ESA Liaison to EPA Office of Pesticide Programs Position Description

This position is not currently vacant. The position description below is archived for historical purposes on the website.


Distinguished Scientist – ESA Subject Matter Expert and Liaison with EPA

The Entomological Society of America seeks applications for a Distinguished Scientist to serve as an Academic Entomological Subject Matter Expert (SME) and Liaison with the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Distinguished Scientist serves in an unpaid role as advisor and liaison.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The SME will serve as a liaison between the academic entomology community and the EPA-OPP, and provide unbiased assessments of science to assist the Agency in addressing issues related to insect pest management. Assessment will include entomological areas such as IPM in field and specialty crops, medical, urban and structural entomology in which EPA’s regulatory actions and processes impact the use of insecticides, and advice to EPA-OPP as the Agency develops efficacy testing of controls for various arthropod groups. Expectations of the SME are to:

  1. to learn the process for registration and re-registration of insecticides at EPA, including a working knowledge of pertinent regulatory laws, risk assessments and risk/benefit factors of pesticide use;
  2. become familiar with the operations of EPA-OPP's divisions; and
  3. serve as a member of the ESA Science Policy committee.

The SME will provide EPA and ESA with brief quarterly reports of activity and benefits. The SME will liaise with EPA-OPP and may work periodically in the EPA office in Arlington, VA. The SME will collaborate with a similar SME from the Weed Science Society of America. The SME will represent ESA’s membership and legislative priorities to EPA and provide critical input on topics such as the clarity of labels, utility of label mitigations, spray drift, invasive arthropod species, insecticide resistance, and the role of insecticides in integrated pest management, including actual use and usage of pesticides within cropping systems to manage pests over a full season and how that may vary regionally. It is expected that the SME will develop and maintain a network of entomological peers to consult on subject areas beyond those of the SME, to help provide a breadth of expertise and experience.

The SME will travel to the EPA offices, fitting his/her schedule to key meetings dealing with registration and re-registration. The SME would use the resources of ESA members to provide expert advice to the OPP on insect control practices and problems as well as keeping OPP apprised of invasive insects and emerging issues. The SME would liaise with appropriate federal and state personnel, including the USDA Office of Pest Management Policy, to bring their expertise to bear on development of pesticide policy and regulation as it affects ESA’s membership and stakeholders.


  1. The candidate will have an academic appointment at or above the rank of Associate Professor, including Professor Emeritus;
  2. 2. Demonstrated experience with use, efficacy, and roles of pesticides in integrated pest management, including knowledge of full-season management programs, regional differences within similar cropping systems, and what constitutes effective alternatives for pesticides under scrutiny;
  3. Understanding of or experience with a broad range of pests or entomological issues;
  4. Stature within the entomological community to enhance gathering information from a broad network of scientists;
  5. Communication skills to participate in information exchange with EPA, and to educate the entomological community about registration processes at EPA;
  6. Commitment to periodic (as needed) travel to EPA’s offices in Arlington, VA;
  7. Approval from home institution.
  8. Current ESA member based in the United States (or with frequent travel to the US)

Term of Service:

Negotiable within a range (generally 18-24 months; potentially renewable). The SME shall seek approval from his/her home institution, stipulating institutional agreement to provide salary and release time for travel, and that acknowledging that travel costs are not borne by the home institution. This is an unpaid position; the SME is expected to have institutional salary support for the duration of service. Travel costs will be paid by ESA up to a predetermined limit.

Application Review Process:
The SME will be selected by the ESA Science Policy committee (SPC) which is chaired by the immediate past-President and includes representatives from each ESA Section and Branch. The SME will answer directly to the SPC Chair (or his or her designee) and have access to the Society's membership to network with scientists with expertise in various insect management issues areas including use of pesticides in row crop, specialty crop, medical, urban and structural situations, across the US.

Value to ESA:

  • Learn and contribute to the registration and re-registration processes in OPP.
  • Become familiar with the OPP divisions and how they operate.
  • Become familiar with how OPP risk assessments are carried out.
  • Allow for direct input of entomological expertise on pest management, including control of invasive insects and use of insecticides in crop and non-crop settings to assist registration and re-registration decisions.
  • Educate ESA membership via written and oral reports.

Value to OPP:

  • Become knowledgeable about ESA and the expertise it has in insects and their control in varied situations.
  • Access to ESA experts who can provide unbiased information on crop and non-crop insects as well as invasive insects issues, and integrated pest management.

Questions or clarifications about the position or application process:

Click here to apply for the ESA EPA-OPP SME position. All applications must be received by COB June 17, 2016. Contact Chris Stelzig, ESA Director of Strategic Initiatives ( or 301-731-4535, x3012 if you have questions about the position or the application process.

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