OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE VIRGINIA MOSQUITO CONTROL ASSOCIATION
Steve is currently an Environmental Health Assistant II / Crew Lead with the City of Norfolk Vector Control, with 7+ years’ experience in the field. He began his Mosquito Control career in 2012 as an intern with the City of Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission. During his time with Chesapeake, He completed a Bachelor of Science in Ocean and Earth Science from Old Dominion University (2015). He then accepted a position with the City of Norfolk Vector Control in 2016. Both positions granted him skills relevant to the field such as capture and identification procedures, preparation for and performing vector testing, trap location planning and route management, equipment operation and maintenance, positive arbovirus response protocols, and training others in these aforementioned skills.
Steve enjoys the hands-on aspects of his position, such as interacting with the public to explain how to remove or minimize the potential for mosquito breeding around their properties, as well as investigating potential breeding sources off the beaten path. In his free time, Steve enjoys volleyball, playing guitar, strategic tabletop wargaming and board games, and is currently taking a refresher course in Russian.
Francis Valera graduated from The College at Brockport, State University of New York in 2012 and holds dual degrees in Environmental Science and Sociology. Shortly after graduation, he and his wife moved to Virginia where he began his foray into vector control with Clarke. Originally brought on as a Field Technician, Francis’ responsibilities included implementing Clarke’s mosquito operations and tick surveillance in Northern Virginia. Francis quickly transitioned into the role of Field Supervisor where he gained invaluable behind the scenes experience, while continuing to complete field work alongside the field staff.
In February of 2015, Prince William County’s Mosquito and Forest Pest Management program brought Francis aboard to join their talented group of Environmental Specialists. Since then, he has been involved with nearly every facet of the program’s operations from larval control, adult surveillance and suppression, education and outreach, and forest health monitoring.
Francis enjoys engaging with new people and has always been fond of fostering the interest in science in others. This led him to joining VMCA’s Student Competition Committee, a post he has held since 2016.
Beyond his work, Francis dabbles in photography, appreciates bourbon and loves to go hiking. He and his wife, Megan, have shared the joy of raising their son, and recently adopted their dog, Lily.
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