- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Michael Jones joined UCCE on Oct. 1, 2018, as the area forestry advisor in Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma counties. He specializes in forest entomology with a focus on forest health and integrated pest management of invasive and endemic forest pests.
Jones completed a Ph.D. in entomology from State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a B.S. in environmental biology and management from UC Davis.
Prior to joining UCCE, Jones was a graduate student and research project assistant at State University of New York. He developed and maintained research projects on delimitation, management, and biological control of the invasive forest pest emerald ash borer in New York. From 2010 to 2013, Jones was a research associate in the UC Davis Department of Entomology, in collaboration with the US Forest Service, Forest Health Protection in Southern California. He participated in a variety of forest pest research projects involving the detection, evaluation and management of endemic and invasive forest pests. He has been active in leading training activities for land managers and land owners in the field identification and management of forest pests, and training and supervising field crews in the collection of field data. As an undergraduate at UC Davis, he worked on sudden oak death with David Rizzo's lab group in the Department of Plant Pathology.
Based in Ukiah, Jones can be reached at (707) 463-4495 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel Sanchez joined UCCE on Sept. 1, 2018, as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist in woody biomass utilization in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management at UC Berkeley. Sanchez is an engineer and energy systems analyst studying the commercialization and deployment of energy technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Sanchez's work and engagement spans the academic, nongovernmental, and governmental sectors. As an assistant Cooperative Extension specialist, he runs the Carbon Removal Lab, which aims to commercialize sustainable negative emissions technologies, and supports outreach to policymakers and technologists in California and across the United States.
Sanchez earned a Ph.D. and a M.S. in energy and resources at UC Berkeley. He completed a B.S.E in chemical and biomolecular engineering at University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining the faculty of UC Berkeley, Sanchez was a AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow serving in the Office of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). He has previously held positions with the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Green for All, and the California Public Utilities Commission.
Sanchez is located in Mulford Hall and can be reached at (215) 593-4493 (cell) and email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_L_Sanchez.
Peter Larbi joined ANR on Aug. 13, 2018, as a UCCE area agricultural application engineering specialist at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
Prior to joining ANR, Larbi had been an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Systems Technology in the College of Agriculture at Arkansas State University since 2014. He developed an integrated teaching and research program related to agricultural systems technology; developed and managed research in precision agriculture, agricultural machinery systems, remote sensing and sensor technology; and provided service to the university, college, local community and general scientific community. Larbi held a joint appointment in the Division of Agriculture at University of Arkansas.
From 2012 to 2014, Larbi was a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems at Washington State University. From 2011 to 2012, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center.
Larbi earned a Ph.D. in agricultural and biological engineering from University of Florida and a M.Sc. and a B.Sc. in agricultural engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.
Larbi can be reached at (559) 646-6577 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lysandra Pyle joined ANR on Aug. 15, 2018, as an assistant project scientist. Working closely with project directors at UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center and Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC), Pyle is leading a multistate research project investigating biotic and abiotic drivers of native grass recruitment on degraded intermountain rangeland and identifying potential management actions that can be used to improve large-scale restoration efforts.
Most of her field work and project development is being done from EOARC, which is in close proximity to the Oregon and California intermountain field sites.
Pyle completed a Ph.D. in rangeland and wildlife resources from University of Alberta, Canada, and a B.Sc. in biology from University of Regina, Canada.
Prior to joining ANR, Pyle worked on contracts specializing in biodiversity monitoring and rangeland ecology while finishing a Ph.D. in rangeland and wildlife resources at the University of Alberta, conferred in April 2018. From November 2017 to March 2018, Pyle was a vascular plant technician with Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) at the Royal Alberta Museum. There, she identified vascular plants collected by ABMI technicians during the field season and contributed to publications.
Pyle also consulted as a plant community data analyst at Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association from January 2017 to March 2018, where she analyzed plant community data collected from the Aspen Parkland and Assiniboine Delta rangeland ecoregions, identified reference communities, and determined how they transition with disturbances such as grazing.
Her Ph.D. characterized the composition and diversity of grassland seed banks in two main studies: identified the diverse disturbance legacies and management histories of pastures on plant communities, seed banks, soils, and rangeland health, and examined legacy effects of pipelines on seed banks and biological soil crusts in native mixed grass prairie.
Pyle is based in Burns, Ore., and can be reached at (306) 551-1108 and email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @GrasslandNerd.
Nathaniel Caeton was promoted to 4-H youth development advisor for Shasta, Tehama and Trinity counties on Aug. 1, 2018.
Prior to accepting his current position as 4-H youth development advisor, Caeton had served as the 4-H community education specialist since 2013. He was responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the 4-H Youth Development Program in Shasta and Trinity counties. During that time, he worked diligently to strengthen existing program relationships, while developing new relationships through outreach and collaboration. His master's work at CSU Monterey Bay combined multiple disciplines and built knowledge in the areas of learning theory, instructional design, instructional technology, interactive multimedia, assessment and evaluation. This enabled Caeton to plan, design, develop, implement and evaluate instructional programs. This work culminated in the creation of an electronic portfolio and capstone project, which involved the design and development of a one-hour e-learning module on diversity awareness for adult volunteers. He also actively volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America and the Civil Air Patrol.
Caeton earned an M.S. in instructional science and technology from CSU Monterey Bay and a B.A. in social sciences from CSU Chico.
Based in Redding, Caeton can be reached at (530) 224-4900 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mahacek inducted into National 4-H Hall of Fame
Mahacek was one of 15 people inducted during the ceremony at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md.
“We are proud to recognize the 2018 National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees for the passion, dedication, vision and leadership they have shown toward young people during their many years of service to 4-H,” said Jeannette Rea Keywood, National 4-H Hall of Fame Committee chair.
Mahacek joined a 4-H Club in Sonoma County when he was 10. During his 35-year 4-H career, Mahacek placed an emphasis on mechanical sciences and engineering projects. His work included development of curricula and activities in science processes, robotics, computers, GIS/GPS, bio-security and environmental issues, such as watersheds and wildlife habitats.
In 1988, Mahacek was a member of the team that developed the 4-H SERIES (Science Experiences and Resources for Informal Educational Settings) curriculum, which was funded by the National Science Foundation and Kellogg. SERIES was the first comprehensive pragmatic science education curriculum to join 4-H's traditional projects. In 2004, Mahacek served on the national leadership team for 4-H SET (Science, Engineering and Technology), a program that succeeded SERIES. Now known as STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Math), the project aims to enhance young people's interest in developing the knowledge and skills needed for the 21st century's technically oriented careers.
The crowning achievement of his career was the development of the 4-H Junk Drawer Robotics curriculum in 2011. The curriculum shows how to engage children in building robotic devices with rubber bands, Popsicle sticks, medicine dispensers and bamboo skewers – the kinds of things people already have around the house. The robotics program develops skills that go beyond science and engineering. The children learn communications, teamwork and critical thinking.
Junk drawer robotics is one part of a three-track robotics curriculum. The other tracks are virtual robotics, in which participants build virtual robots on computers, and robotics platforms, which employs commercial robot building kits for materials. The package of robotics programs was the No. 1 selling 4-H curriculum in the nation in 2011. Mahacek was also a driving force in the community in founding the UC Merced Engineering Service Learning Program Castle Science and Technology Center. This facility used a former US Air Force facility to provide hands-on science experiences to the youth of the county.
Mahacek received many honors for his contributions to 4-H and UC Cooperative Extension. In 1988, he received distinguished service awards from the state and national 4-H associations. The Merced County Farm City Ag Business Committee presented him its Agri-Education Award in 1992. Mahacek received the “Hands-On Heroes Award” at the Merced County Children's Summit.
Mahacek said the 4-H program has evolved during his tenure, but it has not changed its core objectives.
“We went from being a predominantly ag program to including many other topics. Our members used to live in just rural settings, but now they come from the suburbs and urban neighborhoods,” Mahacek said. “But we're still promoting the concept of working together and gaining confidence by learning practical skills.”
The National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees are nominated by their home states, National 4-H Council, the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents or 4-H National Headquarters/National Institute of Food and Agriculture based upon their exceptional leadership at the local, state, national and international levels.
Cheryl Wilen, area IPM advisor based in San Diego County, was presented the Research Award by the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC) for her contributions to the nursery industry at the CANGC Convention in San Diego on Oct. 10, 2018.
“This award acknowledges Dr. Wilen's many significant contributions over her career that have benefited the California nursery and landscape industry,” said Loren Oki, UCCE environmental horticulture specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis and co-director of UC's Nursery & Floriculture Alliance, who presented the award to Wilen.
Wilen specializes in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for ornamental plant production and maintenance in nurseries, greenhouses, field production, floriculture, turf and landscape, which has resulted in the use of pesticides in a more prescriptive manner and the development of alternative strategies to more efficiently control pests of ornamental plants. Although her primary research focus is the management of weeds, snails and slugs, her other areas of research include the Asian citrus psyllid, disease management in floricultural crops, nematode management in tomatoes, invertebrate pest management in nurseries, vertebrate pest management, mitigating pesticide contamination in surface water runoff, and soil solarization.
Wilen also recently received the UC ANR Distinguished Service Award for leadership. She has served ANR as the acting and interim director of the Statewide UC IPM Program, leader of the Endemic and Invasive Pest and Disease Strategic Initiative, member of Program Council, organizer of the Pest Management Coordination Conference, chair of several UC ANR search committees, and chair and member of the South Coast Research and Extension Center Research Advisory Committee.
Her current and previous professional service includes chair of the Basic Science Section Western Society of Weed Science, chair of Teaching and Technology Transfer Section Weed Science Society of America, chair or co-chair of meetings of professional organizations including the California Weed Science Society, and has served or is currently serving as a member of various committees of the Weed Science Society of America, Southern California Chapter of the California Association of Pest Control Advisers, Steering Committee of the 2015 International IPM Symposium, and the CANGC Research Advisory Committee.
The CANGC Research Award recipient is selected by their peers and colleagues from industry and academic community.
4-H teams bring home NAE4-HA awards
Katherine Soule, UC Cooperative Extension director and youth, families and communities advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and community educators Janelle Hansen, Andrea Hollister, Laura Pena, Dagmar Derickson, Shannon Klisch, Melissa LaFreniere, Yezenia Romero, Yudilia Tomsen, Miguel Diaz, Betsy Plascencia, JaNessa Willis and Lisa Paniagua won the Excellence in Healthy Living Programming Award for the Western Region. The team also won the NAE4-HA Excellence in Healthy Living Programming for California. The Excellence in Healthy Living Programming Award recognizes outstanding efforts and impacts of NAE4-HA members in healthy living programming, evaluation, and/or research projects.
JoLynn Miller, UC Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development advisor for the Central Sierra, won Excellence in 4-H Volunteerism Award for the North Central Region. Miller was part of a team with members from the North Central Region that created the National 4-H Volunteer E-Forum.
At the state level, Kendra Lewis, academic coordinator; Sheila Bakke, 4-H program representative in Solano County; Gloria Gonzalez, 4-H SET program representative, Valerie Williams, 4-H program representative, and Shannon Horrillo, statewide 4-H Youth Development Program director, won the 4-H Military Partnership Award
The purpose of the 4-H Military Partnership Award is to recognize the individual or team who has created a positive Extension image through his/her/their leadership and citizenship as it relates to the development of the 4-H Military Partnerships on U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and/or U.S. Navy installations and in the community as it pertains to Reserve Component service members and families.
John Borba, 4-H youth development advisor for Kern County, was honored with the 25 Years of Service Award, Steven Worker, 4-H youth development advisor for Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties received the Meritorious Service Award for service in 4-H programs for 15+ years. Charles Go, UC Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development advisor for Alameda and Contra Costa counties, received the Distinguished Service Award for more than 7 years of service. Go also has begun serving as western regional director on the NAE4-HA Board. Soule received the Achievement in Service Award for 3 to 6 years of service in 4-H programs.
They received the awards Oct. 10 at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents conference in Columbus, Ohio.
Paul Verdegaal, who retired after serving more than 30 years as UC Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor in San Joaquin County, was inducted into the San Joaquin County Agricultural Hall of Fame on Oct. 18. Donald Rough, who was a UCCE pomology advisor, will be inducted posthumously.
“Verdegaal helped remove the stigma that Lodi could not grow premium wine grapes through exhaustive research, leadership and work with growers,” wrote Bob Highfill, marketing and communications manager for the Lodi Winegrape Commission, in the Stockton Record.
“During Verdegaal's tenure as farm advisor, the grape and wine industry in San Joaquin County flourished. Thirty years ago, there were 43,370 acres of grapes cultivated in San Joaquin County. In 2017, there were close to 100,000 acres. In 1986, Lodi was first recognized as an American Viticulture Area, but many, including the University, still felt that premium wine varietals could not be grown commercially in the Valley. Verdegaal worked hard to change that stigma.”
Kabashima honored with Urban Tree Legacy Award
Kabashima's varied research and extension programs have included the management of insects, diseases, and biological control of exotic and invasive pests.
Kabashima, who retired in 2015 after 28 years of serving the nursery and landscape industry and homeowners in Orange and Los Angeles counties, continues to lead the battle against invasive shot hole borer pests that spread fusarium dieback, threatening trees in Southern California. On Oct. 3, Kabashima gave a presentation at an urban forest summit for public agencies, reviewing current pest concerns relating to trees for San Diego County and what the county needs to do to defend against future invasions.
He has provided testimony for the California Legislature to fund further research into these destructive pests. In January, Kabashima was instrumental in bringing together university scientists, federal and state government representatives, county agricultural commissioners and nonprofit organization leaders for a summit in the state capitol to coordinate their efforts to battle invasive pests.
Kabashima received his bachelor's degree in agricultural biology from Cal Poly Pomona, master's degree in pest management from UC Riverside, an MBA from Pepperdine University and a doctorate in Entomology from UC Riverside. In 2014, he was inducted into the Green Industry Hall of Fame, and in 2016 he received the Arboriculture Research Award from the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Maggie Reiter joined ANR on May 9 as an area environmental horticulture advisor in Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings counties.
Prior to joining UCCE, Reiter was a graduate research assistant at the University of Minnesota from 2013 to 2016. She participated in research projects aimed at increasing winter hardiness in cool-season grasses, identifying salt-tolerant roadside grasses, improving turfgrass seed production, evaluating varieties in the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program trials, and communicating information through the extension program. Reiter also worked on the agronomy staff of several golf courses from 2008 to 2015.
Reiter earned a B.S. in horticulture and an M.S. in applied plant science, both from the University of Minnesota.
Reiter is based in Fresno and can be reached at (559) 241-7504 and email@example.com.
In the 60 years that the University of California has operated its beautiful 5,358-acre Research and Extension Center in Hopland only a handful of people have helped to manage the site as superintendent. Dave Koball, former vineyard manager at Fetzer Bonterra, is following in the footsteps of Bob Keiffer in this role.
Before joining ANR, Koball had worked for Fetzer since 2000, most recently as director of research and education. From 1994 to 2000, he was vineyard manager for Kohn Vineyards.
Koball earned his M.S. in plant pathology at Cornell University and B.S. in plant pathology at UC Davis. He returned to UC Davis as a postgraduate researcher in John Mircetich's lab, studying strawberry root rot in 1993 and 1994.
“The job of superintendent at the Hopland REC has always been something of a balancing act – mixing the needs of many and various research projects on the site with the desire to practice sustainable land management,” said Kim Rodrigues, Hopland REC director. “Dave's established working relationships with our community partners will advance our research and outreach efforts and strengthen our current team efforts.”
“I am really looking forward to entering the California Naturalist program that is run from the center, as well as participating in many of the public events held there, from sheep shearing to the monthly hikes,” Koball said.
Koball can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (707) 744-1424 Ext. 112.
Andy Lyons joined ANR on March 14 as coordinator for the Informatics and GIS statewide program (IGIS).
From 2006 to 2009, Lyons was a monitoring and evaluation specialist for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization office in Johannesburg, where he spearheaded the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework for a regional food security program and developed monitoring protocols for projects promoting low-input farming, input trade fairs, gardens, small-scale irrigation, animal health and nutrition education. In the early 2000s, he worked as a conservation planner for the Wildlife Conservation Society in Zambia, and as a program evaluator for CARE International. Lyons served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer from 1991 to 1994 in The Gambia, West Africa, where he taught high school math and physics, and developed databases for the Ministry of Education.
Lyons has a Ph.D. in environmental science policy and management from UC Berkeley. He also has a M.S. in wildlife ecology and conservation from the University of Florida, and a B.A. in mathematics from Duke.
Lyons is based at 130 Mulford Hall #3114 at UC Berkeley and can be reached at email@example.com.
Akif Eskalen, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Riverside, and John Kabashima, UCCE advisor emeritus, received the Award of Arboricultural Research from the Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture.
The award recognizes their research on the polyphagous shot hole borer, a beetle that is causing severe fusarium dieback damage to avocado and landscape trees in Southern California. The beetle has a symbiotic relationship with fungi. When the beetle burrows deep inside the tree, it transmits the fungi, which cripples the tree's water-transporting mechanism and blocks the transport of water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the tree.
They received the award at the 2016 Western Chapter ISA Conference in Anaheim on May 3, 2016.
California Rangeland Trust presented its 2016 Conservation Impact Award to Ken Tate, UCCE specialist and professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.
With 102 peer-reviewed publications, Tate leads cutting-edge research in the fields of rangeland ecology and agro-ecosystems, providing tools for effective rangeland management decisions. Tate's career at UC Davis spans 21 years where he held positions such as vice chair for outreach and extension in the Department of Plant Sciences.
“As the go-to guy for all things range science, Tate's research, outreach and education has had a significant impact on rangelands throughout California, the United States and the world,” California Rangeland Trust wrote in its news release.
Tate, the Russell L. Rustici Endowed Chair of Rangeland Watershed Science, received the award at a special farm-to-fork gala on May 21.
Doug Parker has been named president of the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR), the association of universities and organizations leading in education, research, and public service in water resources.
Parker, who is director of the UC ANR's California Institute for Water Resources, will serve as president for one year, then a year as past-president.
UCOWR members and delegates are at the forefront of water resources-related research and education, and represent various fields of natural and social science. Each member university appoints up to eight faculty or staff as UCOWR delegates. Others may join as individual members.
UCOWR's main objectives are to:
- Facilitate water-related education at all levels
- Promote meaningful research and technology transfer on contemporary and emerging water resources issues
- Compile and disseminate information on water problems and solutions
- Inform the public about water issues with the objective of promoting informed decisions at all levels of society
To achieve these goals, member institutions engage in education, research, public service, international activities and information support for policy development related to water resources. UCOWR holds an annual conference that provides a forum to explore key and timely topics of interest to water resources researchers and educators. UCOWR also publishes the Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education, presenting both scholarly work and current water resources news.
Five communicators associated with ANR received awards from the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences on June 15 at its annual conference in Memphis, Tenn.
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program's "Pest Wheel Set" earned a bronze award for Cheryl Wilen, area IPM advisor and IPM advisor extension coordinator, and Scott Parker, UCCE community educator in San Diego. The set includes two interactive wheels, in English on one side and Spanish on the other.
The Pest Wheel helps the user identify and manage 12 common pests, including ants, snails, powdery mildew and scale insects. IPM also offers the Weed Wheel, which covers 12 common garden and landscape weeds, including crabgrass and yellow nutsedge.” (The Pest and Weed Identifier Wheels can be purchased for $4 each. To order, contact Scott Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (858) 822-6932.)
Diane Nelson, a senior writer with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, won a gold award in promotional writing from ACE for her news release on groundwater banking, “Farmland May Provide Key to Replenishing Groundwater.” The article discusses the research of CA&ES faculty members Helen Dahlke, Ken Shackel and Astrid Volder and UCCE specialist Toby O'Geen.
Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won a gold award for her photograph of two youths getting acquainted with a rose-haired tarantula. Garvey also won silver awards for her feature story on entomologist Jeff Smith of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and for her photo series “Miracle of Life.” A photo of two praying mantids mating earned her a bronze award.
ACE, an international association of communicators, educators and information technologists, offers professional development and networking for individuals who extend knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences.
To see all of the award-winning photos, see the Bug Squad story at http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=20760.