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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF THE FORMOSAN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE
2009 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Develop and test educational tools, including curricula, equipment and materials to establish sustainable extension and education programs promoting termite management in communities throughout Hawaii.

2. Develop tools and assessment methods for use in educational programs supporting area-wide termite management research in Louisiana and Mississippi.

3. Test assessment methods for evaluating impact of educational programs in Hawaii and the southern USA on community-wide termite management.

4. Establish field sites and laboratory procedures for comparative evaluation of biology, behavior, and management of Coptotermes gestroi (Asian Subterranean Termite) and Coptotermes formosanus (Formosan Subterranean Termite) in Hawaii; and detection of new invasive termite species.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Refine curriculum and instructional tools and methods addressing termite management that have been implemented in 191 classrooms in Hawaii. Emphasis will be on (a) recruitment and establishment of additional sustainable classrooms; (b) defining characteristics of such teachers and classrooms to permit use of this approach in other termite-threatened regions; and (c) assessment of student outcomes and influence on parental/community awareness of termite management options and implementation.

Objective 2: Develop a generalized curriculum, and implementation and assessment techniques from experience in Hawaii to support community-wide termite management trials in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Objective 3: Develop a method of using light traps or other termite sampling techniques to monitor reductions in termite populations following implementation of educational programs, and improved survey tools for assessing changes in implementation and/or efficacy of control measures by homeowners and the pest control industry, as a result of program implementation. We will collaborate with educational specialists and economists, as necessary to develop and test assessment techniques.

Objective 4: Coptotermes gestroi has been identified by ARS researchers and University cooperators as the principle new invasive termite species threatening Hawaii and the continental USA. We will establish a field site for collection and research on C. gestroi in Hawaii and perform systematic surveys of termite occurrence in Hawaii, in order to locate and identify new termite introductions and monitor the spread of invasive termites.


3.Progress Report

The state of Hawaii Department of Education, has engaged students, teachers, and the community with a science curriculum focusing on termite management in 191 classrooms in 37 public schools on the Islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii. 84% of the classrooms implementing the program in the current fiscal year (classrooms in 12 schools) are considered to be sustainable, meaning that teachers have personalized the curriculum and now deliver 95% of it without assistance from the research project. Pre- and post-curriculum student surveys and highly favorable teacher narratives support the impact of the program. As a second part of this program, we also present public education seminars on termites. A kit has also been developed to facilitate implementation of the curriculum in other regions, and the curriculum is currently being designed as a package for distribution. This approach to community-wide pest management was discussed in detail in a symposium organized by the ARS and University principal investigators for the 6th International IPM (Integrated Pest Management). Work was also begun in the current period to establish field sites for research on the Asian subterranean termite (Coptotermes gestroi), a significant new invader to the Hawaiian Islands. Progress in this project is monitored through Annual FST Technical Committee Meetings, reports, regular meetings with cooperators, routine phone calls, and e-mail correspondence.


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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