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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2011 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop guidance for the public communication component of termite integrated pest management by quantitative evaluation of impact from education, communication, urban planning, and building codes.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
A) Audubon Nature Institute will continue to deliver invasive subterranean termite educational programming free to school groups. Quantitative and statistical evaluations to measure the program success will be done through the following: (1) Pre and post testing of select classes to measure termite knowledge increased; (2) Termite informational pamphlets sent home to adult caregivers will have a coded discount coupon redeemable at the Audubon Insectarium. Adults will be encouraged to seek further knowledge about Formosan subterranean termites at the Operation Full Stop Exhibit in the Audubon Insectarium. All redeemed coupons will be tallied and data compiled to assess the amount of adults directly reached through presentations to school children; and (3) Teacher focus groups will be conducted at the Audubon Zoo to evaluate the educational components of the termite presentation.

B) Audubon Nature Institute will increase the amount of adult invasive termite presentations to Homeowners Associations, Community Centers and Churches and informational brochures and pamphlets will distribute.

C) Extensive, thorough training will be given to all Audubon Insectarium volunteers on the history, biology, prevention and treatment of Formosan subterranean termites. This training will be especially in-depth for volunteers who will staff the FST interaction station, located immediately after the Operation Full Stop termite exhibit at the Audubon Insectarium. We anticipate that FST volunteers will be the first representative encountered after the termite exhibit and that they will be asked many questions. We will also provide Operation Full Stop brochures in the exhibit.

3.Progress Report

During the 2010-2011 reporting year, Bugmobile Termite Outreach was presented to 31,893 individuals, 55% of whom were underserved students; visits were in 13 LA parishes, MS, and AL. These presentations, based on age groups and National Science Standards, continue to emphasize the history, biology, treatment options, recent scientific advances, and preventative measures that residents can take against the FST through use of live insects, lectures and PowerPoint presentations. Fifteen thousand books with age-appropriate activities and FST information pamphlets were purchased and distributed over the past year. Teacher evaluations are available on The Audubon Institute's recently redesigned website; they continue to rate 5 (on a scale of 1-5, 5 being outstanding) with extremely positive comments. Bookings for the popular Bugmobile are solid through April 2012.

The Insectarium, Audubon’s newest facility, has been introducing guests to insects for over 3 years. The Insectarium features 13 highly interactive gallery rooms containing more than 70 live animal enclosures, over 30 mounted specimen displays and a multisensory immersive theater experience. Visitors can experience live insect encounters, discover cultural aspects of insects, sample exotic insect cuisine, shrink to insect size to experience the world from a bug’s perspective, and enjoy the tranquility of a Japanese garden while watching hundreds of butterflies flit about.

The FST gallery, titled “The Second Battle for New Orleans,” is the only gallery focused exclusively on one species. The 550 sq. ft. exhibit plays a pivotal role in Operation Full Stops' (OFS) educational outreach program because it cleverly packages information into five themed areas: introduction to Operation Full Stop; basic termite biology; damage; research; and control efforts. Guests are presented an OFS brochure as they exit as a reference to review at home. Since New Orleans is home to one of the heaviest FST infestations in the United States, the Formosan subterranean termite (FST) gallery in the Insectarium is a great place to educate visitors about termites. Exhibit highlights include videos, interactive exhibits, static displays and live termites in vivariums. Planned improvements in the United States Department of Agriculture OFS gallery include updated fiber optics in the termite range display, new graphics throughout the entire exhibit, interactive touch screen display about the different types of termites, new termite fun facts, and the addition of a life-size termite. Progress is monitored through reports, emails, meetings and phone calls.

Last Modified: 7/30/2016
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