Vincent Dethier once wrote, "...there has never seemed to be a taboo against pulling off the legs or wings of flies. Most children eventually outgrow this behavior. Those who do not either come to a bad end or become biologists."
Three decades ago, Ted took the latter of the Dethier's two paths, and ended up as a Board Certified Entomologist with a Master's Degree in urban entomology. Along the way he has worked as the senior manager responsible for training at a large, regional pest control company, and served as an entomology officer in the US Army. He has worked in the United States, Haiti, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and the British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia).
Whereas some scientists are interested in research and discovery, and others are interested in innovations and application, Ted's passion is for education.
As the training manager at a large, regional pest control company, he was able to put science education into practice, creating and facilitating performance-orientated courses for employees, using student-centered educational techniques. Pest control is a highly technical field, and Ted built classes on introductory biology, entomology, and pesticide toxicology in order to prepare employees to succeed in the field. As a result, new technicians had a 99% pass rate on the Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator test, compared to the state average of approximately 70%, and one of his programs won the Board Certified Entomologists of Mid-America Educational Project Award. But the best reward of all was the number of people he inspired to take an interest in entomology and the world around them.
His only regret was that he was not able to get to his students earlier in life, during adolescence, and inspire them to appreciate science then. Now, he is working toward gaining his teaching certification in Wisconsin, and will soon be in a high school or middle school classroom, living the dream of a biologist whose passion is education.
When Darwin traveled to the Galapagos Islands, he didn't have a camera to document the new species he discovered. He had to draw pictures of them. Once, scientists were trained in the arts; now those in STEM and those in the humanities compete for university funding and eye each other suspiciously, to everyone's loss.
Ted is a poet, with publications in Mosaic and Split Rock Review, and a fiction writer, with a short story in Leaping Clear. He has studied creative writing at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he has tried to bridge the gap between science and the humanities.
He has also published extensively in popular and trade magazines, offering insights on how to safely and effectively control pests in and around homes and businesses.