Gary E. Daterman

June 26, 1939 Freeport, Illinois - December 7, 2009, Corvallis, Oregon

photo of Gary DatermanGary preparing to apply MCH beads to research plots in Montana, 2001

Gary Daterman, 70, of Albany, Oregon died at his home Monday, December 7, 2009. Gary grew up in northern Illinois exploring the outdoors and developing an appreciation for the natural world around him. However, he did not plan a career in a natural resources field until after completing his undergraduate degree. He earned a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Davis in 1962 with plans to pursue a law degree. During his undergraduate program, he worked on a fire crew in Lassen National Forest in northern California. After witnessing an Ips outbreak in the area around the guard station in 1960, his focus shifted from law to entomology. Although the trees in that forest suffered from the outbreak, the forest entomology community reaped the benefit of Gary's chance encounter with that little beetle for the next 42 years!

Gary chose to pursue graduate studies in forest entomology at Oregon State University because of the allure of Pacific Northwest forests and the quality of fishing in the region. He received his M.S. degree in forest entomology in 1964 upon completing his studies of seasonal and diurnal flight patterns of bark beetles in Coast Range forests under the direction of Dr. Julius Rudinsky. It was during this research project that Gary first witnessed the power of insect pheromone communication that set the path for the rest of his career. One of his passive sampling devices happened to be near a branch that was heavily infested with Trypodendron lineatum and caught large numbers of this insect. He conducted some simple experiments with T. lineatum boring dust that confirmed the presence of a potent aggregation pheromone.

Gary was hired by the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station in 1965 as a Research Entomologist. He went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in entomology at Oregon State University in 1969 while continuing to work for the PNW Research Station. In 1973, he assumed the additional responsibilities of Project Leader. This was the beginning of a series of administrative positions that Gary held for the rest of his career. From 1991 until 1996, he served as Acting Program Manager for two different research programs within the PNW Research Station. For nine months from November 1992 until June 1993, he also served as Acting Director of the National Forest Health Center in Morgantown, WV for the Forest Health Protection branch of the Forest Service and was stationed in Washington, DC. From 1996 until his retirement on January 3, 2003, he served as Team Leader for the "Behavioral Chemistry and Ecology of Forest Insects and Disease Team," in the Managing Disturbance Regimes R&D Program. In these administrative positions, Gary was highly effective in obtaining support for forest entomology research and development programs. This support facilitated the work of many other forest entomologists within the Forest Service and cooperating agencies and institutions.

Gary was a pioneer and leader in the field of forest insect chemical communication research. He not only contributed to our basic understanding of forest insect pheromones, but continually strived to develop practical applications of that knowledge to improve the management of natural resources. Gary was a team player throughout his career and worked with many people from a wide range of organizations. Some highlights of research and development accomplishments in which he played a major role are:

  • Confirmed that T. lineatum produced a potent aggregation pheromone
  • Identified sex pheromone and developed detection surveys for European pine shoot moth
  • Identified sex pheromone of the Douglas-fir tussock moth and developed the early warning system to predict outbreaks
  • Identified sex pheromone of the western pine shoot borer and developed a highly effective mating disruption management system
  • Identified sex pheromones for western spruce budworm, Modoc budworm, ponderosa pine tip moth
  • Developed MCH treatments to protect high-value trees and stands from Douglas-fir beetle infestation

Gary received the WFIWC Founders' Award in 2004 as recognition of his outstanding contributions to forest entomology in the West. A more complete and personal account of Gary's career can be found in his Founders' Award Address and published in the 2005 WFIWC proceedings.

Gary was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. His positive attitude, good humor, and generosity were experienced by all who knew him. He was truly one of the Giants in the world of forest entomology!

Prepared by Darrell Ross from information in Gary's Founders' Award nomination packet and acceptance address.