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New Community IPM Educator Takes Science to the People

by Mary Woodsen

New Community IPM Educator Takes Science to the People

matt frye

GENEVA, NY: The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM) at Cornell University is pleased to announce that Matthew Frye, Ph.D., has joined its staff as a community IPM extension educator.

Frye, who previously served as a NYS IPM community implementation specialist, will work closely with a range of stakeholders, from community nonprofits to university and governmental research teams.

“Matt is one of those rare scientists who carries science to the people,” says rodentologist Bobby Corrigan. “When he explains things, everybody gets it.”

Frye’s focus: empowering people, organizations, and communities to solve vexing pest problems. How? For one, he created a set of graphic bed bug problem solvers to bridge the language barrier. He also a devised a simple “bug finder” to help people identify the pests they’re likely to find in or around their homes and workplaces.

“In a sense, Matt’s real expertise is his sheer creativity,” says Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, NYS IPM’s community coordinator. “Whether it’s crafting cartoon guides to bed bug management or in-depth, hands-on workshop materials for professionals, Matt shows an impressive ability to connect with people across the gamut.”

Frye earned his Ph.D. in entomology and wildlife ecology from the University of Delaware in 2010.

The beauty of IPM, Frye explains, is that it gets at the root of pest problems rather than aiming for a quick fix. “Most conventional tactics rely on chemical sprays to knock down pests,” he says. “But a knock-down isn’t a knock-out.”

“Instead of treating the symptoms,” Frye says, “IPM treats the cause.”