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AAPSE President's Blog - Spring 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014 7:49 PM | Michael Weaver (Administrator)

Mississippi River - Saint Paul MN

NPACT - Saint Paul, Minnesota - August 5, 2013

Dear AAPSE colleagues:

One goal I set as AAPSE president was to enhance communication within the organization. In looking back, my last report to the entire membership was on August 8, my first day as your president. So this is long overdue.

Some great things have been happening with AAPSE that I want to share with you.

AAPSE Internet Services

We have been changing the AAPSE website (AAPSE.ORG) in an effort to improve your access to information. This blog is another tool that should improve this access. 

Last year we moved the website to a content management system (CMS). The CMS allows us to assign certain parts of the site to different user roles, such as the treasurer, secretary, and president. We will be adding more features later. Please use the site and let us know if we can improve its function.

Changes in the main menu highlight this blog. You will also find a place for timely announcements, awards categories and history, links to our directory and those of other organizations, governance, history of the organization, external links, marketing tools, meetings, membership information, and publications (including a link to the Journal of Pesticide Safety Education). Some of these changes are referenced below.

In addition, we added direct access to the listserv archives on the main menu.

The AAPSE Listserv is public information and has a published set of archives that you can use to look at past communications. The listserv subscription is a privilege of membership, but others can see your communications. A decision was made years ago to avoid closing off this service. Doing so would have made this tool far less useful. Just remember, anything you share with this or any other listserv isn't confidential - it is shared with 170 people. If you seek privacy, you should send those communications separately (off-list). The AAPSE listserv is designed to allow members to communicate with each other on issues and PSEP business of common interest.

AAPSE Awards

We honored a number of our own in August, although many less than we could have had we had more nominations. So when we open up award nominations again this year, we will be pushing for a wider response from the membership.(nag)

With Andrew Thostenson's help, I had the honor of writing to the institutions and agency heads of these individuals to share this good news. The feedback was all positive and highly complimentary of our organization. These awards are not only good for our members but also beneficial to AAPSE's image as an organization. So we will go all out again this year to honor our members. That is something, like our organization meetings, that we did every two years in the past.

Life Memberships

The following were awarded Life Membership status:

  • Jim Criswell
  • Roger Flashinski
  • Win Hock
  • Joanne Kick‐Raack
  • Bob Wolf

AAPSE Special Recognition Awards

Dean Herzfeld (PSEP Coordinator, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul) receives special recognition for his exemplary leadership as an AAPSE officer, including as its immediate past president.

Liza Fleeson (Program Manager, Office of Pesticide Services, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Richmond) is presented an AAPSE special recognition award for her leadership with the national PSEP stakeholder team.

Earlier a special resolution was read and a plaque was awarded to Carol Somody (Stewartship Coordinator, Syngenta Crop Protection, Greensboro, NC) recognizing the importance and contributions of the team and thanking Carol for her leadership. The plaque was sent to Carol since she could not attend the meeting.

Wanda Michalowicz (former Manager, Pesticides Section - Standards Development Branch, Ontario Ministry of Environment, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is a longtime associate and friend of many of our members. Wanda retired before last year's meeting and was unable to attend. We will miss her. AAPSE recognized her for her years of service and her assistance in collaborating with her employer, the government of Ontario, Canada.

AAPSE Distinguished Achievement in the Certification and Licensing Program Award


Sherman Takatori (Program Manager, Idaho Department of Agriculture, Boise - left) and Leo Reed(Manager, Certification & Licensing, Office of Indiana State Chemist, West Lafayette) are presented awards for their distinguished achievements in certification and licensing programs.

AAPSE Fellow


Dan Wixted (Extension Support Specialist, PSE Program, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY) is presented the prestigious AAPSE Fellow Award.

Each of these individuals deserves the gratitude of the membership for his or her contributions to AAPSE and to pesticide safety education. Andrew and I certainly enjoyed presenting the awards last year. Thank you so much to those members who nominated these deserving people.

AAPSE Annual Workshop

AAPSE completed its 11th biennial (if I am counting correctly) meeting last August in Saint Paul, Minnesota. At the workshop we set a goal to move to an annual meeting format. As a result, we will be hosting our first annual membership workshop on September 18-19, 2014, following the Northeast Region’s Certification and Training Meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The program will mix professional development with membership priorities in pesticide safety education.

I have appointed four leadership committees to move this process ahead as quickly as possible. By April 1, we should have an agenda to share with the membership. We are also looking at cost and whether we can support speakers and even some members who seek to attend the workshop. As you can see, there are a number of issues on the table. The committees are as follows:

1) Agenda organizing committee
Co-chairs: Barry Brennan and Drew Martin
Organize an agenda, including key speakers/topics/themes of interest to members.

2) Local arrangements and program organizing committee
Co-chairs: Sharon Gripp and Andrew Thostenson
Coordinate program with NE planning committee and organize a viable layout compatible with the main AAPSE agenda.

3) AAPSE social and awards dinner organizing committee
Co-chairs: Dean Herzfeld and Betsy Buffington
Focus on meeting social and dinner agenda. Coordinate with AAPSE awards, fellows, and recognition committee.

4) AAPSE business meeting and overall meeting promotion committee
Co-chairs: Mike Weaver and Don Renchie
Work with AAPSE officers and directors to set business agenda and promote workshop to the organization and stakeholders.

Each committee will work with appropriate standing committees and the general membership to move this effort forward. Closely linked to this activity is the work of the Awards and Recognitions Committee and the Professional Development Committee. Those committees are working to coordinate the awards nominations and selections for this year (Carol Ramsay and Sandra McDonald, co-chairs) and to offer travel support stipends to a limited number of members from each region who might otherwise be unable to attend the meeting (Michael Helms, chair). Details will be announced as these committees complete their work.

Membership Policy Discussion

We left Saint Paul last August tasked with looking at the membership guidelines and policies of the organization. As such, Andrew directed an ad hoc committee (Dean Herzfeld and Drew Martin) to assess the issues of membership status, policy, fees, and privileges as they pertain to AAPSE. Dean and Drew have reported back to the AAPSE leadership with their initial findings and suggestions for change. The outcome of any change in membership policy alters the AAPSE charter and has the potential to become a volatile issue. The discussion in Saint Paul made that clear. Because a wrong outcome could devastate our organization, there will be no rush to conclusion. Over the next few months, the AAPSE leadership will be looking at options regarding changes in membership policy. We will make no change without direct input from every member of this organization. This will likely involve a vote later this year. What comes out of this vote could likely divide us. So my advice to the membership is to be patient. I will make sure you are apprised of any news as we move forward.

Journal of Pesticide Safety Education (JPSE)

JPSE had another banner year in 2013. We published 69 pages of manuscripts (a new high). Some submissions, however, continue to come in with errors. This mostly results from authors not following the guidelines. We are also rejecting some articles that do not meet our scope or do not pass reviewers' critiques. We will be looking at the guidelines this year to make sure they provide clear instructions to authors and reviewers. In the past, we set a cutoff date of September 7 for simple articles with minimal editorial changes to be published by the end of the year of submission. This date, however, is no longer a guarantee for all articles. Given the number of submissions in the past two years, we are now enjoying a backlog. This means we can no longer guarantee publication within the same year with articles stacked up to nine deep. But this is not a negative. It is a wonderful situation!!! Finally, after 15 years of publication, our journal is a success! For many years, JPSE had few submissions. We were often worried whether we could publish an issue within a given year. Not anymore, thanks to the hard work of our authors, reviewers, and editors! We will continue to work with individual authors to seek a timely outcome where publication dates are critical. Keep up the great work, AAPSE members, and keep sending those submissions!

Articles published in 2013:

Templates and Tools

Can a National Job Analysis Serve as a Basis for Individual State Certification Exams? Answers from a National Pesticide Applicator Exam Development Project - Andrew Martin and Fred Whitford, Purdue University, p. 1-16.

Research Study

Analysis of Personal Protective Equipment Requirements on Labels of Pesticides for Agricultural Use - Anugrah Shaw and Courtney Harned, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, p 17-29.

Literature Review

A Review of the Spray Drift Literature for Ground Applications - Robert Wolf, Wolf Consulting & Research, LLC, Mahomet, IL, p. 30-61.

Drift-Reducing Strategies and Practices for Ground Applications - Robert Wolf, Wolf Consulting & Research, LLC, Mahomet, IL, p. 62-69.

AAPSE Merchandise

Kim Pope has worked with Lands' End to allow members to order AAPSE logoed merchandise through our own Lands' End Company E-Store. This is a way for members to easily order AAPSE shirts, sweaters, and other items through a reputable, quality seller. In the past a member had to order and manage merchandise, bring it to a meeting, and sell the items there. Pat Hipkins and Liz Braxton managed this demanding task. With this new arrangement, members can obtain AAPSE items anytime online without attending a meeting or seeking out another member. Thanks to Pat and Liz (retired) for their past work and to Kim for engineering this new arrangement with Lands' End. Kim has provided a help sheet on our website covering the ordering process. Lands' End is also available via their toll-free phone number and online help.

shirts  lands end log

More to come. I do hope that my next update will coincide with more enjoyable weather - spring is officially just days away. Thank you so much for your continued support of AAPSE.

With kindest regards,

Mike Weaver, AAPSE President

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