Frank McPherson joined UC ANR on Feb. 3, 2020, as a regional director for UC Cooperative Extension serving Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, and Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center. He is highly experienced in providing service to external and internal customers.
Prior to joining ANR, McPherson was director of Customer Service at San Jose-based BD Biosciences, where he led the Customer Service division of 75 employees and provided direction to clinical and research applications support, education services, technical support, contract administration and other teams.
From 2000 to 2013, McPherson served as a senior manager at Applied Materials where he led a team of highly skilled account service representatives; directed and managed Contact Center start-ups across the globe, negotiated contracts; and interfaced with planning, purchasing, order fulfillment and logistics to meet customer requirements.
From 1998 to 2000, as a manager at Air France, he was in charge of customer support for clients in Canada, the United States and Mexico. As a director of operations at Global Discount Travel from 1995 to 1998, McPherson managed 200 staff members with 2,000 accounts nationwide. From 1985 to 1995, as a superintendent in the US Air Force, he was in charge of command posts and operation centers.
McPherson holds a bachelor's degree in business management from University of Maryland and a master's degree in business management from Troy State University in Alabama. He is fluent in German.
He is based at the UCCE office in Concord and can be reached at (925) 608-6674 and email@example.com.
After a long open search, Sree Mada has been named chief information officer, effective March 1, 2020.
Mada has 22 years of technical, functional and business experience in the field of Information Technology. During his career, he has demonstrated strong expertise in enterprise technical solutions in various complex business transformative implementations.
Mada joined UC in 2012, and in 2014 he joined ANR as program manager for UCPath.
“UCPath successfully went live last October thanks in no small part to Sree's skills and commitment to UC ANR's mission, and to his colleagues and the team he led,” said Tu M. Tran, associate vice president for Business Operations.
In his new role as chief information officer, reporting to Tran, Mada will be responsible for moving ANR to new technology platforms and readying our systems for an improved cybersecurity environment. He will also be responsible for implementing modern solutions for programmatic, business and administrative computing, in addition to building an organization that delivers efficient and effective technical solutions to advance the education, research and service mission of UC ANR.
Mada holds certifications from the Project Management Institute and the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, in addition to earning a bachelor's degree in statistics and political science and a master's degree in computer science and applications from Osmania University, India.
Mada will be located in office 173 in the ANR building at 2801 Second Street in Davis and can be reached at (908) 346-0196 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brown named director of Staff Human Resources
Bethanie Brown has assumed the role of director of Staff Human Resources effective Feb. 1, 2020.
Brown, who was associate director of Human Resources, now is responsible for staff recruitment and compensation, organizational development/workforce planning, UCPath Human Resources operations and employee/labor relations. Brown continues to report to John Fox in his role as executive director for Human Resources. Brown's expanded role over Staff Human Resources will allow Fox to focus on initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion, employee engagement and career development. Fox also continues to serve as ANR's Title IX and non-discrimination officer.
Tina Jordan, Academic Human Resources manager; Jodi Azulai, ANR Learning & Development coordinator; and David White, principal Affirmative Action analyst and Title IX investigator continue to report to Fox.
Master Gardeners welcome three new program coordinators
Growing up in Denver, Danica Taber explored plant cultivation as a student at University of Colorado Boulder by volunteering at the university greenhouses to help care for the phenomenal teaching collection.
In 2012, she moved to Santa Barbara, where she gained growing experience. “I was fortunate enough to serve as the manager for UCSB's research greenhouses and teaching collections. I got a crash course in IPM, and I also began to appreciate how valuable invested volunteers are,” says Taber.
After completing master's degrees in public affairs and environmental science at Indiana University-Bloomington, Taber moved back to the area to live with her husband.
Taber is based in Santa Barbara and can be reached at (805) 893-2125 and email@example.com.
Originally from Iowa, Uhde earned her B.S. in kinesiology, public health option from Iowa State University, where she studied human nutrition, exercise science and public health. After graduating, she moved to Kansas where she coordinated regional food access programs and led statewide farmers market, food policy, and school health initiatives, including the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, which served over 5,000 eligible older adults through 19 local agencies and 450 certified farmers. Uhde also managed a weekly farmers' market on the capitol grounds in Topeka. She holds a Master Gardener Home Horticulture Certificate from Oregon State University Extension.
“Katherine is passionate about community policy, systems and environmental changes that are sustainable, protect the environment and promote healthy lifestyles. We are delighted to have her as part of the UC Master Gardener Program,” said Lucy Diekmann, UCCE urban agriculture and food systems advisor.
Uhde is based in San Jose and can be reached at (408) 282-3138 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Burke earned a bachelor's degree in sociology at UC Santa Cruz. After graduating, she pursued her interests in food, agriculture and education. Working with the local farm and garden community for close to 10 years now, she has experience in both the programs and operations sides of small nonprofits.
Burke is based in Half Moon Bay and can be reached at (650) 276-7425 and email@example.com.
Read more about the new UC Master Gardener program coordinators at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=39206.
Almond Pest Management Alliance Team wins IPM award
The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team received an award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Environmental Protection Agency for their vigorous promotion of IPM and acting as a hub for growers, pest control advisers, researchers and others to organize their collective efforts and rapidly respond to arising pest issues.
The Almond Pest Management Alliance Team serves as a role model for the implementation of integrated pest management practices in California. The team consists of UC IPM advisors David Haviland, Jhalendra Rijal and Emily Symmes, industry researcher Bradly Higbee of Trécé, USDA scientist Charles Burkes and Bob Curtis of the Almond Board of California.
The team encouraged the adoption of mating disruption for managing navel orangeworm, a major pest in almond orchards, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. After they began demonstrating that mating disruption proved to be an economical pest control method in orchards, they saw a rapid rise in growers adopting the technology. Kern County showed a 26% countywide increase in the adoption of mating disruption from 2017-2018.
For more than a decade, the team conducted research on navel orangeworm, spider mites, leaffooted bug and ants that laid the groundwork for IPM adoption. For the past three years, the team put these IPM practices on display using eight demonstration orchards across the San Joaquin Valley as part of a CDPR Pest Management Alliance Grant.
PCAs and growers who participated in UC Almond Pest Management Alliance activities were surveyed – an average of 93.8% of participants stated that information that they received was considered when making pest management decisions.
The Almond Pest Management Alliance Team also received a California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition sponsored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas.
A three-minute video about the Almond Pest Management Alliance Team can be downloaded at https://ucdavis.box.com/s/7bo2ckkxi7kfvqevc346js6m6g3gvtg5.
The California State Association of Counties honored UCCE Humboldt County advisors Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Jeffery Stackhouse and the Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association with one of its 18 Challenge Awards to recognize county innovation and best practices. As part of the award, CSAC wrote a story at https://www.counties.org/county-voice/first-west-humboldt-countys-prescribed-burn-association-teaches-value-fire and produced a video about their efforts. The video is posted at https://youtu.be/EhkCFRVZ2NE.
In 2017, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse developed the Prescribed Burn Association, which has steadily grown. The association is composed of landowners, nonprofits, volunteer firefighters and other community members who work together to carry out prescribed burns on private land. Until the association was created, most landowners and community members lacked access to prescribed burn information and training.
In 2017, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse developed the Prescribed Burn Association, which has steadily grown. The association is composed of landowners, nonprofits, volunteer firefighters and other community members who work together to carry out prescribed burns on private land. Until the association was created, most landowners and community members had lacked access to prescribed burn information and training.
The concept of a prescribed burn association is catching on. Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse have presented the Humboldt County model to numerous counties around the state.
Beyond the benefit of prescribed burns for land management, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse say the association brings together groups that have traditionally been at odds – ranchers, people who work in timber, environmentalists and cannabis growers.
“Instead of being on opposite sides of an issue, people are gaining understanding for the other side,” Stackhouse told CSAC. “It has opened the door for real, honest communication between different groups that otherwise would not be happening. Having people work together who have been on different sides of the community really is amazing.”
The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board presented its Water Quality Stewardship Award to Deanne Meyer, a UCCE specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis, on Feb. 6.
Meyer studies livestock waste management, lectures in the Department of Animal Science and advises agricultural and environmental majors. She is also the environmental stewardship module coordinator for the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP), part of the California Dairy Research Foundation.
Meyer has provided technical advice and comments in developing the North Coast Regional Water Board's dairy program. She provides technical expertise at CDQAP workshops to help dairy operators comply with the requirements of the Regional Water Board's dairy permit. Meyer also served on the Technical Advisory Committee for the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Alternative Manure Management Program. Meyer is currently working with Regional Water Board staff on a contract to test manure and soil on 30 North Coast pasture-based dairies to assist dairy operators in developing a nutrient budget for Nutrient Management Plans.
The Executive Officer's Water Quality Stewardship Award is an annual award given to an individual or group whose exceptional work contributes to the preservation and enhancement of surface water and groundwater quality in the North Coast Region.
4-H Camping Advisory Committee receives national research award
The American Camp Association recognized the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee with its 2020 Eleanor P. Eells Excellence in Research in Practice Award. Marianne Bird, 4-H youth development advisor in Sacramento County and chair of the 4-H Camping Advisory Committee, accepted the award on behalf of the team on Feb. 12 At its national conference in San Diego.
The Eells Award recognizes programs that apply innovative, quality research or evaluation findings to improve program practice, and share their findings with others.
Since its inception in 2004, program evaluation and improvement has been a focus of the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee. However, engaging the 25 or more local, volunteer-run camps in program assessment proved challenging.
To engage camps in data and the program improvement process, the committee embraced the use of “data parties” to share results and encourage dialogue with the camps participating in the current study. A data party gathers stakeholders to analyze or interpret collected data. The committee invited camps to bring a team of three to six people (4-H teen leaders, adult volunteers and professional staff) to explore statewide findings, as well as data from their own camp. Teams then created an action plan for improving their programs.
The event encouraged buy-in and a sense of ownership to the data. Participants reported new insights and greater understanding of the data, and cited changes they had made to their programs as a result. Since initiating the data party format four years ago, participation in the statewide evaluation has grown from nine to 22 camps.
“When those engaged in programming understand and embrace data, then is an evaluation truly useful,” said Bird. “These are the people who can make change happen. For California 4-H, the camp data party has been the key to opening dialogue and improving our programs."
To gain a better understanding of UC ANR's work in communities and to see firsthand how UC's Agricultural Extension programs engage with the public in an urban setting, the UC ANR Governing Council toured the South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine on Feb. 19.
The UC ANR Governing Council, which is chaired by UC Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox, visited UCCE specialist Alex Putman and UC Riverside graduate student Lindsey Pedroncelli's strawberry disease study, UC IPM advisor Cheryl Wilen's herbicide demonstration, and the urban landscape demonstration site, where Darren Haver, South Coast REC director and UCCE water resources advisor, conducts water studies. Niamh Quinn, UCCE human-wildlife interaction advisor, described her research on vertebrate pests ranging from rats to coyotes, and Beatriz Nobua-Behrmann, UCCE urban forestry advisor, and John Kabashima, emeritus environmental horticulture advisor, showed the council members shot hole borers and other pests that attack trees.
The UC ANR academics were joined by public and private sector partners, including Mark Lopez from OC Produce who is also the Orange County Farm Bureau president; Bryan Thompson, owner of Pest Options; Jenna Voss, South Orange County watershed manager for Orange County Public Works; Dave Erickson, Wildland Resources Planner for Orange County Fire Authority; Jim Hartman, deputy agricultural commissioner for Los Angeles County; Laura Krueger Prelesnik, vector ecologist for the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District; and Rick Howard, Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District agency manager.
Foods grown at the center were incorporated in the lunch prepared by UC ANR culinary partners Andrea Machua of Culinary Underground, Kyle Manns of Taps Brewery and Lan Pham Zenti, owner of Jadetiger Tea.
“The day was both enjoyable and informative for all,” said Kathy Eftekhari, chief of staff to the vice president.
The UC ANR community is founded on principles strengthened by common goals, shared interests, camaraderie and a passion for improving the quality of life in all communities. We all have the right to work in an environment that promotes fairness, trust, respect, and physical and emotional safety and security. Your anonymous survey responses will contribute to our efforts to create the best possible work environment for all of us.
On March 17, each academic and staff member will receive an email from “ANR satsurvey” containing a unique link to the survey. Please do not delete the emailed invitation, as it will be the only way to access the survey and cannot be replaced.
To thank you for your time and to encourage participation, everyone who completes the survey will have the option to participate in a raffle for a $75 gift card. We will award 40 gift cards through random drawings during the survey period.
The survey is being administered by UC San Diego; they have been administering a similar survey for more than 20 years on their campus.
We plan to repeat the survey annually for at least five years. The 2020 survey results will establish a baseline for continually assessing UC ANR's work environment.
If you have questions about the survey, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Photos by: Jeannette E. Warnert
- Author: Pam Kan-Rice
Visitors to the UC ANR booth at the World Ag Expo were treated to citrus facts, gardening tips, nutrition advice and much more Feb. 11-13 in Tulare.
On the first evening of the expo, Vice President Glenda Humiston and UC Cooperative Extension scientists hosted a reception for about 100 UC ANR partners, agriculture reporters, employees and other stakeholders to celebrate recent advancements in agricultural production, as well as future initiatives. The event was held at the UC Cooperative Extension office in Tulare County.
Humiston thanked the guests for supporting UC ANR and said that research and extension relied on the cooperation of others to be successful.
Bob Hutmacher, West Side Research and Extension Center director and UCCE specialist, gave an update on his hemp research and Konrad Mathesius, UCCE agronomy advisor for the Capitol Corridor, discussed his research on malting barley for beer.
Nick Davis, a vineyard operations manager for The Wine Group, who collaborates with George Zhuang, UCCE viticulture advisor in Fresno County, discussed their mechanization project and said his company depends on UCCE research. A member of the UC ANR climate-smart agriculture technical advisory team, Shulamit Shroder, reported on the activities of the climate-smart farming partnership with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Robert Johnson of IGIS answered questions about the use of drones in agricultural research, 4-H members Emily Karle, Mia Azevedo, Levi Goodman and Emily Karle displayed their projects, and UCCE advisor Ruth Dahlquist-Willard and Michael Yang, agricultural assistant, showed some of the specialty crops grown in Fresno County.
At the UC ANR booth on the expo grounds, UCCE specialist Beth Grafton-Caldwell and the Lindcove Research and Extension Center staff handed out mandarins and told visitors about the research they do on citrus at the part of the booth that featured UC ANR research and extension centers.
Visitors took part in an activity to match local commodities to ANR Research and Extension Centers. Those who tried won a prize.
Over the three days, EFNEP and CalFresh Healthy Living educators from Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties quizzed booth visitors about nutrition. Tulare County Master Gardener volunteers shared information about sustainable gardening and answered gardener questions.
- Author: Mark Bell
The Strategic Initiatives (SIs), Strategic Communication (Strat Comm) and the Communications Advisory Board (CAB) are teaming up to help UC ANR “own” YouTube (Yep - that's the big goal - at least for our educational content areas).
How can you get involved?
1. Decide. Is video right for your Extension tool-box
Is video the right tool for your extension needs? Are you interested in learning more about how to develop and use video in your extension program? Much of the educational content throughout ANR could be extended effectively in video format, helping us better reach existing audiences, and potentially reach new ones.
2. Prepare. Watch the webinars
Pre-clinic webinar. Join us on March 2 at 10 a.m. for this one-hour webinar to learn about these resources and explore the important question - Is video right for your program and project? You will leave the webinar having learned the key steps in planning and producing an effective extension video. You will also learn how to access and use the resources ANR has coalesced supporting video production. This webinar (posted at https://youtu.be/yz-xaj8YjO0) is offered as both a stand-alone training, as well as pre-work for upcoming hands-on clinics (described below).
A bonus webinar: Ricardo Vela of our News and Outreach in Spanish is giving a webinar on “Shooting videos with your iPhone” on April 8 from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
Learn more about the webinars at:
3. Get Hands-on do-it-yourself experience at the clinics
For those looking for a more complete and hands-on training to develop skills and knowledge to produce their own 3- to 5-minute extension videos, ANR is offering two hands-on clinics scheduled for April 15-16 and April 21-22 at Hopland REC and South Coast REC, respectively.
More to follow soon, but a requisite to attending these clinic is to participate in the March 2 pre-clinic webinar discussed above. The pre-clinic webinar will be recorded for those interested in attending the clinics, but with schedule conflicts.
4. Practice, practice, practice (Brand, brand, brand)
Whether you make it to the clinics or not, access our growing video and branding resources and just practice - individually or in teams. See our existing Learning & Development resources at https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/Extension_-_Delivery/Video/.
In the pipeline: Dustin Blakey's online video course! (Due in summer)
Ready to upload? Contact Strat Comm!
5. Let's “own” Youtube - making our great educational content attractive and available.
For more on the SIs and their activities, contact
Jim Farrar: Pests EIPD
David Lile: Natural Ecosystems SNE
David Lewis: Water
Deanne Meyer: Food Systems SFS
Lynn Schmitt McQuitty: Families and Communities HFC
Mark Bell: Vice Provost SIs & SWPs