header rectangle

Print Version

Dear Educator,

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been responsible for the systematic destruction of millions ash trees throughout 15 states since it was discovered in Detroit in 2002. Any ash tree that is native to North America can be killed within a few years after it has been attacked by EAB.

Experts think that the borer traveled from Asia to North America via wooden packing materials and that EAB continues to move primarily by human transport of ash wood products. Adult insects only move short distances on their own, so humans are responsible for accelerating the spread of this pest. The contribution of people to this serious problem represents an opportunity for educators to engage youth in conversations concerning scientific, economic, environmental, and social issues.

Because of continued advances in technology, trade, and travel, it has become increasingly important for youth to recognize themselves as citizens of the world. Our planet continues to shrink as distances become easier to traverse and our interdependence grows. We must take every opportunity, every "teachable moment," to reinforce the idea that the choices that we make affect not only members of our local community, but everyone around the globe.

In an effort to meet the challenge that Emerald Ash Borer represents in Indiana and beyond, the EAB Education and Outreach Team at Purdue University has created this guide. We hope to motivate young people to take ownership of the environment and understand the ecological and economic impact of this pest.

This guide will facilitate learning about insects and their place in the ecosystem generally, and the Emerald Ash Borer and its biology and impact specifically. Arrest that Pest! is founded upon the most accurate and up-to-date research from scholars and scientists in the fields of entomology, horticulture, and forestry and natural resources.

We use strategies that draw on a variety of subjects (science, social studies, math, and language arts) to foster and support critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making skills about social, economic, and ecological issues. We have included useful materials and activities that provide background information to support instruction.

Through this material, youth will have the opportunity to learn about the Emerald Ash Borer and explore its impact on the environment. They will engage in science- and civics-focused conversations. They will come to understand that nothing happens within a vacuum and that there are implications and consequences associated with choice and decision. Our hope is that the information in this guide will support educators in their efforts to teach critical thinking skills to help youth meet challenging problems in a constructive and proactive way.

Best regards,

Melissa Montague Shepson
Emerald Ash Borer Outreach Coordinator
Purdue University