Welcome Our New Chemicals in the Environment Agent

Jackie Lebouitz in front of insect posterAt UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, we often get questions about insect identification, treatment strategies, mosquito control, opportunities to protect and support pollinators, and how to apply best practices when using household chemicals. We also support commercial horticulture professionals with licensing exams and training courses related to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and best practices in applying pesticides, fertilizer, and other chemicals. We are fortunate to have a Chemicals in the Environment Agent position responsible for these subjects and more. This is a unique role within Florida’s Extension system, thanks to a partnership with Sarasota County Department of Health.

We are excited to announce that Jackie Lebouitz began as the new Chemicals in the Environment program agent in October. She was previously the Water Resources program assistant at Sarasota County Extension, where she was responsible for water conservation related programming for adults and youth across the county. In this new role, Jackie will apply her skills at teaching, writing, and engaging educational strategies, as well as her expertise in entomology, to support the shared goals of protecting environmental and human health.

Jackie inspecting a plant for insectsJackie holds a Bachelors of Arts in environmental studies with a minor in biology, and is pursuing a master’s degree in entomology and nematology with a specialization in landscape pest management from the University of Florida. She is particularly interested in insect and arthropod biodiversity, with a special love for giant silk moths, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and arachnids. In her free time, she enjoys working with fabric and natural dyes, strolling through Florida’s many beautiful parks, mushroom forays, and good food.

Since she took on this new role, Jackie has been meeting with staff and stakeholders to identify community needs and develop program priorities. She is working on her plan for which courses and programs she will offer to the community starting in 2024. She is excited to continue contributing to Extension’s work and growing the program in new and exciting ways.

You can reach Jackie with your chemical, insect, or green industry training and license related questions, or to learn more about her program, by emailing jlebouitz@ufl.edu or calling 941-861-9806. If you’d like to sign up to join the Chemicals in the Environment e-newsletter list to be notified of future course offerings, you can do so by going to https://tiny.cc/ufsaraext_news.


Posted: December 18, 2023

Category: Pests & Disease, Pests & Disease, Professional Development
Tags: Fertilizer, Insect, Pest, Pesticide, Pgm_Chemicals, Staff, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County

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