Saturday, February 16, 2019


Last week (February 5-6, 2019) I attended iPMX5, the 5th Annual iPiPE 'Mixer' at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. This was my third iPMX5 because for two years I have been New England (and New York) Apple Crop Pest Program Coordinator (CPPC) for iPiPE. In a nutshell, iPiPE "Progress thru Sharing" is a USDA/NIFA funded initiative who's mission states "There is a critical need to develop a national infrastructure of professionals who routinely monitor crop health and pest incidence then share this knowledge enabling dissemination of mitigation measures to limit food security impairment." More on iPiPE here and Apple CPPC (New England-New York) here. Note that anyone can join (and contribute to) iPiPE here.

As New England Apple CPPC for two years, I employed a graduate student (Liz Garofalo) who in-turn employed/engaged a total of four undergraduate students -- two in 2017 (Nicole Foley and Paul O'Connor) and two in 2018 (Cam Olanyk and Lyndsey Ware) -- to primarily scout apple orchards in Massachusetts and enter pest incidence data into iPiPE. Among many other miscellaneous work duties as assigned... 😀
Cam Olanyk pruning peaches at UMass Orchard, May 2018

I was not alone at iPMX5 as Liz, Cam, and Lyndsey accompanied me along with UMass colleague Katie Campbell-Nelson (Vegetable CPPC) and her student Avi Flynn. Also, UConn Grape CPPC Mary Concklin and her student interns Evan Lentz and Casey Lambert were there along with other iPiPE CPP's and student interns from across the country. I want to highlight here though the fact that at iPMX5 our own Cam and Lyndsey won several awards (which included cash!) from the iPiPE leadership team.

Lyndsey presents her honorable mention poster at iPMX5
First, Cam and Lyndsey got Honorable Mentions each for their Intern posters presented at iPiPE. The undergraduate student intern poster presentation session is an important event at the Mixer, and all the posters by these undergraduate students highlighting their iPiPE intern work and research experience were quite exceptional. Cam and Lyndsey's posters were titled 'A Grower's Perspective on Data Sharing and IPM.' and 'The Apple Press - Pests, Plants, & People and Using Models Effectively' respectively. Although not best in show, Liz and I were pleased with their performance and the amount of work they put into their posters, particularly when they also had current semester class and homework commitments ongoing. (Well, I understand Cam was doing quite a bit of snowboarding too!) You can see Cam's poster here, and Lyndsey's poster here, although Lyndsey's hard copy poster had an extra-special 3-D element to it that can't be reproduced w/o being there. I should note that at iPMX4 in 2018 Nicole Foley and Paul O'Connor also won a Poster award, second place I believe. You can see their poster from 2018 here.

Lyndsey and Cam share stakeholder engagement award
with fellow NJ iPiPE intern at iPMX5
Second, Cam and Lyndsey shared first and second place (along with a fellow iPiPE intern from NJ) in the iPiPE 'Stakeholder Engagement' card/publication judging. Their entry was unique compared to others, it was a small field note-taking booklet, with front and back cover links to the iPiPE website and a QR code that leads to the iPiPE Lite App. Cam and Lyndsey actually handed out the booklet to growers at the Massachusett Fruit Growers' Association Summer Meeting held at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard on July 10, 2018. Hence, stakeholder engagement. You can see the booklet cover and instructions for using iPiPE Lite here.
Lyndsey with iPiPE blog 1st place award!

Finally, Lyndsey was awarded best/first iPiPE intern blogger for her posts during the 2018 season. Lyndsey has journalism training and is quite adept at wording and looking at her work in a different way. For now, the intern blog is private. It was on Google+, which is being discontinued, so iPiPE is looking for a different host. But, you can get a flavor for Lyndsey's blog posts here and here and here.

Very proud of these students, and the work they did for us, and thanks to Liz for honchoing their activities over two field seasons. There is lots more to iPiPE, but that is another story. Here I just wanted to talk about the iPiPE Mixer, iPMX5, and the fine job our UMass student interns did. Congratulations...👍❤💥💪