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In Memoriam: Dr. William Jackson

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The pest control industry mourns the loss of Dr. William B. Jackson, a world-renowned bird and rodent expert who was a faculty member at Bowling Green State University for more than 25 years. Jackson passed away on July 15, 2010, at age 83.

Brad Harbison | July 27, 2010

The pest control industry mourns the loss of Dr. William B. Jackson, a world-renowned bird and rodent expert who was a faculty member at Bowling Green State University for more than 25 years. Jackson passed away on July 15, 2010, at age 83.

Jackson is remembered as a mentor to many people — at home and abroad — including Bobby Corrigan, PCT columnist and president of RMC Pest Management Consulting. “Dr. Jackson’s body of work in the field of rodent pest management moved the science forward and emphasized the need for environmental management serving as the cornerstone of sustainable urban rodent management efforts,” Corrigan said. “Many cities around the world are healthier places to live as a result of the work of Dr. William Jackson.”

Jackson is perhaps best known for his work in the identification of warfarin-resistance in rodents and his extensive study of the effects of this substance, as well as the evolution of counter measures designed to eliminate that resistance.

Related
Click here to read an tribute that ran in the BGSURA written by BGSU professor Janis Pallister.

A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Jackson earned his BA and MA from the University of Wisconsin, and his ScD in vertebrate ecology from the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he was involved in groundbreaking research on the ecology of urban rats. Several years as a commissioned officer in the public health service were followed by two years in Micronesia with wife Shirley, studying rodent populations for the Pacific Science Board/National Research Council. He later would visit and work on all continents except Antarctica, as well as many islands, notably Bikini and Enewetak Atolls, where he studied the effects of nuclear testing on rat and bird populations.

Bill Jackson (right) and Purdue University's Dr. John Osmun (left), were longtime colleagues and friends. Jackson is pictured here at a Pi Chi Omega meeting at which Osmun was recognized for his contributions to the fraternity.
Dr. Jackson remained active in the industry long after his retirement in 1985. He is pictured above speaking at PCT's Rodent Management Summit in 2002.

Upon returning from Micronesia in 1957, Jackson found his home base at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.  He served in many roles at BGSU including professor of Zoology, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and director of the Environmental Studies Center, which he established.  He trained more than 100 graduate students – 60 international students - in basic and applied ecology, with many conducting their research at the National Wildlife Center in Colorado. 

Jackson retired from BGSU in 1985 but remained active at the university and within the pest control industry, serving as executive president of Pi Chi Omega, the national pest control fraternity, from 1980 to 2000. Jackson was succeeded in 2000 by Vern Toblan, current executive president of Phi Chi Omega. “Bill was a good friend and mentor and certainly instrumental in recruiting me to be his successor,” said Toblan.

Jackson is survived by wife Shirley, his children Beth, Mark and Craig and their spouses, and his grandchildren Kathleen and Elizabeth. A celebration reception of his life is planned for August 14, 2010 at The Clare at Water Tower, 55 E. Pearson St., Chicago, IL 60611.  Condolences or thoughts may be shared at: www.wbj.last-memories.com. Donations in Dr. Jackson’s memory can be made to the Pi Chi Omega Scholarship Fund. For more information contact Vern Toblan at verntoblan@verizon.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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