Entomology Advocacy Week

Entomology Advocacy Week was August 16-20, 2021 this year!  #EntVocate21

This year we kicked the week off with an interview between VP-Elect Marianne Alleyne (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign) and Senator Angus King (I-ME) on Monday, August 16 at 1 pm ET. View the webinar here!

                                                   

Many ESA members already engage in outreach activities throughout the year. Entomology Advocacy Week is a concentrated effort to target policymakers with science that matters so that evidence-based decision-making becomes the norm at all levels of government. 

If you didn't join in this year, you can still get involved: 

  • Step 1: Go to this link: https://lsen.quorum.us/campaign/34252/
  • Step 2: Enter your name, email, and address
  • Step 3: Decide which of your state and federal officials you want to receive the letter
  • Step 4: Scroll down to where you can personalize your subject and statement, and add content
  • Step 5: Click Submit!  Then get on social media and encourage others by sharing how easy it is.

Other ways to get involved:

Review the Science Policy Webinar from Dr. Alleyne, which presented five ways that you can take action.

  1. Request a meeting with your Senator or Representative
  2. Write (or call) your lawmaker about an issue
  3. Write an op-ed for your local or national paper
  4. Get active on social media
  5. Build your brand - and your institution's

Also, be sure to read the papers in the special collection on scientists and science policy in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Why the week August 16-20?

In addition to basing priorities on our ESA Advocacy Priorities, we're tying into some great outreach events that are already scheduled, like

Resources on Advocacy:

Resources to Share and Tweet Suggestions to Personalize or Use:

 
Tuesday: Pollinators and Climate Change
  • Ideas for climate change letter: 
    • As the climate changes due to human activity and carbon emissions, changes in available floral resources and nesting habitats will reduce pollinator biodiversity.
    • Honey bees and wild bees will be affected by climate change and the devastating impact of wildfires that increase in frequency as our planet warms.
    • Moving honey bees out of an area requires time, labor, and often heavy equipment. Honey bee losses can occur directly as fires move too quickly for beekeepers to transport their bees to safety. This impact is especially devastating as beekeepers are already struggling with nearly one-third of hives dying over the winter.
    • Wild bees can lose nesting and forage habitat to climate change as well as wildfire damage. About 30% of native bee species are stem and cavity nesters who overwinter in cocoons within stems and downed logs. A fire can kill bees in this vulnerable state as they cannot fly to safety.
 
Wednesday: Invasive Species and Climate Change
  • Ideas for climate change letter:
    • Invasive species are one of the biggest causes of biodiversity loss and species extinctions, outcompeting or feeding on native species.  They are also a threat to food security, urban landscapes, and natural habitats, all of which come with significant economic costs. 
    • Climate change facilitates the spread and establishment of invasive species and creates new opportunities for them to become established before they can be detected.
    • Greater support for rapid response is needed to monitor and eradicate emerging invasive species, including ones that migrate domestically from one ecological niche to another as climates become warmer and wetter.
  • Other ideas for tweets:
    • It’s all about invasive insect species on this day of #EntVocate21! We call a species “invasive” if it is 1) not native to an area 2) introduced to that area and 3) causing some kind of harm. Think of emerald ash borer… https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/terrestrial/invertebrates/emerald-ash-borer
    • Input from the public can help detect new invasive insects and initiate rapid response to monitor and control their populations. Do you like using phone apps like iNaturalist? Show others to grow the community on the lookout for potential new problems! #EntVocate21
    • Look up your state’s list of invasive insects and get to know them! Contact your state government to advocate for the critical funding needed to research, monitor, and control these insects. #EntVocate21 (Include photo of some invasive, maybe spotted lanternfly since they are so eye-catching?)
    • Enjoy avocado toast or fresh guacamole? Then you want to be concerned about the invasive redbay ambrosia beetle and the laurel wilt fungus it carries! This gruesome twosome started in Georgia and has spread, killing avocado and native redbay trees. #EntVocate21 http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/beetles/redbay_ambrosia_beetle.htm
    • Look up your state’s list of invasive insects and get to know them! Contact your county extension office if you find any.  Find your local office here: http://npic.orst.edu/pest/countyext.htm #EntVocate21
    • Emerald ash borer, spotted lanternfly, and the moth Lymantria dispar are just some of the invasive forest pests that can hitch a ride on firewood without you knowing it. When you go camping this year, remember not to move firewood! #EntVocate21  [Pictures of the pests]  https://www.dontmovefirewood.org/
 
Thursday: Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change
  • Ideas for climate change letter:
    • Although biological systems can evolve and adapt to changing environments, the current pace of change in temperatures, seasonal length, rainfall, and fire frequency exceeds the capacity of most species to respond.
    • Insects are falling out of sync with critical host plants, pollen providers, and essential microbial partners. Attempts to adapt will result in changing distributions, altered emergence times and reproductive rates, and feeding on new hosts. Many species will fail to adapt and suffer local or global extinction.
    • Over 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction and climate change has been identified as one of the main drivers in this decline. Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants) and Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are important pollinators and identified as particularly vulnerable to extinction.
    • Desiccation through drought and wildfires also poses a large risk to biodiversity loss. 
  • Other ideas for tweets:
    • More insect biodiversity in farming systems can translate into less reliance on chemical pesticides for pest control - and safer, healthier environments for farmworkers and local residents #EntVocate21 #environmentaljustice 
    • Habitat loss and ensuing Insect biodiversity decline often mean reduced control of agricultural pests – agricultural production and conservation science are two sides of the same coin. How can we balance landscape use with food security and biodiversity preservation? #EntVocate21
    • More insects live in the water than you think: Inland waters cover less than one percent of Earth’s surface but harbor more than six percent of all insect species on the planet #EntVocate21 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4816856/
    • Mayflies are one of the most common insects in inland waters and key food sources for many birds and fish, but their populations are in steep decline #EntVocate21 https://www.pnas.org/content/117/6/2987
    • It’s not just about monarchs - a recent Ohio study found widespread (33%) decline across butterfly species within just the last 20 years. #EntVocate21 https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0216270
    • Almost every bird species relies upon insects as a food source. Insect abundances going down is bad news for bird populations. #EntVocate21 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.5236
    • Some concerning news about global insect declines (Hallman et al. 2017 PLoS One --  German study of insect biodiversity loss - the “insect apocalypse”): https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809 #EntVocate21
    • A meta-analysis published this month highlights inconsistent biodiversity trends for different insect taxa in US Long-Term Ecological Sites (Crossley et al. 2020 Nature ecology & evolution): https://go.nature.com/3hcwROv #EntVocate21
    • Increased biodiversity can boost yields of economically important species - and not just crops! For instance, freshwater aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity has recently been linked to the success of salmon fisheries: https://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/journals/pnw_2018_daniels002.pdf #EntVocate21
 
Friday: Vector-Borne Diseases and Climate Change
  • Ideas for climate change letter
    • Suitable climates are essential for the emergence and persistence of vector-borne diseases.  A changing climate means vectors and diseases that haven’t flourished here previously may lead to the next pandemic as regions become warmer and wetter. 
    • Climate change is making it very difficult to predict the expanding range of existing vectors of disease, as well as likely that new ones will arrive in the U.S. 
    • Ticks that are capable of spreading Lyme and other diseases are now found across the U.S., and new mosquito species are being identified in areas they haven’t previously thrived due to shorter, warmer winters. 
    • Investments are needed to train the future public health entomology workforce as well as surveillance and management of existing and emerging vector threats. 
  • Other ideas for tweets:

 

Be sure to tag on Twitter and use the hashtag #EntVocate21 so ESA and your fellow advocates can stay informed about what you do!