Francois Laroche is one of my best friends and works at the South Florida Water Management District. The District is a major American environmental agency responsible for the alert management of one of the world’s magnificent eco-systems. It gives me great pleasure to toot the horn of this old college buddy who was recently honored by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.
West Palm Beach, FL - Francois Laroche, of the South Florida Water Management District, received the 2005 technology transfer award of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA/ARS). Laroche, a senior supervising environmental scientist, has been developing a database showing the locations and extent of melaleuca, an invasive wetlands plant.
To monitor infestations throughout Florida and in Mexico, Belize and the Caribbean basin, Laroche developed a list of collaborators outside Florida. Survey efforts and collected ecological information have been used to create a melaleuca treatment plan for Puerto Rico.
The SFWMD works cooperatively with the USDA/ARS Invasive Plant Research Lab (Fort Lauderdale, FL) to address complex problems of exotic plant invasions in natural and agricultural ecosystems.
He’s one of those Haitians, you know, who is always talking about his Island – and I love him for that. People love to talk trash about Haiti but he won’t have it. I’m always glad to come across a man who has pride of place – who also understands that I have the same. Now I’ve got to give him his props and I’ll probably never hear the end of it.
If they turn him loose to work his magic down on The Muck, melaleuca doesn’t stand a chance.
Way to go, Brave!