Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jimmy the PSEP Robot

Our new Pesticide Safety Education Program facebook page has really taken off! In just a few weeks, we've gone from about 2 to 86 "fans" and we hope to continue to increase our audience! Our page shares news about PSEP events, trainings, and IPM and encourages fans to engage in discussions and post on our wall.

Recently I developed a short video through Xtranormal that discusses our PSEP facebook page using robot characters (complete with robotic voices!) Check it out!

The Xtranormal website has provided a popular and easy way to make simple videos that can effectively get your message across and also be entertaining. We look forward to making more in the near future!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

IPM Process Video filming

On March 22, 23, and 29, we went on location to our LPS school to film a fictionalized version of the IPM in Schools process. The video follows the steps we've taken during visits to our OPS and LPS demonstration schools. Actors from Omaha and Lincoln played all the major roles...UNL Extension, the principal, food service staff, the head custodian, a pest management professional, a teacher, the school nurse, and other school staff.

The story revolves around UNL Extension personnel, including IPM, entomology, turfgrass, and wildlife specialists, who visit a school to help solve their pest problems and implement an IPM program. The video covers the team's interactions with the principal and staff, IPM Coordinator (head custodian), and pest management professional (PMP). It also focuses on the importance of developing good communication between the PMP and the school in order to maintain the IPM program after the demonstration project is over. The characters cover important tools needed for a successful IPM program, including recordkeeping, education, non-toxic or low-toxic pest management methods, and teamwork. It also uses a narrator to guide viewers through the process as it unfolds on screen.

It is our hope to distribute the final video to schools across NE (and maybe even nationwide!). It will serve as another way to publicize IPM in addition to our current demonstration schools, youth programs, and the IPM coalition. The more we can educate NE schools about IPM, the more knowledgeable they will become and the more likely they will be to implement IPM practices. After watching the video, if schools have questions, are interested in learning more about IPM, or want to develop an IPM program in their own facilities, they can contact our Pesticide Education Office for more information on how to get started.

Thanks goes to all of the actors and UNL cameramen who helped with the IPM video! They did a wonderful job and I know it's going to be a great production.

Look for the video to be available through our YouTube page after final editing. Keep an eye on this blog for the latest updates!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

LPS 4th visit

On Monday we completed our 4th visit to our LPS demonstration school. It was spring break so very quiet! After a short meeting, the head custodian led us to the kitchen and other locations listed on our recommendations sheet.

The kitchen was greatly improved from past visits. There were two "hot spot" locations where we still saw evidence of cockroaches...near the "cooking" areas and near some back wall sinks. We told the custodian to place more sticky traps in those areas, and to deep clean under appliances. He noted that the drains had been cleaned since last time, which is very important in reducing food and water sources.

Stephen Vantassel made note of some things in the courtyards (one behind the kitchen and two student courtyards) and the perimeter. The main issues in these area were drainage problems (slopes going toward the building), and holes or gaps (under eaves and in the walls) that are big enough to allow insects and mice to enter.

We also visited the home ec and boiler rooms, which still had evidence of brown recluse spiders. We advised the custodian and PMP to continue to monitor in these areas.

The custodial closets looked good...pesticide was removed or in locked cabinets and mops were hung.

Overall, the school is doing very well, and the custodian informed me the next day that he'd already put in work orders to fix some of the things we had noticed! So LPS is well on it's way to IPM implementation!

My next blog will talk about our two day film shoot at this same school. We are doing an "IPM Process" video that highlights the things we do during these demonstration visits. Dramatized by actors, this video can be distributed to Nebraska Schools and nationally to show what steps are involved in implementing an IPM program.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

IPM in Tribal Schools

We've just finished solidifying plans for a new project! Clyde and myself from UNL, Mike Daniels, Pesticide Circuit Rider for the tribes in NE, and Mark Shour from IA State are going to be working with several tribal schools in NE and IA to conduct IPM assessments.

Our first assessments will begin in April and we will do a year long demonstration project similar to what we have done in South Dakota, Omaha Public Schools and Lincoln Public Schools.

More information to come as this project gets underway!

Friday, March 4, 2011

IPM Across the Country

I am amazed at all the people doing IPM!

I ran across another blog from our colleagues at Texas A & M about Urban IPM. They also have a well established IPM in Schools program.

A well known list of IPM information and links can be found at the University of Florida Extension School IPM site. These folks not only talk about school IPM but community, ag, and other areas as well. They include IPM links from numerous states and institutions.

The IPM Institute is responsible for the IPM in Schools 2015 initiative we've mentioned in this blog before. They also post news articles about what's going on in IPM across the U.S.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but needless to say, IPM is big :-)!! Do you have some sites that you think should be noted here? Type them in the comment box, we'd love to hear from you!