings and 1999 Workshop $70,000 $10,000

Years 2-5 :

The annual course of events is anticipated to include three primary activities:

First, there will be a Board meeting in November/December to assess finances, appraise the performance of the Association, evaluate current and future Associates, revise operational procedures, fill vacancies, etc.

Second, there will be marketing meetings with existing and potential clients. Such discussions will be particularly important early in the Association’s development, but continued marketing of services will be necessary to maintain and expand the number of clients and Sponsoring Partners.

Third, there will be one or two workshops for Associates each year. These workshops will provide continuing opportunities to enhance skills, expand capabilities, explore new methods, and learn emerging technologies, while building trust and camaraderie among participants. Such continuing education of Associates by Associates will strengthen the credibility of the Association by assuring clients that the best, newest, and most effective approaches are always available.

Funding for the Association’s operating expenses (Directorate, travel, communications, and office) will be provided through four sources. First, companies and agencies will be offered full sponsorships of the Association for $25,000 per year. Sponsoring Partners will receive: 1) a waiver of all overhead costs on projects conducted through the Association (normally 41%),

2) two semi-annual, confidential reports corresponding to the current situation pertaining to grasshoppers and locusts in all major markets in the northern and southern hemispheres,

3) the Annual Report on the State of Applied Acridology, including summaries of projects conducted through the Association and reviews of recent advances and innovations relevant to applied acridology.

4) advertizing through Association-related materials,

5) invitations to attend Associate workshops and the Association Board meeting, which will provide contact with the Associates as well as cutting-edge information on grasshopper and locust management.
 
 

Second, companies and agencies will be offered supporting sponsorships for $10,000 per year. Sponsoring Partners providing this level of support will receive: 1) a 10% overhead on projects conducted through the Association (normally 41%),

2) the Annual Report on the State of Applied Acridology, including summaries of projects conducted through the Association and reviews of recent advances and innovations relevant to applied acridology.

3) advertizing through Association-related materials,

4) invitations to attend Associate workshops and the Association Board meeting, which will provide contact with the Associates as well as cutting-edge information on grasshopper and locust management.
 
 

Third, a range of clients (companies, agencies, governments, and individuals) will be offered the consulting, training, and applied research services of the Association. Clients will pay a standardized fee for services to be set by the Board, and an overhead rate of 41% applied to all contracts administered through the Association.

Fourth, the University of Wyoming will provide in-kind support of the Association in the form of bookkeeping services, office space, and communications (phone/fax line, email account, Website), and overhead waivers (for sponsorships).
 
 

Years 5+:

The long-term future of the Association is difficult to predict, although we are optimistic that this initiative will become self-sustaining. The Association will undergo a complete and thorough review of its performance based on measurable outcomes established by the Board in 1998 and revised thereafter.



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ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE


Directorate.

Board of Directors and Board of Advisors

International Associates and Institutional Partners.

A list of prospective international Associates and Institutional Partners has been developed using four criteria:

1) breadth of expertise within grasshopper and locust management (economics, operational methods, applied ecology, environmental monitoring),

2) breadth of geographic representation (all regions with significant acridid pest management problems have representation),

3) reputation (the most productive and highly respected acridologists, supporting scientists, and institutions in the world were identified), and

4) activity (only those scientists currently involved in consulting, training, operations, or research were included).
 

The advantages of accepting the status of Associate or Institutional Partner of the Association for Applied Acridology International include at least four considerations. First, Associates and Institutional Partners will gain access to opportunities to conduct consulting, training, and applied research. The Association is designed to represent the "best in the world" and will aggressively pursue contractual opportunities with a broad range of companies, agencies, and governments. As such, the Associates and Institutional Partners will have greatly enhanced access to clients willing to pay for their expertise, relative to the range of opportunities accessible to individuals.

Second, the Associates and Institutional Partners will gain regular access to one another through a system of ongoing communications and workshops. Expanding one’s professional contacts through meeting and working with the world’s finest acridologists and supporting scientists will provide an unparalleled opportunity for professional development through the exchange of new ideas and approaches.

Third, the Association will provide annual workshops to give Associates access to new regions, emerging technologies, novel management practices, unique ecological conditions, varied economic perspectives, diverse cultures, and varied political contexts. The chance to learn from other experts is an unprecedented system of continuing education in acridology, and this strategy assures that Associates will be highly sought-after for their knowledge and experience.

Fourth, the Associates and Institutional Partners will form an elite core of applied acridology – a community of scientists that has no parallel in other pest management systems. As such, it is the explicit intent of the Association to build and foster an organization that is truly prestigious, so that its Associates will be recognized and respected around the world. While an invitation to become and Associate is, in itself, a high honor, the Association is not designed to be or become a "paper lion" or honorary club. The Associates are expected to continually develop and demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a supportive and cohesive partnership of outstanding and demanding scientific colleagues.
 
 

Given the nature of the Association, it is necessary to have clear expectations of Associates. These demands are not extreme, and we expect that scientists of the caliber invited to join the group will see these expectations as reasonable, even exciting, opportunities that justify the Association’s claim to being "the world’s best" with impeccable credibility and quality. The five expectations of Associates include the following activities. First, every Associate will be expected to make every reasonable effort to attend an annual workshop organized and paid for by the Association. The intent is to have workshops conducted by Associates at locations throughout the world. These workshops will be designed to assure a continued refinement of Associates’ expertise and to build a sense of community among the widely scattered Associates. The workshops are viewed as being fundamental to the vitality and credibility of the Association, so continued status as an Associate will be contingent upon regular workshop involvement.

Second, each Associate will be expected to engage in Association-related projects as they become available. Such activities will include work with the Association’s sponsors (full or supporting) or services to clients who direct their request through the Association. The hosting of an Association workshop will also constitute having conducted an Association project. The size, intensity, or profitability of a project will not be a qualifying factor. The purpose of this expectation is to simply assure that the Associates are active and productive in acridology and are contributing to the wellbeing of the Association.

Third, every Associate is expected to contribute a regional summary to the Semi-annual Report on Acridid Infestations. The Associates will receive a copy of this Report with the understanding that its contents are for their exclusive and confidential use.

Fourth, every Associate is expected to contribute to The Annual Report on the State of Applied Acridology. This report will include: 1) an Executive summary, 2) short summaries of Associates’ projects conducted through the Association, and 3) reviews of recent advances and innovations relevant to applied acridology. This report will be provided to all Sponsoring Partners and clients.

Fifth, all Associates will provide their professional, objective, critical, and constructive review of Association-related projects upon request. It is the intent of the Association that all consultancy reports, training programs, and applied research reports will undergo the review of at least two Associates not involved with, but having particular expertise in, the specific project. This is another mechanism to assure communication within the Association, to build professional expertise, and to assure the credibility of the Association’s work.


WYOMING ASSOCIATES

Associates from the University of Wyoming will participate in the work of the Association, and one of these Associates will be invited to participate in the annual workshop(s). Wyoming Associates will represent the Departments of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Chemistry, Economics, Renewable Resources (Entomology; Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management; and Soil Science), and Zoology.



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