The University of California operates the largest system of agriculture and natural resource research and education centers in California. The 9-center system annually manages more than 375 research projects and conducts over 600 education-outreach programs per year with a total attendance of more than 43,000 people. The Centers are geographically located through-out California, with a couple of notable exceptions, and are focal points for community participation in UC programs and for active UC involvement in identifying and addressing regional agricultural and environmental problems/issues. The Centers currently support projects involving more than 80 county-based cooperative extension academics and 170 campus-based academics, as well as researchers from land grant institutions in other states, the CSU system and USDA in conducting their research and education programs.
The REC system is the only statewide program in UC that provides a premier research management organization that delivers services to academics that they can’t get elsewhere. In addition, the Centers are often the public face of the University of California in both rural and urban environments.
Not only does the REC System have the land, facilities, equipment and staff capable of supporting cutting edge research and extension education programs, but the System also has Center Directors that are Cooperative Extension Specialists and Advisors who serve as catalysts for initiation of innovative, collaborative research and educational programs that involve AES and CE colleagues, as well as conducting their own independent research and educational programs.