The Mosquito Man: Stepping Down
But then again medical entomologist Robert Washino isn't “most people.”
Washino, emeritus professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and former associate dean of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has just completed 38 years of service as a trustee of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District (SYMVC) Governing Board.
And after 38 years, he's retiring from the board.
Washino has served longer than any other trustee in the history of the board. Indeed, that's almost four decades. The Davis City Council appointed him as the city's representative to the mosquito abatement board in 1973. It's a big district. The district covers 2000 square miles in Yolo and Sacramento counties.
The SYMVC board honored him at its Dec. 13th meeting, held in the district headquarters, Elk Grove, with a proclamation for his “exemplary public service and dedication to public health.” Next, the Davis City Council will present a proclamation at its meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20 in the Community Chambers, 23 Russell Blvd.
Washino, now 79, served as president of the board five times during his tenure.
The SYMVC laboratory/library is named in his honor. Washino gifted his entire collection of mosquito-related books and journals, photographs and slides to the district for research and teaching purposes.
Internationally known for his expertise on mosquitoes, “Dr. Washino brought a perspective to the board that is difficult to replace,” SYMVC Manager David Brown said. “He is known worldwide for his work on mosquitoes and public health and bringing that knowledge to the district has provided a level of service that is hard to match. Without his guidance and tutelage, I am sure our program would not be as effective as it is today.”
One of the highlights of his career occurred in 2005 when he received the international Harry Hoogstraal Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Entomology for his work on the ecology of mosquitoes and mosquito control agents.
He also has a mosquito named for him: Aedes washinoi.
"It's a tiny one," he says.
So, Bob Washino, mosquito man extraordinaire, is stepping down. We're not sure, though, that he can ever totally step down.
He has too much public service in his heart.
Culex quinquefasciatus, which can transmit West Nile virus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Medical entomologist Robert Washino during his military years in the mid-1950s. This photo was taken in a lab south of Paris, France.