Alone We Can Do So Little

July is busy for the Pesticide Information Office. I will be on the road and out of the office for most of that month. The title of this blog comes from a Helen Keller quote, and the full quote is “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. In July I am collaborating with fellow scientists, researchers, and educators alike at several different conferences, APMS and AAPSE, PACT, and hope to achieve even greater things together.



Like so many disciplines, pesticide education is full of acronyms, a veritable alphabet soup. This blog will seek to not only define the groups I will be working with but give background on how it fits into the Pesticide Information Office and our goal of educating pesticide applicators around the state. Keep reading to find out more information about each of these groups.


APMS (Aquatic Plant Management Society) –

Those that read my previous blog “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” know that my background, nearly 20 years of my life, was spent in aquatic invasive plant management. APMS is the first professional conference I attended as a graduate student. APMS is made up of scientists, industry professionals, applicators, governmental employees, pretty much anyone with an interest in managing aquatic invasive plants. Invasive species are problematic to native species, ecosystems, fishing, boating, swimming, they essentially disrupt all stakeholders of a waterbody. APMS brings many of these stakeholders together to share the most current research and management practices. This year they will meet in New Orleans, so not only do I look forward to connecting with friends and learning about the most up to date research, but I plan to eat some of the best food around. Although I don’t do aquatic plant management full-time anymore, this will always feel like home.


AAPSE (American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators) –

This has become my new primary professional home, and what a welcoming one it has been so far. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires states to have a plan for pesticide licensing, training, certification, and education. Each state needs a PSEP (told you there were soooo many acronyms) or Pesticide Safety Education Program, to deliver pesticide training and educational opportunities. I am the PSEP for Florida, and thus my connection to this group. They have welcomed me in, entirely via Zoomland, so I look forward to learning from them in person. The meeting will be in Denver, and directly follows APMS. So I will go from the culinary delights of the Big Easy, to the stunning vistas of the Mile High City.

PACT (Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training)

This isn’t a group quite like APMS or AAPSE, but more a conference to bring state agencies, PSEPS, and the EPA together to discuss relevant pesticide licensing and training issues. This is a great chance for feedback to the EPA on what sorts of training initiatives might be needed. It is, in short a way for educators and regulators to get together and build a common vision. It immediately follows the AAPSE conference and will be 3 days of collaboration and discussion. A chance for educators, regulators, applicators, to all have a voice and a hand in shaping the certification process.


Things will quite on the blog in July. That is because I will be learning from so many to better write blogs once I am back. This is NOT the last blog until after July however, next week will be a special blog. Next week is pollinator week, and I will be writing a blog for another UF program. They will be writing here. Stay tuned next week to find out who we are “cross pollinating” blogs with!


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Posted: June 17, 2021

Category: Agriculture, Blog Community, Invasive Species, NATURAL RESOURCES, Pests & Disease, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: AAPSE, APMS, Brett Bultemeier, Certification And Training, EPA, License, PACT, Pesticide Information Office

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