- Author: Hannah Bird
“Dave's education and experience prepare him well for the diversity of management challenges and opportunities we currently face while supporting relevant and timely research at Hopland. Dave's established working relationships with our community partners will advance our research and outreach efforts and strengthen our current team efforts.” commented Dr. Kim Rodrigues, Hopland REC Director. The job of superintendent at the Hopland REC has always been something of a balancing act – mixing the needs of many and various research projects on the site with the desire to practice sustainable land management. Just one of the challenges that Koball will be working on is the efforts the center is making to run an active ranch while also respecting the wide diversity of native wildlife that shares the site with the flock of over 800 Western whiteface sheep.
“I am thrilled and honored to become a member of the knowledgeable, dedicated, and enthusiastic team at the University of California Hopland REC. It is my hope that my background in research from earlier in my career and more recent winegrape industry experience and contacts will help me to increase the visibility, and usability of this gem of a resource that we have here in our backyard. The Hopland REC is a very representative sample of inland Mendocino county, and has features in common with many areas of California, making it the perfect area for research on natural resources, ecology, and different agricultural products from winegrapes to sheep and other new up and coming crops. With a base elevation of 500 feet and upper elevation of 3,000 feet, the ranch is topographically diverse and absolutely beautiful! I am really looking forward to entering the California Naturalist program that is run from the Center, as well as participating in many of the public events held there, from sheep shearing to the monthly hikes. I feel very fortunate to be able to have this fantastic opportunity to learn more about nature and biology while continuing to live and work in Mendocino County.” described Mr. Koball when asked about his hopes for the position. Koball's addition to the team marks an important time at the center as a number of new positions, including the directorship have been filled in the last 2 years. “This is an exciting time for Hopland REC, with a great team now ready to meet the challenges of our times and to share what we learn with our local community” commented Rodrigues.
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