ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2011 ANR competitive grants program

ANR's 2011 competitive grants program will fund the 21 projects listed below for a total of roughly $4.46 million over 5 years. The purpose of this grants program, as outlined in the request for proposals, is to address the four strategic initiatives: Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases, Healthy Families and Communities, Sustainable Food Systems, and Sustainable Natural Ecosystems.

2011 ANR Competitive Grants - Funded

Proposal Name A Multi-Component, School-Based Approach to Supporting Regional Agriculture, Promoting Healthy Behaviors, and Reducing Childhood Obesity
Amount Awarded $ 599,616
Award Source ANR General Funds
Principal Investigators Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr - Principal Investigator
Collaborators Marilyn Briggs
Carol Chase
Susan Donohue
Lucrecia Farfan-Ramirez
Gail Feenstra
Carol Hillhouse
Carl Keen
Concepcion Mendoza
Yvonne Nicholson
Lenna Ontai
Martin Smith
Theresa Spezzano
Francene M. Steinberg
Heather Young
Project Summary View project summary
 
This proposed project will address the Healthy Families and Communities Initiative, and the “Promoting Healthy Behaviors for Childhood Obesity Prevention” target area. The hallmark of the proposal is an integrative approach incorporating the sustainable food systems initiative and integrating with the youth science literacy, promoting positive youth development, food safety, and ecosystems services educational outreach target areas.This 4-year study will use the socio-ecological framework emphasizing interaction among and interdependence of factors within and across all levels of the school community. The study will be coordinated by multidisciplinary leadership teams and conducted in two California counties to develop and evaluate a system-wide, sustainable program (Shaping Healthy Choices; SHCP) to achieve the following objectives: 1) increase availability, consumption, and enjoyment of fruits and vegetables; 2) improve dietary and exercise patterns consistent with the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans; 3) improve critical thinking skills to sustain patterns learned and adopted through participation in the program; 4) promote positive changes in the school environment to support dietary and exercise patterns; 5) facilitate development of an infrastructure to sustain the program beyond the funding period. The SHCP will rely upon integration of five program components: (1) nutrition education and promotion; (2) family and community partnerships; (3) integration of regional agriculture; (4) foods available on school campus; and (5) school wellness policies. A longitudinal, pre-test/post-test randomized, controlled intervention will test the hypothesis that schools utilizing the SHCP will have improved and measurable student outcomes with regard to dietary and nutrition knowledge and behavior, healthy food preferences and consumption, and physical activity compared to controls. The tested program will be sustained through an infrastructure of statewide collaborators and SHCP mentor sites entitled the SHCP Collaborative. Results will provide the evidence base for state and nationwide dissemination of a tested integrated school-based multi-component program to prevent childhood obesity.
Previous research by the PI’s laboratory group and others has demonstrated the effectiveness of specific components of the proposed program model in improving children’s nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. A recent Institute of Medicine report cited the PI’s nutrition education and gardening research program as a promising, innovative strategy to reduce childhood obesity. Formal evaluation of this multi-component program, using a longitudinal experimental research design,  will provide important and novel insight for future policy changes to prevent childhood obesity. In addition, a focus on developing sustainable food system changes leading to statewide policies enhancing and promoting agricultural production statewide is a related, expected outcome. This proposal provides an opportunity to maximize ANR’s strengths in research, education and extension by capitalizing on the diverse perspectives of experts in nutrition, medicine, food science, food safety, agriculture, child development, and education in partnership with the kindergarten through grade twelve school-community setting. Through an interdisciplinary, team approach among: UC faculty; UC Cooperative Extension nutrition and youth development specialists and advisors, and ASI staff; food and agriculture industry representatives; public school educators, administrators, after-school providers, and families; community members; health practitioners;  farmers; and state/county agency nutrition, food science, agriculture, and health care representatives, a coordinated program will be delivered to improve dietary and lifestyle habits with the greatest potential for sustainable childhood obesity prevention. Program outcomes will be coordinated by multidisciplinary teams working in two California counties reflecting California’s diverse population. Quantitative and qualitative pre and post data will be collected from intervention and control schools (matched for demographics and eligibility for free and reduced price lunch) including outcome measures within the whole-school environment. Children will be followed throughout grade 4 with clinical (BMI and biomarkers; UC Davis School of Nursing) and dietary intake assessments taken at 2 timepoints. Building on the research continuum, program components will support science-based decision making and emphasize the delivery of useful findings to support policy and outreach efforts. For example, an evidence-based school wellness policy self-assessment tool developed by the PI's Center for Nutrition in Schools will be tested for statewide dissemination by the California Department of Education, to support recent policy changes within new federal legislation. Food availability within the school environment has been previously studied, with statewide policies currently in place. This proposal will take the next step in promoting the use of California agricultural products to enhance the school food environment, in addition to focusing on the development of statewide policies which reduce barriers to procuring regional, healthful California foods in schools. These changes will be linked to educational programs, based on state standards, which address children’s knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to healthful dietary selections. Additional funds will be leveraged from other sources, including those recently awarded to this research group by the  California Department of Education, USDA, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. At the completion of data analysis, the project team will review major findings and confer with the Center for Health Improvement (CHI) to identify policy implications and avenues for practice dissemination. CHI uses evidence-based analyses to translate knowledge gained through research into policies and practice, supporting community-based programs that target change at multiple levels.  The project team will build on the current UC Davis School of Nursing partnership with the CHI, with the goal of improving population health and encouraging healthy behaviors. Results of this consultation will be shared with leaders in schools and policy-makers to promote adoption of successful strategies.

Proposal Name Contributions of 4-H Participation to the Development of Social Capital
Amount Awarded $ 47,584
Award Source ANR General Funds
Principal Investigators Keith Nathaniel - Principal Investigator
Richard Enfield - Co PI
Vanessa Murua - Co PI
Collaborators Nancy Erbstein
Amy McGuire
Project Summary View project summary
Title: 4-H Social Capital Project
Although some benefits of 4-H participation are well documented for youth, little is known about the specific impact of 4-H participation on individual social capital development as well as on community social capital. Social capital is often presented as the connections among individuals and the social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them. Two central tenets of social capital are social networks have value and relationships matter. Social Capital is thought of as an important component in the equation for positive youth development, and some theorists and researchers have suggested the presence of social capital is second only to poverty in having the highest influence on children's development and future success.
4-H programs foster youth-adult partnerships that encourage active participation in community-oriented activities, often over many years. Our research will determine how these unique partnerships contribute to the wellbeing of youth and of the greater community in which the 4-H youth development program is based. We will explore the role of 4-H community-focused programming in developing social capital not only for youth participants, but also for the community at large. We hypothesize that where these programs are strong, they result in a spiraling up of social capital across the community, leading to expanded opportunities for youth development while building overall community capacity for civic engagement and community betterment. James Comer, MD, in a keynote address to 2008 CYFAR attendees said, "I'm convinced we can create the kinds of social capital inner city kids, rural kids, and all kids...need to be successful in school and then in life.”
 
This proposed project is the California portion of an official Multi-State Education/Extension & Research Activity (NCERA 215), which involves approximately 20 states.
 
Major Research Questions
 
·What 4-H Program experiences contribute to the development of youths' social capital?
·How does the 4-H Program's community involvement impact the development of social capital within the community?
 
Proposed Methods
A multi-method research approach will be used for this research study, with both qualitative and quantitative methods used as appropriate. The multi-method research approach for this project includes three primary components: (a) quantitative survey of youth members (b) youth member interviews randomly selected from survey participants, and (c) a youth-driven community mind-mapping activity. Together these research methods will provide a more comprehensive view of the 4-H Program and its impacts on social capital than using just one approach. We will work with 4-H Advisors in counties throughout the state who have already expressed interest in participating and additional counties will be recruited. California’s data & results will be available as a stand-alone data set and the data will also be combined with the other states throughout the nation contributing to a much larger data set with national implications.
Anticipated Outcomes
The results of this work will benefit individual 4-H programs as they plan, deliver, and evaluate programs. The findings will also be useful in demonstrating the importance of 4-H to the overall health of the community. 4-H Advisors and Community development specialists and others interested in facilitating successful community change efforts can use the results of this research in their work. Finally, the results of this study will offer a unique opportunity for cross-program collaboration on strategies that grow healthy families and young people and that build prosperous sustainable communities. Relatively new information from research on the environmental causes of health status of individuals (especially overweight) have pointed to the need for the development of community social capital to help mobilize communities for changing community environments for healthier children. Best 4-H Program practices for building individual and community social capital will be identified and widely disseminated via webinar trainings, printed reports, and training workshops at different venues such as a HFC SI Conference, 4-H Leader Trainings and other conferences.
Other outcomes include using data to inform local municipalities to consider developing or enhancing policies that support the establishment of healthy adolescent communities (i.e., youth commissions) and working with the local chambers of commerce to help businesses create welcoming environments for youth.

Proposal Name Creating a movement to reduce obesity: Transforming communities
Amount Awarded $ 599,768
Award Source ANR General Funds
Principal Investigators Patricia Crawford - Principal Investigator
Shannon Horrillo - Co PI
Marilyn Townsend - Co PI
Collaborators Mary Blackburn
Mandi Bottoms
Susan Donohue
Sharon Fleming
Mark Hudes
Margaret Johns
Cathi Lamp
Anna Martin
Concepcion Mendoza
Rita Mitchell
Marisa Neelon
Yvonne Nicholson
Lenna Ontai
Lorrene Ritchie
Brenda Roche Wolford
Theresa Spezzano
Project Summary View project summary
PROJECT SUMMARY
The rising prevalence of obesity among California children has led to serious concerns about their future health as well as the state’s health care budget. Fortunately, recent research has provided new hope that programs can be implemented to slow the development of obesity among school-aged children. According to the evidence, these programs should emphasize four messages: (1) reducing consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, (2) limiting fast food consumption, (3) decreasing time spent in sedentary pursuits, and (4) increasing time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity. While fruit and vegetable consumption will be encouraged in this study, research has not shown that increasing fruit and vegetables alone will decrease rates of obesity without a significant parallel decrease in calories from high sugar/high fat snack foods and beverages. Our proposal utilizes a socio-ecological model to develop a coordinated community-wide intervention that will effectively deliver these messages to 3rd and 4th grade students in their schools, afterschool programs, homes and communities. Although there is a substantial body of literature demonstrating the impact of the targeted dietary and activity behaviors on the development of obesity, this proposal is unique insofar as it uses the socio-ecoological model to ensure that we educate children and their families while at the same time working with a broader range of community institutions. This program will provide a community context that will surround the child with consistent messages.  The study is also unique in that local Extension personnel and youth participants in the 4-H program will play leading roles in program delivery.
 
The aim of the intervention is twofold: first, to change student attitudes, knowledge and behaviors in ways that are conducive to healthier dietary and physical activity patterns; and second, to strategically use the infrastructure of Cooperative Extension to effect the desired changes. The effectiveness of the program will be evidenced by reduced BMI change from baseline to program endpoint. The intervention spanning two school years, to be implemented in a minimum of six schools and their surrounding diverse communities in two or three California counties, will include nutrition education delivered to children in their classrooms; a physical activity curriculum to be supplied to teachers; work with school leaders, teachers, administrators and school Wellness Committees to promote a healthful school environment; afterschool and summer programs to reinforce the school messages; parent/family activities designed to influence the home environment; and outreach to engage local business leaders and encourage their involvement in changing the community milieu to one that better supports healthful eating and activity behaviors. Materials for outreach to families will be culturally tailored in both English and Spanish.
 
The infrastructure for the program currently exists in California communities, but has not been mobilized in a cohesive fashion for a multi-faceted program to prevent child obesity. Programs including EFNEP, FSNEP, 4-H, Farm to School, and Community Coalitions will be utilized, each with a new or increased emphasis on the four health messages. The research team, uniting NFCS, 4-H advisors, CE specialists, and AES faculty will evaluate the program.4-H youth will play particularly important roles as peer leaders in student afterschool and summer activities, and as youth ambassadors for the program in meetings with community business and policy leaders.As important as reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity will be, the civic pride and ownership in creating a movement one community at a time will help to ensure that the program is sustainable over time.

Proposal Name Creek Carbon - Dynamics of Carbon and Nitrogen in Restored Mediterranean Riparian Zones
Amount Awarded $ 50,000
Award Source Prosser
Principal Investigators David Lewis - Principal Investigator
Morgan Doran - Co PI
Valerie Eviner - Co PI
John Harper - Co PI
Stephanie Larson - Co PI
Anthony O'Geen - Co PI
Kenneth Tate - Co PI
Project Summary View project summary
 
Project Summary   Riparian areas have been referred to as “hot-spots” of potential soil carbon sequestration. The increased availability of water and soil moisture, relative to the rest of the landscape, affords greater vegetation biomass production and therein the potential for larger above and below ground carbon pools and nitrogen cycling. By some estimates, there has been a loss of more than 50% of riparian vegetative cover as a result of management in United States over the last 300 hundred years, with a corresponding loss of sequestered carbon and nitrogen uptake capacity. Efforts over the last four decades to restore streams and rivers through riparian revegetation are reversing these losses and reestablishing riparian ecosystem services. In Marin County, California for example, the Marin Resource Conservation District has revegetated and restored 15 miles of stream from 1990 to 2005. Documenting and understanding the contribution stream restoration has in sequestering carbon, and its corresponding influence on nitrogen uptake, will advance the role restored rangeland stream habitats have in reducing global climate change impacts and improving in-stream water quality. Accordingly, we have designed this project to: Document the contributions of stream and river revegetation to the sequestration of soil and vegetative carbon on California and Mediterranean rangelands; and Maximize the role of stream restoration projects in reducing impacts to global climate change through carbon sequestration and water quality management through nitrogen uptake. Research   To establish the trajectories of carbon and nitrogen dynamics as a result of riparian restoration, we will conduct soil and vegetation sampling and analysis through a cross-sectional survey of up to 30 previously restored sites, ranging in project ages from 6 to 40 years. This will include soil sample collection and analysis and vegetative biomass measurement within restored stream reaches stratified by plant functional groups. We have effectively used this cross-sectional approach to document other ecosystem service outcomes from riparian restoration and management. Using it in researching carbon and nitrogen dynamics will compliment this earlier work and provide a more comprehensive documentation of the role that riparian revegetation has in the magnitude of any changes to soil and vegetative carbon and nitrogen cycling and the duration of time required for these changes to occur. Outreach and Education   We have actively extended and published results from our earlier investigations of riparian revegetation and ecosystem service results through a number of venues to a variety of audiences. These include conference presentations, posters, and proceedings for Society of Ecological Restoration, American Water Resources Association, and California Society for Ecological Restoration specialty conferences on riparian restoration and management. Additionally, we have hosted and presented local University of California Cooperative Extension shortcourses, including 100 participant Stream Restoration Success shortcourse in 2007. Results have also been compiled and published as graduate student thesis and peer-reviewed journal articles including publication in Restoration Ecology. Similarly, we will work with our local partners in the five-county project region through participation in conferences, organizing appropriate shortcourses, and submitting manuscripts to relevant peer-reviewed journals. Our outreach and education objective is to: Make the research information available to landowners and managers, restoration practitioners, funders, permitting agencies and their decision making processes and policy decisions in a manner that improves the design, installation, and maintenance of these projects towards greater delivery of ecosystem services.

Proposal Name Ecosystem Services Interpretative Trails and Curriculum- Interpreting the Value of Working Landscapes to the Public and Policy Makers
Amount Awarded $ 47,000
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Sheila Barry - Principal Investigator
Stephanie Larson - Co PI
Collaborators Lynn Huntsinger
Shelley Murdock
Project Summary View project summary
 
 
 
This project, “Ecosystem Services Interpretative Trails and Curriculum” seeks to increase awareness and knowledge of park visitors, managers and decision makers of working rangelands and the ecosystem services.  Bay area open space lands provide an unprecedented opportunity to educate the public and policy makers. The bay area has over 1 million acres of “protected land” much of it managed as a working landscape. In fact over 25 different public entities in San Francisco bay area manage their open space lands with livestock grazing.  Many of these public entities also have public access for recreation and “nature” interpretation; these lands host over 3 million visitors per year.  The future of both private and public working rangelands and the ecosystem services they provide in the San Francisco bay area and throughout the state will depend on public policies that allow ranching to be viable. As recognized by UC ANR’s strategic initiative for sustainable conservation of natural ecosystems, there is a growing need and interest in telling the story of the working landscape, its conservation and its benefits to society.
This project will be a collaborative effort between UC ANR, the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition and three park districts (East Bay Regional Park District, Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District, and Sonoma County Regional Park District).  This collaborative effort will generate and extend unique educational information about what ecosystem services are and how they relate to California’s rangelands. UC ANR research on the management and value of working rangelands will provide the basis for the educational information. Both PIs Sheila Barry and Stephanie Larson have extensive history with UC ANR in conducting an applied research and extension program on working rangelands to benefit California’s landscapes and communities. Through their collaborative efforts with the park interpretative staff, who have extensive experience in developing material for park users, information developed from this project should be on target, accurate and effective in educating and engaging the public.
Outreach efforts will be primarily focused on park users through pilot “sustainable conservation” interpretative trails and curriculum. Interpretative trails will include signage with links to the educational curriculum. The trail and curriculum will educate users on the extent and value of ecosystems services provided by these landscapes.  Outreach materials will be be developed so they can be adapted and implemented at other open space districts, land trusts, federal, state, regional and county parks that have public access and provide interpretive trails.  Outreach materials will be extended to decision makers and open space managers through board presentations and presentations to the Bay Area Open Space Council and California Rangeland Conservation Coalition.
The benefits of this approach are as follows:
Builds and promotes current UC ANR research and extension projects:  This project will demonstrate to the public the extensive history and value of UC ANR programs which assist ranchers to sustain California’ rangeland resources.  In addition, the project will extend information developed by current research projects including “Identifying Stewardship Values provided by ranchers on public lands and the current RREA project, “Develop and document opportunities and success stories for ecosystem services on California rangelands.”
Curriculum Development: The proposed collaborative efforts will produce ecosystem services curriculum that will relate ecosystem services to everyday life, though graphic and interactive visual.  The curriculum will be based on middle/high school level. It will be implemented through park outreach to school groups and docent training for adult interpretative programs.
On-going outreach:  Interpretative trails have repeated use by a variety of park users including organized groups.  Bay Area open space parks managed as working landscapes have well over 3 million park visits per year. This project aims to increase awareness of UCANR through this unique outreach method. It will increase awareness and understanding of rangeland agriculture among California’s educators and students – with specific emphasis on working rangelands and their benefits.
“Living Signage:”   Much like a “living document” which can be revisited and updated over time, the interpretative signage developed by this project will include QR codes which will allow park users with smart phones to access relevant web information.  The QR codes will allow trail users to access the interpretative curriculum and can also be used for pre and post test to determine the effectiveness of the project.
In context:  Defined environmental education as an ecological learning concept, bridges the understanding of the relationship between human behavior and environmental quality.  An interpretative trail through a working landscape will provide this interaction with users on ecosystem services in context.  Sign content and placement would be relevant to the surroundings, providing educational ties with ecology and ecosystems on rangeland with explorations into local food chains.
Novel:   Currently, interpretative trails in these parks are “nature trails”.  This proposal will create information on ecosystem services and how these working landscapes benefit the public. These trails will also take advantage of the latest technology, using QR codes which will enable park users with smart phones to download additional relevant information.  This novel approach will enable UCANR to attract publicity and engage public officials, especially in the opening of the new trials or additional trails at existing parks.  Project pilots will be implemented at three heavily used parks in the Bay area and can be easily adapted to numerous parks throughout California.
Demonstrated interest:  A recent study assessing public perception (Barry, unpublished) illustrated that park users are very interested in learning more about the working landscapes they encounter while visiting Bay Area parks.  In particular, park users, through photo comments, expressed interest in learning more about grazing animal behavior and husbandry.
Demonstrated impact:  Interpretative “nature” trails have a proven record of use and success in educating users about the natural world.
 

Proposal Name Effect of forest management on water yields and other ecosystem services in Sierra Nevada forests
Amount Awarded $ 599,978
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Kevin O'Hara - Principal Investigator
John Battles - Co PI
William Stewart - Co PI
Collaborators Roger Bales
Susie Kocher
Project Summary View project summary
Water is arguably the highest-value ecosystem service associated with the conifer forests of California’s Sierra Nevada. Yet the provision of this essential service is vulnerable to changes in the energy and water balance associated with climate warming. To date, we have observed more precipitation falling as rain versus snow, earlier snowmelt, and greater summer water deficits. Such climate forcing will impact the water balance for the foreseeable future. However there is the potential to manage the water balance in forest ecosystems. The dominant vegetation (i.e., trees) is highly productive, forms dense canopies, and consequently, uses a great deal of water. There is a strong positive correlation between annual net primary productivity (the ultimate measure of the photosynthetic capacity of the ecosystem) and evapotranspiration (the primary cause of water loss). Any manipulation that reduces the productivity (i.e., removes trees) reduces evapotranspiration, shifts the balance of energy driving snowmelt, and thus may affect soil-water storage and streamflow. Water from the Sierra Nevada provides both hydropower and water supply to downstream users. Reducing and restructuring the forest vegetation density can also mitigate the negative impacts of wildfires as well as accomplishing some forest restoration objectives. Forest management that specializes in high value and long-lived forest products can produce the greatest amount of total carbon sequestration benefits when energy use in the consumer sector is considered. Recreation-, conservation-, and biodiversity-related ecosystem values often pose competing aims relative to forest management but there are few mechanisms to evaluate the tradeoffs and complements related to different strategies. Open space easements and hunting leases are two examples of ecosystem services that could provide a model for translating expressed value for other ecosystem services into real financial mechanisms. It is proposed to undertake a three-part, multi-year and multi-disciplinary research and assessment project that addresses issues related to climate warming, vegetation manipulation, and the forest water cycle. The three components are: i) measurements at sites of opportunity where fire or thinning treatments have taken place or are taking place, ii) meta-analysis and modeling using available data to interpret these results, and iii) evaluation of multiple ecosystem services and how multiple service providers (land and resource owners/managers) can effectively interact with service consumers (downstream and downhill residents).
How this project addresses the criteria in the announcement:
1. Clearly define the strategic initiative addressed. There is a critical knowledge gap surrounding the provision of water as a high-value ecosystem service from the Sierra Nevada within the context of sustainable natural ecosystems.
2. Opportunity to maximize ANR’s strengths. The well-established ANR strengths in forest management and forest health will leverage other non-ANR UC strengths in mountain hydrology and water resources.
3. Provide well coordinated outcomes for multidisciplinary projects. The project team plans to develop integrated products. For example the water-cycle results will be linked to silvicultural outcomes, and the silviculture assessments will be informed by water-cycle responses to climate and vegetation changes.
4. Ability to leverage additional funding. State and foundation monies supported the planning grant used to develop this project. It is expected that further state funds would be available for both research and implementation projects through future bond funds. SB2x (water bond), which may still go before the voters, would provide an opportunity for funds. It is also planned to engage in discussions with other Sierra Nevada stakeholders, including state and federal agencies, water and power providers, NGOs, and other private-sector interests.
5. Build on the research continuum with science that will benefit California. The state critically needs to adopt new approaches to water and forest management that consider the changing climate and other pressures. For UC, this means addressing important knowledge gaps and engaging with resource managers to integrate new knowledge into practice.
6. Support science-based decision making and delivery of useful findings to support policy and outreach efforts. The UC faculty will engage the forestry specialists in the counties, work with USFS and CA Resources Agency personnel to ensure the research is focused and is disseminated to end-users.
7. Use an integrative approach to collaborate with other strategic initiatives. The team is committed to engaging with ANR research and extension scientists to put this project into a broader context.

Proposal Name Food Safety Training for Smaller Growers
Amount Awarded $ 47,566
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Shermain Hardesty - Principal Investigator
Richard Molinar - Co PI
Collaborators Courtney Riggle
Project Summary View project summary
 
This proposed outreach project addresses a critical component in the Sustainable Food Systems Initiative: food safety issues in plant systems. While many large farmers have developed food safety programs to meet the requirements of their customers, smaller farmers often lack basic knowledge of food safety. The Food Safety bill passed by Congress at the end of 2010 included provisions exempting smaller agricultural producers who direct market at least 50% of their crops and gross less than $500,000. However, smaller California producers often market part of their production through wholesale channels, and many of these buyers are now requiring all of their suppliers to have some form of food safety certification.
 
CDFA’s Shipping Point Inspection Program provides 3rd party food safety verification audits to California’s fruit, nut, and vegetable industries (http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/services.html). The proposed project involves eight UCCE academics receiving training from CDFA’s lead inspectors covering the four farm-related modules of these audits: Farm Review; Field Harvest and Field Packing; House Packing; and Transportation and Storage. These academics will then organize series of three 3-hour food safety training workshops for smaller farmers in eight regions across the state. Each regional workshop will include at least 2 of the trained UCCE academics, as well as a host UCCE farm advisor working in the specific region. The curriculum presented at the UCCE workshops will be reviewed by UCCE Specialist Trevor Suslow, who will serve as a technical advisor to the UCCE food safety workshop team.
 
This project is designed to educate smaller producers regarding food safety such that they will be able to pass food safety verification audits conducted by CDFA or another certifier.Educating smaller producers regarding Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices clearly supports the following statement included as a concentration in the RFA’s Food Safety area: “Develop strategies for food producers and handlers to prevent and detect food borne contamination…”.
 
This project leverages UCCE farm advisors’ strength as objective sources of information, as well as their working relationships with many farmers in their regions. These qualities are particularly important when providing education to individuals who are often reluctant to seek out the education. In particular, a disproportionately large number of smaller farmers are not native English speakers; we plan to invite UCCE academics who are fluent in Spanish and have extensive experience working with farmers from other cultures to collaborate in this project.
 
The California Strawberry Commission has a well-developed food safety education program for growers. The Commission has agreed to provide training materials, including glow-germ gel to demonstrate bacteria remaining after hand washing and a food safety flipchart. Steve Thomas, CDFA’s Inspection Services Branch Chief, has agreed to provide his own time at no cost to train the UCCE academics who will develop and present the food safety workshops to small growers. Many of the food safety practices that will be included in our workshops are based on ANR research findings; our UCCE team has the capacity to integrate these findings and related insights into the curriculum. Therefore, our workshops support science-based decision making. Additionally, our workshops will use an integrative approach by tying the information regarding food safety practices together with information about healthy eating and water quality, which relate to two other ANR Strategic Initiatives.

Proposal Name Helping youth thrive: A randomized-controlled trial of a community-based positive youth development program.
Amount Awarded $ 598,583
Award Source ANR General Funds
Principal Investigators Kali Trzesniewski - Principal Investigator
Shannon Horrillo - Co PI
Vanessa Murua - Co PI
Nathanial Riggs - Co PI
Project Summary View project summary
The goal of the proposed research is to test how the 4-H Youth Development Program and other youth development programs can best promote positive youth development. Previous research has demonstrated that positive developmental and health outcomes for youth are associated with a variety of factors, including understanding ones spark, having a growth mindset, and being able to effectively set and manage goals. Based on these findings, a new program, 4-H Thrives! has been developed with the goal to build on existing research and knowledge to advance the concept of thriving from a “promising practice” based on academic research in disparate areas to a comprehensive programmatic framework for organizations striving to help young people thrive and reach their fullest potential. California 4-H and the Thrive Foundation have teamed up to scale up these promising experimental findings and measurably influence millions of young people to thrive. It is critical that ongoing evaluation is conducted throughout the scaling up process to ensure that the final program is effective and feasible for delivery throughout California.
: (a) whether 4-H Thrives!, 4-H’s adaption of Step-It-Up-2-Thrive for large-scale dissemination throughout California, improves outcomes for youth and (b) the mechanisms through which the program works.
In Year 1, the pilot, 4-H volunteers will deliver 4-H Thrives! to junior and teen leaders in each club in California during leadership project meetings. Groups of master trainers will attend training sessions conducted by State 4-H staff and will in turn train local volunteers in their counties. In-depth mixed-methods assessments will be conducted to evaluate delivery of the program.
Years 2-5 will consist of clustered, randomized controlled trial of 4-H clubs and 4-H partnered afterschool programs. The 4-H club trial will consist of 76 clubs randomly assigned to experimental or control groups. Youth will be assessed three times during the first year, twice during the second year, and once at the end of the study. Youth will be drawn from: Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento counties. A final sample size of 2,555 youth is expected. The afterschool program trial will draw youth from the same three counties. A total of 47 programs (N = 1,075) will be randomly assigned to an experimental or control condition.

Proposal Name Increasing competitiveness of the California Dairy Industry through Genetic Selection
Amount Awarded $ 44,600
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Anita Oberbauer - Principal Investigator
Project Summary View project summary
 
The California Dairy industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise and contributes ~3% of the state’s jobs as reported by the California Milk Advisory Board in 2010. To maintain the competitiveness of the California dairies, in the face of increasing environmental concerns, dairy producers need tools to creatively address the need for reduced input and greater outputs.  In the past, genetic selection for dairy cattle focused on the marketable product (pounds milk produced, fat, protein).  In contrast, the aspect of lameness and hoof health has been little studied yet it is a significant aspect of dairy management.
Lameness impacts dairy producers both as an animal welfare issue as well as being implicated in lowered milk production. Importantly, lameness is one of the top three reasons dairy cattle are culled prematurely, following only infertility and mastitis. Selection schemes for dairy cattle focus on sire contribution to milk production with little consideration to the cow’s physical structure. Currently dairy cattle are retained in the herd for an average of 2.5 lactations and then removed from the herd; this represents a significant cost to the producer and contributes to the overall carbon footprint of the dairy due to the environmental costs associated with raising replacement dairy heifers.  
The incidence of lameness in dairy cattle as reported in the literature ranges up to 50% though a more common estimate is between 15 -25%.  The economic impact of each lameness case is estimated to be $300 - $400/animal with overall costs of lameness to the California dairy industry to exceeding $160,000,000 annually. The economic loss coupled with the animal welfare aspect of lameness and the public perception and the increased environmental cost is of enormous concern of the multi-billion dollar California Dairy Industry. The objective of the proposed research is to develop genetic tools to permit selection of dairy cattle with greater longevity within the herd yet retain the advances in fluid milk production. Such tools will directly address sustainability concerns of competitive and environmentally sound food production within California.
The work will build upon our ongoing studies characterizing the prevalence of hoof lesions detected in California dairy cattle. We have worked with three large dairy producers and have determined that the heritability for lameness risk has a significant genetic component and that the evidence for genetic contribution supports the undertaking of a genome wide association study to identify loci contributing to lameness.  These genetic selection tools can be combined with the current selection tools used for milk production attributes.  Selecting to reduce the incidence of lameness while maintaining desirable milk production will enhance the competitiveness of the California dairy industry and simultaneously improve the efficiency of resource use; a cow having greater longevity within the herd will ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of a given cow. 
The collaboration of the PI and co-PIs and the extension system in place represent a unique strength of ANR: Drs. Oberbauer and Famula have worked together and independently on genomic contribution to production traits and CE Specialist Berry has established a vital relationship with dairy producers in the state and has elevated their awareness of hoof health for long term viability of the industry. The collaborative efforts of the investigators build on the developed continuum of bench to field.  Further, the genomic resources housed at UC Davis (computing as well as the bench analytical capacity) maximize the funding requested.

Proposal Name Investigating the Impacts of Differing Levels of Frequency and Duration of Nonformal Science Programming on Youth Science Literacy
Amount Awarded $ 42,128
Award Source ANR General Funds
Principal Investigators Martin Smith - Principal Investigator
Vanessa Murua - Co PI
Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty - Co PI
Collaborators Ramona Carlos
Katherine Heck
Steven Worker
Project Summary View project summary
The intent of this proposed pilot research project is tocollect and analyze data relative to the impacts of differing levels of frequency and duration of nonformal science programming (4-H clubs and after school settings) on youth science literacy in 4-H Science programs in California. The specific research question will be: What are the effects of differing levels of frequency and duration of science programming in nonformal settings on (1) content knowledge, (2) science process skills, and (3) science interest among participating youth? Pilot results will be used to inform a larger research project that will help develop guidelines around expected impacts of specific levels of frequency and duration in 4-H Science programming and help inform public policy with respect to strengthening STEM education in California. There is a well-recognized need for improved science literacy among K-12 youth in the United States. Nonformal science education programs like 4-H can complement school-based education in helping to achieve this desired outcome (Fenichel & Schweingruber, 2010). However, while increasing amounts of effort and resources have been put toward out-of-school science programming in the past several years (Bell, Lewenstein, Shouse & Feder, 2009; Friedman, 2008; Kelleher, 2009), relatively little is known about how the quantity of programming impacts science literacy among young people. Early in the development of the National 4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Initiative it was recommended that programs should engage youth in 50 hours or more of science learning over the course of their 4-H experience (National 4-H SET Leadership Team, 2007). However, initiative leaders determined that this recommendation was not based in research, and removed it. Instead, program coordinators are now encouraged to consider whether youth are receiving programming necessary to achieve improved science content knowledge, science process skills, and attitudes toward science among 4-H youth. However, little information is available on what level of programming is sufficient to achieve these outcomes. Some evaluation research suggests that the frequency and duration of youth programming has an impact on the outcomes that result for youth participants, but the research results have been limited and mixed, and little published work in this area has been specific to science programming (e.g., Jekielek, Moore, & Hair, 2002; Michelsen, Zaff, & Hair, 2002; Roth et al., 1998; DuBois et al., 2002; Cooke-Connone, Casey, Feely, & Baran, 2009; Riggs & Greenberg, 2004). Because of the paucity of research, no clear guidelines currently exist with respect to how often or for how long a youth program should be planned in order to obtain a particular outcome for participants. More detailed information is needed on the impacts of program frequency and duration so that effective nonformal education programs can be designed to best facilitate development of science process skills and content knowledge in young people. The policy relevance of this proposal is clear. As stated by then-Senator Torlakson in Assembly Continuing Resolution 88 (2009), California's global competitiveness relies on the ability to better educate youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The University of California is one of several state agencies charged with improving science literacy for children and youth in California, and science education opportunities offered through the 4-H program represent an important venue to help achieve this. However, to attain the greatest outcomes for the dollars spent, information is needed on the impacts of these education programs at varying levels of programmatic frequency and duration. Once the data and recommendations are available, the UC 4-H program and other non-formal education providers in California will be better equipped to implement science education interventions with the most significant and lasting effects for young people.

Proposal Name Managing for multiple ecosystem services in working landscapes of Sacramento: Urban agriculture and soil lead contamination
Amount Awarded $ 600,000
Award Source Slosson and Kearney
Principal Investigators Mary Cadenasso - Principal Investigator
Bethany Cutts - Co PI
Jonathan London - Co PI
Vanessa Murua - Co PI
Kirsten Schwarz - Co PI
Collaborators Rafael Aguilera
Colin Bailey
Dave Fujino
Chuck Ingels
Charles Mason Jr.
Bob Erlenbusch / Sandra Hamameh
Project Summary View project summary
Working landscapes in urban areas provide many ecosystem services to residents including food provisioning and reduced bioavailability of pollutants.  Working with communities to improve services provided by their landscapes is a critical mechanism for promoting the understanding of ecosystem services and developing management and policy strategies to enhance multiple ecosystem services.  Despite this, urban landscapes are virtually ignored as functioning ecological systems by most of the scientific community.
            The limited availability of nutritious food and high levels of environmental toxins are two competing challenges facing urban communities.  Backyard and community gardens may enhance the provisioning of food but the potential of increasing exposure to soil lead is a critical tradeoff. ANR has recognized the importance of this tradeoff in urban gardens (Hodel and Chang 2004; Craigmill and Harivandi 2010).  In Sacramento, a consortium of non-profit organizations are working to increase backyard gardens.  One organization, Ubuntu Green, plans to build 300 gardens by February 2013 through their “300 Edible Gardens Campaign” which is supported by the CA Endowment and Soil Born Farms.  Half of these gardens will be targeted for low to moderate income families and include additional educational and technical assistance.  This provides an opportunity to integrate the science of managing for multiple ecosystem services with assessment of how stakeholders value and benefit from these services.  In addition, the City of Sacramento Parks and Recreation maintains several community gardens. 
            We propose investigating the spatial distribution of lead in urban gardens and how the surrounding urban land cover contributes to soil lead concentrations.  Working at these two scales we will use a variety of tools including a new land cover classification we have developed specifically for urban landscapes, and high spatial intensity soil sampling.  Urban land cover characteristics such as distance to major roads, housing age and density, and vegetation cover can all influence the movement and retention of lead in the landscape.  Recent studies in Boston indicate that gardens may become contaminated over time by surrounding soil via wind and rain (Estes et al. 2010).  Given the arid climate of Sacramento this could be an important pathway leading to contamination and suggests an important role of the coarser scale landscape context of the gardens and the need to monitor the gardens over time.  Understanding current, past and predicted future changes to land cover may facilitate identifying priority areas of intervention to enhance ecosystem services.  X-ray fluorescence allows for rapid and non-destructive soil sampling facilitating the collection of the high density of samples necessary to evaluate spatial patterns.  Ten percent of these samples are collected for verification in the lab. 
            Our team includes specialties in urban land cover modeling (Cadenasso), soil lead (Schwarz) and social network analysis (Cutts).  Our collaborators oversee gardens in the city (Maynard) and backyards (Aguilera).  In addition to the land cover and soil lead quantification, we will evaluate how potential tradeoffs to ecosystem services are perceived by the community and allow concerns from the community to shape our research through a series of workshops.  Schwarz and Cutts are conducting a panel on lead (April 6, 2011) bringing together experts from several disciplines to discuss policy, science and community action on lead poisoning.  As part of an ongoing collaboration with documentary filmmaker Robert Richter, panelists will be interviewed and the footage used for a future proposal to NSF’s Informal Science Education program aimed at funding a full length documentary.  Results from this research will also be used to submit a proposal to the Ecosystems program at NSF aimed at testing the link between urban land cover and ecosystem services.
 

Proposal Name Outreach and Extension Programs for Co-Management of Food Safety and Ecosystem Services in Fresh Produce
Amount Awarded $ 39,650
Award Source Prosser
Principal Investigators Mary Bianchi - Principal Investigator
Karen Lowell - Co PI
Collaborators Jo Ann Baumgartner
Hank Giclas
Lisa Lurie
Jovita Pajarillo
Liz Spence
Daniel Mountjoy
Project Summary View project summary
 
On-farm management practices in many California Central Coast fresh produce growing operations have changed in response to increased food safety concerns following outbreaks of food-borne illness linked to fresh produce. As a result of increasing pressure to demonstrate field management practices that minimize pathogen contamination of fresh produce, growers in California’s Central Coast region report finding themselves in an increasingly untenable position – forced to choose between meeting their natural resource conservation or food safety goals and legal obligations. Growers, industry representatives, conservation professionals and others are increasingly concerned about this ongoing conflict, the potential regulatory and marketplace liability associated with suboptimal choices and the potential cumulative impacts of individual decisions at the farm level on public and ecological health, as well as economic sustainability of farms. Co-management is a term now widely used to acknowledge the impact of food safety motivated management decisions on other aspects of farm operations, notably environmental impacts that affect ecosystem services.
The Project Working Group represents industry, government, academia, extension and the environmental community, including Western Growers, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA-Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, The Nature Conservancy, Wild Farm Alliance. We are committed to supporting co-management objectives in fresh produce production by providing appropriately targeted, research-based, actionable training materials for outreach to and education of industry decision makers. Our partnership enhances opportunities to engage food safety professionals and industry leadership in resolving co-management challenges with issues that also align with ANR Strategic Initiatives of Sustainable Food Systems and Ecosystem Services.
We are concerned that food safety professionals, and the buyers they serve, may be directing on-farm management decisions with limited understanding of the impact of those decisions on ecosystem services, including surface water quality, riparian systems, and wildlife species and habitat.The rapidly evolving understanding of food safety risks and how to manage them in the growing environment calls for research based education targeting not just growers, but auditors, other food safety professionals, and buyers at the retail level (food service and grocery).
We will work with University of California Advisors and Specialists, the Center for Produce Safety and the Postharvest Research and Information Center as well as industry representatives to leverage our mutual interests in assessment of education needs and outreach methods that result in production of science based outreach and extension materials appropriate to each produce industry community. Our specific focus for this project are food safety auditors and their immediate supervisors (third party auditors, “in-house” food safety management at individual growing operations, and large corporate buyer auditors) because of their direct role in decisions being made in the production field.We will also focus on corporate fresh produce buyers to increase the awareness of this previously unreached industry audience about the ways in which managing only for pathogen risk in fresh produce may inadvertently damage the environment and public health.
Outreach and extension methods will involve production by ANR Communication Services of webinars, videos and interactive training modules developed through multi-disciplinary planning/review sessions. Delivery of outreach and education programs will coincide with federal rulemaking for the recently signed Food Safety Modernization Act. Outcomes from our proposed collaboration are communication within the targeted communities of preventive food safety programs and practices that result in protection of ecosystem services and human health while sustaining the economic viability of farming operations.

Proposal Name Proactive Chemical Ecology: Portable Instrumentation for Identifying Pheromones of Invasive Insect Pests
Amount Awarded $ 42,771
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Jocelyn Millar - Principal Investigator
Project Summary View project summary
 
 
The rapid expansion of global trade has resulted in a flood of invasive insects and pathogens entering the United States. Recent examples include the Asian longhorned borer Anaplophora glabripennis, the brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys, and the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri, the vector of citrus greening disease. California is particularly susceptible to invasive species because of its many large ports and airports, its temperate to subtropical climate, and its diversity of habitats and potential host plant species.
To date, most efforts to control this relentless invasion have been reactive rather than proactive. That is, the biology, host range, and effective methods of detecting, controlling, or eradicating exotic insect pests are only intensively studied after the pests have become established in the US; in most cases, this is too late, and the insects become permanently established, resulting in damage to crops, ornamental plants, and forests, increased pesticide applications, and fumigation of commodities for export.
In a proactive effort to change this paradigm and to demonstrate proof of concept, we recently identified the pheromone of avocado seed moth, Stenoma catenifer. This invasive species is not yet in California, but could easily be introduced in shipments of fresh avocados from Mexico or Peru, resulting in devastation of the California avocado industry. The pheromone has been commercialized to provide growers and state and federal regulatory personnel with a very sensitive and selective tool for detection of the moth, so that incipient infestations can be detected and eradicated at the earliest possible moment.
However, during this “proof of concept” project, we identified several major road blocks in identifying pheromones of dangerous exotic species that are not yet in the US. These included long delays in obtaining permits to import insects into quarantine to provide material to work with, difficulties in shipping live insects from developing countries (some countries do not even allow export shipments), and the necessity of obtaining a new permit for each new species.
Here, we propose to circumvent all these problems and dramatically accelerate progress on pheromone identification of dangerous exotic species by developing a portable coupled gas chromatograph-electroantennogram detector (GC-EAD). This will enable us to conduct pheromone gland analyses in-country, and to pinpoint compounds in extracts that are the likely pheromone components. Additional extracts can then be shipped to UCR for full identification and synthesis of the pheromone components. The following important points should be noted:
1. The basic portable gas chromatograph is made by a well-known scientific manufacturer and has an expected lifetime of at least 10 years, so that it can be used with numerous different insects, anywhere in the world, over a period of many years.
2. Carrying out the GC-electroantennogram work in-country will eliminate the necessity of bringing live exotic insects into California. Thus, no permits will be required, and no delays will be incurred.
3. Using the instrument in-country will allow us to work on a number of insect species simultaneously, such as all major species in an entire pest complex, rather than having to do each species sequentially and one at a time in the UCR quarantine facility.
4. The instrument could be used with virtually any type of insect that produces volatile pheromones.
5. The instrument is completely self-contained, and needs only household electricity (or a portable gas-powered generator) to run.
We will modify the commercial instrument so that it can be used for recording coupled GC-electroantennograms by adding a custom-built, battery-powered electroantennogram amplifier, similar to the ones that are in current use in my laboratories.
 
This project directly addresses the DANR Strategic Initiative, “Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases” by building enabling technology that will form the core of numerous future projects for developing sensitive, reliable, and simple methods of detecting incursions of dangerous invasive insects. Depending on the target species, these future projects will be funded by combinations of grants from federal and state agencies, and commodity groups, providing a huge return on investment in the current proposal. The project will build on current areas of strength in my group (identification and development of applications for semiochemicals of pest insects) by “taking the fight to the enemy” rather than waiting until the enemy is already here.

Proposal Name Putting Youth on the Map: Youth Well-being and Vulnerability in California
Amount Awarded $ 50,000
Award Source ANR General Funds
Principal Investigators Jonathan London - Principal Investigator
Nancy Erbstein - Co PI
Estella Geraghty - Co PI
Collaborators David Ginsburg
Charles Go
Anna Martin
Fe Moncloa
Constance Schneider
Project Summary View project summary
A key step in fostering healthy families and communities is presenting accurate, compelling, and actionable community-scale data about the condition of youth.  Expanding on two ANR strategic initiatives, Promoting Healthy Behaviors for Childhood Obesity Prevention and Promoting Positive Youth Development, Putting Youth on the Map will generate two geo-referenced indices: The Index of Youth Vulnerability and The Index of Youth Well-Being.  This provides specific indicators for the initiatives, further informs ANR’s Healthy Families and Communities statewide work, and in general, supports research-based California community, regional, and statewide policy-making.
The project will generate statewide analyses by building from indices piloted for the Sacramento region by the PIs.  Resulting materials will: (1) identify areas where relatively high concentrations of youth are vulnerable to making unhealthy adult transitions,  (2) identify areas with relatively strong composite pictures of adolescent well-being, and (3) provide baseline data for tracking change in the condition of youth.  These indices differ in two important ways from youth data resources now available online: (1) all data are mapped at a sub-county level (by zip code and school district), and (2) composite indices provide easily communicated “scores” for each place based on multiple measures.  
For the purpose of this effort, “youth well-being” refers to the personal, familial, and social conditions that enable adolescents ages 12-18 years old to function well in multiple contexts and acquire resources needed to flourish as adults (Lippman et al. 2009). We focus on several key dimensions of well-being: physical, intellectual/educational, psychological, and social (including relationships, community participation, and material well-being) (Eccles and Gootman 2002; Moore et al. 2006). The Index of Youth Well-Being employs 22 indicators across these four domains to provide a composite analysis. The Index of Vulnerability employs 5 indicators of marginalization from many of the settings that facilitate pathways to healthy adulthood. For each index, we will produce a California map that presents a composite picture of geographic variation.  We will also produce maps for specific well-being domains (for example physical fitness) and vulnerability indicators. Regional atlases will be made available in print and online.  Training will be offered via UC FSNEP Town Hall webinars and videos of the training will be posted on ANR, Center for Regional Change and other websites.
This project builds on ANR’s unique capacities in several ways. It fosters a new collaboration between a successful campus-based team and extends it to the advisor network. Second, it builds on regional-scale analysis to the state-wide scale. Third, collaborative work amongst project partners will ensure that maps and accompanying analyses are well designed for audiences such as policy-makers, local and regional leaders, and youth and adult advocates.  Our partnership will also produce an orientation strategy for UCCE Advisors to facilitate use of the indices in Cooperative Extension prioritizing, strategizing, and assessment with respect to youth health and development. Finally, Putting Youth On the Map uses ANR’s strength to coordinate multidisciplinary approaches to address complex challenges, drawing upon a continuum of academic expertise from community and youth development, youth policy, community engagement, education, public health, nutrition, geography, and data management.  
This project would build on the pre-existing working relationship of campus-based researchers and extends its capacity through connections with the 4-H Youth Development Advisor network and the UC-FSNEP. Preliminary response to the index tools in the Sacramento area has been extremely positive. For example, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments is now developing a set of social equity indicators including aspects of the youth indices as part of their regional planning efforts. Local and county government leaders in Yolo County, Yuba County, Solano County, and others have requested briefings on the indices, and presentations have been made to the Local Government Commission, UC Sacramento Center Capital Policy Forum, Chairs Council of the UC Davis Medical Center, the Coalition on Regional Equity, and Policy Link, amongst others.  We are enthusiastic about ensuring the availability and utility of these materials for ANR as a way to extend and apply policy-relevant research with collaborating partners across the state.
 
 
References
 
Eccles, J. S., and Gootman, J. (Eds.). (2002). Community Programs to Promote Youth Development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Lippman, L. H., Moore, K.A., and McIntosh, H. (2009) Positive Indicators of Child Well-Being: A Conceptual Framework, Measures and Methodological Issues. Innocenti Working Paper No. 2009-21. Florence, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
Moore, K. A., Vandivere, S., Lippman, L., McPhee, C., and Bloch, M. (2007). An Index of the Condition of Children: The Ideal and a Less-than-Ideal U.S. Example. Social Indicators Research, 84, 291-331.
 

Proposal Name Risk Assessment, Economic analysis, and Extension Education for Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing Disease Management in California
Amount Awarded $ 470,643
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell - Principal Investigator
Matthew Daugherty - Co PI
Karen Jetter - Co PI
Kris Lynn-Patterson - Co PI
Collaborators Nick Hill
Susan McCarthy
MaryLou Polek
Project Summary View project summary
The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri was first found in the US in Florida in 1998, in Texas in 2001, in Mexico and California in 2008, and in Arizona in 2009. This pest readily feeds on citrus and close relatives in the Rutaceae family, where it can achieve extremely high population growth rates. Damage from D. citri occurs due to preferential feeding by the nymphal stages on developing citrus shoots, which causes sooty mold production, shoot deformation, and plant stunting. More importantly, D. citri is also an efficient vector of the bacterial pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus that causes the deadly citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB). This disease produces progressive mottling of leaves, deformed and off-flavor fruit, plant stunting, and eventual plant death. Currently there is no known cure for infected trees. Control is limited to removal of infected trees to curb pathogen spread, and vector management via chemicals or, to a limited extent, biological control. HLB was first identified in Florida in 2005 and has spread into nearby states. It is found currently in Central America, Belize and Mexico, but not California, Arizona or Texas. Areas affected by HLB have incurred significant economic losses associated with reductions in fruit quality and extensive tree mortality, coupled with increasing costs associated with vector and disease management. Since 2005, total citrus acreage in Florida has declined by 200,000 acres and an additional 40,000 acres have been abandoned because of a combination of two diseases, bacterial canker and HLB.  Psyllid and disease management programs in Florida currently cost $500-600/acre.
ACP monitoring programs are in place in both commercial citrus and urban areas of California. Up to this point, 99% of ACP finds have been in the urban areas. Thus, comprehensive vector control recommendations have not been fully developed or implemented in commercial citrus. To date, HLB has not been detected in any insect or plant samples in the western United States, but its arrival in the next 5 years is likely because it is spreading northward from Mexico. The coordinated development of exhaustive monitoring, large-scale extension activities, and aggressive management programs are necessary to stave off devastating losses from this disease in California. An intensive management program in Brazil, consisting of extensive field surveys, removal of infected trees, D. citri control, and shifting of nursery operations into protected screenhouses has been attributed with substantial reductions in disease. We propose to leverage the knowledge of ANR scientists, economists, and industry to ameliorate the potential impact of this invasive pest and pathogen in California. We will collaborate with state and citrus industry scientists to connect D. citri geographical databases, conduct spatial risk analysis for commercial citrus growers as a function of proximity to controlled or uncontrolled urban areas. Mapping the spatial distribution of D. citri over time will allow us to quantify rates of spread and the efficacy of intervention methods. The economic analysis will provide the expected costs of D. citri and HLB management in backyard citrus and commercial orchards. The risk assessment and economics will be furnished as an online resource linked with the GIS database so that individual stakeholders will have “one-stop” access to decision-making information. Then we will conduct statewide education of commercial growers, plant nurseries, landscapers, and the general public to facilitate management of D. citri and HLB disease. We will evaluate the efficacy of the extension program in reaching stakeholders and promoting adoption of appropriate management techniques. The proposed work will facilitate a transfer of knowledge regarding D. citri and HLB management from ANR researchers and extension personnel to stakeholder groups, building on ANR strengths in invasive species ecology, agricultural economics, and extension education. We expect this project also has excellent potential to generate additional funding, since a similar proposal that included area-wide management of D. citri and HLB in CA, AZ, and TX received a high funding priority rating by a recent USDA-NIFA grant panel.

Proposal Name Root-knot nematode species identification using mitochondrial DNA
Amount Awarded $ 50,000
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Valerie Williamson - Principal Investigator
Steven Nadler - Co PI
Project Summary View project summary
Root-knot nematodes are damaging pests on a wide range of California crops. In recent years, control options have been greatly reduced by increased restrictions on fumigant pesticides. Host resistance and crop rotation remain valuable tools for control, but, for their use, it is important to identify the root-knot nematode species. Morphological identification of these tiny worms requires a high level of experience and expertise, and, even then, has not been sufficient for identification. Molecular identification by PCR analysis can be used for the most common species, but the currently available gene markers are difficult to use and do not identify some species of concern. One species that is becoming a serious pest in several locations globally (Florida, Europe, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica) but has not identified in California to date is Meloidogyne enterolobii (syn. M. mayaguensis). This species has a broad host range and can reproduce on tomato with the resistance gene Mi. Early detection of its presence will be important for its management. Scientists at UC Davis recently identified by DNA sequence analysis another species that is virulent on tomato with Mi from a California tomato field. This species, M. floridensis, had previously been identified only in Florida. There is a need for straightforward molecular protocols to distinguish and identify key root-knot nematode species especially those that are not currently widespread but have the potential for damaging California crops, and which limit efficacy of host resistance or rotation strategies. This project will carry out sequence analysis of the mitochondrial DNA, which preliminary studies indicate is the most appropriate target, from the root knot nematode species commonly found on tomato in California (M. incognita, M. javanica, M. arenaria, M. hapla) and develop a robust assay to identify these as well as M. enterolobii and M. floridensis. This research will be carried out in conjunction with scientists at CDFA to ensure that the assay will be of utility for routine identification.

Proposal Name Strategic Postharvest Handling Systems for Sustainable California Agriculture: Emerging Technologies for Produce Quality and Food Safety
Amount Awarded $ 18,814
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Carlos Crisosto - Principal Investigator
Elizabeth Mitcham - Co PI
Collaborators Pam Devine
Mary Reed
Project Summary View project summary
The produce industry in California faces increasing international and national competition, while striving to meet sustainability and food safety mandates. An important strategy to increase the sustainability of agriculture is to reduce the waste of agricultural products after harvest. As much as 33% of California produce is never consumed due to poor handling or poor quality, with approximately 15% of losses occurring before produce reaches the consumer. When wastage is reduced, agriculture is more sustainable at every level. Food safety implications and risks related to postharvest handling practices are another critical element. To assist the industry in meeting these challenges, the Postharvest Technology Center would like to develop a 4-5 day short course that is specifically targeted to the California produce industry and their unique interests and needs related to postharvest handling, safety and marketing. The Postharvest Technology Center is internationally recognized as a leader in research and outreach related to technologies to handle and market produce after harvest. Our current course offerings are more broadly focused on postharvest handling (Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops, with a very international audience, including US and some Calif.) or very narrowly focused on specific topics like fruit ripening or fresh cut produce. This course will be unique in its focus on the competitiveness of California produce producers.
This project directly addresses the Sustainable Food Systems Initiative.  Development of this workshop will involve UC Specialists and Advisors investigating California stakeholder interests and needs, then assembling a consolidated and unique cutting-edge program providing current and emerging postharvest and food safety practices for busy California agriculture professionals. The requested funding would be utilized to conduct preliminary interest/needs surveys, tabulate findings, develop appropriate course syllabus and associated materials, assist with advertising expenses, provide underwriting for facility rental and field tour transportation, and synthesize course evaluations from participants to allow informed consideration of future course offerings.  Future offerings of this course can be accomplished without further assistance from ANR through the Postharvest Technology Center.

Proposal Name Thousand cankers disease and the walnut twig beetle: A rapidly emerging invasive threat to walnut in California
Amount Awarded $ 296,665
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Richard Bostock - Principal Investigator
Steven Seybold - Co PI
Collaborators Carolyn DeBuse
Elizabeth Fichtner
Mary Louise Flint
Janine Hasey
Richard Hoenisch
Project Summary View project summary
 
Thousand cankers disease (TCD) is an emerging disease responsible for serious decline and death of ornamental eastern black walnut (J. nigra) in Colorado and other western states, and J. californica and J. hindsii in California. In July 2010 TCD was reported for the first time in the native range of eastern black walnut, where both the walnut twig beetle vector (Pityophthorus juglandis, WTB) and the fungal pathogen (Geosmithia morbida) were identified in symptomatic trees near Knoxville, Tennessee. There is great concern over the further spread of TCD throughout the native range of J. nigra, and uncertainty about the potential impact on Juglans species of agricultural and ecological importance in the western U.S. as well. Both the pathogen and beetle vector were identified in July 2008 from symptomatic J. californica, J. hindsii, and J. regia, and more recently from J. major,within the National Clonal Germplasm Repository’s (NCGR) Juglans collection at Winters, CA. We have also identified TCD frequently in native and ornamental stands of J. californica and J. hindsii, in black walnut seed trees for rootstock production, and in commercial orchards in both English scions and Paradox rootstocks in the heart of the California walnut industry, which generates nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in annual sales.
Given the concerns expressed by regulatory officials, scientists, land managers, and other stakeholders, there is a need to consider other pathways of spread at both local and regional levels, as well as the management and regulatory implications. Also unclear is the variation in the population of G. morbida as there may be local or regional differences among isolates in virulence and, possibly, other fungal species that contribute to TCD symptom severity. Because the initiation of G. morbida infection beneath the bark is completely dependent on the activity of WTB as a vector, it will be necessary to understand the degree to which WTB discriminates among its potential hosts and their condition in the lab and in the field. Thus, research on the etiology, epidemiology, and management of TCD, as well as the relative resistance or susceptibility of Juglans species under California conditions is critically important and urgent.
With this background, we propose to i) evaluate Juglans species susceptibility to TCD under field conditions, ii) evaluate the influence of bark moisture status and other stressors on host susceptibility to G. morbida and WTB host selection, and iii) assess disease and vector distribution in orchards and the diversity of California isolates of G. morbida. The anticipated outcomes of this research are a clear assessment of the susceptibility to TCD of Juglans species important to walnut breeding, rootstock production, and the walnut nut production industry; an understanding of stress factors that may influence host selection by WTB and symptom severity of TCD; and the distribution pattern of TCD in California orchards for understanding disease risk in relation to potential vector/inoculum sources.
This integrative research project will coordinate expertise in plant pathology, entomology and crop management and genetics, and will support science-based decision-making to inform regulatory policy and ongoing outreach and education efforts by UCCE Farm Advisors (collaborators listed above), the UC Statewide IPM Program, and the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN). The NPDN, an award-winning program funded by the USDA-NIFA, has developed training modules on TCD in English and Spanish to reach diverse audiences that includes stakeholders, growers, and crop advisors as part of a first detector training program. The proposed project will leverage resources from the USDA (NPDN, USDA FS and the Plant Germplasm and Genomes program), and possibly other sources.
 
 
 
 

Proposal Name Train the Trainer in Edible Landscaping for Industry Professionals and Master Gardeners
Amount Awarded $ 117,429
Award Source Slosson
Principal Investigators Missy Gable - Principal Investigator
Mary Bianchi - Co PI
Amanda Crump - Co PI
Dave Fujino - Co PI
Pamela Geisel - Co PI
Linda Harris - Co PI
Janet Hartin - Co PI
Chuck Ingels - Co PI
Dave Krause - Co PI
Vanessa Murua - Co PI
Scott Oneto - Co PI
Dennis Pittenger - Co PI
Project Summary View project summary
The goal of the Edible Landscape “Train the Trainer” program for Industry Professionals, such as teachers, professional landscapers and gardeners, and Master Gardeners is to develop and deliver science-based curricula in edible landscape plants and practices and advanced methods in sustainable home vegetable gardening. According to the National Gardening Association, 43 million US households planned to do edible gardening in 2009. As of 2010, this number continues to grow. Currently, the body of training materials regarding non-commercial edible landscaping lacks science-based information and recommendations. Despite the fact that we have more and more backyard gardeners landscaping with edibles we lack skilled ‘experts’ to train the public in successful edible gardening. While Master Gardeners are trained in the basics, they need additional training to become true experts.  Through this project, we will compile research-based information on the best practices for edible landscaping and publish them through the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division. With quality educational materials, we will complete five regional advanced trainings. Evaluation of changes in knowledge and motivation as well as behavior will be conducted for the master gardeners, their county programs, and the general public who participate in their trainings. 

Proposal Name Understanding and controlling invasions: comparing plant-soil feedbacks of invasive annual grasses in California with their Mediterranean origins
Amount Awarded $ 50,000
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Edith Allen - Principal Investigator
Michael Allen - Co PI
Norman Ellstrand - Co PI
Collaborators Carl Bell
Robert Blank
Greg Douhan
Chris McDonald
Brian Rector
Richard Redak
Rene Sforza
Katia Silvera
Jason Stajich
Project Summary View project summary
Invasive species have transformed California ecosystems and diminished their potential to provide ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, sustaining natural biodiversity and wildlife habitat. Our objective is to analyze plant-soil feedbacks of three Californian invasive annual grasses from the Mediterranean, Bromus madritensis, B. rubens (brome grasses), and Taeniatherum caput-medusae (medusahead) to understand why they have become so abundant that they form mono-dominant stands in many areas in California, but they are sparse or components of a mixed stand in their native habitat. We will focus on comparisons of rhizosphere biota and soil chemistry of these species in their native and invaded California habitats. The calcareous soils of the Mediterranean are lower in nutrients, especially phosphorus, compared to local soils. Our collaborators (Blank and Sforza 2007 Plant and Soil) have shown in greenhouse experiments that the productivity of medusahead is lower in Mediterranean soils compared to local soils. However, the difference in productivity cannot be explained by soil nutrients alone, and there are likely also biotic interactions. The predator/pathogen release hypothesis has been cited as a major reason why some species have become invasive, and forms the basis for biological control of invasive species when the primary predators/pathogens are identified and released into the invaded habitat. Little is known about the rhizosphere biota of these species. Klironomos (2002 Nature) showed that invasive species have a lower pathogen load in their rhizospheres than co-occurring native species in a Canadian grassland. However, a cross-continental comparison of invasive plant-soil feedbacks has not been done to our knowledge, i.e., comparing plant-soil feedbacks in native and invaded soils. In addition, mycorrhizae, a mutualistic symbiosis between plants and fungi, could dramatically alter the outcomes of plant competition. Exotic grasses form mycorrhizae with the same fungal species that are found in native plants, but our data show that in California, the grasses associate with small-spored species of Glomus rather than large-spored Gigasporaceae that are more beneficial to native plants. A debate reigns as to whether plants respond more to the home-team fungi, or the exotic fungi.
We propose to evaluate growth and microbial associations of plants in invaded and native soils to better understand these invasive-dominated ecosystems, and to search for new approaches to control invasive plants. Drs. E. and M. Allen will collect Mediterranean plant and rhizosphere soil of brome grasses during their spring, 2011 sabbatical, and collections have already been made of medusahead rhizosphere soil by Drs. Sforza, Blank, and Rector. Using genetic markers, we will trace the biogeographic origin of invasive species in California to populations from the Mediterranean. We will select locations of soils for further analyses based on genetic origins of plants. We will test new approaches to study symbiotic interactions, including molecular analyses of fungal species compositions, functional genes regulating soil microbial structure and carbon sequestration, and genes that regulate symbiont formation. The ultimate goal is to develop future biocontrol efforts based on an understanding of rhizosphere dynamics. Microbial associations have seldom been used to control invasive species, but have great potential. ANR funds will allow us to initiate a long-range (5 year time horizon) program to determine the feasibility of microbial biological control of these grasses, consistent with the ANR mission. The preliminary data from this research will be used to prepare proposals with strong potential for funding from USDA and NSF programs.

Proposal Name Wild Native Bees Attracted to Constructed Diverse Agro Ecosystems for Pollination Services
Amount Awarded $ 49,924
Award Source Kearney
Principal Investigators Gordon Frankie - Principal Investigator
Vanessa Murua - Co PI
Collaborators Alyson Aquino
Janet Caprile
Alfred Courchesne
Rachel Elkins
Ron Enos
Patrick Johnston
Kritstie Knoll
Marissa Ponder
Robbin Thorp
Peter Wolfe
Project Summary View project summary
The Urban Bee Lab at University of California Berkeley (UCB) and Davis (UCD) consists of a team of research colleagues who together study, conserve, and promote native bee populations. Our mission is to survey and evaluate ecological relationships of native California bee species and their flowers in selected agro and urban ecosystems and present findings in user-friendly language for distribution to a variety of audiences and to participate in practical application of results.
Although some agricultural activity (ie pesticide use, introduction of numerous non-native plant species, conversion of wildlands into agriculture areas) has a negative impact and is partially responsible for decline of wild native and honey bees, agricultural land has the potential to provide habitat for local wild native and honey bees. We are just beginning to study and understand how selected agro ecosystems provide habitat for a range of wildlife organisms that humans find beneficial (by providing valuable ecosystem services), in contrast to past years where there was a focus on pest organisms and controlling them. From the perspective of a bee, the constructed agricultural landscape has the potential to provide many useful resources, such as suitable host flowers (both native and selected non-native species), constructed native bee "homes", and nesting substrates in the form of soil and preexisting cavities. Appropriate "best practices" by farmers are part of the resource package.
In 2009 Frog Hollow (FH) Farms and the USDA-NRCS invited our team to bring 12 years of urban native bee-plant knowledge to the organic ,130 acre orchard in Brentwood, Contra Costa Co, CA, with the goal of attracting native bees to supplement honey bees and provide valuable ecosystem services of pollinating 100+ orchard fruit varieties at FH . In 2010 we inventoried bees for the "before" site evaluation at FH and have recorded about 25 bee species. We are planning diverse hedgerows, small garden sites, and intercrop sites, with a wide variety of known bee flowers (45+ plant types, mostly natives) in several locations throughout FH. This is a collaborative effort between three parties. The NRCS is providing the funding for plant materials, the farmer is providing research and workshop sites and interactive contacts with local conservation, environmental and school groups, and our lab is providing expertise on native bees and their associated plants and conducting research to be developed into various types of outreach. The project started by studying the value of pollination services at two farms, one enhanced with native bee hedgerows (FH) and a control site (Knoll farm). The NRCS has been impressed with our baseline results and has agreed to expand the funding of native bee hedgerows to other Brentwood farmers. This will allow the lab to monitor six farms divided into two groups; three with added bee attractive ornamentals and three without (as a control site). Added plants will be planted in hedgerows, open field areas, and between rows of tree/crop plants (as annuals). We will be able to compare how the different management practices of conventional and organic farms relate to native bees' ability to provide their valuable pollination services. Our goal is to study impacts from the various farming styles (tilling, pesticide use, use of cover crops, and farm management practices) on the ability to attract native bees to a farm for providing a single ecosystem service, pollination of farm crops.
We will prepare three papers for the ANR 8000 series with Rachel Elkins (UC Coop Extension, Mendocino Co.) who has requested our collaboration in this subproject. We will also give outreach workshops at the modified farms to a variety of local/regional audiences in collaboration with FH and other farm owners. We have already begun discussing outreach to other Brentwood farmers with local UC Coop Extension, Janet Caprile.

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