The award is presented annually to recognize a faculty member's significant public service contributions that benefit the local, regional, national, and/or international community. She will receive the award at the Academic Senate and Academic Federation awards program, set for 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 2 in the AGR Room of the Buehler Alumni Center.
“Dr. Kimsey has made outstanding contributions to public service and education through the numerous programs she has envisioned and directed through the Bohart Museum of Entomology,” said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. “She is very deserving of this prestigious award.”
Highly esteemed for her public service, teaching and research, Kimsey administers the world-renowned Bohart Museum of Entomology, which houses a global collection of some eight million insect specimens. She consults with international, national and state agencies; identifies thousands of insects every year for scientific collaborators, public agencies and the general public; answers scores of news media calls and insect questions; and encourages a greater appreciation of insects through the Bohart Museum open houses, workshops and lectures.
Kimsey's areas of expertise include insect biodiversity, systematics and biogeography of parasitic wasps, urban entomology and arthropod-related industrial hygiene.
Kimsey, who received both her undergraduate degree (1975) and her doctorate (1979) from UC Davis, joined the entomology faculty in 1989. The director of the Bohart Museum and executive director of the Bohart Museum Society since 1990, she has also served as interim chair and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, now the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
A two-year past president of the International Society of Hymenopterists, and a former board member of the Natural Science Collections Alliance, Kimsey is active in the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the Washington Entomological Society. The Pacific Branch of ESA (PBESA) honored her and colleagues Eric Mussen, Robbin Thorp, Neal Williams and Brian Johnson—“the UC Davis Bee Team”--with the outstanding team award in 2013. Kimsey also received the PBESA Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity Award in 2014.
Nominators spotlighted some of her major accomplishments and activities:
Bohart Museum of Entomology: Kimsey turned a tiny museum, a hole in the wall, into a thriving world- renowned museum through her highly successful leadership, knowledge and dedicated efforts to make the museum the place to be—not only for scientific collaborators but for the public. The museum holds open houses on many weekends during the academic year. It has a gift shop and a live “petting zoo” filled with Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and a rose-haired tarantula named “Peaches,” a crowd favorite. Kimsey has written spring, summer, fall and winter newsletters since 1994 and a total of 56 insect/arthropod educational fact sheets, with topics ranging from bed bugs, cockroaches and black-widow spiders to ticks, fleas, scorpions and kissing bugs. “The museum is an incredible wealth of information. Kimsey, unselfish with her time, shares her expertise at workshops and seminars, including the California Center for Urban Horticulture,” her nominators said.
Got an Insect Question? For two decades, the department has asked on its website “Got an Insect Question? Ask It Here!” Kimsey is the key person who answers them. She is widely considered as the most accomplished faculty member in understanding the general knowledge of insects, according to Entomological Society of America fellow Robert Washino, emeritus professor and former chair of the department. Kimsey is not only the go-to entomologist to answer questions about insects on the UC Davis campus and beyond, but is a primary go-to person for the news media. The Los Angeles Times, New York Times, BBC, and Associated Press, among others, seek her out. “Her interviews are always informative, educational and animated,” her nominators said.
Research: Her colleagues refer to her fondly as “The Wasp Woman” for her expertise on aculeate wasps. She is a recognized expert on aculeate wasps and works with some of the most difficult groups, including tiphiids and chrysidids. She is heavily involved in ongoing studies with the endemic insect species of the Algodones Dunes in southern California and with the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups in Indonesia. “Scientists and students from throughout the world clamor to work with her,” her nominators said.
Teaching: Kimsey is described as “enthusiastic about teaching and highly responsive to students' questions and needs.” She is one of the innovators of One-Minute Entomology, at which students researched and developed one-minute videos on an important insect or arthropod. Her students say she makes entomology both fun and educational and that her sense of humor is contagious.
NASA SPLAT—She was the only entomologist selected for the NASA SPLAT/Boeing team to research how to decrease bug splats on aircraft and thus increase fuel efficiency in commercial jets. NASA engineers developed four different surface treatments designed to repel bugs and Boeing developed wing modifications to test an aircraft at Shreveport, La. A Boeing EcoDemonstrator 575 took flight, reaching an altitude of 5000 feet to maximize bug splats. The panels generated 100 and 500 splats each. Kimsey identified all the insects and found that a relatively small number of species caused the bulk of the splats. They included flower flies, aphids, thrips, muscid flies, midges, mosquitoes and love bugs. “Her work is a great public service to NASA, the airline industry and worldwide passengers who depend on air travel,” her nominators said.
FBI Assist: In a highly publicized, first-of-its-kind criminal case, Kimsey identified the bugs on the radiator and air filter of a new rental car involved in a major murder case. The murder suspect was found guilty of driving the car from Ohio to California, killing his family, and driving back to Ohio. His defense included that he had not driven out of Ohio during that time frame. Kimsey's knowledge and identification of insects proved that some of the bugs on the car are found only in California and/or west of the Rockies. Kimsey testified at the trial in a case that made entomological history: this was the first time someone has used insect identification to prove where a car has or has not been
Bee Garden: As interim chair of the department, Kimsey coordinated the development and installation of the bee garden on Bee Biology Road that was named one of the top 10 garden destinations by the Sacramento Bee. Through her connections, she also obtained the services of a Boy Scout troop to install a fence around the half- acre garden. As a result, the garden (primarily funded by Häagen-Dazs), became a showpiece for the department and is a key educational effort illustrating the importance of honey bees and other pollinators.
Kimsey is the third entomology recipient of the Academic Senate's Distinguished Public Service Award since 2012. James R. Carey, distinguished professor of entomology, won the award in 2015, and Robert Washino, emeritus professor and former chair of the department and former associate dean in the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, received the award in 2012.
DAVIS--Entomologist James R. Carey, distinguished professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is the recipient of a UC Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award for his “outstanding research, outreach and advocacy program involving invasion biology, specifically his significant contributions on two California insect pest invaders, the Mediterranean Fruit Fly (medfly) and the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM).”
Carey will be honored at a combined Academic Senate/Academic Federation awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 5 in the Student Community Center. The event will take place from 5:15 to 7:45 p.m. Other 2014-15 recipients of the Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award are Harry Cheng, professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Robert Powell, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.
“His public service led to much-needed in-depth discussions and greater understanding of these two agricultural pests; saved California millions in cancelled ineffective programs; and focused national and worldwide attention on how to deal with invasive pests,” wrote nominator Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
An internationally recognized leader and distinguished scholar in invasion biology, spanning three decades, Carey launched an informed, concerted and widespread effort to reveal the science about the invaders that threaten California's $43.5 billion agricultural industry. Carey's well-documented research in basic and applied aspects of invasion biology shows that these pests are established and cannot be eradicated. They continue to spread, despite more than 30 years of intervention and nearly 300 state-sponsored eradication programs.
In his letter of nomination, Parrella wrote that Carey exemplifies what public service, based on sound science, is all about: integrity, dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, and an eagerness to investigate, serve and share. Carey, who holds a doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley, joined the UC Davis faculty in 1980.
Carey has published his research in major journals, served on the governor-appointed California Medfly Science Advisory Panel, testified before the U.S. Congress and California state legislators and to other government entities; held workshops with citizenry; developed and disseminated information; and granted more than 200 interviews with major print and electronic news media, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Science. Carey drew state, national and international attention with his groundbreaking paper documenting medfly establishment in California in a 1991 edition of Science, and more recently, with the LBAM invasion.
Carey's public service includes:
Carey testified about the biology and establishment of LBAM to the California Legislature, California Assembly Agriculture Committee, California Senate Environmental Quality Committee, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, California Roundtable for Agriculture and the Environment, Senator Migden hearings, Nancy Pelosi staff meetings, and California Senate Committee on Food and Agriculture. His expertise continues to be highly sought. He collaborated with colleagues Bruce Hammock and Frank Zalom, both distinguished professors in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, to write to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to point out (1) a lack of evidence that this method would work and (2) that LBAM is not an important pest.
In landmark research (“From Trickle to Flood: The Large-Scale, Cryptic Invasion of California by Tropical Fruit Flies”) published in August 2013 in Proceedings of the Royal Society, Carey and his colleagues (Nikos Papadopoulos, University of Thessaly, Richard Plant, UC Davis) found that at least five fruit flies and as many as nine species of the 17 they studied are permanently established in California and cannot be eradicated.
In July, Carey and Papadopoulos presented the results of this study to an international group of fruit fly entomologists (Tephritid Workers of Europe, Africa and the Middle East) in Crete. One of his papers, “Clear, Present, Significant and Imminent Danger: Questions for the California Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) Technical Working Group,” published in October 2013 in the journal American Entomologist, continues to draw worldwide attention. The journal Science sent a reporter to UC Davis to write a major, three-page news story on Dr. Carey's involvement in medfly and LBAM science policy.
Carey is also considered the preeminent global authority on arthropod demography. He has authored more than 250 scientific articles.
Carey is a fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, the California Academy of Sciences. Carey is the first entomologist to have a mathematical discovery named after him by demographers—The Carey Equality—which set the theoretical and analytical foundation for a new approach to understanding wild populations.
His past public service includes chair of the University of California Systemwide Committee on Research Policy; member of the systemwide UC Academic Council; and vice chair of his department. He presently serves as the associate editor of three journals: Genus, Aging Cell, and Demographic Research.
Carey is also known for his digital technical expertise on the UC Davis campus, providing advice and recommendations to key UC Davis administration on educational and information technology in support of instruction, research, administration and public service. He is the adviser of the nine-university CARTA (Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa).
Highly honored by his peers, Carey received the 2014 C. W. Woodworth Award, the highest award given by the Pacific Branch of ESA, and a 2014 Academic Senate Undergraduate Teaching Award. He was selected a plenary speaker for ICE 2016, the XXV International Congress of Entomology, to meet Sept. 25-30, 2016 in Orlando, Fla.
Past Recipients of Distinguished Scholarly Achievement Award (Download PDF)
Other recipients of undergraduate teaching awards are Emily Albu, Classics; Seeta Chaganti, English; and Susan Keen, Evolution and Ecology.
They and other award winners will be honored at a ceremony hosted by the UC Davis Academic Senate/UC Davis Academic Federation on Tuesday night, May 13 in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre of the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. The 6:15 program will be preceded by a reception.
Carey, an internationally recognized scientist, was praised in the nomination package as “an incredible teacher who eagerly and passionately engages students through his highly successful, innovative and digitally progressive techniques…he is known as a trail blazer, a forward-thinker, and a digital-savvy strategist on the cutting edge of education.“
Carey motivates, encourages and inspires students to learn through creative, innovative ways, such as the student-produced, instructor-directed video productions, “One Minute Entomologist” and “How to Make an Insect Collection (the latter won an award from the Entomological Society of America). Student comments about his classes ranged from “best ever class at UC Davis” to “invaluable” to “unique opportunity.” Another wrote that he comes prepared to each lecture, "excited and passionate to teach.”
Said one student: “Without a doubt, Dr. Carey is the most amazing, creative, inspiring and technologically savvy professor on campus…Dr. Carey encourages classroom discussion, treating all questions with respect, dignity and wisdom; he often follows up with a humorous anecdote. His lectures, course organization, innovation, creativity and mentoring are extraordinary.”
Carey is the pioneering and driving force behind the UCTV Research Seminars and began video-recording seminars in his department several years ago and then encouraged video-recording on all the other nine UC campuses.
Carey originated and launched “One Minute Entomologist,” in which students research an insect or arthropod, outline it, and video-record it. So far, the students have produced more than 125 videos. He and Professors Lynn Kimsey and Edwin Lewis co-teach the course.
Another innovative class is “Terrorism and War,” an online course offered by Carey through the Science and Society program. It was selected one of 27 courses, UC systemwide, to receive grand support ($75,000) from UC Online.
Among his many other projects:
Write Like a Professor; The Research Term Paper, in which he partnered with Assistant Professor Sarah Perrault in the University Writing Program to produce a playlist of 13 videos.
Longevity, a 4-credit cross-listed course that Carey teaches based on his research program in the biology and demography of aging (biodemography). After offering the course to 14 students in 1999, he saw enrollment soar to an initial cap of 200 students and then, due to increasing demand, jump to 250 last year. The course, designed entirely by Carey, provides students with crucial information on aging and lifespan, so that they can become skilled human development and health professionals, informed voters, knowledgeable parents and grandparents, health-conscious citizens, and life-long students of writing. See kinship video.
Carey is active in the Campus Council for Information Technology, which provides advice and recommendations to key UC Davis administration on educational and information technology and its use at UC Davis in support of instruction, research, administration and public service.
Carey brings to the classroom his expertise in many scientific areas. He is considered the world's foremost authority on arthropod demography. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and three books on this or closely related topics, including the monograph Longevity (Princeton, 2003) and the “go-to” book on insect demography, Demography for Biologists with Special Emphasis on Insects (Oxford, 1993). His landmark paper on “slowing of mortality at older ages,” published in Science in 1992 and cited more than 350 times, keys in on his seminal discovery that mortality slows at advanced ages. The UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Science cited this as one of “100 Ways in Which Our College Has Shaped the World.”
Carey recently received the 2014 C. W. Woodworth Award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (PBESA) for his outstanding accomplishments in entomology spanning four decades. He is a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, and the California Academy of Sciences. The professor chaired the systemwide UC Committee on Research Policy, served on the system-wide UC Academic Council, and is a former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. In addition, he serves as the associate editor of three journals: Genus, Aging Cell, and Demographic Research.