Dr. Ronald W. Stark was awarded the 1993 Western Forest Insect Work Conference (WFIWC) Founders' Award.
Ron Stark has served as a Research Scientist for the Canadian Department of Agriculture (Division of Forest Biology), a professor at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Idaho at Moscow, and a program manager for several large research and development programs. He retired in 1985, becoming Professor Emeritus at the University of Idaho.
While at the Universities of California and Idaho, Ron Stark trained a generation of forest entomologists. His MS and PhD students include RE Stevens, DL Dahlsten, AA Berryman, RH Smith, WD Bedard, NE Johnson, CS Schaefer, E Jessen, W Kelson, DE Bright Jr., RF Luck, JP Kimmins, CJ Demars, BE Wickman, JA Caylor, T Koerber, I Otvos, G Thorley, HD Hertert, EA Cameron, NL Crookston, DL Kulhavy, PT Flanagan, CG Niwa, Y Katerere, RA Nathanson, and WP Kemp. Ron Stark received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California in 1960, was a NSF Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in 1968, and was a Distinguished Lecturer at Texas A&M University in 1974.
Dr. Stark authored or co-authored over 140 published works, including contributions on general forest entomology, ecology, and population dynamics; forestry education; various forestry-related disciplines; Idaho history; teaching math skills; economic impacts; and technology transfer. He was well known for his editing skils, and coedited several books on bark beetles and defoliators.
Ron Stark's work in insect sampling, modeling, impact, control, climatology, interaction of tree stress caused by air pollution and disease and insect activity, and population dynamics converged over the years to the application of systems analysis to forest entomology, the transference of the integrated control (later integrated pest management) concept from agriculture to forestry and finally to the broader concept of interated forest protection. He was among the first to apply life table analysis, to use sequential sampling, to use x-rays to study cryptic insects and one of the few to study the effect of regional climate on insect populations. His constant emphasis on the application of research to forestry problems earned him the Society of American Foresters' Barrington Moore award, only the second entomologist to be so honored.
But it is for his many contributions to the development of integrated pest management (IPM) that Ron Stark is best known. IPM is now official USDA Forest Service policy under the NFMA Act, due in large part to his service on the Committee of Scientists. His participation in a Southwest Region review of control programs in the southwest aided in the adoption of more ecologically based forest management practices in that Forest Service region. Stark also played a major role in the design and management of three major federal research and development programs for the development of integrated pest management strategies for pine bark beetles, Douglas-fir tussock moth, and western spruce budworm.
Adapted from the Founders Award nomination packet by Kathy Sheehan, April 2004.