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Protecting Your Garden From Invasive Species


Protecting Your Garden From Invasive Species

In public lecture at UC Riverside on April 28, bug expert Mark Hoddle will discuss invaders that threaten California’s agricultural, urban and wilderness areas

(April 19, 2011)

Mark Hoddle is the director of the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside.  Photo credit: L. Duka.Enlarge

Mark Hoddle is the director of the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside. Photo credit: L. Duka.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Most people realize only too late that strange new bugs are killing their garden plants, or that their favorite hiking trail is choked out with thistles. At an estimated cost of $3 billion per year to the state of California, invasive species threaten water and food security, the recreational value of wilderness areas and the value of homes.

But what exactly are invasive species? Where do they come from? How do they get to California? And how do we control and manage them?

Bug expert Mark Hoddle will explain invasive species and the economic and environmental problems they cause in a free public lecture he will give at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 28, at the University of California, Riverside.

Titled “What’s in Your Garden? Protecting California From Invasive Species,” the hour-long lecture, followed by a question-and-answer session, will take place in Rooms D-E, University Extension Center (UNEX).

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Seating is open. Parking at UNEX will be free for lecture attendees.

“California is under constant assault from invasive species,” said Hoddle, an extension specialist in biological control in the Department of Entomology and the director of the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside. “The invaders are varied and can originate from anyway in the world, or from other parts of the United States.”

The talk also will focus on some case studies affecting Southern California – the gold-spotted oak borer invasion of the Cleveland National Forest; the red palm weevil invasion of Laguna Beach; and the Asian citrus psyllid problem threatening California's citrus industry – and what UCR is doing to control these pests.

Hoddle’s talk is being hosted by UCR’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS) and the Science Circle, a group of university and community members committed to advancing science at UCR and in Inland Southern California.

The talk is the second of four lectures scheduled this year. The lecture series, titled “Science & Society: Major Issues of the 21st Century,” aims to boost the public’s awareness and understanding of science and of how scientists work.

Other speakers in this year’s lecture series are Cheryl Hayashi, a professor of biology (“Designs from Nature: A New Spin on High-Performance Materials”; May 5); and Jeanie Lau, an associate professor of physics (“Size Matters: Nanotechnology & Other Wonders in Carbon Flatland”; May 19).

More information about the lecture series can be obtained by visiting www.cnas.ucr.edu, calling (951) 827-6555 or emailing Carol Lerner.

Teachers interested in receiving professional development credit for attending the lecture series must make arrangements in advance with University Extension [awebb@ucx.ucr.edu; (951) 827-1653].

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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