- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
His daughter-in-law, Mary Louise “Mary Lou” Flint, a longtime leader of the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM) Program and a newly retired Extension entomologist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will be honored at a dinner on Dec. 1 as the recipient of the 2014 James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to the university.
The event will take place at 6 p.m., in Ballrooms B and C of the UC Davis Conference Center. Reservations may be made by contacting UC Davis Special Events at (530) 754-2262 by Nov. 24.
Flint, UC IPM's associate director for Urban and Community IPM, and who retired at the end of June, is the third entomologist (Frank Zalom, 2004, and Thomas Leigh, 1988) to receive the Academic Federation award, first presented in 1971.
Her father-in-law, who served as chancellor from 1969 to 1987, during the university's greatest period of growth and change, strongly supported the Academic Federation and the Cooperative Extension Specialists, Agricultural Experiment Station researchers and other non-Senate academics it represents, Flint said.
Parrella said that Flint “has been heavily involved in the leadership, creativity and the success of UC IPM Program since 1983 and is UC IPM's longest-tenured employee. Also since 1983, she has served as an Extension entomologist in our department and we are proud of her innovative ideas, dedication, commitment and accomplishments. Dr. Flint is truly an outstanding leader and visionary who has initiated, conducted and established research, educational and outreach programs that we sometimes take for granted. She advances IPM practices that are economical, environmentally friendly and health conscious.”
Wrote UC IPM Director Kassim Al-Khatib: “Dr. Flint has initiated, conducted, and established an outstanding and well respected IPM research and outreach program for urban and community. Many of her programs and findings have significant impact on pest management in California. She is a talented, capable specialist and good communicator to the IPM end-user.” Globally, the UC IPM program is considered the gold standard of IPM.
Flint received her bachelor's degree in plant sciences in 1972 from UC Davis, and her doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley in 1979. “We are fortunate that she chose to spend her career here at UC Davis,” Parrella said.
Among her accomplishments:
- Created, wrote or edited and oversaw the development of the UC IPM's IPM Manual series of books from 1980-2007; this series includes IPM manuals on 15 different agricultural crops or crop groups. More than 100,000 copies of these books have been sold worldwide.
- Oversaw the development and creation of the online UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines from 1987-2007. This series included 43-crop specific PMGs featuring hundreds of pests and thousands of photographs and authored by UC experts around the state and updated regularly. Flint served as technical editor. She developed many online tools associated with the PMGs such as the Natural Enemies Gallery and the Weed Galleries.
- Established the UC IPM Pest Note series for home, garden, landscape and urban audiences. This series covers more than 165 pests. About 12,000 people a day access these publications on the UC IPM Home and Garden website.
- Authored several important books on IPM including Pests of the Garden and Small Farm, IPM in Practice: Principles and Methods of IPM and The Natural Enemies Handbook. She developed the Pesticide Compendium series along with Patrick O'Connor Marer.
- Created some of the earliest interactive learning tools of IPM, including the 1996 CD-ROM Solving Garden Problems: A University of California Interactive Guide and The UC Interactive Tutorial for Biological Control of Insects and Mites (an interactive CD-ROM, Publication 3412). She and her colleagues also created some of the first online training materials for IPM with online training programs for retail nursery and garden center personnel. The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns on the UC IPM website is another key accomplishment. UC IPM takes its 16 portable UC IPM Touch Screen IPM kiosks to hundreds of retail stores and community events. More recently, Flint has been heavily involved in creating YouTube videos on the UC IPM channel and disseminating information through other electronic and social media.
- Developed hands-on, train-the-trainer programs for UC Master Gardeners, retail nursery personnel and landscape professionals that have resulted in the delivery of information to far more people than would be possible through conventional training meetings. Among the topics: biological control, pesticides and landscape pest identificatio
Lately Flint has been involved with the thousand cankers disease, caused by the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, in association with the fungus, Geosmithia morbida. The disease kills walnut trees, especially black walnuts. She continues to work on the project with research entomologist Steven J. Seybold of the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, and other scientists.
Seybold, an affiliate of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, said that on a national level, Flint was "instrumental in facilitating the rapid processing and release of the national trapping guidelines for the walnut twig beetle."
"Once our team had discovered the aggregation pheromone of this beetle and had demonstrated its value in trapping the insect in California, Mary Louise assisted us with the preparation and dissemination of useful trapping guidelines, which have been employed by state pest regulatory officials and detection entomologists throughout the country.”
Widely honored by her peers, Flint received the 2002 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award for Integrated Pest Management from the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists; a 2003 IPM Innovator Award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation as part of the Sacramento Water Wise Pest Control Program; a 2003 resolution from the Sacramento City Council honoring her for contributions to the Sacramento Water Wise Program; a 2004 Environmental Services Award from the San Francisco Department of the Environment; and an international IPM Award of Recognition, “Grower Incentives Team Project,” at the 2009 International IPM Symposium in Portland, Ore.
Flint is not only the third entomologist to receive the award, but the third IPM specialist. Frank Zalom, a distinguished professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, directed the UC IPM Program for 16 years (1988-2001). He is currently serving as president of the 7000-member Entomological Society of America. Thomas Leigh (1923-1993) stood at the forefront of integrated pest management of cotton pests, according to an article in the summer 1994 edition of American Entomologist. He taught courses on cotton IPM and host plant resistance.