ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees


Register for UC ANR program team meetings and Strategic Initiatives conference

Several program teams and workgroups will be meeting before the end of the year.  See below.

Viticulture Program Team Meeting
Thursday, Nov. 3
J. Lohr Wine Center in Paso Robles
Discussion topics include wine grape production manual, GiESCO meeting and tour in Argentina/Chile, November 4 seminar and potential future seminars in other areas.

Program Contact: Mark Battany

Website and Registration


SNE and EIPD Joint SI Conference

Wednesday, Nov. 16

The Conference Center, UC Davis

the Joint Strategic Initiatives Conference for Sustainable and Natural Ecosystems (SNE) and Endemic & Invasive Pests & Diseases (EIPD)  provides an opportunity for colleagues to learn about the projects, programs, and research efforts happening throughout the Division that are at the intersections of pest management and natural resources. Several work groups will meet and an in-service training will be held in conjunction with this conference. The full agenda is here.

Program Contacts: Cheryl Wilen or John Harper

Website and Registration


Meat Production and Food Safety Program Team Meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 30, through Thursday, Dec. 1

Nugget Hotel and Casino in Sparks, Nevada

Discussion topics include Taurus, livestock economics, water use by cattle on California rangelands, greenhouse gas emission and the livestock industry and more. See the full agenda here.

Program Contact: Theresa Becchetti or James Oltjen

Website and Registration


Vegetable Crops Program Team Meeting

Monday, Dec. 5 through Tuesday, Dec. 6

UC Davis, ARC Ballroom

The Weed Workgroup will meet with the Vegetable Crops PT on Dec. 6, and individually on Dec. 7 at the Lecture Hall in Bowley Center.

Program Contact: Gale Perez or Tim Hartz

Website and Registration


Posted on Monday, October 24, 2016 at 8:40 PM

Names in the News

Rebecca Ozeran
Ozeran named UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor

Rebecca Ozeran joined UCCE on Sept. 12 as the area livestock and natural resources advisor in Fresno and Madera counties.

Raised in Yuba City with a passion for animals and the land that supports them, Ozeran plans to focus her research, outreach and extension education efforts on current issues impacting livestock producers and land managers in both counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Ozeran was a range management intern for the Bureau of Land Management in the Salt Lake City field office. Her duties included collecting inventory, utilization and rangeland trend data, checking livestock compliance on BLM allotments and collaborating with local archaeologists to ensure compliance with archaeology requirements before grazing permit renewal. From July 2014 to May 2016, Ozeran was a graduate research and teaching assistant for the Department of Animal and Range Sciences at Montana State University.

She earned a B.S. in animal science with a minor in Spanish from Cal Poly, and an M.S. in animal and range sciences with a certificate in applied statistics from Montana State University. Her thesis studied patterns and risk factors of cheatgrass invasion in Montana foothills rangelands.

Ozeran is based in Fresno and be reached at (530) 415-2555 and

Axelson joins UCCE as forest health specialist

Jodi Axelson

Jodi Axelson joined UCCE on June 1 as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist in forest health in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM) at UC Berkeley.

Axelson's broad research interests include forest resilience, adaptive management and forest disturbance; specifically, she is focused on forest dynamics and response to insect disturbances from outbreaks of bark beetles and conifer defoliators using a range of methods including dendrochronology. Learn more about her research at

Prior to joining UCCE, Axelson was employed by the British Columbia government as a forest entomologist with Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. In this position, she was responsible for forest health issues in an area covering 42,000 square miles comprised of distinct wet- and dry-belt ecosystems. She gained considerable experience in taking into consideration timber, wildlife and land stewardship objectives when performing insect monitoring, treatment and risk-mitigation.

She earned her B.S. in Geography from the University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada), an M.S. in Geography from the University of Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada) and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Victoria.

Axelson is based at the UC Berkeley campus and can be reached at (510) 642-8459 and Follow her on Twitter @DisturbedDendro.

Haghverdi joins UCCE as urban water specialist

Amir Haghverdi

Amir Haghverdi joined UCCE on July 1 as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Sciences at UC Riverside. His research focuses on integrated urban water management.

Prior to joining UCCE, Haghverdi had been an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, performing research and extension on irrigation and water management, since July 2015.

Haghverdi earned his B.S. in irrigation engineering from University of Tehran, Iran, an M.S. in agricultural engineering - irrigation and drainage from Bu-Ali Sina University, Iran, a Ph.D. in irrigation and drainage engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, and a Ph.D. in biosystems engineering from University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Haghverdi can be reached at (951) 827-4774 and

Saitone named ag econ specialist

Tina Saitone
Tina Saitone joined UCCE on June 1 as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) at UC Davis, where she is focused on livestock and rangeland economics. Saitone conducts research on a broad range of topics in agricultural economics including food quality and safety, agricultural cooperatives, industry competition, generic commodity promotion, and federal and state marketing orders.

Prior to joining UCCE, Saitone had been a project scientist for ARE since July 2015. Before returning to UC Davis, she worked for OnPoint Analytics, an economic consulting firm in the Bay Area, where she conducted research on a wide variety of agricultural industries including meatpacking, dairy, eggs, broilers and sugar beets.

Saitone earned her B.A. in Economics at Sonoma State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis.

Saitone can be reached at (530) 752-1870 and

Bautista named 4-H STEM coordinator

Jessica Bautista

Jessica Bautista joined ANR on July 5 as the 4-H Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)academic coordinator.

Prior to joining ANR, Bautista was a graduate research assistant in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside. Bautista's area of research interest focused on molecular biology and genetics in plant developmental biology.

As a native Californian and a first-generation student born to Mexican migrant parents, Bautista speaks Spanish and has fostered various methods to make her research accessible and advocate for STEM career paths for underrepresented communities. In 2012, Bautista co-founded UCR's Plant Discovery Day in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences. This annual outreach event is filled with interactive science demonstrations for elementary school students in the community. She has also presented her research and discussed her career path annually since 2013 at workshops geared towards teaching and empowering young Latina women to pursue higher education and various career options.

Bautista completed a B.S. in biotechnology (chemistry minor) from California State University Northridge and a Ph.D. in plant biology from UC Riverside.

Bautista is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1341 and

Pourreza wins international prize for HLB detection

Ali Pourreza

Newly appointed UC Cooperative Extension agricultural engineering advisor Alireza Pourreza has been awarded the 2016 Giuseppe Pellizzi Prize by the Club of Bologna, an honor presented every other year to the best doctoral dissertations focused on agricultural machinery and mechanization. The Club of Bologna is a world taskforce on strategies for the development of agricultural mechanization.

Pourreza, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Florida in 2014, worked on early detection of Huanglongbing disease of citrus. Huanglongbing, an incurable disease that is spread by Asian citrus psyllid, has seriously impacted citrus production in Florida. The disease has been found in commercial and residential sites in all counties with commercial citrus.

Early detection allows growers to remove infected trees before the disease can spread to healthy trees. Currently HLB infection is confirmed when leaves with yellowing blotches are submitted for PCR testing, which is expensive and time consuming. However, the yellowing can be also symptomatic of other conditions, such as nutrient deficiency.

"We discovered we could see the symptoms of Huanglongbing using a camera, a set of cross-polarizers and narrowband lighting before it is visible to the human eye," said Pourreza, who is based at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier.

He said the yellow blotches on HLB-infected leaves are caused by starch accumulation.

"If we could detect abnormal levels of starch in the leaf, we could tell it is affected with HLB," Pourreza said. "Starch showed the ability to rotate the polarization plane of light. We used this optical characteristic to develop the sensing methodology."

Pourreza said the team has patented the technique and is working on developing a commercial product. He is seeking funding to continue the research in California, where, to date, HLB has only been detected in isolated Los Angeles neighborhoods. Asian citrus psyllid is found in important California commercial citrus production regions from the Mexican border to as far north as Placer County.

From left, Keith Nathaniel, Fe Moncloa, Shannon Horrillo, Russell Hill and Dorina Espinoza,

4-H Youth Development team wins national diversity award

4-H Youth Development advisors Dorina Espinoza, Russell Hill, Fe Moncloa and Keith Nathaniel and 4-H associate director Shannon Horrillo have won the National Extension Diversity Award for systematically enhancing the intercultural competency of 4-H personnel and others in California.

The award, given by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Cooperative Extension System and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), honors the team for creating and using Intercultural Development Inventory© to shift organizational culture. This shift includes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity among diverse people.

To meet the needs of a culturally and ethnically diverse youth population in California, they created a professional-development intervention for 4-H academics and staff. The Intercultural Development Inventory© is a cross-culturally generalizable, valid and reliable assessment of intercultural competence. Calling themselves the Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrators, they applied the strategy over three years, providing 176 hours of intercultural communication feedback sessions, learning communities and regional conferences to enhance the intercultural competence of 65 4-H personnel.

Evaluations demonstrated that after the intervention UC 4-H Youth Development Program personnel had acquired skills and characteristics to become more culturally competent. The program has moved from focusing on similarities across diverse people that can mask deeper recognition of cultural differences to recognizing the complexity of dimensions of diversity.

The action plan and resulting positive change provides the potential to improve hiring and professional development nationwide by replication in other states. A summary of California's IDI professional development activities can be found in the National 4-H Latino Youth Outreach: Best Practices Toolkit, Professional Development.

The National Extension Diversity Award will be presented on Nov. 13 at the 129th APLU Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. 

AggieTravel replacing MyTravel in November

AggieTravel is replacing MyTravel, the UC Davis travel and entertainment expense reporting system. ANR's go-live date for AggieTravel has been rescheduled to mid-November. This delay is due to a slow-down in the implementation schedule across the UC Davis campus in order to provide more support to each group that joins.

“Thanks to all of you have already spent time in the AggieTravel test area familiarizing yourself with the system,” said Sally Harmsworth, associate director of Business Operations. “The test area will continue to be available until go-live.”

To visit the AggieTravel test area, go to and log in with The password is “welcome1.”

A recording of an in-person training is available:

A schedule of in-person training in Davis is available at

Additional information and resources for AggieTravel are available at

Harmsworth will relay updates received from the UC Davis AF&S Travel Department.


Posted on Monday, October 24, 2016 at 11:52 AM

UC archivist begins curating UC Cooperative Extension history

Lisa Vallen, UCCE archivist at UC Merced.
Going back to 1917, farm advisors in Merced County wrote meticulous weekly logs, documenting the number of miles they drove, the farmers they met, the phone calls they took, and the trainings they held.

“It is a wealth of information about their activities, and I think it will be a really great resource for research,” said Lisa Vallen, a professional archivist who is working in the UC Merced library under a memorandum of understanding with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The logs, plus annual reports and a collection of photos dating back to 1916 are among the first documents that Vallen will review as she embarks on a year-long pilot project to curate and preserve the history of UC Cooperative Extension.

A native of the Midwest, Vallen earned a bachelor's degree at Lake Forest College and a master's degree in library and information sciences from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).  While completing her graduate degree, she worked on preserving the UIUC library physical collection, digitizing theses and dissertations and processing a collection of author H. G. Wells' personal correspondence, publishers' correspondence, and other printed materials.

Vallen wrote about her experience with the H.G. Wells material on the UIUC Non Solus Blog. She quoted a letter written by Wells in 1945 to his brother Frederick about his frustration at not being credited for predicting the atomic bomb 30 years before it was dropped during World War II.

“I'm all right & everything misses me. I explained the inevitableness of the atomic bomb half a century ago & it is rather infuriating to have all these journalistic halfwits explaining that here's something Mr. Wells did not foresee,” the letter said.

Vallen has also written about the challenge of digitizing old, brittle publications in an effort to provide a usable surrogate for books that can no longer circulate due to their fragility.

“In many cases, we hold the only copy of record and it is incredibly important for this copy to be preserved and readily accessible to our users,” Vallen wrote in the UIUC Preservation Every Day Blog.

In her UC Cooperative Extension work, Vallen found that Merced County office has 393 cubic feet of historical items, totaling about 164,000 in number. There are photographs for which copyright must be established, publications that may already be digitized by UC ANR or UC Davis, weather and climate data, and plant and insect specimens that may or may not have historical value.

“First we'll be going through and identifying materials, arranging the materials, recording metadata, such as date, author and title to create descriptions,” Vallen said. “And then we can begin digitizing.”

UCCE in Ventura County is also part of the pilot. Vallen said the county office has 700 photographs dating from 1916 to the 1950s, and many are mounted on cards with hand-written captions.

“Photos on their own are great, but when they come with context, it has additional value,” she said.

Humboldt County UCCE historical items will round out Vallen's work under the current MOU, but staff and academics at all UCCE offices are encouraged to locate historical materials for preservation, including annual reports, project summaries and raw data.

“They don't have to do anything with it, just hold onto the material they have,” Vallen said. “Even if they think something isn't historical or I wouldn't be interested, I'd still like for them to hang on to it until I have a chance to view it.”

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2016 at 11:05 AM

IPMinfo app now available for Android devices

IPMinfo app, which was released last year for iOS devices, is now available with advanced features for Android devices. The app provides biology, symptoms of damage and management options for pests and diseases. The pest information is available in English and Spanish.

The free app, which currently has information about strawberry pests and diseases, has been well-received by the industry, according to Surendra Dara, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in San Luis Obispo County, who developed the app.

Dara plans to add details on weeds and disorders and multiple crops. The strawberry and vegetable crops advisor is taking a short sabbatical leave until Jan. 31 to develop content for vegetables for the app. A new version for iOS devices will be released in the near future.

Dara welcomes feedback through the app or via email at

Details about IPMinfo can be found at the Google Play Store at


Posted on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 10:16 AM
Tags: apps (1), IPM (3), IPMinfo (1), October 2016 (7), Surendra Dara (2)

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