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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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:
|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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.