Fire Ant Secrets

first_imgThe terrain of Brazil and Argentina may hold the secret to fire ant problems inGeorgia, says a University of Georgiascientist. Ken Ross is going there next weekto find out. “We’ll actually be collecting fire ants,” said Ross, an entomology professorwith the UGA College of Agriculturaland Environmental Sciences. “One of the primary emphases of the research is tostraighten out the taxonomy of the fire ants.”In other words, Ross is trying to find out just how many species of fire ants there areand exactly where they live.”A new species has been introduced here,” Ross said. “And we’re tryingto pinpoint where it came from. We’re trying to determine just how many species there aredown there.”Ross will spend a month traveling from the foothills of the Andes to the Atlantic Oceanlooking for the fiery pests.”We need to collect samples of fire ants from a wide range of where they occur inSouth America,” Ross said. “We’ll be looking at the morphology — the externalcharacteristics like the length of the leg or the shape of the head that will distinguishone species from another. We will also be looking at the genetic makeup, because you canoften get more information.”Many fire ant species look so much alike that scientists must rely on new genetictesting to see if they’re the same species or a new breed.”It’s also very important to do this kind of on-site study,” Ross said.”If you determine where in the native range this species comes from, you can answermany questions.”Understanding the ecology of the fire ants’ natural habitat may reveal the secret tocontrolling the species.”We can find out what they’re doing here and how they may have gotten here. And wecan search for natural enemies,” Ross said.”We need to know where to look in the native range to attempt to find new naturalenemies of the ants,” he said. “We can introduce those enemies here in theUnited States to bring the population under control without having to use chemicals.”Ross will travel throughout southern Brazil and northern Argentina east of the Andes.Fire ants aren’t found in the mountains or in the area west of them.”We know there are 20 or so described species,” he said. “And we suspectthere are others that you can’t tell apart by their external characteristics. We suspectwhen we look at the genetics we will find more species. They look and behave alike. Soit’s hard to tell them apart.”The research is funded by the NationalScience Foundation and the National Geographic Society. “National Geographic supports allsorts of biological projects that include a geographical component,” Ross said. He said funding was also available because the fire ant is such a well-known, prevalentU.S. pest.”We have also learned a lot about the social aspects and the nativepopulations,” he said. “We can’t continue these in-depth studies of the socialbehaviors until we go to the native land. We can’t identify the species without goingthere.”By 1994, fire ant populations were in 156 of Georgia’s 159 counties. On average,Georgia households spend $34 million each year trying to kill fire ants. The fierystingers are mainly nuisance pests. But they’re a threat to young children.If Ross’s research turns up the biological control agents he’s looking for, he may finda cost-effective, environmentally sound way to offer relief from the annual sting of fireant control.last_img read more

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Frank Koechlein Frank Koechlein is the President at Empower Your Analytics and coauthor of the marketing resource book “The New Marketing Analytics”. Frank has over 40 years of marketing experience in the … Web: empoweryouranalytics.com Details This is one of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes and I have always thought it would be fun to use it in a strategic planning discussion.  So if you consider this a part of your summertime reading list we can have some fun with what is normally a serious business topic. This quote by Yogi seems to illustrate the strategic challenge credit unions face as they begin to use member data to drive new marketing initiatives and to improve their member’s overall experience.  Implementing data driven marketing is an organization-wide project that includes the technology to collect and analyze data, as well as, automated marketing platforms to deliver a relevant/timely/personalized digital experience for members of your credit union.  Successfully implementing a project of this scope is clearly a challenge for any organization.     As many of you have no doubt experienced, implementing these projects can be long and complex; involving teams of people in and outside your organization.  During the course of the project these teams make hundreds of tactical decisions, on their own, implementing your new data marketing platform. How can you make sure this myriad of decisions will be consistent with your vision?  Will you arrive at your destination….or someplace else?   That brings us to two critical questions:What is your vision or “project destination” for building a data-driven marketing function?How do you manage your project to make sure you arrive at your destination?Your Vision To make sure you create the data marketing platform that best serves your organization, all potential stakeholders will need to be able to voice their specific business requirements. This part of the process has many potential pitfalls.  An outside facilitator working with your team provides one of the best ways to resolve conflicts and to set priorities when it comes to determining the appropriate set of functional requirements for your credit union.   Be sure to choose a facilitator with extensive data-driven marketing experience in the financial services industry and who will also take the time to understand your organization.  Your vision should incorporate factors that include your organization’s growth strategy, core operating capabilities, resources and sales/service culture.  Cookie cutter approaches rarely provide an effective long-term solution.  When crafting your vision it’s important to remember that data driven marketing impacts how every member facing department in your organization will operate.  Generally speaking data changes the way you approach marketing; meaning new strategies will focus on each member’s financial needs and not just pushing products.  Armed with data-driven sales tools your associates will begin to develop new and more effective ways to offer members the products and services they need.  Make sure you don’t arrive “someplace else”    It’s important to create a project management structure where stakeholders have ownership and they clearly understand the desired outcome (destination) for your project. Using project management tools like Basecamp, assigning a dedicated project coordinator and frequent (brief) update meetings will improve the chances your project will stay on the right track.  Assigning a Project Implementation Manager, preferably someone from the senior management team also increases your chances for success. This person becomes “the face” of your project and provides a point of contact for associates from other member facing departments to resolve issues and provide education/training on the new data strategies.  It’s critical that your destination should include the ability to quantify both the revenue and expense components of member relationships with your organization.  Building data driven marketing programs with a strong ROI makes your strategy sustainable; supporting long-term future growth and the ability to provide more advantageous pricing for underserved members.last_img read more

Swoon-worthy Noosa penthouse sells to Boomers for $4m-plus

first_imgThe view from the penthouse at 23/8 Quamby Pl, Noosa Heads. The kitchen in the penthouse at 23/8 Quamby Pl, Noosa Heads. The lounge room in the penthouse at 23/8 Quamby Pl, Noosa Heads.And up the chandeliered stairwell is the sky terrace.The property is within walking distance of top restaurants in Quamby Place, Hastings Street and Noosa’s Main Beach.Other features include onsite management, lift, a pool, spa, sauna, barbecue, car space with store room and furniture. The stunning view from the penthouse at 23/8 Quamby Pl, Noosa Heads.“Regularly I’m showing properties to people from the capitals who say they need space and extra living area for the kids and the grandkids.”The penthouse is one of three out of 25 apartments in the building.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoFrom its 12m long balcony, you can see across the Noosa River to the North Shore and beyond to the Coloured Sands; south along the park-fringed Noosaville foreshore which stretches to the Everglades as well as a backdrop of Mount Cooroy.And for the exclusive use of Las Rias residents, there is an idyllic white-sand beach and private jetty. TOMIC MAKES LAST DITCH DUPLEX BID The penthouse in this complex at 8 Quamby Pl, Noosa Heads, has sold for $4.05m.A PENTHOUSE complete with its own private beach, sky terrace and designer furniture has sold for $1.6 million more than it fetched just two years ago.The ultimate holiday home in Noosa Heads has sold for $4.05 million to a Baby Boomer couple from the state’s southeast. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE The three-level, three-bedroom, three-bathroom penthouse at 23/8 Quamby Place last changed hands in September 2016 for $2.425 million. The bathroom in the master suite of the penthouse at 23/8 Quamby Pl, Noosa Heads.center_img A three-level penthouse in this complex has sold for $4.05m. The view from one of the bedrooms in the penthouse at 23/8 Quamby Pl, Noosa Heads.The spacious living and dining spaces, fitted with deluxe furniture and accessories that come with the apartment.The kitchen features Caesar stone double island benches, Carrera marble splashbacks, a walk-in pantry and a Vintec beverage centre fridge in the bar area.On the mid-level, the master suite with volcanic stone bath and two kingsize bedrooms with a shared bathroom open out to another balcony. THE HOME THAT $5.6M CAN’T BUY The view from the balcony of the penthouse at 23/8 Quamby Pl, Noosa Heads.Selling agent Luke Chen of Tom Offermann Real Estate said the apartment had been “completely gutted back to a concrete shell” and furnished with designer and bespoke pieces made especially for it.Mr Chen said the buyers bought the property as a holiday home, primarily for its location.“It’s got one of the best views down the Noosa River you can get,” he said. ONLY AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL WHERE HOME VALUES ARE RISING Mr Chen said Noosa’s unit market was still on the upswing, with strong demand for large, prestige apartments.“We are seeing a trend of Boomers from the capital cities buying units here with the motivation of wanting to create something that the family can gather in,” he said. Inside the penthouse in Noosa Heads.Tom Offermann Real Estate principal Tom Offermann said the trend of visitors becoming property buyers in Noosa was one that had been around for more than 30 years and there was no sign of it stopping.“Many of these buyers will not compromise on having an exclusive Noosa Heads’ address,” Mr Offermann said.“Among the hottest locations is naturally on the waterfront. “Sun-drenched, especially in winter, it affords the convenience of living in the hub, safe in the knowledge the investment is underpinned by a never-ending pool of future buyers also wanting the same.”last_img read more