Chester N. Husman Awards: Screwworm Eradication Program Records

Chester N. Husman Awards: Screwworm Eradication Program Records Introduction

The Chester N. Husman Awards: Screwworm Eradication Program Records occupy 1 linear foot in 1 box. The collection contains three awards given in recognition of work achievement in to Chester N. Husman and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) for the screwworm eradication efforts in Mexico. Materials were donated to Special Collections by Paul Tommy Stanford in 2000 and John E. George in 2006. The awards are dated 1947, 1971, and 1991 and all are in good condition. This collection was arranged and described in 2007 by Lindsey Loeper, a graduate student assistant from the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.


Disclaimer

Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) acquires, arranges, describes, preserves and makes available rare materials significant to the history of agriculture. Materials are obtained through donation or active collection in accordance with the established Special Collections collection development policy. Special Collections staff organize and describe materials according to archival principles and create descriptions and indexes to enhance access. Staff do not edit or otherwise modify the original materials. The views expressed in the collections do not necessarily reflect the policies of the National Agricultural Library or the United States Department of Agriculture.


Historical Sketch

Below is a timeline of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) screwworm research highlights.

1858: First reported screwworm cases on Devil's Island, French Guiana

1933: Emory Clayton Cushing and Walter S. Patton recognized screwworm fly as its own species, Cochliomyia hominivorax (different from the blowfly species)

1934: USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) established research station at Valdosta, Georgia (closed 1936) to conduct research on screwworms by scientists Ernest William Laake and Edward Fred Knipling

1935: ARS secured funding for research on screwworms. Raymond C. Bushland began research on artificial diets for rearing screwworms.

1937: Bushland and Knipling are transferred to ARS laboratory in Menard, Texas. Bushland began research on controlling screwworms through chemical means. Knipling began research on sterile male technique, an autocidal theory of total insect population management.

1938: USDA developed Smear 62, an insecticidal wound treatment

1939: Bushland is transferred to Orlando, Florida, to conduct research on mosquito control

1940: Knipling is transferred to Orlando, Florida, to conduct research on insects affecting man

1946: Bushland transferred to ARS laboratory in Kerrville, Texas. Knipling transferred to USDA-ARS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

1950: Arthur W. Lindquist introduced Knipling to Hermann Joseph Muller's research on genetic mutations in fruit flies by radiation. Bushland and Donald E. Hopkins began tests on sterilization of screwworms using radiation.

1951: Alfred H. Baumhover arrived at Kerrville, Texas, to work on screwworm eradication using sterile male technique. Sanibel Island, Florida, was the first field test to use the sterile male technique.

1954: Baumhover traveled to Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, and began successful screwworm eradication campaign using sterile male technique

1955: Baumhover returned to Orlando, Florida, to work on eradication of screwworms from the Southeast United States. Mass rearing techniques were developed.

1955-1957: A mass fly production facility for rearing screwworms is built in Bithlo, Florida. Screwworms successfully eradicated in a 2000 square mile field test area near Orlando, Florida.

1958: ARS built mass fly production facility near Sebring, Florida

1959: Screwworms successfully eradicated from the Southeast United States

1962: ARS Southwest United States screwworm eradication program began with flies produced at the Kerrville, Texas, ARS laboratory. Mass production facility built at Mission, Texas.

1963: ARS developed program specializations. Billy Gene Hightower studied screwworm ecology in Texas. Alfred H. Baumhover studied sterile fly distribution. Leo E. LaChance studied screwworm genetics. Maxwell M. Crystal studied chemosterilants.

1964: Baumhover transferred to Oxford, North Carolina, to work with the Tobacco Insects Investigations

1966: USDA declared screwworms eradicated from Southwest United States, except Texas continued to be infested until 1982. United States and Mexico conducted a feasibility survey for a screwworm eradication program in Mexico, which resulted in the establishment of a screwworm eradication program in Mexico.

1974: The Lincoln-Eden Report, "The Southwestern Screwworm Eradication Program: A Review," is published. Charles G. Lincoln and William Gibbs Eden were tasked with evaluating the Southwestern United States Screwworm Eradication program after poor results spanning 1972-1974. They concluded that the program was a success despite some minor faults and the research should continue.

1977: The ARS Screwworm Research Unit relocated from the Mission, Texas, laboratory to a sterile fly production facility near Tuxtla Gutierrez in Chiapas, Mexico

1984: A new gelled diet is developed by ARS for use in mass rearing screwworms

1990: "Severn Run's Cazador," a German wirehaired pointer, is trained by John Bertram Welch to detect screwworm larvae and screwworm infested animals

1991: Mexico was declared screwworm free

1994: Screwworms eradicated from Belize and Guatemala. Panama City, Republic of Panama, became the headquarters for the USDA-ARS Screwworm Research Unit.

1995: Screwworms eradicated from El Salvador

1996: Screwworms eradicated from Nicaragua

1999: Screwworms eradicated from Honduras

2000: Costa Rica declared screwworm free


Biographical Sketch

Chester N. Husman was an engineer for the USDA and assisted on many screwworm research efforts. Husman participated in DDT testing during WWII, as did Edward Fred Knipling, Raymond C. Bushland, and Arthur W. Lindquist; Husman worked on methods for distributing DDT and in 1947 was awarded by the War Department for his efforts. In 1957 Husman began working with the screwworm program in Florida. His projects included improving the rearing process and supervising the construction of a screwworm facility in Bithlo, Florida. Husman managed to enlarge the plant from the original dimensions, increasing research capacity by 50%. At the Sebring, Florida, research facility, Husman decreased the mortality rate of screwworm larvae from 25% down to 5% by introducing a waterway to carry newly reared larvae.

The screwworm technology that Husman may be most well-known for is the Husman irradiator. Irradiators were an important part of the screwworm eradication process; the radiation they produced sterilized the factory-reared screwworm larvae, preparing them for release into the natural population. The Husman irradiator substituted Cesium for Cobalt, extending the sustainability of the work time between irradiator repair and half-life intervals. In 1974, the Mission, Texas, plant installed four Husman irradiators; facilities in Mexico also used Husman's model.


Scope and Content Note

The Chester N. Husman Awards: Screwworm Eradication Program Records contains three awards given in recognition of work achievement in to Chester N. Husman and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) for the screwworm eradication efforts in Mexico. The awards were provided by the U.S. War Department, dated 1947; the government of Mexico, dated 1991; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), dated 1971. All awards are in print format; the award from the USDA is in a wooden frame. The collection is contained within one box and spans one linear foot.


Series Description

Series I. Awards. 1947-1991. 1 box.

Three printed awards comprise Series I. Chester N. Husman is the recipient of two; the third has been dedicated to all of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).


Appendix A: Related Collections

Listed below are screwworm related manuscript collections housed in Special Collections, National Agricultural Library as of June 2007:

Artifacts: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 348.

Audiovisual Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 215.

Baumhover, Alfred H., Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 266.

Graham, Owen Hugh, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 213.

Husman, Chester N., Awards: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 349.

International Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 355.

Knipling, Edward Fred, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 210.

Oral Histories: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 305.

Promotional Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 214.

Severn Run's Cazador (Caz), Screwworm Detection Dog, Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 310.

Southeastern United States Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 212.

Southwestern United States and Mexico Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 211.

USDA Entomology Research Division Records. Manuscript Collection 237.

Wyss, John, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 338.


Bibliography

Information for the Historical Sketch and the Scope and Content Note was taken from the following sources:

Artifacts: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Baumhover, Alfred H., Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Baumhover, Alfred H. "A Personal Account of Programs to Eradicate the Screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivora, in the United States and Mexico with Special Emphasis on the Florida Program." Accessed on June 8, 2007 from http://www.flaentsoc.org/webbaum/baumhover.html.

"Mass Production of Sterile New World Screwworm Flies in Southern Mexico." Agriculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed June 8, 2007 from http://www.fao.org/docrep/U4220T/U4220T0G.HTM.