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Biocontrol Specialist

Position: Biocontrol Specialist, Extension Associate

The New York State Integrated Pest Management program (NYSIPM) is looking for a Biocontrol Specialist to support statewide biological control programs and to develop an outstanding extension and applied research program in agricultural and community settings.

The Biocontrol Specialist will collaborate with NYSIPM staff, Cornell University faculty and Cornell Cooperative Extension specialists to develop and lead statewide demonstration, implementation, and research activities on biological control as a strategy in IPM for both agricultural and non-agricultural (community) settings. Some examples include biocontrol for fruit, vegetable, ornamental, field crop or livestock pests, and for turfgrass, landscape or urban pest issues including invasive species or public health pests. This position addresses statewide and regional needs to cooperatively implement biological control as an IPM strategy including impact documentation, evaluation of pest management practices, applied research, and development of educational programs and materials. This position requires multidisciplinary knowledge of fields such as entomology, plant pathology, agronomy and horticulture.

Background information

NYSIPM is a nationally recognized leader in the development and promotion of IPM practices. The mission of NYSIPM is to develop sustainable ways to manage disease, insect, weed, and wildlife pests and to help people use methods that minimize environmental, health, and economic risks. NYS IPM has both Agricultural and Community programs, with issues and settings that overlap. NYSIPM’s Agricultural IPM programming includes fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and livestock and field crops. Community IPM is the management of insects, weeds, plant diseases and wildlife in all settings that are non-production such as lawns, gardens, landscapes, golf courses, parks, and buildings; and also includes invasive species and public health pests. NYSIPM has active projects and collaborators in biological control in several areas, including greenhouse, sweet corn, berries, turf, and livestock.

The personnel of NYS IPM operate in a collegial and cooperative environment where teamwork is emphasized and appreciated.


Extension Program Development and Implementation

Develop and implement a statewide educational program for biological control in selected agricultural and community settings (with flexibility in choices of topics of focus).

  • Provide leadership for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs that address producer and practitioner identified needs and opportunities.
  • Lead and coordinate biocontrol extension and training activities to help end users implement biocontrol as part of an IPM program.
  • Individually and collaboratively explore and pursue new and additional funding sources to enhance and extend extension and research program opportunities.
  • Develop educational materials to promote the adoption of biocontrol, such as manuals, fact sheets, websites, mobile applications, videos, etc.
  • Plan and conduct demonstrations of biological control for the agricultural and community settings chosen.
  • Provide technical guidance and educational support in agricultural and community biocontrol for NYS IPM staff and on- and off-campus Extension staff.
  • Consult with advisory committees, extension educators, faculty, growers, private consultants, and industry personnel to assess their needs and discuss methods to best implement biological control in the chosen settings.
  • Cooperate, where possible, on existing biocontrol research, demonstration or implementation projects.

Applied Research

  • Conduct applied, integrated research designed to fill biocontrol knowledge gaps in selected agricultural and community settings.

Program Evaluation

  • Evaluate, document and report the impact of biocontrol projects, programs and practices.
  • Identify and report biological control knowledge gaps and information transfer problems.
  • Share results in quarterly and annual reports to the IPM Program and federal and state agencies, and at appropriate local, state, regional, and national meetings.

Professional Development

  • Attend in-service education and other professional development opportunities in relation to program responsibilities.
  • Be involved in professional organizations.

Key Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required to Perform the Work of This Position

  • Knowledge of philosophy, principles, and practice of biological control and IPM
  • Ability to initiate, plan, conduct and evaluate adult education programs
  • Ability to define, conduct, and interpret applied research/demonstration projects
  • Ability to communicate effectively: verbally, written, and multi-media
  • Ability to lead and collaborate in teams


MS (required) or PhD (preferred) degree in Entomology, Plant Pathology, Horticulture or a closely related field.


Minimum of 2 years professional experience in extension education and research or demonstration in biological control. Experience in these areas as a graduate student may apply. Must possess agricultural or horticultural experience with ability to relate to routine farm and horticultural situations. Experience with biocontrol in landscapes or non-agricultural settings is also valued.

Application, Submit by August 31, 2016:
Curriculum vitae, letter of interest, names and contact information for three references, and a one page statement about your philosophy of IPM and effective ways of promoting and evaluating IPM implementation.  Submit application at AcademicJobsOnline: NYS IPM. Applications will be accepted until 8/31/2016, or until a suitable candidate is found..

Start Date: October 1, 2016 or when a suitable candidate is identified.

Location: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, New York. Overnight travel will be required.

Further information:
See the NYSIPM website, or contact Elizabeth Lamb, Ornamentals IPM Coordinator, NYS IPM Program,; 607-254-8800.

Announced July 2016