James Duffy (BS '18)
As an Integrated Pest Management Technician with the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (also known as the Rutgers Ag Extension), James collected insect and crop pathogen data from a dozen farms across northern New Jersey. As defined by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Integrated Pest Management is "the careful consideration of all available pest control techniques and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and reduce or minimize risks to human health and the environment. IPM emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms." James' role was to collect the data used by Rutgers experts to make pest control recommendations to growers in the NJAES IPM program. He also advanced positive working relationships with growers, learned about environmental issues from the perspective of ag producers, and saw undergraduate course topics such as population ecology, agroecology, and evolutionary biology applied in very practical ways.