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Lewis to give webinar on Qualtrics Survey System Aug. 4

Kendra Lewis, academic coordinator for evaluations, will present "Overview of Qualtrics Survey System" on Thursday, Aug. 4, for California 4-H Youth Development Program's August webinar.

Anyone who is interested in the Qualtrics survey system is welcome to participate. The hour-long webinar will start at 10 a.m.

To join the webinar, visit this link: https://uc-d.adobeconnect.com/_a841422360/ca4-ha.

To access the call-in line, dial 1 (866) 740-1260, then enter the passcode 7524783#.

If you miss the live event, it will be recorded and available on the 4-H webinar archive page at http://ucanr.edu/sites/CA4-HA/PD/Webinar_Series.

You can now use the ANR URL squisher tool for Qualtrix surveys to create a shorter link.

Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 7:32 PM
  • Author: Jodi Azulai
Tags: July 2016 (1), Kendra Lewis (1), Qualtrics (3)

July 29 ANR town hall webinar on staff performance and merit pay

Human Resources invites you to join an ANR town hall webinar on the staff performance appraisal process and the 2016 staff merit pay program. The session will include opening remarks from VP Glenda Humiston followed by an update from John Fox, ANR Human Resources.

Who: Open to all ANR staff, supervisors and directors.

When:  10 a.m. – 11 a.m., Friday, July 29. 

The update will be delivered as a webinar. To access the webinar go to www.readytalk.com

  • Dial: 866-740-1260 You'll need to dial in to hear the audio
  • Access code: 7520495

Lines are limited so please view the webinar in groups, if possible. If you are in the ANR building in Davis, please gather in the Valley Room for the webinar.

For those unable to participate live, the session will be recorded and available for viewing on the ANR HR website.

John Fox
Executive Director of Human Resources

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 3:26 PM
Tags: John Fox (6), merit (1), pay (1), Staff Personnel (1)

Powers named Associate Vice President

Wendy Powers
Following a national search, Wendy Powers has been named ANR's new associate vice president. Powers, who has been a Michigan State University professor in the departments of Animal Science and Bio systems and Agricultural Engineering since 2006, assumed her position with ANR in Oakland on June 20.

Powers brings excellent executive skills from a different land grant college so she will be a great addition to ANR's leadership team. She knows Cooperative Extension and has experience in helping programs grow, which will be very valuable as we expand the CE footprint in California. An accomplished researcher and administrator, Powers has the leadership qualities to help us take ANR to new heights.

From 2010 to 2014, she directed statewide agriculture extension programs in Michigan. As MSU's first director of environmental stewardship for animal agriculture, Powers represents MSU on a number of state technical committees and has done an impressive job of leading efforts to minimize the environmental impact of animal agriculture. Her extension efforts focus on policy and implementation of management practices to reduce environmental impact. In addition to her research and extension program, she oversaw construction of the Animal Air Quality Research Facility and currently manages the facility and coordinates its activities. Prior to joining Michigan State University, Powers was an assistant and associate professor with an extension appointment at Iowa State University for 10 years.

“There is no better place to be involved in extension and agriculture than California, and no place better positioned to impactfully address the challenges of tomorrow than University of California Ag and Natural Resources,” Powers said.

She has a Ph.D. in animal science and M.S. in dairy science from the University of Florida and a B.S. in animal science from Cornell University.

Powers was chosen to succeed Bill Frost, who retired June 30.

 

Posted on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 9:03 AM
Tags: June 2016 (21), Wendy Powers (1)

Archivist to preserve the history of UC Cooperative Extension

A professional archivist will begin work in August to document and preserve the history of UC Cooperative Extension. Lisa Vallen, who completed her master's degree in library information science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in spring 2016, was hired by the UC Merced Library under a memorandum of understanding with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Vallen has a range of experience in archives processing and description, physical collections and preservation as well as digitization.

“I am pleased to have someone with her energy, initiative and organizational skills in this position,” said Emily Lin, head of digital assets at the UC Merced library.

During a one-year pilot project, Vallen will work with UC Cooperative Extension offices in Merced, Ventura and Humboldt counties to conduct an inventory of local resources, assess existing records and select material that has potential historical or research value. Most materials will be digitized and stored on a web platform so they can be accessed by scholars throughout the world. In addition, truly unique documents (such as maps and photos) will be kept in hard copy form.

UC ANR vice president emeritus Barbara Allen-Diaz initiated the project following the UCCE Centennial in 2014, when the need to curate and preserve UCCE history became apparent. She chose to work with UC Merced, the newest campus in the UC system, because the school has placed a high emphasis on the development of digital collections, said Jan Corlett, chief of staff to the vice president of UC ANR. The project also furthers the growing relationship with UC Merced established by Allen-Diaz when she placed two UCCE specialists at the Central Valley campus in 2014.

UC Cooperative Extension Ventura County academic Rose Hayden-Smith, a historian by training who is on special assignment as editor of the UC Food Observer blog, will work with Vallen on collecting the historical information from Ventura County.

“We have amazing resources,” Hayden-Smith said. “We have research information on soils, water and crop trials going back 100 years. We have information that will have value for agricultural science historians as well as cultural and social historians.”

UCCE Merced County director emeritus Maxwell Norton will coordinate with Vallen to collect Merced historical information and UCCE Humboldt County director Yana Valachovic will coordinate with her on the Humboldt collection.

After the pilot is complete, UC ANR administrators will consider how to go forward on archiving information from other UCCE county offices.

“It would be a wonderful thing if county directors throughout the state would set aside historical information as they run across it,” Hayden-Smith said. “That will be helpful down the line if we extend the project to additional counties.”

Posted on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 7:02 AM
Tags: centennial (2), history (1), June 2016 (21), Lisa Vallen (1)

Kallsen, Lampinen receive first two $1 million endowed chairs

Craig Kallsen, left, and Bruce Lampinen
Two accomplished UC Agriculture and Natural Resources scientists have the honor of being the first endowed chairs in UC Cooperative Extension.

The UCCE citrus and pistachio crops advisor in Kern County, Craig Kallsen, is the UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for Tree Nut Genetics, and UCCE integrated orchard management specialist Bruce Lampinen, based at UC Davis, is the UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for Tree Nut Soil Science and Plant Water Relations. The endowed chairs will give the two scientists a dedicated source of funding for five years, when the chairs are reopened for review.

UC ANR established the two $1 million endowments for the endowed chairs last year. Half the funding was provided by UC President Janet Napolitano; the other half was donated by the California Pistachio Research Board. Establishment of the endowed chairs was announced last year by UC ANR vice president Glenda Humiston.

“I'm pleased that we have identified two exceptional research programs to support with the first endowed chairs in the more than 100-year history of UC Cooperative Extension,” Humiston said. “I feel certain Craig and Bruce will make significant advances in pistachio production systems under California conditions.”

Pistachio breeding program

Kallsen said the endowment comes at a particularly opportune time for the UC pistachio breeding research program. In cooperation with UC Davis pomology researcher Dan Parfitt, Kallsen has been breeding pistachios as part of a variety selection program using conventional methods - manually crossing and then growing trees to determine whether they have beneficial characteristics.

“Breeding new varieties this way takes a while, especially in pistachios,” Kallsen said. “They don't bloom for four or five years. With some trials we are just now at the stage where it gets interesting. The funding will be helpful for evaluating the new progeny.”

Kallsen is looking for pistachio varieties that show novel nut, tree growth and yield characteristics, and for varieties that produce a high yield even under low-chill conditions.

“The climate appears to be warming,” Kallsen said. “That poses a problem for pistachios, because our current cultivars have a significant chilling requirement that has not always been met when we don't have cold, foggy winters.”

Kallsen plans to establish a trial pistachio orchard at the UC Riverside Coachella Valley Agricultural Research Station, where winter weather rarely dips to sufficient chill levels, to see which varieties produce acceptable crops under the warmer conditions.

Another key objective of the UC breeding program is identifying pistachio cultivars that mature at different times. At the moment, 90 percent of California pistachios are the Kerman variety. They all mature at the same time, putting pressure on harvesting, transportation, processing and storage resources.

“Ten years ago, UC introduced the Golden Hills variety, which matures about two weeks earlier. It now represents 5 or 10 percent of the state's crop,” Kallsen said. “We're looking closely at another potential cultivar that matures 10 days before Golden Hills.”

Pistachio research at UC Davis  

Lampinen has devoted most of his career to almond and walnut research, but has worked on pistachios in collaboration with other UCCE specialists and advisors since 2009, focusing mainly on canopy light interception and salinity and their impacts on pistachio yield and water use.

Lampinen said his current work on almond and walnut water use as related to canopy size will be expanded to pistachio with the funding from the endowment.

“Some preliminary data on this is currently being gathered, but there is a need to expand this work to a wider range of orchard ages and planting configurations,” Lampinen said. “It will be very useful to have the ongoing support from an endowment.”

Lampinen's work in almonds and walnuts will also inform new pistachio research approaches. For example, Lampinen developed a no-pruning system for establishing new walnut orchards, and will study whether a similar approach in pistachio would make sense. For decades, California farmers believed that pruning young walnut trees was critical to healthy tree development. Lampinen observed unpruned walnut orchards in France, and “they looked perfectly fine,” he said.

Lampinen's research showed that pruning in the early years of tree development reduced water use efficiency and decreased walnut yields. By not pruning young trees, farmers could cut back significantly on labor costs and eliminate the need to dispose of the vegetation cut off the tree while using water more efficiently. 

The no-pruning approach is now widely accepted in almonds and walnuts. With funding from the five-year endowment, he plans to compare the impacts of the alternative pruning systems on newly established pistachio orchards.

In addition, Lampinen said he plans to consult with pistachio industry leaders, growers and farm advisors to develop an effective research program on pistachio soil and water relations.

Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 8:21 AM
  • Author: Jeannette Warnert

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