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Posts Tagged: awards

Names in the News

Elise Gornish
Gornish named restoration ecology specialist

Elise Gornish joined ANR as a Cooperative Extension assistant restoration ecology specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis on Jan. 2. Gornish is interested in developing successful restoration approaches for both natural and working landscapes. She is also particularly interested in studying invasive annual weeds in California grasslands and drylands.

Prior to joining UCCE, Gornish worked as a postdoctoral scholar for the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis from May 2013 to December 2014.

Gornish earned a Ph.D. and an M.S. in ecology from Florida State University. She holds a B.S. in business and a B.S. in English from State University of New York at Buffalo and a B.S. in conservation biology from Hunter College.

Gornish can be reached at (530) 752-6314 and

Clare Gupta
Gupta joins ANR as policy specialist

Clare Gupta joined ANR as a Cooperative Extension assistant public policy specialist in the Department of Human Ecology at UC Davis on March 2.

Trained as a political ecologist with a background in the natural sciences, Gupta studies how environmental and agricultural policy affect community food systems, and how citizens and community groups can shape these policies. She intends to work with UCCE advisors, fellow specialists, other UC academics and community groups to design research that elucidates how emerging state agricultural policies (e.g. urban agriculture zoning, community-supported agriculture bill, farmworker protections, proposed water bond) impact community food systems — especially from the perspective of small-scale producers. Gupta also envisions designing research questions that help state departments and boards to implement new agricultural policies in context-appropriate ways. Overall, her work aims to leverage scholarship on the concerns of California communities into data-driven public policy.

Prior to joining UCCE, Gupta served as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In this position, she studied efforts to re-localize Hawaii's food system, from a combined political and industrial ecological approach. Her dissertation work examined the impact of wildlife conservation on the livelihoods of rural communities living near protected areas in Botswana.

Gupta earned a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in biology from Dartmouth College.

Gupta can be reached at (650) 766-7610 and

Alda Pires
Pires named urban ag-food safety specialist

Alda Pires joined UCCE on Sept. 1 as an ANR Cooperative Extension specialist and epidemiologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station for urban agriculture and food safety in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, Veterinary Medicine Extension at UC Davis.

Pires, who is fluent in Portuguese, focuses her research and extension on disease surveillance, food safety, public health, foodborne and zoonotic diseases and epidemiology of infectious diseases, including Salmonella shedding and persistence in swine and cattle.

The goals of her programs are to identify mitigation strategies that can reduce the dissemination of foodborne pathogens during the preharvest period on small-scale farms. She is interested in developing and applying epidemiological tools, such as temporal-spatial analysis, molecular analysis and risk assessment in support of risk-based surveillance, infectious disease control strategies and the improvement animal health and food safety.

She earned her DVM from Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro in Portugal, and completed her Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and her residency program in Food Animal Reproduction and Herd Health at UC Davis. Pires then moved to Michigan State University where she undertook graduate studies with an emphasis in veterinary epidemiology. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University, studying environmental factors that influence the shedding of Salmonella sp in growing pigs.

Pires is based at UC Davis and can be reached at (530) 754-9855 and

Carl Winter
Winter to join Program Council

Carl Winter will be joining ANR Program Council, beginning with the June meeting. Winter is a Cooperative Extension specialist located in the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis. He is filling one of the two at-large seats, succeeding Steve Wright, CE advisor in Tulare and Kings County. Winter will bring a CE specialist perspective and provide food-safety expertise to the discussions. The ANR Program Council advises the Vice President on Divisionwide planning and delivery of programs and develops recommendations for allocation of Division resources.

Winter is a food toxicologist located at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science on the UC Davis campus. He is the director of the FoodSafe Program and is a member of the Food Safety Workgroup. Prior to coming to UC Davis in 1991, he was a Cooperative Extension toxicologist at UC Riverside from 1987 to 1991 and science writer for the Richmond-Times Dispatch newspaper in 1985.  He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural and environmental chemistry and a B.S. in environmental toxicology, both from UC Davis.  His research and outreach work focus on pesticide residues and naturally occurring toxins in foods, food chemical and microbiological risk assessment, and food-safety education using music.

“We look forward to his many talents,” said Bill Frost, associate vice president and Program Council chair. “He is known as the “Elvis of E. coli” and the “Sinatra of Salmonella,” and has been providing entertaining, educational and humorous presentations for a wide variety of clients over the past two decades.”

For more information about Winter, visit his website To see the Program Council roster, visit

A praying mantis eating a western tiger swallowtail. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey.

Two UC communicators win ACE awards

Two communicators affiliated with the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have won a total of five awards from the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE).

Diane Nelson
Diane Nelson, senior writer with the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, won a gold award for promotional writing. Nelson's prize-winning article, “When Good Oil Goes Bad,” looks at the award-winning biosensor a team of UC Davis students built to help ensure olive oil quality for producers, retailers and consumers.

Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won a gold award in “Writing for Newspapers,” a silver award in “Writing for the Web” and two bronze awards for her photographs, one of them a feature photo and the other a service photo.

Kathy Keatley Garvey
Garvey's gold-winning article was a light feature on forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey's plans for a field trip to Alcatraz, on a day that just happened to be Super Bowl Sunday. It was titled “Football Game? What Football Game?” The judges scored the story at 100 out of 100.

Garvey's silver award for web writing, “What's for Lunch?” focused on a lady beetle eating aphids and was published in her Bug Squad blog on the ANR website. 

A UC Davis student photographs a friend eating a bug. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey.
Her feature photo depicting a praying mantis eating a western tiger swallowtail received a bronze award. She also received a bronze award for a service photo of two participants at the 2014 “Bugs and Beer” event sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. It showed a UC Davis student and his friend sharing a bug: one photographing it and one ready to eat it.

Nelson and Keatley Garvey will receive their awards at the annual ACE conference, set for June 8-11 in Charleston, S.C.

Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 9:16 AM

Nominate an innovative farmer or ag educator

Nominations are open for the 2012 Pedro Ilic Awards, which honor an outstanding farmer and an agricultural educator who are dedicated to small-scale farming.

The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31.

The awards are named for Fresno County farm advisor Pedro Ilic, whose untimely death in 1994 prompted the UC Small Farm Program to annually honor those who carry out his legacy of personal commitment to small-scale farming. Ilic was one of the original advisors when the Small Farm Program was established in 1979.

Each honoree is chosen because he or she

  • envisions what can be done and has the imagination, energy and intellect to translate that vision into a successful activity
  • is part of the solution, not of the problem; critical in thinking, but constructive in approach
  • is an advocate and risk taker
  • is an effective teacher, instills self-esteem in others and constantly encourages others
  • is a dedicated professional who believes in his or her work
  • has determination, exuberance, high energy and genuine friendliness for all people, with the conviction that the smallest is as important as the biggest
  • has high personal and family values

The nomination form is available online at

The awards will be presented at the California Small Farm Conference, March 4-6 in Valencia.

Posted on Friday, January 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Tags: awards (2)
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