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WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Newsletter Issue #77 - December 10, 2020
NEWS AND UPDATES
Register for the 4th PacVec Annual Meeting 2021!

Please mark your calendars! The Pacific Southwest Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (PacVec) will host our 4th annual meeting virtually on February 17-18, 2021. The meeting will include presentations from researchers, trainees, public health officials, and vector control professionals from across our collaborative network, and we will discuss plans for applied research and training opportunities in the coming year. A detailed agenda will be available soon - REGISTER NOW! You can now find information on the PacVec annual meeting HERE!
New study: Response of small mammal and tick communities to a catastrophic wildfire and implications for tick-borne pathogens
Fire has been used for centuries to shape landscapes, manage woodland, and to consume leaf litter, ground, and shrub vegetation, in order to reduce flammable biomass and provide a favorable substrate for biodiverse seedling regeneration. However, wildfires are typically much more intense than intentional or prescribed burns and can have considerable and lasting impacts on the environment as well as the economy and human health. Wildfires may impact pathogen, vector, and host interactions, leading to changing risks of vector-borne disease in humans and other animals. Despite established risks for tick‐borne disease and increasing frequency and severity of wildfires in the United States, impacts of wildfire on ticks and tick‐borne pathogens are understudied. In 2015, the large Wragg fire extensively burned a long‐term field site at Stebbins Cold Canyon University of California Reserve. In this new study, PacVec investigator Dr. Janet E. Foley and the UC Davis research team characterized the tick, reservoir host and pathogen community over a two-year period after the burn, comparing the findings to pre‐fire data and to data from Quail Ridge Reserve, a nearby unburned site [full article].
Update on arbovirus activity in the Pacific Southwest
Mosquitoes from counties across the Pacific Southwest have continued to test positive for West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). WNV & SLEV disease reported:
The CDC Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch is starting a new MALDI-TOF Tick ID project

The Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is partnering with various national and international universities and public health agencies to develop a robust, protein-based platform for identification and characterization of tick species of medical and veterinary importance, with applications for surveillance and scientific activities in the United States and other countries in the Western Hemisphere. We are currently seeking collaborators to provide recently collected (2017- present), field-caught specimens of Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, Dermacentor andersoni, Ixodes scapularis, and Ixodes pacificus. We are requesting samples of all feeding life stages of these species from various US locations for subsequent proteomic analysis. Desired specimens should be preserved in 70-95% ethanol and stored at room temperature since the time of collection. Ideally, at least 10 specimens from each geographical location are requested.
 
If you have questions or can assist with this project please contact Maria Galletti (
myu8@cdc.gov), Joy Hecht (ynw5@cdc.gov) or Chris Paddock (cdp9@cdc.gov) for more information.
Response requested for the second nationwide assessment of local vector control organizations

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will administer the second nationwide assessment of local vector control organizations in the United States to inform CDC funding of state and local vector control programs, and to determine how NACCHO can best provide targeted guidance and training opportunities for local agencies. Starting September 2020, NACCHO will be reaching out to every vector control program in the country to confirm the point of contact for the assessment. For additional information, visit NACCHO’s vector control webpage, or contact vectorcontrol@naccho.org.
Virtual Tick IPM Special Session
The IPM Institute of North America’s Tick IPM Working Group, in collaboration with the TickEncounter Resource Center and One Health Lessons, will be hosting a virtual Tick IPM Special Session Thursday, December 10 from 1:00-2:30pm CDT. Tick species and tickborne diseases of medical importance are increasing in number and geographic distribution and generating enormous societal costs in lost productivity and treatment expense. During this virtual event, participants will learn from and be able to ask questions of world-class experts about tick IPM during the COVID era and natural repellants – do they actually work?

When:
TODAY (December 10th) from 1:00-2:30pm CDT | 11:00-12:30pm PDT | 2:00-3:30pm EDT

REGISTER HERE     FLYER
Annual Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases six-day course
The Center for Health in the Human Ecosystem is hosting the third annual Biology of Vector-borne Diseases six-day course. This six-day course, offered through the University of Idaho, is both lecture- and discussion-based and is delivered by internationally recognized experts, with integrated case studies of emerging vector-borne pathogens. The course registration fee includes housing, meals, course materials and social activities. Registration will be due following acceptance into the course.

When: Sunday through Friday, June 20-25, 2021
Registration fee: $1,500 USD


REGISTER HERE
Online training course on vector surveillance methods from eCornell
Learn to develop an effective vector surveillance program, collect data, and communicate risk with the Cornell Entomology Department and eCornell in the newest online course Vector-Borne Diseases Surveillance. Take this 3-week instructor-led course with Dr. Laura Harrington and learn best practices to implement vector surveillance, data, and reporting methods.

REGISTER       LEARN MORE
Visit PacVec Training Opportunities
PacVec Resistance Testing
The Kearney Center has transitioned to remote work as a precaution due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This means any requested insecticide resistance testing or workshops will need to wait until normal activities resume. Dr. Anton Cornel and Katherine Brisco will still be available to offer resistance testing support and guidance at this time through email (bioassays@pacvec.us) or teleconferencing.
Videos on Larval Mosquito Resistance Testing
 
In collaboration with partners at the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California, PacVec CoE has produced new training videos providing an overview of resistance testing for larval mosquitoes. The videos discuss the rationale for monitoring resistance in mosquitoes, an overview of dose responses and how the dose response changes as resistance to larvicides evolves in a mosquito population, the different types of larval mosquito control agents, the supplies needed for carrying out bioassays, bioassay set-up and making stock solutions of control agents, and interpreting the bioassay results. See the videos and related materials at https://pacvec.us/resources/
Need Bottle Bioassay Testing?
 
If you have mosquito (Aedes or Culex) samples to be tested for insecticide resistance, PacVec is providing testing and training services at no charge, and all results will be returned to you. Dr. Anton Cornel's laboratory is leading this activity and organizing various regional training workshops on bottle bioassay testing. If you are interested, please contact us right away at bioassays@pacvec.us to arrange for shipment and timing of the testing.

Larval Mosquito Resistance Testing:
Vector Control and Public Health Agencies Need Summer Interns for 2020, or Just Help Advertising Positions for Students?
Please contact us anytime if your agency has seasonal positions that may be of interest to undergraduate students in the Pacific Southwest region. Such positions are important formative experiences for students, and they are excellent opportunities to raise awareness of career opportunities in vector-borne diseases. These can be simple job postings that we will advertise to our undergraduates or we can help you partner with faculty for project-based internships that involve academic credit with a faculty mentor and possible continued data analysis during the school year. If you are interested, please send us a note at training@pacvec.us. To maximize your audience and reach the best candidates for your positions, please send us these position announcements as early as possible, ideally in January or February, before students have settled their summer plans.
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
NEW: Postdoctoral Position (Host Immunity/Emerging RNA Viruses)

University of Texas Medical Branch is seeking to fill a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Dr. Tian Wang in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. The laboratory has primarily focused on vaccine development as well as understanding the pathogenesis of emerging RNA viruses, including mosquito-borne flaviviruses, alphaviruses and SARS-COV-2 virus in animal models and human cells. The preferred candidate should hold either a PhD, or MD degree or equivalent degree within the last 2 years, with a demonstrable publication record in immunology, Virology, and/or animal experiments. The candidate should be highly motivated and has good communication and organizational skills.

Interested applicants should send a letter of application describing your background/training, a current CV and contact information for references to Dr. Tian Wang (ti1wang@utmb.edu).


Location: Galveston, TX
NEW: Postdoctoral Position

Kansas State University is seeking to fill a postdoctoral position in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Workforce Development (WFD) Program. The WFD was established in 2017 to increase the number of qualified scientists in the U.S. in preparation for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). The Department of Entomology at Kansas State University is partnering with ARS to identify changes in feeding behavior in blood-feeding arthropod disease vectors following infection with arboviruses. The encumbent position will use electropenetrogram techniques to develop baseline libraries for mosquito and Culidoides midge blood feeding behavior and compare these with feeding activity following arboviral infection. Differences observed in feeding activity may lead to new hypotheses and methods for disrupting the ability of these vectors to transmit diseases to livestock.

Location: Manhattan, KS
PhD Graduate Research Assistant

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA is seeking a Ph.D. level graduate research assistant. The competitive assistantship is funded for 4 years and will cover tuition, stipend, and health insurance. The successful candidate can start immediately upon acceptance into the graduate program. The selected graduate student will be part of an NSF funded, multi-institutional research project aimed at developing accurate predictive tools for assessing tick distribution and tick-borne disease in the western United States.

Please send a letter of interest, concise CV (degrees and courses taken, publications, presentations, awards, etc.) and contact information for three references to Dr. Monika Gulia-Nuss or Dr. Claudia Rückert. The applicant will also need to apply and be accepted into the UNR graduate program. Please email Dr. Gulia-Nuss or Dr. Rückert if you have additional questions.

Location: Reno, NV
Application deadline: Applications will be accepted until the right candidate is identified.
Postdoctoral Fellow

The Foy Lab in the Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology Department at Colorado State University is seeking a postdoctoral fellow to lead and manage research projects in the Foy lab and some undergraduate/graduate personnel in the lab. This postdoctoral position’s primary duties are to organize, conduct and develop studies under our funded research aimed at understanding and controlling vector-borne diseases, with a specific focus on genetic analyses of vectors (Anopheles, Culex, and Aedes spp.) and vector-borne pathogens (Plasmodium spp., West Nile virus, and Zika virus). The lab is in the middle conducting a cluster-randomized control trial in Burkina Faso testing whether ivermectin mass drug administrations and seasonal malaria chemoprevention reduces malaria in children and is starting a 5-year project developing and field testing endectocide-treated bird feed for West Nile virus control in the western United States. We also have ongoing projects to understand the sexual transmission of Zika virus, developing/assessing anti-vector vaccines, and developing xenosurveillance for infectious disease surveillance.

Salary: $52,000 - $53,000 per year
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Postdoctoral Associate

A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Courtney Murdock at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA), for a highly motivated candidate to study how different environmental drivers impact host-pathogen interactions and transmission in the Asian malaria mosquito (Anopheles stephensi) – human malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) system. The research project, funded by NIH (R01 AI153444-01), will utilize data generated from experiments that define key relationships between temperature, relative humidity, and transmission, along with climate data collected in the field, to build mechanistic models of temporal and spatial variation in urban malaria.

Salary: Commensurate with experience
Location: Ithaca, NY
Application due: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a candidate is selected or deadline for applications is 1/15/2021

 
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Urban Pest Management

The Urban Entomology lab at Department of Entomology, Rutgers University has an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position starting in January 2021. Primary responsibility is to conduct applied research in urban pest management. Current projects include house mouse and cockroach management research in apartment buildings. The secondary responsibility is to collaborate with the pest control industry to design, execute, and summarize bioassays. Requires a PhD in area of Entomology or closely related field. Visit the page of Dr. Changlu Wang to learn more about this position and how to apply.
 
Location: New Brunswick, NJ
NEW: Climate Sciences Consultant

The Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA) is recruiting for the position, Climate Sciences Consultant. The Consultant will work in close collaboration with the Project Director to provide specialist climate sciences consultancy services, working independently and/or as part of a multidisciplinary team; create predictive models to predict future dengue outbreaks by analyzing climate, socio-demographic, and dengue record data; conduct assessments of climate impacts and risks and develop adaptation and resilience strategies, as they apply to specific projects assigned.

Application due: 12/15/2020

LEARN MORE

NEW: Entomologist 

Pasco County Mosquito Control District is recruiting for the position, Entomologist. The job entails technical and professional work, including planning, coordinating and implementing entomological research, surveillance, and control programs. The candidate should have a Bachelors degree in the Biological Sciences/Entomology and 3 years of experience in a mosquito control program or related field. Possession of an advanced degree (MS) and supervisory experience is highly desirable, although not required.

Salary: $58,032 – $87,028 per year
Location: Odessa, FL
Application due: 2/5/2021

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Biologist

Delta Vector Control District is recruiting for the position, Biologist. Under the general direction of the Manager or his/her designee, the Biologist assists with a variety of routine and standard field, biological, microbiological, chemical and other laboratory procedures to support the District’s vector surveillance and control programs, vector-borne disease surveillance and prevention program, and relative research projects; and performs related laboratory and field work as required.

Salary: $72,016.52 - $90,020.64 (5-Step scale), negotiable
Location: Visalia, CA
Application due: Open until filled

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Operations Program Manager

Delta Vector Control District is recruiting for the position, Operations Program Manager. The Operations Program Manager (OPM) is a management-level position. Under the Direction of the Assistant Manager, the OPM is in charge of the day-to-day operations side of the District. The incumbent assists in planning and the organization of District programs, including; the planning, direction and supervision of all vector control inspection and control activities. The OPM is a member of the safety committee, and enforces all District policies, programs and standards. Morale and discipline of employees, including, if necessary, the firing of an employee are among the responsibilities of this position, following written book keeping and approval by the Assistant Manager and Manager.

Salary: $77,367.00 - $96,708.75 (5-Step scale), negotiable
Location: Visalia, CA
Application due: Open until filled

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Vector Control Specialist I

Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District is currently recruiting for the position of a Vector Control Specialist I. Under the general direction of the Director of Operations and assigned supervision of the Underground and/or Operations Supervisor, the Vector Control Specialist I (VCS I) performs inspections (source surveillance) and mosquito and vector control operations in an assigned area or areas of responsibility. He/she may perform tasks of a specialized function, as needed, and do related work as required within the auspices of a mosquito and vector control agency. Other duties as assigned.

Salary: $30.26 – $37.59 per hour
Location: Throughout Los Angeles County, CA
Application due: 12/16/2020 5:00 PM

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Vector Control Specialist II

San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is currently recruiting for the position of a Vector Control Specialist II. The Vector Control Specialist II inspects for and controls vectors in an assigned area, and may perform specialized tasks and/or assignments and do related work as required. The Vector Control Specialist II is a FLSA non-exempt position supervised by the Operations Manager and directed by the Operations Coordinator.

Salary: $28.41 – $35.51 per hour
Location: Throughout San Gabriel Valley, CA
Application due: 12/13/2020 11:59 PM

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Vector Control Specialist III
 

San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is currently recruiting for the position of a Vector Control Specialist III. The Vector Control Specialist III provides directed supervision to Vector Control Specialists and seasonal help; assesses needs and manages resources within the Operations department. The Vector Control Specialist III is a Fair Labor Standards Act non-exempt position supervised by the Operations Manager and directed by the Operations Coordinator. 

Salary: $32.36 – $40.45 per hour
Location: Throughout San Gabriel Valley, CA
Application due: 12/13/2020 11:59 PM

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Entomologist

The Arthropod-Borne Disease Laboratory, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, in Yaphank, NY conducts countywide surveillance of arthropod-borne pathogens. The ABDL is seeking an entomologist to assist with various lab functions and field activities including the expansion of a tick surveillance program. The successful applicant will be required to conduct field work for tick collections and molecular laboratory analysis for tick-borne pathogens. Experience in molecular biology is preferred. If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a CV and a list of 3 references via e-mail to Dr. Scott Campbell (scott.campbell@suffolkcountyny.gov). 

Salary: Begins at $61,460 with employee benefits
Location: Yaphank, NY
Application due: As soon as a qualified candidate is identified (preferable start date in early 2021)

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Director, Human Resources

Malaria No More is recruiting for the position, Director. The Director of Human Resources will be responsible for helping MNM and its global team members achieve their mission by developing and implementing policies and programs including employment, compensation, benefits, recruiting, onboarding, training, and employee relations across US and international programs. This person will provide leadership and counsel, recommend policies and practices to the Leadership Team, and ensure compliance with all federal and state laws. The Director of Human Resources will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer and will partner with the leadership team to support and develop the goals of the organization. This is a one-person HR department, and is located in Washington, DC or Seattle.

Location: Washington, DC or Seattle, WA

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Test & Evaluation Entomologist

Harris County Public Health is seeking applications to fill this position. Under the supervision of the Mosquito Control Field Operations Manager, the Test & Evaluation Entomologist functions as the supervisor of the Test & Evaluation (T&E) Section of the division. This position is responsible for laboratory and/or field-related testing of unique problems relating to mosquito and other disease vector species control and Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM) Testing.

Location: Houston, TX
Application due: 12/12/2020 11:59PM CDT

Vector Biologist

Heluna Health (HH) and the Vector-Borne Disease Section (VBDS) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are recruiting for the position of a Vector Biologist for Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance Projects, including in the National Parks. The Vector Biologist position is a contract position responsible for working with VBDS staff to conduct prevention, surveillance, and control of vector-borne diseases in National Parks and other regions in California. Work will be performed under the supervision of the Supervising Public Health Biologist, VBDS Coastal Region. Duties performed will help reduce the risk of vector-borne disease transmission to California residents, visitors, and employees of the National Park Service through the statewide vector-borne disease surveillance program.

Location: Richmond, CA

Director

East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control is seeking applications to fill this position. The successful candidate will be expected to conduct highly responsible, professional administrative and supervisory work in directing the activities of the East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control District. Work involves responsibility for directing the planning, operation and financial management of a comprehensive program to identify and eliminate breeding areas of mosquitoes and rodents in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Salary: Commensurate with experience (range from $70,990-118,608/ year plus benefits)
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Associate/Full Professor

State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University seeks an internationally recognized expert in tick-borne diseases to apply for an Associate or Full Professor of Empire Innovation position (EIP). The successful candidate will join a growing team of collaborative and interdisciplinary infectious disease researchers within the newly established SUNY Center for Vector-Borne Diseases. This position offers a highly competitive hard-money state-line salaries and generous start-up package.

Location: Albany, NY
Veterinary Virology/Immunology Faculty

The University of Tennessee invites applications from all qualified individuals for a full-time (12 month) faculty appointment in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The position will be offered as a tenure- or clinical-track assistant or associate professor, dependent on the individual’s interests and qualifications, and will reside in the Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences. Applicants are asked to submit their letter of intent, names and contact information for at least three professional references, current curriculum vitae and a concise (up to 3-page) statement of diagnostic, research and teaching aspirations to the search committee Chair, Dr. Michael Fry  (Ms. Donna Longmire, Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Tennessee, 2407 River Drive, Rm A201, Knoxville, TN 37996-4546, Email: longmire@utk.edu) .

Informal inquiries are welcome. Review of applications will begin October 30, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.

Assistant/Associate Professor and Director

The Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology (BCH-EPP) at Mississippi State University seeks to fill a tenure-track, position in entomology at the Assistant or Associate level on the main campus in Starkville. This position will consist of 70% research and 30% Teaching. The successful applicant will also serve as the Director of the MS Entomological Museum. Applications must be submitted through the MSU employment portal. Review of applications will begin on January 4, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.
Vector Control Technician III/Mechanic

Delta Vector Control District is recruiting for the position, Vector Control Technician/Mechanic. Under the general direction of the Manager or his/her designee, the Vector Control Technician III/Mechanic assists with a variety of routine and standard field, biological, microbiological, and other mosquito control methods; and with Fleet maintenance and repair, as needed

Salary: $53,382.05 - $66,727.56 (5-Step scale), negotiable; plus bonuses per ASEs.
Location: Visalia, CA
Application due: Open until filled

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Seasonal Assistant Positions
Butte County MVCD
  • Mosquito & Vector Control Assistant (Seasonal)
  • Lab Assistant (Seasonal)
  • Shop / Hangar Assistant (Seasonal)
Salary: $14.00 - $17.00 per hour
Location: Oroville, CA
Applications due: Open until filled

 
Seasonal Mosquito Control Aide
East Side MAD


Salary: $13.50 - $15.00 per hour
Location: Modesto, CA
Applications due: Open until filled

 
Visit PacVec Careers
RECENT PUBLICATIONS
NEW! Pascoe EL, Plourde BT, Lopéz‐Perez AM, Foley JE. Response of small mammal and tick communities to a catastrophic wildfire and implications for tick-borne pathogens. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvec.12398

Snyder RE, Feiszli T, Foss L, Messenger S, Fang Y, Barker CM et al. West Nile virus in California, 2003-2018: A persistent threat. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008841

Torres R, Hernandez E, Flores V, Ramirez JL, Joyce AL. Wolbachia in mosquitoes from the Central Valley of California, USA. Parasites & Vectors. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04429-z 


Salomon J, Hamer SA, Swei A. A beginner's guide to collecting questing hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae): A standardized tick dragging protocol. Journal of Insect Science. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieaa073

Onyango MG, Attardo GM, Kelly ET, Bialosuknia SM, Stout J, Kramer LD et al. Zika virus infection results in biochemical changes associated with RNA editing, inflammatory and antiviral responses in Aedes albopictus. Front Microbiol. 2020. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.559035


Weiss CM, Liu H, Riemersma KK, Ball EE, Coffey LL. Engineering a fidelity-variant live-attenuated vaccine for chikungunya virus. npj Vaccines. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41541-020-00241-z

Main BJ, Marcantonio M, Johnston JS, Rasgon JL, Brown CT, Barker CM. Whole genome assembly of Culex tarsalis. . 2020.

Holeva-Eklund WM, Behrens TK, Hepp CM. Systematic review: the impact of socioeconomic factors on Aedes aegypti mosquito distribution in the mainland United States. Rev Environ Health. 2020.
https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2020-0028


Donnelly MAP, Kluh S, Synder RE, Barker CM. Quantifying sociodemographic heterogeneities in the distribution of Aedes aegypti among California households. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008408

Sambado S, Saloman J, Crews A, & Swei A. Mixed transmission modes promote persistence of an emerging tick-borne pathogen. Disease Ecology. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3171
Interested in viewing more articles from PacVec researchers?
Visit PacVec Publications
Contact Us!
Send questions and ideas to us at questions@pacvec.us. Be sure to check out our webpage,  follow us on Twitter using @PacVecCenter, or like our Facebook page!

Got a news story or other update that we should know about? Please send us a link anytime at news@pacvec.us!
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