Welcome to the online home of Texas’s Master Volunteer Entomology Specialists. We are a growing community of folks who have participated in the annual Master Entomology Specialist training course offered by Texas AgriLife Extension and the Texas A&M Department of Entomology. In addition Entomology Specialists have been certified as completing one or more entomology-related projects requiring a minimum of 20 volunteer hours.
The purpose of the Entomology Specialist program is to provide advanced training whereby master volunteers can support or expand specific county educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. The goal of the Entomology Specialist program is not to produce entomology “experts”, rather to identify Master Volunteers who have received special training to support specific entomology-related programs or projects. Such projects may include educational projects such as building entomology collections, training other master volunteers, clientele presentations, and/or applied research and demonstrations.
After completing Specialist training, volunteers are expected to serve as a local county resource and contribute volunteer service by training other Master Gardeners and the public. Volunteers should document and report volunteer service hours to their county Extension agent, Master Naturalist Volunteer Service Project Committee, or specialist training coordinator using the official form. These hours may be applied to required volunteer hours needed to maintain one’s master volunteer certification for the year.
Leadership and coordination of the MVES program is through the Department of Entomology, AgriLife Extension Project Unit. Dr. Mike Merchant, Extension Urban Entomology Specialist (Dallas District 4 Office) and Wizzie Brown, Extension Program Specialist-IPM (Travis County Extension) currently serve as coordinators of the program. All service hours should be reported to Wizzie, who keeps records of each year’s training roster and makes final approval of hours of service for certification. Records are then reported to the State Master Gardener and/or the State Master Naturalist Coordinator(s). Specialists from the Master Gardener program will receive an appropriate certificate for completing Specialist training at the State Master Gardener Conference.