- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Kirsten Pearsons joined UC Cooperative Extension on March 1 as a small farm advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. She is developing research and extension programs focused on integrating soil health practices and pest management strategies for small-scale farmers and specialty crops.
Prior to joining UC ANR, Pearsons was a postdoctoral researcher at the nonprofit Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, where she focused on studying and promoting organic and regenerative agriculture. She worked on Rodale's long-term Farming Systems Trial, studying how organic and reduced-till field crop production affects long-term farm economics, soil health and water quality compared to conventional practices.
She earned a Ph.D. in entomology at Pennsylvania State University and a B.S. in environmental toxicology at UC Davis.
Pearsons is based in San Luis Obispo and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (805) 788-9486 (office) and (925) 487-8374 (cell). She will be posting event information and resources for small-scale farms in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties on Instagram @ucceslosmallfarms.
Ricky Satomi joined UCCE Sutter-Yuba on March 15 as an area forestry and natural resources advisor in the Western Sierra Region (Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Nevada and Placer counties). He specializes in forest management with a focus on new technologies and wood products.
Prior to moving to UCCE Sutter-Yuba, Satomi served as a UCCE area forest advisor working on forestry and youth education issues for Shasta, Trinity and Siskiyou counties.
Satomi earned a Master of Forestry looking at the cost efficiency of forest mastication treatments, and a B.S. in forestry & natural resources and society & environment, both from UC Berkeley. He has also worked as a field forester working on various inventory and timber management programs throughout California.
In the coming year, he hopes to offer workshops for forest landowners and professionals around novel GIS tools, climate-smart silvicultural practices, reforestation best practices, and workforce development opportunities.
Satomi is based in Yuba City and can be reached at (530) 822-6213 or email@example.com.
Cameron Barreto joined UC ANR as a senior contracts and grants officer on April 14. He will be working with the Office of Contracts and Grants to assist UC ANR researchers with the submission and management of their proposals and awards for sponsored research.
Prior to joining UC ANR, he was a research services coordinator with UC San Francisco Office of Sponsored Research for three years assisting the Pediatrics Department and participating in several extramural groups including serving as co-chair of the Office of Sponsored Research Council and Gallup Engagement Survey officer.
He earned a B.A. in history from the University of Rochester in upstate New York.
Barreto is based at the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1368 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danny Won is the new program assistant for the UC Master Gardener Program statewide office. He has been with UC ANR since 2015, working as an administrative assistant for the UC Integrated Pest Management Program.
Won will be supporting the UC Master Gardener Program by managing inventory and shipping and overseeing volunteers' annual reappointment, California Department of Food and Agriculture licenses, program purchases, and many other projects. He will continue to provide support to UC IPM for events and workshops. His new office is located in the ANR building at space #102 and he can be reached at email@example.com.
Steven Worker, UC Cooperative Extension advisor for 4-H youth development in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties, received the 2022 Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association's Out-of-School Time Special Interest Group.
The Scholar Award recognizes outstanding research in the out-of-school time field and honors a scholar in the early to middle stages of their career.
Worker, who became a 4-H advisor in 2016, was recognized for excellence, creativity and intentionality in contributing to the out-of-school-time learning field. His research efforts have focused on (1) youth development with an emphasis on adapting, piloting and evaluating youth development program models that integrate culturally relevant practices to engage culturally diverse youth; (2) science learning that engages youth in personally meaningful experiences situated in authentic community activities; and (3) exploring factors involved with improving volunteer educator competence and confidence to facilitate high-quality youth development.
Worker strives to improve the cultural relevancy of youth development programs to make them more welcoming to marginalized youth. Applying his research findings, Worker organizes activities to engage youth in STEM. During the pandemic, he created ways for children to learn and socialize safely by meeting online to build motorboats and view livestock presentations in person at a drive-through animal science day. In May, he will host the North Bay Science Discovery Day.
Ellen Bruno, UC Cooperative Extension economics specialist at UC Berkeley, is a recipient of the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) 2021 New Innovator in Food & Agriculture Research Award, an award granted to early career scientists supporting research in one of FFAR's Challenge Areas.
FFAR's New Innovator in Food & Agriculture Research Award provides early-career scientists with funding to focus on food and agriculture research without the pressure of securing additional funding. Each applicant can receive up to $150,000 per year for a maximum of three years.
Meeting future food needs requires effectively managing scarce groundwater. California is addressing this problem through the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which ensures better groundwater use and management. Bruno's research is using the act as a case study to identify policies that enhance water sustainability and minimize regulation costs.
Kocher, Ingram win educational materials awards
One award was for the Forest Stewardship Education Newsletter in the “Newsletters or Series of Articles” category and another award in the “TV or Video” category for their four-part series of Forest Inventory videos. Ingram and Kocher share the video award with Kestrel Grevatt, a GrizzlyCorps Fellow.
Susie Kocher explains in a video how forest landowners can manage their forest land and take an inventory of trees in their forest.
- 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.