Invader Crusader: Federal Biologist - View the video

Art Wagner

Art Wagner
Pest Survey Specialist
United States Department of Agriculture

1 Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726

Career Clusters / Help Topics:

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Art Wagner grew up in Tinley Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago. After high school, he obtained an A.A. degree from Joliet Jr. College, a B.S. in botany from Eastern Illinois University and an M.S. in plant pathology from Iowa State University. While working on a Ph.D. at Utah State University, Art became disenchanted with the standard academic track and decided to enter the job market. He started as a research assistant and plant pathology clinic identifier at Utah State University, then moved to Washington State and worked with the Thurston County Noxious Weed Department and as a lab technician at the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s plant pathology lab. Eventually Art was hired as a WSDA plant pathologist and put in charge of the lab and its operation where he served for 6 years expanding the lab’s facilities and the program it supported. In 2004, Art joined the USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine program (PPQ) and is stationed in Madison, WI. He is responsible for carrying out surveys for plant pests and diseases within the State of Wisconsin, as well as conducting outreach and education activities for stake-holders and the general public.

The Federal Government employs a wide range of biologists in a variety of different agencies of varying education levels. They work on animal, plant and human health issues as well as farming, animal husbandry, forestry and fish and wildlife. Some are research scientists; others focus on regulatory efforts to facilitate international trade. Many of these jobs however, are not well known to the general public. Art will talk about his role as a Pest Survey Specialist for the US Dept. of Agriculture and how he trained for this interesting career. (Running Time 25:27)