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Think and Do The Extraordinary
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Jim Baker

Professor Emeritus

Gardner Hall 3320


As an entomologist with an 85% Extension appointment, I was responsible for training Extension agents, growers, landscapers, and other horticulturalists to recognize common pests of residential and commercially grown and maintained ornamental plants. Well over 1,500 herbaceous and 500 woody ornamental species grow in North Carolina, each with a few to several pests. At least 1,800 species of insects and mites are potential pests here. During my career, I encountered about 850 of these fascinating arthropods as well as beneficial arthropods, leeches, horsehair worms, shotgun fungi, pigeon tremexes, and other miscellaneous organisms associated with ornamental plants.

Graduate students Michelle Bell and Gisella Vásquez and I worked on the biology and rational control of pests of ornamental crops in North Carolina as part of a 15% research appointment. The able assistance of Agricultural Technician Ed Shearin allowed us to develop a program on screening as a means of excluding insects from greenhouses. This gave growers a convenient and practical means of sizing insect exclusion screens to existing structures without excessive heat buildup. Our screening program was used nationally and internationally.

I edited and co-edited a series of six “Insect and Related Pests of . . .” manuals for use by Extension Agents, growers, and other professionals. While paper copies were still available, two of these manuals were used as college text books. Three are now available on line: Insect and related Pests of Flowers and Foliage Plants, Insects and Related Pests of Shrubs, and Insect and Related Pests of Vegetables.

Since retiring in 2000, I have worked part time for the Horticultural Science Department. For the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, I have prepared and edited about 440 fact sheets, insect notes, and other Extension publications.


B.S., North Carolina State University
M.S., North Carolina State University
PhD., The University of Kansas