One mosquito may look like all others to the average mosquito victim, but people like Professor James D. Long can tell the difference, even to the point of identifying those that originate in holes in trees.
Long, professor and past chair of biology at Sam Houston State University, has been selected to receive the Meritorious Service Award of the American Mosquito Control Association.
He has taught at SHSU since 1959, and is the senior tenured SHSU faculty member. He will receive the award at the association's annual meeting in March in Sparks, Nevada.
The award is in recognition of Long's half century of contributions to the operation and management of the association and to the science of mosquito biology and control. He has been a member since 1956 and has served as a regional director representing south central states on two occasions. He has served as editor of the association newsletter for the past 15 years and received a Presidential Citation from the association for his newsletter work in 1991.
The association is an international, professional organization of mosquito research scientists and control workers.
The safe use of pesticides is a primary focus of mosquito professionals these days, according to Long.
"We do what we call integrated pest control," he said, "which is making sure that there is no serious environmental impact caused by insecticides. Among people who apply insesticides, mosquito control specialists are some of the most responsible."
Long began studying mosquitoes during World War II as a U. S. Naval Reserve hospital corpsman assigned to a malaria control unit in the South Pacific combat area. The research he did later while qualifying for advanced degrees also dealt with studies of these organisms.
Long, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees at SHSU, and his doctorate from the University of Texas, has directed the research projects of more than 20 graduate students, most of them dealing with mosquito studies. He is known to his students and biology faculty members as "the mosquito man."
In addition, a number of undergraduates have completed mosquito research projects with his guidance.
Long's research at SHSU has dealt with the distribution, identification and biology of many of the 84 mosquito species reported from Texas with particular emphasis on a group known as "tree hole mosquitoes" which breed in water contained in rot holes in trees.
He has authored a number of reports and articles dealing with these studies through the years. He has also worked with city and state public health officials to determine if mosquitoes capable of carrying human disease occur in significant numbers within our area of Texas.
Long has served twice as president of the Texas Mosquito Control Association and has been treasurer of this organization for the past 12 years. Each spring since 1970 he has organized that association's workshops throughout the state to provide training for county and city mosquito control workers.
He is an active member of a number of other scientific societies, a past president of the Texas Academy of Science and a founding member and organizer of the Texas Committee on Undergraduate Education in the Biological Sciences, a group of senior and junior college teachers concerned with content and format of introductory college biology courses in Texas.
He is also a charter member of the Huntsville Audubon club, serving as a past officer and president.
Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Dec. 19, 1997