- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
In recognition of a productive career advancing integrated pest management programs in California and for tireless support of IPM practitioners, UC IPM entomologist Walt Bentley received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists.
The award was presented at the association's annual meeting, Feb. 6 in Oxnard, Calif., by his IPM colleague Pete Goodell, a nemotologist who is, like Bentley, based at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, Calif. Goodell is the current president of the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists.
Goodell said a hallmark of Bentley's work has been his ability to connect and empathize with his clientele, an outgrowth of his childhood on a small family farm near Linden, Calif. He began his career with UC Cooperative Extension in 1977 as an entomology farm advisor in Kern County and transferred to his position at Kearney in 1994.
"His projects over the years have addressed real problems of real people," Goodell said. "He spent many hours on farm calls and at the front counter, answering questions, seeking information on the problem and, if required, formulating a plan to seek a solution."
Bentley was part of many research and extension teams formed with campus and county academics to solve local problems, from potato tubermoth to mealy bugs to worm pests in tree fruits and nuts. Bentley focused on the biology of the pest and the weak link in its life cycle where management could employed: chemical, cultural or biological.
Goodell said that Bentley valued outputs and outcomes. He published more than 400 articles in diverse outlets, including the local press, trade magazines, newsletters, ANR publications, UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines, book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles.