Kirk Howatt – Kirk holds a faculty position with North Dakota State

2015 Candidates for Office: Western Society of
Weed Science
President Elect
Kirk Howatt
Kirk has held a faculty position with North Dakota
State University, Fargo, since 1999. His teaching
responsibilities include undergraduate and graduate
instruction with current courses in Principles of
Weed Science, Advanced Weed Science,
Professional Development, and Graduate Seminar.
He is coordinator of the Crop and Weed Sciences
academic program and advisor to the NDSU
Agronomy Club. Research activities primarily
focus on annual weed control in small grains, with
additional activities in sunflower and other oilseed
and pulse crops. Primary weed issues include
downy brome and resistance in wild oat, green
foxtail, and kochia, but recent attention also has
included herbicide efficacy as affected by droplet
size and drift reduction technology. Kirk received
a B.S. in Agronomy from the University of
Wisconsin at River Falls and completed M.S. and
Ph.D. programs at Colorado State University, Fort
Kirk has served the Western Society of Weed Science, North Central Weed Science Society, and
Weed Science Society of America as member and/or chair of several committees and projects
dealing with crops of interest, herbicide resistance, society operation, and student education. In
the WSWS, he has served on the Student Education Enhancement committee, Herbicide
Resistant Plants committee, Poster Contest committee, Legislative committee, Basic Sciences
Project, Research Section, and, currently, Education and Regulatory Section. Kirk is a member
of CAST and the International Weed Science Society, has been treasurer for the local Gamma
Sigma Delta chapter for 6 years, and has served on the Exam and Procedures Committee for the
American Society of Agronomy Certified Crop Advisor program.
Ian Burke
Dr. Ian C. Burke is an Associate Professor in the
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington
State University, Pullman. Dr. Burke’s program is
focused on basic aspects of weed physiology,
biology and ecology with the goal of integrating
such information into practical economical methods
of managing weeds in the environment. He received
his B.Sc. from Old Dominion University and his
M.Sc. and Ph.D. from North Carolina State
Dr. Burke has been active in the WSWS and other
weed science societies. He serves the WSWS as the
chair of the Education Committee. He has chaired
the Agronomic Crops Section of the WSWS, is the
current chair of the Basic Biology and Ecology
Section, and co-organized the symposium on
ventenata. He is currently serving his second term as
an Associate Editor of Weed Technology, and he
completed his two year term on the WSWS Board as
Secretary. He is finishing his term as Treasurer for
the WSSA. Dr. Burke has received several awards,
including Outstanding Weed Scientist – Early Career
from the Western Society of Weed Science, Excellence in Research, College of Agriculture,
Human, and Natural Resources, Washington State University, and the Graduate Student Award
from the WSSA.
Research Section Chair-Elect
Prashant Jha
Prashant Jha is an Assistant Professor of
Weed Science with Montana State
University (MSU) located at the Southern
Agricultural Research Center, Huntley,
Montana. His research program at MSU is
focused on developing integrated weed
management strategies in dryland and
irrigated cropping systems, with a statewide
responsibility. This includes investigation
of molecular/genetic mechanisms and
biology of evolved weed resistance to
herbicides. Since 2010 at MSU, he served
as a major advisor for four graduate students
(2 M.S. and 2 Ph.D.). He has published 22
refereed journal articles, 74 abstracts/proceedings, and several extension articles. He delivered
more than 30 extension talks at various grower meetings across Montana. He serves on the
Educational Committee of Montana Agri-Business Association. He has been active in the Weed
Science Society of America (WSSA) and Western Society of Weed Science (WSWS), and serves
on several committees including Herbicide Resistant Plant Committee. He conducted a
symposium on Herbicide Resistance at the 2012 WSSA Annual Meeting. He received the 2014
WSSA Outstanding Reviewer award, and MSU-COA Meritorious Faculty award in 2011-2014.
He served as the section chair for the Agronomic Crops session at the 2014 WSSA annual
meeting, and is a section chair for the Agronomy session at the 2015 WSWS meeting to be held
in Portland, OR.
Larry Lass
Work history includes a long road
of soft money research projects for
the past 40 years while trying to
avoid long Midwest winters and
find Paradise. Found both where
deer, elk and moose walk by the
house but most important only a
few days of subzero temperatures
in the last 32 years. Paradise
Ridge is viewed daily on the way
to work at the University of Idaho
where I am a staff member
working in weed science.
Member of Western Society of
Weed Science since 1984.
Presented either oral talks or
posters at 27 annual meetings of WSWS. Past WSWS activities include member and chair of
Placement committee and Chair of Rangeland section. Authored 71 WSWS Research Progress
Reports. Other publications include 17 journal articles and 3 book chapters related to weed
science. Authored two identification guides to the Lichens and Moss of Idaho and adjacent
states at
Education & Regulatory Chair-Elect
James Leary
James J. K. Leary has served as an Assistant
Specialist with a split research/extension
appointment in the Department of Natural
Resources and Environmental Management at the
University of Hawaii at Manoa since 2009. He
received A B.S. degree in horticulture with a minor
in chemistry from Michigan State University
(1996) and M.S. (1999) and Ph.D. (2006) degrees
in Horticulture and Molecular Biosciences and
Biological Engineering, respectively, from the
University of Hawaii at Manoa. His mission is to
develop collaborative partnerships with local
stakeholders focusing on science and research
applications in invasive plant species management
with special attention to studies on technology
performance in operational settings.
Brian Jenks
Brian Jenks is a Weed Scientist with North
Dakota State University (1997-present). He
is a native of Idaho and received B.S. and
M.S. degrees in Agronomy from Utah State
University and Ph.D. from the University of
Brian leads an applied research and
extension program focused on weed
management in many dryland crops
including small grains, dry pea, lentil,
chickpea, canola, mustard, flax, sunflower,
safflower, dry bean, soybean, and corn. A
major emphasis of his research addresses
weed control strategies in minor crops. His
work has also emphasized the impact of
crop rotations, cultural practices, and
herbicide combinations on controlling perennial weeds such as Canada thistle and common
milkweed. His work has demonstrated the important role of soil pH, organic matter, and soil
texture on crop tolerance and weed control. Brian has conducted many IR-4 studies leading to
new pesticide registrations in various crops. He has received awards from several commodity
groups and from IR-4.
Brian has served in leadership positions and on several committees with the Western Society of
Weed Science and North Central Weed Science Society. He currently serves as the Member-AtLarge (Public Sector) for WSWS and as Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee for the
NCWSS. Prior to coming to NDSU, Brian served as the Extension Coordinator for the National
Jointed Goatgrass Research Program (1995-1997).