Posts Tagged: entomologist
Ever been to the Burning Man Festival and checked out the art cars?
No, and no.
But last Sunday at the Berkeley Marina, we saw an art car that looked as if it could have been at the Burning Man.
It was the wheel deal.
And a car that an entomologist could love.
Assorted insects, including a stylistic blue ant, decorated the car. Excitedly different. Curiously surreal. Marvelously eccentric.
Wikipedia defines an art car as "a vehicle that has its appearance modified as an art of personal artistic expression." The owners are sometimes called "Cartists."
We've seen a yellow Volkwagen painted to resemble a bumble bee. We've seen the Oscar Meyer Wienie Wagon cruising down the street. Singer Janis Joplin ("Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?") drove a psychedelically painted Porsche. John Lennon of the Beatles wheeled around in a paisley Rolls Royce. (Perhaps it should have been a Volkswagen Beetle?)
The art car parked at the Berkeley marina, however, looked like a buffet of art, someone's leftovers turned into a heaping plate of static and dynamic creativity that begged attention. Put a fork in it and it's done.
We don't know where it had been or where it was going. Or, maybe it wasn't going anywhere any time soon.
That blue ant, though, made us think the cartist is an entomologist. Specifically, a mymecologist.
An stylized ant on the art car. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Time will tell. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Art car holds many treasures. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The end. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Home from the World War II battlefields, he enrolled in Compton Community College and then the University of California, Berkeley.
A family friend promised him a job in his termite control business once he finished his studies.
His college associates, however, couldn’t envision “Vern and termites” in the same sentence.
Neither could he.
“There were better things to do in life than crawling under a house looking for termites,” quipped Burton, who is known for his wry sense of humor. (Photo at right was taken circa 1980)
So began a 38-year career that would encompass 10 years as a Kern County Farm Advisor and 28 years as an Extension entomologist affiliated with the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
During his career, Burton, now 85, worked with crops such as alfalfa, beans, cotton, potatoes, small grains and sugar beets and helped resolve pest problems through integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and close associations with university researchers. “I always enjoyed helping people in ag and urban settings with their insect problems,” Burton said, “or their perceived problems.”
Tuber worms in potatoes? Check. Lygus bugs in seed alfalfa? Check. Spider mites on dry beans? Check. Nematodes in cotton? Check. Green peach aphids in sugar beets? Check. Burton helped recommend the guidelines in several of the Statewide IPM Program’s commodity manuals. His collaborative research also appears in California Agriculture and other publications.
“Vern was dedicated to California growers, and worked tirelessly to provide new and useful information to them,” said IPM specialist Frank Zalom, professor and former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. “He understood the research-extension continuum better than most people ever could, having served the university as an extension entomologist in the county and also here on campus.”
Read more about Vern Burton and what he's doing today.
Yes, he's in the computer age!
UC Davis Entomology in 1970