WSSA ACADEMIC SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT
The WSSA Board of Directors created the position of Academic Subject Matter Expert (SME) in May, 2007. This liaison position is a partnership between WSSA and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Herbicide Registration Section. Our first EPA Liaison was Dr. Steve Dewey, Utah State University. Steve’s last visit to EPA is this December, 2008. Dr. Jill Schroeder, New Mexico State University, has been selected by WSSA’s EPA Subject Matter Expert Nomination Committee to replace Steve based on a competitive assessment of applicants. Jill’s first visit to EPA is this December to overlap with Steve’s and her term continues for the next 2 years.
The vision for this position is to develop a liaison between the academic Weed Science community and the EPA in order to assist the Agency in addressing crop and noncrop weed control issues that directly impact the weed management practitioner. The WSSA/EPA SME is expected to learn the registration and reregistration processes at the EPA, become familiar with the Agency’s scientific committees and how they operate, and develop a basic understanding of how EPA Office of Pesticide Programs risk assessments are conducted. With this background, the WSSA/EPA SME would represent the WSSA membership to EPA and provide critical input on topics such as the utility of label mitigations for herbicide use, spray drift management, invasive species management near endangered species, and the role of weed control in land management. It was expected that the WSSA SME would also meet with other appropriate federal and state personnel who are responsible for the control of invasive weeds on public lands in order to utilize their expertise when questions arise on herbicide labeling and use applications.
WSSA greatly appreciates Steve Dewey’s many accomplishments in this area. Real contributions to the Agency have been made in expanding their understanding of the practical aspects of weed control in both managed crop systems and invasive species control over the past 18 months. WSSA also welcomes the addition of Jill Schroeder to EPA’s staff to continue and build this relationship for the benefit of both EPA and WSSA.
November 24, 2008