Wendy Powers, associate vice president, announced the 2018 winners of the biennial Distinguished Service Awards on April 11 at the UC ANR Statewide Conference in Ontario.
Sponsored by UC ANR and Academic Assembly Council, the Distinguished Service Awards recognize service and academic excellence in UC Cooperative Extension over a significant period of time. Awards highlight the use of innovative methods and the integration of research, extension and leadership by UC ANR academics.
Awards were given for outstanding research, outstanding extension, outstanding new academic, outstanding team, and outstanding leader. Winners for each category are listed below.
Outstanding Research - Youth Retention Study Team
The Youth Retention Study examined the retention and drop-out rates (nearly 50 percent) of first year 4-H members. The team looked at re-enrollment trends over a seven-year period to understand the phenomena of why youth leave the 4-H program. While the focus of the study was on California, the team has engaged multiple states in this effort to document the national scope of this issue, and used the data to develop tools and strategies for addressing and extending that information through peer-reviewed articles, workshops and training. Two of the factors they found reducing retention were a lack of communication and the inability to understand and navigate the 4-H program. These findings led to development of a handbook for families to navigate the 4-H program and a Project Leader Checklist for implementing the 4-H project experience.
The Youth Retention Study Team includes
- JoLynn Miller, CE Advisor - UCCE Central Sierra Multi-County Partnership
- Kendra Lewis, Academic Coordinator - UC ANR Statewide 4-H Program
- Marianne Bird, CE Advisor - UCCE Capital Corridor MCP
- John Borba, CE Advisor - UCCE Kern
- Claudia Diaz-Carrasco, CE Advisor - UCCE Riverside and San Bernardino
- Dorina Espinoza, CE Advisor - UCCE Humboldt and Del Norte
- Russell Hill, CE Advisor - UCCE Merced, Mariposa and Madera
- Car Mun Kok, CE Advisor - UCCE Lake and Mendocino
- Sue Manglallan, CE Advisor - UCCE San Diego
- Kali Trzesniewski, CE Specialist – UC Davis, Department of Human & Community Development
Outstanding Extension - David Haviland
David Haviland has been the UC Cooperative Extension entomology advisor in Kern County and affiliated IPM advisor with the UC IPM Program since 2002. He has developed an exemplary extension program to address the needs of clientele and support continued productivity in the third largest agricultural output county in the nation. Haviland's extension program is based on continuous needs assessment, applied local research to solve problems, collaboration with multiple partners, and extension programming focused on grower and pest control adviser adoption of improved pest management practices. Haviland uses his research outputs to drive his prodigious extension program. This includes 430 presentations to more than 32,000 people, primarily to farmers and pest control advisers. Haviland has developed a national and international reputation through publishing the results of his research in peer-reviewed scientific publications, and by giving national and international presentations.
Outstanding New Academic - Katherine Soule
Katherine Soule has been the youth, families and communities advisor since 2013 and director of Cooperative Extension in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties since 2017. Soule has guided programming to increase diversity and reach of the 4-H Youth Development Program. She has more than doubled overall youth participation to more than 16,000 youth in the two counties and increased Latino youth participation by almost 500 percent in less than 4 years. In addition, Soule has built a multicultural, bilingual UC CalFresh staff that focuses on developing sustained engagement with partnering school districts, administrators, teachers, families and other community-based organizations. In the previous two years, the UC CalFresh staff provided nutrition education to more than 17,000 youth; more than 8,500 families and community members attended community events where they received nutrition education; led peer educators in the participation of 4,700 hours of programming and engaged more than 6,600 students in nutrition and physical activities education. The Statewide 4-H Director said, “Despite the large assignment, she has provided incredible leadership in both program areas in both counties.” In partnership with 4-H volunteers and the California 4-H Foundation, she has raised $300,000 annually from grants and gifts to support and advance 4-H programming in Santa Barbara County. This youth, families and communities program also serves as the model for program integration and growth.
Outstanding Leader - Cheryl Wilen
Cheryl Wilen is the area integrated pest management advisor for San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Throughout her 23-year career, Wilen's work has represented outstanding leadership through a continual focus on positive changes. Wilen has been an effective leader in the Statewide IPM Program, ANR and the western region. In this role, she has provided significant input on CE advisor performance and advancement evaluations, represented IPM advisors to UC IPM leadership, and coordinated the annual extension planning meeting for IPM advisors and affiliated advisors. In addition to significant leadership in UC IPM, Wilen was the ANR Strategic Initiative Leader for Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases from 2014 to 2017. She led development of the strategic initiative goals and worked with Program Teams and Workgroups to address these goals. Wilen's leadership style is a direct reflection of her approach to research and extension. If she identifies an important unmet need, then she seeks to address it. Similarly, when she identifies a leadership need that she is capable of meeting, she steps up to help the organization move forward. Her leadership is consistently pragmatic and focused on results.
Outstanding Team - Dairy Quality Assurance Environmental Stewardship Program Team
This team of CE specialists and CE advisors has provided outstanding service to California's dairy farmers as a partner in the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) through applied research, development of monitoring methods and tools, and implementation of educational programs to help dairy farmers comply with state water-quality law. The team developed the educational component of the “Environmental Stewardship Short Course,” delivering 377 short course workshops (750 classroom hours) throughout the state to date. They developed tools for producers including a lab manual for manure analysis, an e-learning module for sampling methods and an on-line decision support tool. These extension products were based on a prodigious research record including 15 peer-reviewed papers. The Dairy Quality Assurance Environmental Stewardship Program Team is an excellent example of UC ANR academics working together and with government and industry partners under the Sustainable Natural Environment Strategic Initiative. As a result of the team's work, the industry quickly reached a 95 percent compliance rate with water quality reporting requirements.
Dairy Quality Assurance Environmental Stewardship Program Team includes
- Deanne Meyer, CE Specialist – UC Davis, Department of Human & Community Development
- Betsy Karle, CE Advisor and UCCE Director– UCCE Glenn
- Jennifer Heguy, CE Advisor – UCCE Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced
- David Lewis, CE Advisor and UCCE Director – UCCE Marin and Napa
- Jeffery Stackhouse, CE Advisor – UCCE Humboldt and Del Norte
Natalie Price joined UC ANR on April 3, 2017, as the nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor for Los Angeles and Orange counties. She will work with local organizations and school districts to provide culturally sensitive nutrition education and programs. In addition, Price will collaborate with the larger ANR team of nutrition researchers to address issues related to health and food security.
Before joining ANR, Price worked as a nutrition specialist for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. She worked with school districts to implement fruit and vegetable taste tests, train staff, and create new wellness policies and committees.
Price earned a master's degree in public health/community health sciences and a bachelor's degree in international development studies, both from UCLA.
Price is based at the UCCE Los Angeles County office in Alhambra and can be reached at (626) 586-1948 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The California Society for Range Management honored Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension director and livestock and range management advisor in Sonoma County, naming her Range Manager of the Year at the Cal-Pac Society for Range Management meeting April 4, 2017.
The award recognizes her years of research and extension work, conducting a diverse program that focuses on animal husbandry, rangeland ecosystem services and development of niche markets for local livestock producers. Larson helped local rangeland owners develop water quality plans and comply with Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) regulations. She initiated a “Notice of Intent” system for Tomales Bay watershed land owners that documents water quality and best management practices. This system has been adopted by the Regional Water Quality Control Board and was later extended to Napa and Sonoma Creek watersheds.
With nearly 1 million acres of rangeland in Sonoma and Marin counties, Larson works with rangeland owners and managers to develop strong stewardship principals and best management practices. Larson assesses ecosystem service management and is currently exploring payments for services, such as carbon sequestration, water capture and biodiversity. During her career she has conducted hundreds of local education meetings on livestock production, animal identification, biosecurity, wool marketing, livestock judging, predator control including non-lethal methods, parasite control, range weed management, riparian management, water quality, electric fencing, ranch and grazing planning, estate planning, soil health, vegetation monitoring, grass-fed and organic certification, and grazing for endangered species. Larson also teaches range management at Santa Rosa Junior College. She served as a board member, then president of the Cal-Pac Section and as a board member for the national society 2010–2013.
David Lewis, UC Cooperative Extension watershed advisor for Marin County, is this year's recipient of the Eric Bradford and Charlie Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award.
For 17 years, Lewis has served as a UC Cooperative Extension advisor, helping farmers, ranchers, conservationists and other stakeholders solve challenging and contentious issues surrounding the health of their watersheds.
The Bradford Rominger award, given by the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) at UC Davis, honors individuals who exhibit the leadership, work ethic and integrity epitomized by the late Eric Bradford, a livestock geneticist who gave 50 years of service to UC Davis, and the late Charlie Rominger, a fifth-generation Yolo County farmer and land preservationist.
“David epitomizes the very fiber of character that this award celebrates,” said Kenneth Tate, Russell L. Rustici Endowed Chair in Rangeland Watershed Science at UC Davis and 2012 Bradford Rominger award recipient. Tate praised Lewis's ability to “put his quiet, honest, credible manner to good work” to help build trust and understanding so communities can have frank discussions about the challenges facing their watersheds.
Lewis's accomplishments include helping to reduce the dairy pollution hurting the oyster beds of Tomales Bay and helping ranchers reduce erosion on their property, letting them play a key role in conserving critical coho salmon habitat and protecting the water quality of North Coast rivers.
Lewis received the award at the “Shepherds of Sustainability: Celebrating Leadership in Watersheds, Rangeland, and Livestock Sustainability” event held in Davis on April 19, 2017.
Helen Dahlke, UC Davis professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water, is one of 10 leaders in water education, outreach and extension selected to be a ThinkWater fellow for 2017–2018. The ThinkWater fellowship builds a cohort of scholars and professionals engaged with water-related issues and teaches them how to apply systems thinking to their ongoing work. The fellows work in positions that allow them to integrate systems thinking into program design, education and outreach involving a broad range of audiences, such as farmers, community members, volunteers and youth.
Fellows will learn from Derek and Laura Cabrera, faculty at Cornell University and founders of Cabrera Research Lab, a proven method for teaching the universal rules underlying systems thinking approaches and methods that is suitable for all ages and populations. While learning and applying systems thinking, the fellows will be participating in a research study to determine the utility of the relatively brief but intensive systems thinking training for education, extension and outreach activities around complex water-related issues.
The fellows will develop and implement a comprehensive plan to integrate systems thinking into their water education, extension and outreach work in the geographic area they serve.
Adina Merenlender, UCCE specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, was elected President-elect for the Society for Conservation Biology.
Merenlender hopes to focus on increasing SCB's engagement with people who do conservation practice on the ground and to work with SCB's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to engage more people who are not currently represented in environmental science in SCB. She also hopes to work with SCB's new executive director on financial sustainability at the global, section and chapter level.
The Society for Conservation Biology is an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss and restoration of biological diversity. The society's membership comprises a wide range of people interested in the conservation and study of biological diversity: resource managers, educators, government and private conservation workers and students.
An exhibit of photographs taken by UC Cooperative Extension's first farm advisor in Marin County will be on display at the Marin County Fair June 30 – July 4.
M.B. Boissevain, who became a UCCE advisor in 1920, took approximately 500 photos of Marin agriculture and its people during his 30-year career. Ellie Rilla, UCCE advisor in Marin County, and David Lewis, UCCE director and advisor in Marin County, have written a book about the agricultural history of the county based on Boissevain’s photos and farm reports.
The 126-page book “Marin Agrarian Roots” contains 82 images photographed by Boissevain.
The book will be available for purchase at the fair for $25. It also will be available at Book Passage, Toby’s Feed Barn, Point Reyes Books, Tomales Regional History Center and Jack Mason Museum of West Marin History.
Read more about the exhibit and the book at http://marinfair.org/fair-preview/library.