- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
UC ANR Day at the Capitol was held on March 26, 2019, to update California legislators and legislative staff on UC ANR's research and outreach projects. Vice President Glenda Humiston and a UC ANR delegation discussed a wide variety of topics during the legislative visits, including wildfire and forest health, water quality, youth development, nutrition and climate adaptation.
Every year, representatives from each UC campus gather in Sacramento for UC Day at the Capitol to educate lawmakers about the importance of research and higher education and their contributions to California's economy and progress. Although UC ANR participates in the annual Ag Day at the Capitol, this was the first UC ANR Day at the Capitol.
ANR's Global Food Initiative fellow Maci Mueller set up appointments with the policymakers and coordinated the UC ANR delegation to explain the value of investment in UC ANR research and outreach.
The UC ANR delegation consisted of two teams led by Humiston and Wendy Powers, associate vice president. The teams included Faith Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources academic coordinator; Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UC Cooperative Extension small farms advisor for Fresno and Tulare counties; Tracy Schohr, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resource advisor for Plumas, Sierra and Butte counties; Alena Pacheco, 4-H community education specialist in Fresno County; Bailey Butler, Oroville 4-H member; and El Dorado County 4-H Ambassadors Emily Ferrell, Josie Rothman and Isabella Veffredo, who were accompanied by El Dorado County 4-H program representatives Vera Bullard and Denise Veffredo.
“As a team, we were able to connect with every member or staffer that we met,” Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog. “Sometimes it was around the 4-H program, and what the program has done for our impressive team members, sometimes it was around fire or water, and other staffers or members were particularly interested in moringa. Either way, the goal was to make a connection so that each visit left an impression.”
“UC ANR Day was a terrific opportunity for 4-H members to practice their communication skills and get involved in advocacy at the state level,” Mueller said.
Oroville 4-H member Bailey described for legislators and their staff how she worked from Nov. 8 when the Camp Fire broke out until after Christmas with UC Cooperative Extension advisor Tracy Schohr and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine staff to care for 1,200 evacuated livestock and to train others to assist. Emily, a 4-H Ambassador in El Dorado County, said her 4-H experience with STEM activities and leadership training helped her get into the university of her choice – UC Santa Barbara.
Greeted warmly by each office, the teams shared examples of work being done by UC ANR in their districts, offered them assistance and thanked the legislators for their support. They left a copy of the UC ANR Snapshot, UC ANR map and overview, a 4-H fact sheet and UC at a Glance.
Legislators praised the 4-H members and UC ANR staff for the work they do for Californians.
“I look forward to making UC ANR Day at the Capitol an annual event,” Humiston said. “Telling people about the value of ANR's work is not only part of our mission, it is essential in educating others about all that we accomplish with the resources we have.”
A fact sheet showing the effects of shrinking public investment in the University of California and agricultural research can be downloaded at https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/302896.pdf.
- Author: Jim Downing
UC Cooperative Extension researchers convey need for more climate change communication and curriculum tools
[NOTE: The Integrating Climate Change in California Cooperative Extension Programs Workshop will be held Feb. 6-7.]
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from natural and working lands is one of California's key climate change strategies. In particular, the potential for farm and rangeland soils to serve as carbon sinks has been getting a lot of attention lately in the national media — and during California Healthy Soils week, which wrapped up Dec. 7.
These are areas where UC Cooperative Extension, with its local presence across the state, is well-positioned to drive change. But as a recent survey of UCCE advisors, specialists and faculty found, while there is a good deal of climate work happening, there are also some significant obstacles.
The survey results — reported in an article by UCCE academics Ted Grantham, Faith Kearns, Susie Kocher, Leslie Roche and Tapan Pathak in the latest issue of California Agriculture — showed that while nearly 90 percent of respondents believe it is important to incorporate climate science into extension programming, only 43 percent currently do so.
Respondents pointed to a number of issues. One was "limited familiarity with climate science fundamentals." It's one thing to cite the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and is being driven largely by human activity; it is another to be able to respond quickly and convincingly to detailed questions from doubters. This list from Grist, for instance, details more than 100 common arguments raised by climate skeptics, many of which have non-trivially complex answers.
Another important issue cited by respondents was "fear of alienating clientele by talking about a contentious topic," a response that highlights the importance of personal relationships in UCCE's work, and the challenge of communicating an area of science that is highly politicized.
The authors conclude: "To further increase the capacity of UC ANR staff to support the needs of their clientele and the broader public, professional development around climate science fundamentals, communication, and adaptation strategies is critical." As an initial follow-up, the UCANR climate change program team (led by authors Grantham, Kocher and Pathak) is presenting a workshop and professional development meeting for extension professionals in February.
- Author: Tracy Schohr
“We focused on fostering a good dialogue and facilitating co-learning among attendees,” said event co-chair Leslie Roche, assistant UC Cooperative Extension specialist in rangeland management. “We hosted university faculty, statewide CE specialists and academics, and county-based CE advisors—as well as local policymakers and leaders from non-governmental organizations and statewide programs.”
UC researchers who have successfully engaged in the public policy arena provided numerous models of linking research and policy. There were five key take-aways for scientists:
- Honest broker role – Present policymakers with various policy options, based on sound research. Have a clear understanding of the science behind your messaging. Use qualitative data to tell the story of the hard quantitative data.
- Active engagement – Be part of informational and oversight hearings. Empower communities to take action and foster community engagement.
- Build coalitions – Collaboration is imperative. Develop unexpected allies and foster long-term relationships, realizing it may take some time to bear fruit.
- Disseminate information – Share your data in user-friendly formats. Target local community, Legislature and state agencies to inform policies. Get your science into trainings and continuing education programs. Leverage your coalition to expand the circulation of your research results.
- Target messages – Develop a strong, concise message to deliver your research. Use an emotional connection – “Old-growth oak woodlands” versus “oak woodland.”
Throughout the conference, speakers highlighted the multiple levels of engagement for researchers in the policy arena, with different roles matching different needs – some take a center stage, while others play imperative behind-the-scenes roles.
Keynote speaker Jason Delborne, associate professor of science, policy and society at North Carolina State University, encouraged engaging the public. “Science is a social process,” he said, noting that community and public engagement is often key to successfully applying research to policy. Delborne also touched on the tension between expertise and democracy, commenting that we can't always resolve it and often we have to learn to live with this tension.
A diverse set of researchers shared their perspectives from experiences in engaging in policy. The panel included Thomas Harter, Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair in Water Management and Policy and UCCE specialist in the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources at UC Davis; Lorrene Ritchie, director of the UC ANR Nutrition Policy Institute; Mindy Romero, founder and director of California Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis Center for Regional Change; and Yana Valachovic, UCCE forest advisor and county director in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. They discussed the importance of building strong science-based programs, actively engaging local communities and building coalitions of support.
Guests from both government and non-government organizations who use research to shape policy shared their perspectives on translating science to decision-making.
“Science is the foundation for developing programs,” said Amrith Gunasekara, science advisor for the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Tina Cannon Leahy, attorney with the State Water Resources Control Board, noted that policymakers and decision-makers are often looking for a clear, “black-and-white” answer, while for scientists, there is “no answer,” but rather information.
Anne Megaro, consultant to the California Senate Committee on Agriculture, and Rebecca Newhouse, consultant to the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee, both emphasized the importance of making sure science is accessible and digestible.
Juliet Sims of the Prevention Institute explained how her organization uses both published scholarly literature and community stories to effectively inform its advocacy platform.
Keynote speaker Rachel Morello-Frosch, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, introduced the concept of moving from “translational research” to “transformational research,” a shift that requires deep community engagement in meaningful ways to effect policy change.
In the afternoon, four breakout sessions were offered: “Policy structures and opportunities for engagement” with Robert Waste, “Relational approaches to science communication and engagement” with Faith Kearns, “Putting it into practice–UC ANR case studies” with Dave Campbell, Clare Gupta and Lucas Frerichs, and “Navigating policy engagement: Education vs advocacy,” with Adrian Lopez and Kit Batten. These training modules helped participants build technical skills and analytical frameworks for successful policy engagement.
The Research to Policy Conference was a forum to exchange ideas and share perspectives, continuing to bridge the gap between science and policy communities. It challenged attendees to be open to new ways of thinking, shared innovative outreach methods and showcased how research can have an impact in the policy arena.
“The event brought cross-fertilization and co-learning between disciplines – nutrition, forest management, water quality – and there were common themes that resonated for all participants,” said event co-chair Gupta, assistant UCCE specialist in public policy and translational research.
VP Glenda Humiston wrapped up the policy conference by saying, "Good science is vital for good policy. It's great to see UC folks enhancing these skills to bring science together with policy."
For more information on applying research to policy, contact Frerichs, UC ANR government and community relations manager, at (530) 750-1218 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Research to Policy Program Team contacts Gupta at email@example.com and Roche at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Katherine (Katie) Helwig Panarella joined the Youth, Families and Communities Statewide Program as associate director of the Nutrition and Family and Consumer Sciences Program and Policy on July 13.
Panarella has more than 10 years of experience managing community-based programs in nutrition and food systems though outreach venues, grassroots organizations, community groups and state and federal initiatives. She developed and implemented evidence-based nutrition programs aimed to improve the health of racially diverse, low-income communities with over 500 non-profit agencies, child care providers, and social service agencies in six California counties over eight years. She comes with experience in staff and volunteer hiring, training and supervision, contract management including USDA programs, and community and school garden development. She was also a professional landscaper for seven years.
Prior to joining UC ANR, she was a consultant and a research-evaluation specialist for a children's cooking lab project to assess objective and short term outcomes in low-income Boston neighborhoods.
She completed a dual master's program at Tufts University, earning an MS in food policy and applied nutrition from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, plus a Master's of Public Health from the School of Medicine, with a concentration in nutrition. Panarella is fluent in Spanish.
Panarella is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1393 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kearns named CIWR academic coordinator II
Prior to returning to UC, Kearns was an officer with the Ocean Science Division of the Pew Environment Group in Washington D.C, where she collaborated with policy and advocacy staff to integrate scientific information into campaigns using a variety of scientific, technical and communications approaches. From 2005 through 2009, she was the associate director of the Center for Fire Research and Outreach at UC Berkeley. She also developed science outreach projects at the Ecological Society of America, served as an AAAS Science and Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State and worked as a research and communications associate at UC Berkeley's Center for Forestry.
Kearns earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science, geology and political science from Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy, and management from UC Berkeley. Her doctoral studies focused on urban freshwater ecosystems, landscape ecology and Web-based tools for natural resource management.
Kearns is based at UCOP and can be reached at (510) 987-9124 and Faith.Kearns@ucop.edu
Siavash Taravati joined UC ANR as an area IPM advisor based in Los Angeles County on July 6.
Prior to joining UCCE, Taravati was a research assistant at University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Fla., since 2011. There, he worked on the biology and management of rugose spiraling whitefly, an invasive species found for the first time in the U.S. in 2009. He also gained a lot of experience in growing and maintaining vegetables, ornamental plants and shade and fruit trees. Taravati reared several pestiferous and beneficial insects such as whiteflies, scales, lady beetles, lacewings and parasitoids. He conducted several efficacy trials using natural and synthetic insecticides and, as a part of his research, he evaluated the compatibility of systemic imidacloprid with the biological control of rugose spiraling whitefly.
Taravati is a beetle enthusiast and is a co-founder of www.tenebrionidae.net, which was established in 2005. This website is dedicated to the study of darkling beetles. Taravati holds a patent (U.S. Patent registration number: TX 7-301-658) for a computer program he developed during his master's studies at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. This program aids in conversion and visualization of geometric morphometrics outline data (http://life.bio.sunysb.edu/morph/soft-outlines.html). Taravati has experience in macro photography, auto-montage, computer programming and Web development.
He is fluent in Farsi and English and is familiar with taxonomic texts in German.
Taravati earned a Ph.D. in entomology at the University of Florida, M.Sc. in biology at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, and B.Sc. in biology, faculty of science, University of Tehran, Iran.
Taravati is based in Alhambra and can be reached at (626) 586-1981 and email@example.com.
Margaret Lloyd joined UC Cooperative Extension as a small farms advisor with an emphasis on organic production for Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties on July 6.
Lloyd brings expertise in organic production practices. Under Tom Gordon, UC Davis plant pathology professor, she studied non-chemical alternatives to methyl bromide, including the role of rotation crops and compost in management of soilborne diseases, and leguminous cover crops as cryptic hosts for Verticillium wilt.
As a farm apprentice in Willits in 2003, Lloyd grew 5 acres of organic, biointensive vegetables and grains, which she sold at a farmers market. In 2004 she because assistant garden manager for Ecology Action Mini-farm Demonstration and Research Garden, a non-profit founded by John Jeavons, also in Willits. In 2005, Lloyd founded Home Farming International, a small business in Berkeley that helped Bay Area clients develop sustainable home farms. She provided an in-home “apprenticeship” to grow food, build soil health and ecosystem diversity, and taught workshops and classes for three years. She created and managed the "Salad Bowl Garden," the edible garden at the entrance to the Plant Sciences building on the UC Davis campus, from 2008 to 2012.
She earned a Ph.D. and MS in plant pathology and an MS in international agricultural development, all from UC Davis. She also holds a BA in international relations and environmental science from Tufts University in Medford, Mass.
Lloyd is based in Woodland and can be reached at (530) 564-8642 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Petr Kosina joined UC Integrated Pest Management Program as the new IPM content development supervisor on April 27. He manages the team of editors who develop the content for online and print integrated pest management information products.
He has a Ph.D. in crop science from Czech University of Agriculture in Prague and 10 years of experience teaching horticulture and vegetable and fruit production. He has developed many outreach materials similar to what we produce at UC IPM, such as extension publications on a parasitic weed, stem borers in rice and wheat, and wheat stem rust. He has developed communications products for both technical and non-technical audiences. Kosina speaks Czech, English, Spanish and Russian, and is learning French.
Prior to joining UC ANR, Kosina worked at CIMMYT, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, where he developed online tools such as Wheat Atlas and Wheat Doctor, organized and facilitated meetings and conferences, and developed training courses for extension workers in Mexico.
Danny Won joined the UC IPM Program on June 8 as a program support assistant. His primary responsibilities are to provide administrative support to the director and all aspects of the UC IPM Program. His duties can range from coordinating meetings and events to processing travel claims. He may also be the first point of contact for people calling UC IPM with questions about pest problems.
Won can be reached at (530) 750-1353 and email@example.com.
Rodrigues appointed to state forestry board
Kimberly Rodrigues, director of Hopland Research and Extension Center, has been appointed to the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection by Governor Jerry Brown.
This position requires state Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.
WEDA honors SOD response team
The award-winning SOD team is composed of Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension personnel: UC Cooperative Extension advisors Yana Valachovic in Humboldt County, Paul Vossen in Sonoma County, Steve Swain in Marin County, Steve Tjosvold in Santa Cruz County, and David Lewis and Ellie Rilla, both in Marin County; UCCE specialists Matteo Garbelotto, Maggi Kelly, Doug McCreary and Rick Standiford, all at UC Berkeley; UC Berkeley professor Richard Dodd; UC Davis professor Dave Rizzo; UC Davis professor Jim MacDonald; SOD program coordinator Lisa Bell; UCCE forest health educator Janice Alexander; public information officer Katie Palmieri; staff research associates Kerri Frangioso, Chris Lee, Brice McPherson, Doug Schmidt, Dan Stark and Brendan Twieg; and many graduate students.
The award recognizes the team for understanding the issue and situation, working with stakeholders, having a research base and an extension focus, evidencing multidisciplinary and collaborative components, incorporating innovative approaches, achieving impacts and developing scholarly products.
At the Western Region Joint Summer Meeting in Breckenridge, Colo., Alexander gave a presentation about the UC team's work addressing sudden oak death and accepted the award on the team's behalf on July 8.