Dr. William G.H. Ives was awarded the 1999 Western Forest Insect Work Conference (WFIWC) Founders' Award.
Bill Ives' career began in 1952 as a Research Officer with the Forest Insect Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. From 1952 to 1967 Ives developed sampling techniques for larch sawfly, conducted life table and population dynamics studies, and analyzed data from experiments and surveys. He was appointed Research Scientist in 1967, and transferred to the Canadian Forest Service in Edmonton, Alberta in 1970 where he served as Section Head for Forest Insect and Disease Survey, Prairies (AB, SK, MN, & NWT). Additional responsibilities for Ives included directing biological control research using viruses and parasitoids against forest tent caterpillar, studying survival of juvenile pine in AB and MN, and preparing an illustrated guide to tree and shrub insects of the prairie provinces (in collaboration with Dr. H.R. Wong).
Ives has authored or coauthored many technical publications and book chapters. With H.R. Wong, he authored Tree and Shrub insects of the prairie provinces, which is widely used in forest entomology curricula of universities, colleges, and government agencies to train students and employees in forest insect identification. Bill Ives was also an Honorary Professor at the University of Manitoba.
Bill Ives' contributions to forest entomology are primarily in the area of research, but as for all good scientists the results of his career have found application in several areas. His greatest contribution was the set of papers leading to the understanding of larch sawfly population dynamics and the subsequent elucidation of the role of Olesicampe benefactor in the control of larch sawfly outbreaks. Larch sawfly is no longer considered a serious pest in northwestern boreal forests because of this work. Ives' work is also one of the few examples of successful classical biological control of a native forest insect.
Ives' work as Forest Insect and Disease Survey (FIDS) Head led to the identification of the most serious forest insect problems in northwestern Canada and ultimately resulted in contributions to the first forest pest depletion report for Canada. He also led the analyses of long-term FIDS data on the behaviour of 21 defoliators.
Bill Ives' study on juvenile pine survival is one of the few long-term studies specifically designed to evaluate the relative risk of damage to developing stands by several forest insects. Today information from these studies is the foundation on which decision support systems are being developed to assist managers in forest pest management.
Only people familiar with the entomofauna gained from long experience (over 8 decades between the authors) in the region could have produced a field guide to tree and shrub insects of the prairie provinces that is of the calibre of Ives and Wong's publication. Ives was also the scientific editor of Forest Insect Pests in Canada, an encyclopedic compendium of forest entomology knowledge.
The full impact of the contributions of Bill Ives are still being realized as new concerns, such as climate change and sustainable development issues related to forest health, emerge and we return to the databases developed by his program for baseline information and answers to new questions.
Adapted from the Founders Award nomination packet by Kathy Sheehan, April 2004.