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Entomology in Academia: Where do we go from here?.

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Presentation on theme: "Entomology in Academia: Where do we go from here?."— Presentation transcript:

1 Entomology in Academia: Where do we go from here?

2 Historical Perspective: Entomology in Academia Developed in Land Grant Universities Teaching –Morrill Act 1862 established LGU’s to “bring higher education of a practical nature to citizens of ordinary means.” –Morrill Act 1890 Provided for annual appropriations to support state LG colleges Extended LG status to historically black state colleges

3 Entomology in Academia: Research Hatch Act 1887 – established State Agricultural Experiment Stations –Linked ag research to universities Bankhead-Jones Act 1935 – –Formula funding for research –Additional funding for research into basic problems of agriculture

4 Entomology in Academia: Extension Smith Lever Act 1914 – created Cooperative Extension Service –To aid in disseminating useful and practical information relating to agriculture and home economics to the public

5 The Winds of Change – Post WWII National Science Policy was established –Build the economy train PhD scientists to meet needs of government, industry, & academia –National Science Foundation – 1950 Support education and fundamental research in all scientific and engineering disciplines Ensure leadership in scientific discovery and technology development Advance national health, prosperity and welfare Secure the national defense

6 NSF Budget Growth

7 The Winds of Change – Post WWII National Institutes of Health grants program extended to all institutes – 1946 Funding for research in life sciences developed and grew independently from agricultural research

8 USDA R&D Funding

9 USDA funding shifting to competitive USDA Competitive Funding programs began in 1979: –$40 million National Research Initiative funded in 1990 –$73 million Hatch and NRI funding $ millions

10 Historical Perspective: Demographic changes Population growth Urbanization and decline in farm population –Total Ag Employment (2002) 14.3% Production 1.8% Farm inputs 0.2% Processing & marketing 1.5% Wholesale & retail10.1%

11 Changes in the Structure of Agriculture Technology intensive Increase in farm size and efficiency Consolidation of input suppliers Global markets –Increased international competition Consumer driven markets

12 Historical Perspective: Increase in agricultural productivity - 167% since 1948

13 Improved Agricultural Productivity Abundant and inexpensive food and fiber Production agriculture issues are not a national priority

14 Historical Perspective: Growth of Social and Environmental Issues Silent Spring – 1962 –Provided stimulus for creation of EPA, cancellation of DDT, growth of IPM Hard Tomatoes Hard Times: A report of the Agribusiness Accountability Project on the Failure of America’s Land Grant College Complex – 1973 –Focused attention on social costs of technological advances in agriculture

15 Huffaker Project, IPM, and Entomology “The Principles, Strategies, and Tactics of Pest Population Regulation and Control in Major Crop Ecosystems” 1972-1978 –Funded by NSF, USDA, EPA for $14 million To develop improved, ecologically oriented pest management systems that optimize long-term costs and benefits of crop protection to the farmer, society, and the environment –Involved >250 scientists from 19 universities, USDA & USFS –Changed focus and scope of entomological research –Stimulated growth in numbers of faculty in entomology and crop protection disciplines

16 Expansion of Undergraduate Population Response to population growth and increasing affluence Permanent budgets of LGU’s and departments linked to undergraduate education –Positions linked to academic budget line

17 Advances in Science Conceptual and technological advances leading to new insights, new paradigms, new avenues of inquiry Medical Advances Consumer products Improved communications Economic Growth

18 Link between Science and Economic Growth Growth in private sector engagement in proprietary research in food, plant, animal, and medical sciences –Private sector funding of academic research –Proprietary information Increase public expectation that investments in scientific research should lead to near-term economic and health benefits

19 Advances in Science and Increased Specialization Drowning in information Disciplinary Fragmentation

20 NRC Report “Colleges of Agriculture at the Land Grant Universities: Public Service and Public Policy” 1996 Greater relevance and accessibility through programs that embody an expanded view of the modern food and agricultural production system Stronger linkages among teaching, research, and extension Encouragement of research, teaching and extension collaborations that cross disciplines, institutions and states Heightened accountability and quality through competitive funding

21 Entomology: a taxon based discipline Unifying element – focus on insects and related arthropods Existence as distinct discipline rests on –Mitigation of insect-related problems –Ability to contribute to understanding or solutions to larger, non-entomological problems Contributes to advances in fundamental science and draws on advances in other scientific disciplines to –Expand knowledge of insects –Devise solutions to problems

22 Facing the Future: What are the big issues? Static or declining Federal & state budgets for research / extension –Growth in competitive funding Institutional demands for –Cutting edge, innovative, high impact science –Responsiveness to clientele needs Programmatic relevance to big issues of societal concern –Extramural funding – with overhead –Involvement and excellence in undergraduate & graduate teaching –Accountability

23 Entomology is well equipped to meet these demands Breadth and depth of insect science lends itself to: –Excellence in research at all levels of integration –Relevancy to big issues Environmental quality –biodiversity, water quality, climate change, invasive species, reducing environmental footprint of ag. Health & comfort Safe & secure food supply Population growth –Responsiveness –Ability to compete for funds

24 NRC Report: Research Model for the Future Fundamental Integrative Adaptive Implementation Disseminated Research Extension Entomology

25 Entomology - spanning the research continuum Insect behavior – sex pheromones –Behavior, chemistry, ecology –Pest monitoring and detection –Pest suppression – mating disruption: IPM Insect pathology – Bt –Pathogen host interactions, biochemistry, molecular genetics, genetic engineering, population genetics, population ecology, landscape ecology –GMO plants, Resistance management, Regulatory policy: IPM Reduced insecticide use Reduced insecticide run-off, non-target effects, poisonings and disposal issues Reduced energy use

26 Key to the Future of Entomology in Academia Maintaining a Broad, Contemporary Research Capability –Relevant and Responsive to state, national & international needs and priorities –Basic and Applied Research/Extension Balance Environmental Human health & welfare Agriculture (state, national, international) –Sub-organism & organism-level biology –Population biology –Community, Landscape, Ecosystem studies –Pest management

27 Entomology is well equipped to meet these demands: Undergraduate Education Insects capture imagination and are relevant to teaching in biological as well as social sciences and humanities Enrollment in entomology major/minor programs is limited

28 Entomology is well equipped to meet these demands Excellence in Graduate Education –Breadth, depth, quality of insect science provides template for outstanding graduate education –Spans the continuum: FundamentalIntegrativeAdaptiveDisseminationImplementation

29 Key to the Future of Entomology in Academia: Excellence in Graduate Education A viable, productive, successful graduate degree program in entomology: –The only thing that a department has that is uniquely entomological –Central to core mission of the University –Cannot be sustained by another administrative unit

30 Successful Graduate Program Requires Critical mass of faculty –Broad range of scientific expertise –Excellence in contemporary research and its application Ability to recruit top students Ability to fill graduate classes and maintain steady flow of graduates Ability to fund students Ability to place students

31 Challenges to Sustaining a Successful Graduate Program in Entomology Maintaining relevancy, identity, visibility Keeping the entomological context of the program Bucking the trend toward increasing specialization in science –Disciplinary fragmentation undermines communication, collaboration, & mutual respect among faculty and research areas within a department Undermines potential for excellence in entomology

32 Challenges to Sustaining a Successful Graduate Program in Entomology Avoiding over-emphasis on sub-specialties that place entomology in direct competition with other disciplines and graduate programs on campus –For students in the entomology degree program –For students in entomology classes Maintain a balanced research portfolio that spans the research continuum

33 Meeting the challenge Identify broad areas of excellence for graduate education that cut across sub- specialties within the Department Keep the focus on the broader context: “Advancing Insect Science to Make the World a Better Place” –course content and discussion groups relating research areas to broader scientific issues/advances and major entomologically related issues facing humanity Keep programs entomological

34 Meeting the Challenge Recognize and accommodate different career goals of students –Research in academia, private sector, government –Teaching –Extension –Government and public policy –International Agriculture –Private consulting, technical development, sales –Other

35 Meeting the Challenge Make excellence in graduate education the number one priority –Requires: A vision A dynamic plan CollaborationCoordinationCommitment Expect active participation of all faculty in the graduate program When hiring faculty – recognize that the best scientist is not necessarily the best fit for all positions

36 Where will entomology have an impact in the future Environmental Quality –Biodiversity –Reducing environmental footprint of agriculture and landscapes –Accommodating effects of global climate change range expansions and invasive species Health & comfort –Vector borne diseases, nuisance pests Safe & secure food supply –New technologies –Globalization Exotic pests Increased efficiency & market demands –Population growth

37 Keys to the Future of Entomology in Academia Scientific Excellence –Breadth –Depth –Responsiveness To developments in science To critical issues Balance of Basic and Applied Research & Outreach Excellence in Graduate Education

38 Entomology: Advancing Insect Science to Make the World a Better Place


40 Premise: Decades-long changes in institutional priorities challenge the long-term viability of Entomology departments within Land Grant Universities.

41 Argue: Excellence in research and active participation in graduate education and non-major undergraduate teaching will not guarantee long-term viability Entomology Department programs must: –Remain responsive to changes in science, society and university priorities –Be recognized nationally and internationally for contributions that are uniquely entomological Key to the future is maintaining a balanced research portfolio and an outstanding graduate degree program

42 Entomology Departments: Strategic Goals Shaped by the Past Excellence in research Addressing insect related problems through research and extension –Agriculture –Urban –Environmental –Health Meeting institutional goals for undergraduate and graduate teaching

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