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Department Highlights

Following is a historical timeline of highlights of entomology in Indiana.  Please feel free to send us updates, or corrections along with a place to verify the information.  This gives us a snapshot of the development of the department via college history, government actions and environmental factors.

Year         Highlight

1824             Thomas Say publishes first of 3 volumes of ‘American Entomology, or Descriptions of the Insects of North America’

1826             Thomas Say moves to New Harmony, IN

1834             Thomas Say died in New Harmony, IN at the age of 47

1854             1st professional entomologist hired by the US Patent Office

1862             Morrill Act passed establishing the Land Grant University system

1865             Indiana legislature approves Morrill Act

1869             Purdue University is founded as the Land Grant university in Indiana

1874             First students enrolled and first courses taught at Purdue; 1st entomology courses listed in “Purdue Course of Study”

1877             1st insect teaching collections established

1879             1st Ag students enrolled and first Ag courses taught at Purdue

1880             1st entomology course (6-weeks) taught in 3rd term (spring) of 1st yr

1884             School of Agriculture is established; J. Troop hired as first head of Horticulture and Entomology

1884             F.M. Webster, a special agent from USDA and consulting entomologist to the department, becomes 1st professional entomologist in IN, authored 1st Exp Station Bulletin – The Hessian Fly – Dec 30, 1884 (published in 1885)

1887             Hatch Act passed establishing Ag Experiment Stations

1890             2nd Morrill Act passed creating the historically blackcolleges and universities

1896             Department purchased the T.B. Ashton collection of beetles – originally to support teaching, but later moved to the research collection by JJ Davis

1899             J. Troop appointed 1st State Entomologist following invasion of San Jose scale in Indiana orchards and nursery stock

1905             1st federal field lab (USDA Division of Cereal and Forage Insects) in Indiana established in Richmond

1907             Indiana established separate office of State Entomologist in Indianapolis

1909             USDA Division of Cereal and Forage Insects lab in Richmond moves to Purdue Experiment Station in West Lafayette

1912             Department of Horticulture and Entomology split into separate departments; J. Troop stays with Entomology as head

1914             Smith-Lever Act establishing the Cooperative Extension System

1914             1st entomologist BS in Ag

1916             1st entomologist MS in Ag

1919             USDA personnel stationed at Purdue to develop Hessian fly project

1920             JJ Davis joins Purdue as 2nd department head

1921             1st meeting of the North Central States entomologists held at Purdue

1922             USDA Division of Biological Survey (future USDI Fish and Wildlife Service) established a field station for Predator and Rodent Control; program staff work closely with department

1923             BOT approves a lease for USD Bureau of Ent at 500 University St

1924             1st insect collection & ID clubs and contest in IN started by JJ Davis; Eldo Brown of Hartford City winning first honors

1926             European corn borer arrives in Indiana

1927             1st student society established – The Purdue Entomological Society

1928             1st curriculum in Entomology

1931             Purdue Entomological Society changes name to Thomas Say Entomological Society

1934             Japanese beetle arrives in Indiana

1935             Research on the development of Hessian fly resistant wheat initiated in Indiana

1936             1st extension entomologist (Glen Lekher)

1937             1st Purdue Pest Control Conference

1942             1st PhD in Entomology (George Gould)

1943             1st DDT trials at Purdue

1946             2nd curriculum in Urban Entomology

1948             1st structural pest control course in US

1949             1st faculty sabbatical – BE Montgomery worked on bumble bees in New Zealand (1949-50)

1950             1st Hessian Fly resistant wheat released

1956             John Osmun becomes 3rd department head with JJ Davis’ retirement

1956             USDA Cereals and Forage Insects program scientists move from offices in Lafayette Post Office to department and become adjunct faculty along with USDI Rodent Control staff

1959             1st curator of insects – Leland Chandler

1961             Urban pest management correspondence courses begin (William ‘Bill’ Butts w/ Lee Truman)

1962             McIntire-Stennis Act provides research support for forestry

1962             Truman’s Scientific Guide to Pest Control Operations – 1st edition

1962             Cereal leaf beetle arrives in Indiana

1965             1st female faculty hire (V. Ferris)

mid 1960s     Alfalfa weevil arrives in Indiana

1960s           Alfalfa insect resistance developed – glandular hairs in 70s; commercialized in 80s

1966             2nd curator – Ross Arnett

1968             Western corn rootworm arrives in Indiana

early 1970s   Symptom circus – presented by the two Dons (Don Schuder and Don Scott)

1971             1st director of the Purdue Entomological Research Collection – Pat McCafferty (3rd curator – Arwin Provonsha)

1972             Eldon Ortman becomes 4th department head; gypsy moth arrives; 1st integrated pest management program started at Purdue on alfalfa

1972             Gypsy moth arrives in Indiana

1973             Integrated pest management program on corn started at Purdue

1974             Corn program expanded to include soybeans; International Plant Resistance to Insects workshop started at Purdue

1975             1st efforts to train and certify people applying restricted use pesticides according to 1972 Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act (FEPCA)

1970s           Insecticide and Acaricide Tests – initiated and edited for several years by York

1976             Purdue pesticide applicator training program established by John Osmun

1978             Bug Scout was a series of cartoons published in Indiana Prairie Farmer to communicate concepts about pest management (1978-1983)

late 1970s     Plant protection “Scout School” for agronomic crops

early 1980s   Organized Indiana Association of Independent Crop Consultants

1981             National Pesticide Information Retrieval System established

1981             Research collection in basement of Entomology Hall damaged by flood due to construction of Whistler Hall

1982             Linnaean Games started by Turpin and Edwards at North Central Branch meeting

1983             Diagnostic Training Center established by Marlin Bergman

1985             Department wins contract to manage USDA National Agricultural Pest Information System

1986             Purdue pesticide applicator training program moved to Botany and Plant Pathology

1986             Interdisciplinary crop protection major established

1986             US Department of Interior Animal Damage Control Unit moved to USDA APHIS & assigned to department

1988             1st JV Osmun distinguished alumni award given to Max Summers

1988             Winter crop production meetings initiated (Edwards)

1990             Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory established (Edwards & Gibb)

1990             Chris Oseto becomes 5th department head

1990             1st Bug Bowl event featuring ‘Roachill Downs’ cockroach racing

1991             Center for Environmental Regulatory Information Systems established

1992             Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management established

1992             “Roachill Downs” cockroach racing moved to Indiana State Fair

1992             Insect Expo started at Purdue, moved to ESA annual meeting for a few years

1994             1st transgenic seed with insect resistance – alpha amylase inhibitor (Murdock)

1990s           Corn rootworm variant arrives in Indiana

1995             “Insectaganza” outreach program for 5th graders started

2000             Steve Yaninek becomes 6th department head

2000             Soybean aphid arrives in Indiana

2003             Purdue Butterfly Encounter begins

2004             O. Wayne Rollins Foundation committed $1.5 million to endow a chair in urban entomology – the first in the department

2004             The department receives a $1.5 million commitment from William Bindley as a deferred match for the endowment from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation.  This was the 4th and final Bindley matching endowed chair in Agriculture, and is tied to the Bindley estate.

2005             Emerald ashborer arrives in Indiana

2006             John V. Osmun Professorship in Urban Entomology is established with gifts and pledges from 51 donors totaling just over $1 million

2006             Boiler Bug Barn outreach center created

2010   The O. Wayne Rollins/Orkin Endowed Professorship in Urban Entomology and Insect Physiology is filled with the hire of Mike Scharf (BS ’91, MS ’93, PhD ’97)