- Author: Ann Filmer
A research project initiated in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis evaluates landscape plants in two-year trials under varying irrigation levels to determine the best irrigation level for optimal plant performance in regions requiring supplemental summer water. Creating water budgets is required by California's Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO), and the results from these research trials help landscape professionals and home gardeners make informed decisions when specifying, selecting or promoting low water-use landscape plant material.
This year, the CDFA/USDA Specialty Crops Multistate Program funded a new Climate Ready Landscape Plants project, which will replicate the successful fields that are currently installed at UC Davis and UC ANR South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine.
Loren Oki, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, is the lead principal investigator and collaborators include researcher Jared Sisneroz; project leader Karrie Reid, UC Cooperative Extension environmental horticulture advisor in San Joaquin County; and Darren Haver, UC Cooperative Extension water resources and water quality advisor and director of South Coast REC and UCCE in Orange County.
Under Oki's oversight, this new $999,992 grant will support the development of additional fields at several western universities:
- University of Washington, Soo-Hyung Kim
- Oregon State University, Lloyd Nackley and Ryan Contreras
- Utah State University Center, Youping Sun and Larry Rupp
- University of Arizona, Ursula Schuch
Conducting these new experiments on landscape plants at diverse sites across the western U.S. will reveal differences in recommendations since irrigation guidelines for landscapes vary depending on climate and soil type.
The initial project was initiated as Reid's master's degree thesis research in 2004, with Oki as her major professor, and has been ongoing since then.
Project descriptions, results and images can be seen at the UC Landscape Plant Irrigation Trials website at https://ucanr.edu/sites/UCLPIT.
Open Positions. Two SI leader positions are scheduled to rotate off at the end of 2018. This change offers opportunities for others to take the lead for
Who is eligible to apply? The positions are open to all UC ANR academics, including Agricultural Experiment Station faculty and Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists. Strategic Initiative leaders are appointed by the Associate Vice President on a rotating basis for three years, with a possibility of extension.
Current SI leaders
- Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases Jim Farrar
- Sustainable Food Systems Deanne Meyer and Neil McRoberts
- Sustainable Natural Resources David Lile
- Water Quality, Quantity and Security Doug Parker
- Healthy Families and Communities Keith Nathaniel
The SIs help unify, communicate and advocate for what UC ANR does. See the UCANR Strategic Initiatives website for more information.
To apply for one of the SI leader positions, complete the simple form at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=25782. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 9.
Applicants will be contacted for interviews in late November or early December. The new leaders are anticipated to start on Jan. 2, 2019.
For information regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Strategic Initiative leader position, see the Terms of Reference for Strategic Initiative Leaders. If you have questions, contact Mark Bell, vice provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs.
The California Institute for Water Resources is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
To commemorate the changes and achievements of the institute, FaithKearns,CIWR academic coordinator II, wrote a Q&A with Doug Parker, CIWR director and leader of the Water Quality, Quantity, and Security Strategic Initiative.
Originally located at UCLA in 1957 and directed by Martin Huberty, over the years, the multi-campus research unit moved between the UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UC Riverside campuses.
In 2011, ANR renamed UC Water Resources Center the California Institute for Water Resources and established its headquarters at the UC Office of the President in Oakland, where it remains today.
“The initial mission of the institute still stands: to integrate California's research, extension, and education programs to develop research-based solutions to water resource challenges,” Parker said. “In practice, we work across all kinds of institutions and provide educational programs through direct contact, web-based programs, and social media to increase understanding of complex water issues while also trying to diversify the conversation about water within our state.”
To read more about CIWR activities and key water issues that Parker sees ahead for the state, visit http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=25648.
An international group of water experts gathered in Sacramento on Feb. 2 and 3 to share their experiences with the use of market-based incentives to address water scarcity. The presentations and videos from the workshop "Water Pricing for a Dry Future: Policy Ideas from Abroad and their Relevance to California" have been posted at http://spp.ucr.edu/waterpricing under the “video” tab.
"The workshop provided an opportunity for individuals in various sectors to interact with scholars from several countries, who showed how water-pricing mechanisms have been used creatively in their countries to promote water conservation," said Ariel Dinar, UC Riverside professor of environmental economics and policy, who co-organized the workshop.
Experts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Israel, South Africa, Spain and California, presented their water-pricing cases.
The workshop was sponsored by the UC Center at Sacramento, UC Riverside School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley, UC ANR, Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics, Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
The Oct. 5-7, 2015, Joint Strategic Initiative conference had great participation, with 353 people attending. During the January Strategic Initiative (SI) leaders meeting with Bill Frost, we carefully reviewed the conference feedback. The conference evaluation survey had a good response rate (23%). A summary of responses to the closed-ended questions is at http://ucanr.edu/sites/2015jointsiconference. Below are some highlighted themes from the open-ended questions, and how we are planning to address them:
- 75 percent of respondents liked the Joint SI Conference format compared to having individual SI conferences.
- In response to this preference, as well as to better facilitate synergies with Workgroups and Program Teams, we plan to have SI-hosted conferences in 2016-17. Multiple SIs will co-sponsor, and the conferences will be co-planned with relevant Program Teams or Workgroup leaders.
- When asked “What did you learn during the conference that you may use in your work?,” the respondents' most common themes were 1) in-service trainings, 2) networking and 3) better understanding of ANR.
- These aspects will continue to be emphasized in the future SI co-hosted conferences.
- When asked “What is working well?” withtheSIs, the themes explain thattheSIs provide value for outward messaging, as well as focus, direction and coordinated effort.
- To build on existing strengths, we will develop a more formal external communications strategy for the SIs, to include producing an impact piece to illustrate the value of the SIs to ANR, UC and California. In addition, we will be working with ANR's Communication Services and Information Technology to improve the SI webpages and social media presence, and to develop regular communications tools.
- When asked “What could make the SIs better?,” the themes found that some people are still unclear about SIs, including overall function, respective priorities, cross-disciplinary efforts and impact.
- To help clarify the role and scope of the SIs, we plan to take a more active role in orienting new academics to the SIs. We are considering participation in the new academic program orientation, county director meetings and program team meetings, and to initiate meetings with small groups of new advisors and specialists.
- To facilitate improved understanding of the SI priorities, we will encourage all advisors and specialists to apply for the ANR Competitive Grants Program at least once, and provide Letter of Intent writing training. This will help ensure that academics are familiar with the SI strategic plans and priorities, given these are the focus of the Request for Proposals (RFP).
- To better capture and communicate SI impact, we discussed creating a project recognition program, and will work to develop a coordinated evaluation plan. We will meet with county directors, department chairs and campus-based specialists to share information on SIs and hear about successful ANR network collaborations.
We thank all those who provided this valuable feedback about the 2015 conference. We will continue to seek input as we develop and implement strategies to coordinate ANR's considerable infrastructure and talent, focusing on the most critical issues, seeking new resources and new ways of partnering within and outside UC, and communicating our collective impact finding science-based solutions for California.
ANR's Strategic Initiatives Leaders
David Doll, Sustainable Food Systems
John Harper, Sustainable Natural Ecosystems
Keith Nathaniel, Healthy Families and Communities
Doug Parker, Water Quality, Quantity, and Security
Cheryl Wilen, Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases