Dr. Whitney Cranshaw, ESA Fellow (2022)

Dr. Whitney Cranshaw, emeritus professor with the Department of Agricultural Biology at Colorado State University (CSU), was elected Fellow in 2022. During his career, he pursued broad interests in advancing IPM practices, with a focus on arthropod issues of importance in the Rocky Mountain region. His work in advancing entomology in the area of landscape/home horticulture is perhaps most widely recognized.

Cranshaw was born in Ancon, Canal Zone, in 1952 but grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he spent most weekends exploring fields and ponds for reptiles, amphibians, and insects. After high school he worked at a medical research laboratory, then took off in June 1971 to ride his bicycle from Wellesley to San Francisco, spending the end of the summer at the Berkeley Ecology Action Commune. He then entered Hampshire College, during which time his interest in entomology was rekindled, fueled by a fascinating introductory entomology course taught by Michael Peters and exposure to possibilities he saw in IPM thought emerging at that time. Employment at the UMass Insect Ecology Lab with Pedro Barbosa, and assisting John Capinera, were immense influences on his career. He then pursued M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with Ted Radcliffe at the University of Minnesota, where his dedication to finding IPM solutions was solidified in trying to address solutions to a variety of vegetable crop problems.

In 1983, Cranshaw began assignment at CSU, with primary responsibilities in horticultural entomology. This involved a full program in extension, teaching, and research. During his career, he took on a challenge to "improve the entomological literacy of the people of Colorado," always with an IPM foundation, and he found useful the concurrent responsibilities of extension/teaching/research. Most research programs devolved from bottom-up contacts through extension programming. Extension programs synergized Cranshaw's teaching, and vice versa.

In addition to teaching several on-campus courses, Cranshaw was regularly invited to speak on his work 40 to 50 times per year, both in-state and nationally. He also wrote prolifically on topics including development of butterfly gardening concepts (1985); identification of new insect/plant pathogen associations (e.g., thousand cankers of Juglans); issues related to regional household insects; description of insects affecting regional insects of vegetable, yards/homes; and, most recently, the arthropod fauna of hemp. Among books he published are Bugs Rule: An Introduction to the World of Insects (co-written by Rick Redak), developed to support a highly successful course he developed oriented to nonscience majors, and Garden Insects of North America (2nd Edition with David Shetlar), which is a standard diagnostic resource used throughout the United States.

Other contributions include a long commitment to the ESA Standing Committee on Common Names, including five terms as chair; continuous provision of open-source images (more than 6,400) related to insects and agriculture through Bugwood.Org; and establishment (with Mike Merchant) and maintenance of the OrnaEnt listserv, a communications media for entomologists with interests in landscape entomology. He is also particularly proud to have had all 37 of his graduate student advisees successfully complete their graduate programs.