- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Please join me in welcoming our new Strategic Communications Director to ANR. Mike Janes comes to us from the Sandia National Laboratory in Livermore where he has been the Communications and Media Relations Officer for over ten years. His extensive experience with communicating science to a wider audience is a skill that will greatly benefit ANR.
As you all know, we are heavily involved with many of the President's Initiatives – Food, Carbon Neutrality and Mexico. In support of these initiatives, we have an opportunity to share the research and program delivery stories from our academics all over the state of California. Mr. Janes is arriving at a critical time to help us leverage these opportunities, and showcase the exceptional work of ANR.
Mr. Janes also led the lab's Diversity and Inclusion Action Planning Team, and we look forward to having him engage with our own efforts to ensure that ANR has a welcoming and inclusive work environment. Earlier in his career, Mr. Janes worked as the Media Relations Director for the American Institute of Architects, and as the Senior Media Relations Manager for Special Olympics International.
Mr. Janes is an Air Force veteran and has an M.A in strategic communication and leadership and a B.A. in broadcast communications. He will be based in Davis and starts on February 2, 2015.
Shijian (George) Zhuang joined UCCE on Jan. 2 as a viticulture advisor in Fresno County. His background is in Viticulture and Enology, Food Science and Horticultural Science. Zhuang's research focuses on wine, raisin and table grapes.
Prior to joining UCCE, Zhuang was a viticulture intern at E & J Gallo Winery where he worked on several research projects that included precision viticulture and differential irrigation. This experience provided him a greater understanding about viticulture and vineyard management in the Central Valley and the needs and future challenges of the grape industry, such as limited water availability, labor shortage and invasive pest species. From 2009 to 2012, Zhuang was a master graduate research assistant at Michigan State University where he participated in research projects such as experimental trials of new varieties (NE 10-20), early leaf removal on pinot noir, foliar nitrogen application on chardonnay and crop and canopy management on concord grapes. Zhuang also worked on canopy microclimate management and crop load manipulation in order to improve fruit quality. During his research study, Zhuang gained skills in the analysis of different chemical components, such as anthocyanins and phenolics, in grapes and wines as well as grape flavor chemistry components such as methoxypyrazines.
Zhuang earned a B.S. in viticulture and enology from China Agricultural University, Beijing, China, and a M.S. in horticulture from Michigan State University. His master's thesis focused on the impact of viticultural practices (crop load and canopy management) on fruit quality of cabernet franc grapevines grown under cool climate conditions.
Zhuang can be reached at (559) 241-7506 and email@example.com.
Jim Downing is California Agriculture journal's new executive editor. Downing, who joined UC on Jan. 12, is familiar with UC Cooperative Extension from his years covering agriculture, energy and climate policy for the Sacramento Bee. He even read California Agriculture as an undergrad at Cornell University.
Until joining UC ANR, he was principal in Jim Downing Consulting, where he wrote and produced publications on science, natural resources, policy and management for clients such as the Nature Conservancy, the Water Education Foundation and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Besides his Bee reporting, Downing has professional experience in agriculture, with international fellowships in water reuse and reclamation and in rural and urban water quality. He has two master's degrees from UC Berkeley, one in civil and environmental engineering and the other in energy and resources.
In his new position, Downing will oversee California Agriculture's content, quality, accuracy and strategic direction, planning and producing issues that speak to the journal's educated and cross-disciplinary readers.
Downing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (530) 750-1352.
UCCE nutrition honored in Kings County
The UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program in Kings County was honored as the Most Outstanding Support Agency at the 2014 Kings Prevention Awards. UC CalFresh community educator Sue Lafferty and UC CalFresh program representative Denise Cuendett accepted the award at a breakfast program on Dec. 4 in Hanford. The Kings Prevention Awards were presented by a local coalition called the Kings Partnership for Prevention.