Whitehall Project 2006 Summer Class
A Successful Set of Noxious Weed Education & Control Strategies
For Students and Teachers At The Local Level

YOU and your students can be part of the solution to noxious weeds!!

2005 Summer Class
2005 Summer Class collecting Larinus minutus, the knapweed seed head feeding weevil near Lewis and Clark Caverns, along the Jefferson River.  Class participants are able to take several species of weed killing insects (biological control agents for knapweed and leafy spurge) back to their areas to jump-start their own similar programs!

2006 Class Scheduled for 2nd week in July, 2006. 

Ten Montana teachers will receive room, board and mileage. 

The class will include an optional 2 day extension to Grassrange, MT where you will collect leafy spurge flea beetles (we collected 1.6 and 1.5 million on a similar trip in '04 and '05!).  Summer '05 participants who had spurge in their area, were able to take 40 releases (of 3000 flea beetles each) home with them.

Whitehall High School, Whitehall, Montana

Between Butte and Bozeman, along I-90.

July, 10-12th, 2006 +
2-day Extension to Grassrange, MT to collect leafy spurge flea beetles July 13-14th.

Class is Free

If you want teacher renewal credits or 1 semester college credit - through U of M, Western, Out Reach, Dillon, MT.  Call U of M Western at: 1-866-799-9140 or sign up on the first day of the class, cost = about $110.00, Bio 491. 

You must pre register for the class, limit 30 people.  Send in Brochure registration form or Email Mr. Breitenfeldt: tbreit@whitehallmt.orgfor more information or to register.  You can also call Mr. Breitenfeldt @ Whitehall High School after 3:18 PM, 406-287-3862.
A 3-day class all about how to replicate all that the Whitehall Project does in your county/area/school.  Suggested for a team consisting of a teacher (or leader of a local group) plus a weed professional as mentor.  However, individuals may take the class.  You are welcome to bring interested High School Students as well, who may want to work on your future "summer crew."

Knapweed insectary start-up funding may be available from the Montana Department of Transportation (DOT) for new programs that are located west of the continental divide, will rear the knapweed root boring weevil Cyphocleonus achates, and are willing to share some of their weevils for release along Montana roadways.
Instructor Mike Battaiola separating Oberea, the spurge root boring beetle from a sweep net during the '05 class.
Teacher & Student transplanting knapweed
A teacher and student learning how to transplant knapweed into a knapweed insectary bed as food to mass rear knapweed root boring weevils.
Vials of 100 Larinus each
Vials of 100 Larinus minutus each collected by the teachers to take home to help control weeds and jump-start their own programs at their school/county.
GPSing a release
Teachers and students using GPS units to map an insect release site and recording site data.  This allows you/others to locate/monitor the release site in the future for success and/or collections.
Todd in insectary
Instructor Todd Breitenfeldt explaining how to mass rear knapweed root boring weevils in a knapweed insectary corral.  We have to drive 24 miles to Butte to find enough knapweed to transplant into our insectaries because all the closer stands we used to use, are controlled.
The setup and sweepnetting at the Grassrange site
Teachers sweep netting for flea beetles.  The Grassrange 2005 collection site (note all the dead leafy spurge) where we collected 1.5 million flea beetles in two partial days.  This site is on the edge of a several square mile patch of dead spurge killed by these awesome bio-control insects.
5000 flea beetles
Mike Battaiola poring 5000 flea beetles into a container for release.
dead spurge with flea beetles
Dead leafy spurge with many flea beetles.  Note the many dead spurge stems in the background and the grasses and forbs beginning to come back.

Class Outline
Day I, Mon. 10th
Continental Breakfast: 7:30-8 AM

I. Introduction: the weed problem [1h, 8-9 AM]
 A. Why are weeds?
  1. Noxious weeds
   a. Biological wild fire, decrease food production, decreased recreation
  2. Montana weed identification
   a. Category 1, 2, 3, and potential new invaders
 B. Solutions: IPM, Integrated Pest Management
  1. Prevention
  2. Chemical
  3. Cultural
  4. Biological
   a. Each bioagent species is different!
  5. Education
  6. Cooperation
 C. Review of Whitehall Project [biocontrol].
  1. Greenhouse rearing
  2. Insectaries
  3. Bioagent collection
  4. Release / Augmentation
  5. Release site monitoring / mapping
  6. Land owner relations / bioagent redistribution
   a. net (collection) days
  7. mtwow.org web site
   a. Teacher weed curriculum
  8. Funding / grant writing

II. Greenhouse rearing- how to [1h, 9-10 AM]
 A. Calophasia lunula / Dalmatian toadflax - rearing.
  1. Students mass rear all school year
 B. Other possible uses

III. Insectary- how to [3.5h, 10-noon, lunch, 1-2:30 PM]
 A. Goals and objectives
 B. Insect life cycles
  1. Weevil: Cyphocleonus achates
  2. Moth: Agapeta zoegana
 C. Tour
 D. Collect from insectaries
 E. Insectary construction
  1. Collect (pull up) knapweed plants
  2. Transplant knapweed plants
  3. Construct corral
 F. Cage rearing of Agapeta zoegana

IV. Collection and redistribution [2.5 h, 2:30-5 PM]
 A. Goals and objectives
 B. Example insect life cycles
  1. Oberea erythrocephala - leafy spurge root boring beetle
  2. Aphthona species - leafy spurge root feeding beetle
  3. Larinus minutus - spotted & diffuse knapweed seed head weevil
 C. Methods:
  1. Collection
  2. Storage
  3. Transport
  4. Release
 D. Release site selection
  1. Insect requirements
  2. Fit spacing plan / weed area
  3. Land owner cooperation and agreement
 E. Go collect insects at release sites
  1. Accelerate and clean-up releases

Bar-B-Q! 5:30-? & weed movie in local historic Star theatre.

Day 2, Tue.,  July 11th
Continental Breakfast: 7:30-8 AM

  2. Aspirate and count insects for release [1h, 8-9 AM]
  3. Prepare insects for transport
  4. Discuss insect shipping

V. Release site monitoring [1h, 9-10 AM]
 A. Importance of mapping
 B. Photo record
 C. Site information
 D. How to use a GPS
 F. Monitoring video

VI. Make release [2h, 11-noon]
 A. Go to site(s) and release insects
  1. GPS
  2. Photograph
  3. Record site data
  4. Draw map
Lunch in field, 1-2 PM collect bioagents to take home for release

VII. Mapping [3h, 2-5 PM]
 A. Review ArcView
  1. Map new release site(s)
  2. Make map of your area
   a. Bring your own release site GPS way points if you have them!

Bar-B-Q!  5:30-?

Day 3, Wed. July 12th
Continental Breakfast: 7:30-8 AM

VII. mtwow.org web site introduction [2h, 8-10 AM]
 A. Detailed introduction to web site
  1. Teacher noxious weed curriculum
 B. How to write a web page
 C. Write a web page for the mtwow.org site and publish to site
  1. Include photo you have taken

VIII. Grant writing [2h, 10-noon]
 A. The Whitehall Project funding and grant(s)
 B. Noxious Weed Trust Fund format
 C. Conservation Districts HB223 grant format
 D. Other sources of funding
 E. Write your own grant

Lunch on own / Drive home
 F. Head home or stay up to 5 PM and continue working on grant and/or open discussion
 G. If taking for credit: email or mail in completed grant as final project.

Optional: Two Day Grassrange Extension
Leave 6:00 AM Thur. July 13th 
from Whitehall and drive approximately 4 hours to Lewistown.  Meet BLM personal and proceed to Grassrange to collect leafy spurge flea beetles all afternoon.  We will stay in a hotel in Lewistown, collect the next day (Fri., July 14th) and all can proceed home from there as they see fit with (hopefully) several hundred thousand flea beetles!

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