- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Konrad Mathesius (pronounced “Muh-tay-zee-us”) is the new UCCE agronomy advisor for Yolo, Sacramento and Solano counties.
Mathesius, who joined ANR on June 27, will be working with growers and pest control advisers in the Capitol Corridor area to address issues related to soils, pests, diseases and production efficiency. In addition to collaborating on a few projects with UCCE advisor Rachael Long in alfalfa, dry beans and sunflowers, he will work on a wide range of agronomic crops including corn, wheat, barley and safflower.
Mathesius will work with growers and PCAs to mitigate crop losses by addressing pest and disease pressures and to help them comply with nitrogen, pesticide and water regulations. He also plans to develop crop guidelines based on difficulties associated with specific soils in the Capitol Corridor.
The native of Logan, Utah, earned his undergraduate degree at Utah State and his master's degrees in soil science and international agricultural development at UC Davis.
“After graduation, I spent a few years working in the private sector, where I gained a sense of respect for bottom lines and the hustle to make ends meet,” Mathesius said. “I intend to bring the question of cost and efficiency into most, if not all of my work.”
Based in Woodland, Mathesius can be reached at email@example.com and (530) 666-8704.
Kathryn Stein has joined ANR as executive assistant to Wendy Powers, Associate Vice President
Prior to joining ANR, Stein worked in the College of Engineering Dean's office at UC Berkeley for three and a half years. She earned a B.S. in environmental horticulture and urban forestry from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. While in Davis, she worked for the Whole Earth Festival, an annual sustainability festival on the UC Davis campus.
Stein is based on the 10th floor of UCOP and can be reached at Kathryn.Stein@ucop.edu and (510) 587-6240.
Martinez and Au receive NIH Career Development Awards
Two researchers at the Nutrition Policy Institute have been awarded K01 Career Development Awards by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Lauren Au will research disparities in the relationship between the school nutrition environment and childhood obesity and Suzanna Martinez will study sleep duration and risk for obesity in Mexican-American children.
Martinez will receive $895,620 and Au will receive $840,871. Martinez has also been accepted into the K Scholars Program at UC San Francisco, which will provide her with peer support and mentorship to conduct the study.
Barbara Allen-Diaz, who retired as ANR vice president in 2015, is among five Land Grant university leaders recognized for Excellence in National Leadership by the Experiment Station Section of the Association of Public and Land‑grant Universities (APLU).
The other individuals honored with Allen-Diaz were:
- Walter A. Hill, Dean, College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee University
- Steve Slack, formerly associate vice president for agricultural administration and director of OARDC, The Ohio State University (recently retired)
- Daniel Rossi, formerly executive director, Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (recently retired)
- William (Bill) Brown, dean of research and director of the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Tennessee
The resolution reads in part: “These leaders have personified the highest level of excellence by enhancing the cause and performance of the Regional Associations and Experiment Station Section in achieving their mission and the Land-grant ideal.”
The awards were announced at the annual Experiment Station Section meeting on Sept. 21 in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
John Fox has been appointed as executive director – Human Resources, effective Oct. 1. He will assume the responsibilities of managing the Academic and Staff Personnel units, which have been consolidated into Human Resources, as Linda Marie Manton, executive director for Staff Personnel, transitions into her planned retirement in December.
Fox has over 20 years of progressive leadership and human resources experience with the University of California. The UC Berkeley graduate comes to UC ANR with extensive experience in working with UC Office of the President HR policies, issues management, benefits and training programs.
For the past five years, Fox has served as the executive director for UCOP Human Resources, where he led the development of a new model for HR service delivery, focused on strategic partnerships to drive organizational goals. He is the HR lead on the UCOP UCPath implementation Steering Committee and is an active member of the UCPath Center Advisory Committee.
Prior to serving as the chief HR officer for the Office of the President, Fox held a number of leadership and project management positions in universitywide Human Resources, including director of HR policy, chief of staff to the vice president – Human Resources, and trainer/writer in Benefits Communications.
Fox is based at the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1343 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most recently, Farrar was director of the Western IPM Center, where he has served since 2013. Cheryl Wilen, area IPM advisor based in San Diego, has been acting UC IPM director since June. Kassim Al-Khatib, UC IPM director since 2009, has become a UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.
Prior to joining the Western IPM Center, Farrar was a professor of plant pathology in the Department of Plant Science at California State University, Fresno for 12 years.
The Wisconsin native completed his Ph.D. in botany and B.S. in plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his M.S. in plant pathology at UC Davis.
Farrar is based in the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1271 and email@example.com.
Leslie Roche became a UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in rangeland management in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis on Sept. 1. Before joining ANR, she was a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellow and project scientist.
Her research and extension program is at the intersection of agricultural, environmental, economic and social aspects of ranching and livestock production on California's rangelands and pastures. Roche works with a diversity of rangeland stakeholders to integrate management expertise and applied research to address key challenges, including managing for multiple agricultural and ecological outcomes and coping with and adapting to drought.
Her current projects include “California Ranch Stewardship Project: Adaptive Management for Profit and Rangeland Health,” “On-Ranch Impacts, Management and Planning Horizons Following Severe Drought” and “Wildfire and Grazing Management and Planning.”
She earned a Ph.D. in ecology, an M.S. in horticulture and agronomy and a B.S. in agricultural management and rangeland resources, all from UC Davis.
Jhalendra Rijal joined UC ANR on July 1 as an area integrated pest management advisor in Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties.
Rijal's interest is in applying principles of pest monitoring, insect abundance and spatial distribution, insect behavior and chemical ecology in pest management to attain a sustainable production system. Rijal, who is fluent in Nepali and Hindi, focuses on pest problems on major agricultural crops, including tree nuts, tree fruits and other specialty crops in the area.
Prior to joining UC ANR, Rijal was a postdoc scholar in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis. There, Rijal worked on two different collaborative research projects in peppermint and cool-season vegetable crops. The goals of these projects were to understand the behavior and biology of the target pests and find better pest management alternatives by evaluating environmentally benign biopesticides and reduced-risk pesticides.
Rijal earned a B.S. in agriculture and an M.S. in entomology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He completed a Ph.D. in entomology at Virginia Tech.
Rijal is based in Modesto and can be reached at (209) 525-6800 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maria Guadalupe (Lupita) Fabregas Janeiro is the new assistant director for 4-H Diversity and Expansion. Fabregas will provide leadership for increasing participation of Latino and other underrepresented populations in 4-H through strengthening current programming and developing new innovative programming that reflects the needs, interests and resources of California's diverse youth, families and communities.
Her interests in research and professional development areas are intercultural competency, diversity, multiculturalism and the development and integration of Hispanic communities in the United States.
Before joining UC ANR, Fabregas worked at the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) in Mexico for 29 years. She has worked in the United States for 13 years, including two years at Oklahoma State University in the College of Human Sciences as a clinical assistant professor and multicultural and community engagement specialist.
Fabregas earned her doctorate in agricultural education at Oklahoma State University, her master's degree in education from UPAEP and her undergraduate degree in agriculture engineering and animal sciences from Monterrey Tech in Mexico.
Fabregas is based in the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1273 and email@example.com.
Faith Kearns began a new position on July 1 as an academic coordinator with the California Institute for Water Resources. She joined UC ANR in 2013 as a water analyst, coordinating research and outreach programs for the water institute. Her research interests lie at the intersection of science communication, community engagement and relationship-building, particularly as these topics relate to the environment and water resources.
Before joining ANR, Kearns served as an officer with the science division of the environment program at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she collaborated with policy and advocacy staff to develop research projects and integrate scientific information into campaigns. She has also managed a wildfire research and outreach center at UC Berkeley, served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science policy fellow at the U.S. Department of State and developed science communication projects at the Ecological Society of America.
Kearns received her Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management with an emphasis on freshwater ecology from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in environmental science from Northern Arizona University.
She continues to be based at UC Office of the President in Oakland and can be reached at (510) 987-9124 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior to joining ANR, Au was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley's Center for Weight and Health, where she managed several research projects, conceptualized research designs and generated research funds. From 2013 to 2014, she served as a congressional fellow to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), developing nutrition and health legislation, including helping to introduce the bipartisan Summer Meals Bill, and preparing policy briefs on federal nutrition and health policies. From 2009 to 2013, Au was a USDA obesity graduate research fellow for Tufts University, Friedman School for Nutrition Science and Policy. During her time at Tufts, she served as a consultant for the HBO film “The Weight of the Nation” (2012). She also worked as a registered dietitian for the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City in 2009.
Au completed a Ph.D. in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts University, an M.S. in nutrition and public health from Columbia University and a B.S. in nutritional aciences and dietetics from UC Berkeley.
Au is based in Berkeley and can be reached at (510) 642-1584 and email@example.com.
Katelyn Ogburn joined UC ANR on Sept. 8 as the new UC Master Food Preserver coordinator. As coordinator, she will support the development of a statewide framework for the growing UC Master Food Preserver Program. She will generate statewide tools and resources, coordinate and convene an advisory board, communicate program updates and information and facilitate program planning and evaluation. Ogburn will also offer support to UC Master Food Preserver program staff and volunteers.
Ogburn completed her bachelor's degree in biology with the Honors College at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. After spending time farming in Colorado, she made her way out to California, where she completed two AmeriCorps programs. After concluding her service-learning terms, Ogburn worked as a coordinator for Habitat for Humanity.
She discovered through farm work, community gardening, potlucks and other experiences that her real passion revolves around food — in particular, increasing food access and decreasing food waste.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Master Food Preserver Program, where I can follow my passion at my workplace and work to bring home-preservation practices to communities throughout California,” Ogburn said.
Ogburn is based at the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1387 and firstname.lastname@example.org.