Entomologist takes on pesky insects to make a difference in the Northeast

Glenn Rosenholm
Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry
October 17th, 2014 at 6:30PM

A picture of Ryan Hanavan in the right seat of a small aircraft wearing a headset. Ryan Hanavan is a multi-faceted individual who enjoys his work on the front lines of forest health as an entomologist for the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry.

“I have always been fascinated by insects and this career has essentially allowed me to explore a lifelong curiosity,” Hanavan said. “I have also always been interested in using new technology to improve methods and techniques and the Forest Service has been extremely supportive in developing faster, better, and cheaper tools for detecting and monitoring forest pests.”

By developing and using a suite of tools and techniques to evaluate landscape-level insect pest disturbances, he says the U.S. Forest Service can improve early detection, and contribute to prevention and suppression programs that ultimately reduce the economic effect caused by these insect pests.

His contagious enthusiasm for his work is spilling over into the classroom. “I show up at my son’s pre-school and they all call me ‘Dr. Ryan’ and ask me to show them bugs. It’s about as good as it gets.”

What motivates him? Read more about Hanavan, his education and training and what he calls his dream job in the agency’s special feature Faces of the Forest Service.