The world has changed profoundly in the past few weeks, compelling us to change the way we live and work to slow the new coronavirus pandemic. Your ability to adapt and to innovate on the fly is nothing short of amazing. These are incredibly trying times for all of us, some more than others. Some of you are working at home and home-schooling children. Others are caring for elderly parents.
I am so proud of the way ANR people are rapidly transforming the way they work. In the daily UC ANR COVID-19 Update, we've been highlighting some examples and will continue to feature innovative efforts. I encourage you to note your efforts on the divisionwide tracker that Strategic Communications created.
I appreciate your commitment and all that you do. While we are socially distancing, we will get through this together. Stay safe!
UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston led a delegation representing California to the annual joint meeting of the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) and the Administrative Heads Section (AHS) of the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C., March 1-4.
While they were in Washington, CARET delegates met with CaliforniaCongress members to discuss the specific impacts of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources in their districts and the importance of strong federal funding to support the programs, including Cooperative Extension, 4-H Youth Development, nutrition education, and the research and extension centers.
“CARET delegates provided first-hand testimony of UC ANR's impact on their own lives and businesses while UC ANR academics gave a boots-on-the-ground perspective of working in and among community members to build partnerships and deliver content and programming,” said Anne Megaro, UC ANR director of government and community relations.
Collectively, the group visited 36 congressional offices, including TJ Cox, Jim Costa, Jimmy Panetta and Mike Thompson.
CARET delegates – San Diego County nurseryman Mike Mellano, Humboldt County rancher Dina Moore, and Environmental Solutions Group managing partner Jean-Mari Peltier, – explained how their businesses and industries have benefited from UC ANR research and extension. Bill Frost, former UC ANR associate vice president and UCCE advisor emeritus, also served as a CARET delegate.
UCCE advisors Jhalendra Rijal and Marcel Horowitz, UCCE specialist Dan Sanchez and CalFresh Healthy Living, UC director Kamal Khaira were the academics who described their work. Associate Vice President Wendy Powers and Kathy Eftekhari, chief of staff to the VP, also participated.
CARET delegates arrived back in California while the national response to COVID-19 was just developing. They have since reached out to the congressional delegation to share what UC ANR is doing to help communities under the changing circumstances. Specifically, UC ANR is converting educational materials into online formats so they are accessible for families and individuals sheltering in place. UC ANR is also looking to extend internet connectivity to UCCE county office parking lots in rural areas where broadband access is not available.
“All of the California congressmen and staff members were supportive of UC ANR, however given the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, funding priorities are changing rapidly,” Megaro said.
Whitesell joins UCCE as human wildlife conflict advisor
Carolyn Whitesell joined UC Cooperative Extension as an assistant human-wildlife interactions advisor for San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and Sonoma counties on Feb. 18, 2020.
Whitesell, who grew up in the Bay Area and then lived for years in rural farming communities in southern Africa, brings extensive field experience along with an understanding of conflict from a variety of perspectives. For her dissertation research, she led a project studying human-carnivore conflict in a cattle ranching region in Botswana. She has worked on various other ecology research projects, including running a wildlife survey in Angola, and was an ecology research assistant at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. There, as part of her work, she bred livestock guarding dogs that were placed with local farmers to protect their livestock from carnivores.
She plans to immediately target current wildlife conflict issues in the Bay Area. To foster knowledge and tolerance for local wildlife, she plans to implement educational programs aimed at various audiences, from school kids to adults.
Whitesell earned a Ph.D. and an M.S. in ecology at UC Davis and B.S. in ecology, behavior and evolution at UC San Diego.
Whitesell is headquartered at the UCCE San Mateo County office in Half Moon Bay and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nayak joins 4-H as evaluation coordinator
Roshan Nayak joined UC ANR 4-H Youth Development Program as an evaluation coordinator on Feb. 18, 2020.
Prior to his current position, Nayak was a BUILD program evaluator at Xavier University of Louisiana. From 2017 to 2018, he was an extension produce safety specialist at Colorado State University Extension.
Nayak's strengths include integrating evaluation theories into evaluation design, instrument development and validation, data analysis, and reporting to relevant stakeholders. As a member of the Penn State Extension Food Safety team, he evaluated the effectiveness of statewide on-farm food safety programs and identified deficiencies and barriers in the adoption of food safety standards on produce farms for his doctoral thesis.
Nayak earned a Ph.D. in agricultural and extension education at Pennsylvania State University, a masters in agricultural and consumer resources at Tarleton State University in Texas, and a B.S. in agriculture at Banaras Hindu University in India.
Nayak is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at email@example.com.
Eltarabily joins UC ANR for alfalfa irrigation management
Mohamed Eltarabily joined UC ANR as an assistant project scientist for alfalfa irrigation management on Feb. 3, 2020.
Prior to joining UC ANR, he was a Fulbright postdoctoral visiting scholar working with UC Cooperative Extension specialist Dan Putnam on a salinity management research project in alfalfa at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center.. At Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, he worked with UC Cooperative Extension specialist Khaled Bali on an alfalfa groundwater recharge project. He has also been involved in sunflower, olive and alfalfa projects at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center.
Before coming to California, he was an assistant professor of water resources engineering in the civil engineering department of Port Said University in Egypt.
Eltarabily earned a Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Egypt–Japan University of Science and Technology in Alexandria, Egypt. He earned an M.S. in civil engineering at Port Said University in Egypt and a B.S. in civil engineering at Suez Canal University in Port Said, Egypt.
Eltarabily is based at Kearney and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (559) 646-6539.
SRM honors Huntsinger with research award
Lynn Huntsinger, professor and Russell Rustici Chair in Rangeland Management at UC Berkeley, received the W.R. Chapline Research Award at the Society for Range Management's (SRM) 72nd Annual Meeting, Technical Training and Trade Show in Denver, Colo., Feb. 16-20, 2020.
The Chapline Research Award gives special recognition to members of the society for exceptional and sustained research accomplishments in rangeland science and associated disciplines, including the biology and ecology of plants, wildlife and domestic livestock and characteristics of the ecosystems they inhabit.
She is the first woman to receive the award, according to Mel George, UCCE specialist emeritus.
Huntsinger has made exceptional contributions to rangeland science and management through her path-breaking research on rangeland social-ecological systems, her international engagement, public communication and innovative teaching, according to Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, professor of rangeland ecology and management at Colorado State University, who nominated Huntsinger for the award.
Huntsinger pioneered the field of human dimensions of rangeland management and focused the attention of rangeland science on rangelands as integrated social-ecological systems. By the 1990s, it was clear that ecological science and technical solutions alone would not solve fundamental rangeland management challenges. Rangeland science is needed to address social and cultural values, landowner behavior, public policies and communal institutions.
Huntsinger's early work on private rangeland landowners' and public land managers' attitudes, values and management behavior was the first rangeland social science in North America to focus on social and cultural aspects of range management. Another of her papers laid the foundation for studying rangelands as linked social and ecological systems. Further work identified the interdependent fates of public and private rangelands and theorized a potential threshold in ranchers' perceptions of ranch viability in the face of urbanization, beyond which ranch sale and land conversion become inevitable.
The term “working landscape,” now widely used to express the understanding that landscapes used for grazing produce multiple benefits for people and nature, was co-introduced by Huntsinger. Her recent research advances the concept of social-ecological ecosystem services in rangelands and demonstrates how cultural landscapes and their benefits are produced and maintained by the interaction of natural processes and human management.
Huntsinger's international collaborations in China and Spain have produced influential articles, a special issue of SRM's scientific journal Rangeland Ecology and Management on Integrated Social-ecological Approaches to Sylvopastoralism, and a book on Mediterranean Oak Woodland Working Landscapes. Her mentorship of young international scholars has helped launch multiple careers, and through them, the trajectory of rangeland social-ecological research globally. She led the USDA International Delegation on Rangeland Ecology and Management to China and has addressed the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Spain, Italy and Argentina, among other examples.
To translate science into management and policy, she helped lead the public engagement process for the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Plan, and has served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee to Review the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program, the BLM and Minerals Management Science Advisory Board, the NW Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (BLM), the Malpai Borderlands Group Science Advisory Board, and the Central Coast Rangelands Advisory Board.
On March 17, each academic and staff member should have received an email from “Glenda Humiston <email@example.com>” containing a unique link to the survey. Please do not delete the emailed invitation as it is the only way to access the survey and cannot be replaced.
The ANR@Work Survey has the subject line “ANR@Work Survey - INVITATION - DO NOT DELETE.” The ANR@Work Survey will be open through April 3. It is an opportunity for all academics and staff to provide feedback about their experience working at UC ANR.
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.
ANR HR will reach out to each of the raffle winners to arrange for delivery of the gift cards to their home address.
The following are the first 20 raffle winners:
- Stacey Amparano
- Jackie Barahona
- Greg Douhan
- Eli Figueroa
- Marie Hernandez-Vega
- Larissa Leavens
- Danielle Lee
- Peggy Lemaux
- David Lile
- Luzanne Martin
- Sandra Osterman
- Erin Paradis
- Matthew Shapero
- Shulamit Shroder
- Alison Smith
- Duane Soares
- Bill Stewart
- Amber Viveros
- Clara Wilshire
- Christopher Wong
The remaining 20 gift cards will be split between raffle drawings on Tuesday, March 31, and Monday, April 6.
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.
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.
A national action dialogue on community-based programming in the digital networked COVID-19 age will be hosted by eXtension April 1, 2020. Top issues identified in a March 26 discussion will be explored more deeply by breakout groups to share strategies for addressing these issues and potential needs to address the issues.
12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Open to all Cooperative Extension professionals regardless of eXtension Foundation, Inc. membership.
Register at https://bit.ly/2JrlROd
The purpose of this National Action Dialogue is to position universities to rapidly respond to community-based programming in the digital networked COVID-19 age by delving in, capturing collective wisdom, inspiring innovative thinking, and focusing on new opportunities, partnerships, solutions, tangible actions and collaborations on issues for farms, families, businesses and communities that will exist long beyond this public health crisis.
In partnership with ECOP, eXtension has been mobilized to support the Cooperative Extension System during this tough time of social distancing. They have started a webinar series to address working virtually and connecting with your audiences through digital technology. More information is available at virtual.extension.org and in the Connect ExtensionGroup “Extension Response & Resources for Extension Professionals Working Online.”