- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Macon named livestock and natural resources advisor
Macon, who operates a small-scale commercial sheep enterprise near Auburn, brings a combination of hands-on livestock production experience and applied scientific research and education/outreach experience.
Having been the herdsman at the UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center, and most recently serving as an associate specialist for rangeland science and management in the UC Davis Plant Sciences Department, Macon is a familiar face to many in ANR. He is currently collaborating on a variety of research efforts, including on-ranch impacts, management and planning horizons following California's historic drought. He has also led producer enrollment, data collection and grazing-water-nutrient management tracking for a statewide integrated research and extension project on irrigated pasture. He is also leading a long-term project that will quantify direct and indirect impacts from predators on rangeland livestock operations across northern California.
Macon has also worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the California Cattlemen's Association, and was the founding executive director of the California Rangeland Trust. He is currently the vice president of the California Wool Growers Association and is a past president of the California-Pacific Section of the Society for Range Management.
Macon earned a Master of Agriculture in integrated resource management from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in agricultural and managerial economics from UC Davis.
“I have finally recognized that the parts of my earlier jobs that I most enjoyed involved the things I'll be doing on a daily basis as a farm advisor - teaching and doing research,” Macon wrote in his Foothill Agrarian blog. “Along with raising sheep, I feel as though I've finally figured out what I'm supposed to do in life!”
“I have enormous shoes to fill - Roger Ingram and Glenn Nader, who have proceeded me in these four counties, were incredibly productive and successful advisors.”
Spinelli named vegetable and irrigation advisor
Before joining UCCE, Spinelli had worked as agricultural specialist for the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County since 2015. He performed irrigation system evaluations, implemented an irrigation water and soil moisture monitoring project, and provided recommendations for irrigation management and improvements in irrigation systems, assisting the strawberry, lettuce, apple, vegetable and blackberry industries.
From 2010 to 2015, Spinelli was a graduate student researcher in the Plant Sciences Department at UC Davis, where his research focused on water stress and water use at the leaf and canopy level in almond orchards in California.
Spinelli grew up on an olive and vegetable farm on the hills overlooking Florence, Italy. He left Italy in 2007 to work in Honduras on an irrigation development project providing technical assistance for smallholder corn and watermelon growers, and in London designing and installing landscape irrigation systems. He also lived in Lebanon, where he introduced integrated pest management in apple and olive production, rebuilt irrigation channels for tobacco and vegetable growers, implemented a queen bee breeding program and built sewage lines for the Wavel refugee camp. In addition to English, he speaks French, Italian and Arabic.
Spinelli earned a Ph.D. in horticulture and agronomy and a M.S. in international agricultural development from UC Davis and a M.S. in tropical agricultural development and a B.S. in agricultural sciences and technologies from the University of Florence, Italy.
Based in Modesto, he can be reached at (209) 525-6806, (530) 304-3738 (cell) and email@example.com.
Vela to lead News and Information Outreach in Spanish
Before joining UC, Vela was the news director and main anchor for KVER-TV Univision in Palm Springs. Vela launched his journalism career in the third grade by starting a school newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He was the news correspondent for Univision News in Los Angeles bureau for over 10 years, then moved to San Diego where he was the news anchor/producer for the Univision affiliate for 14 years. In 2014, Vela moved to his hometown of El Paso, Texas, to be the news anchor/producer for KTDO-Telemundo 48.
In 1992, he won an Emmy for his story about a Latino family coping with their last days before dying of AIDS and preparing their children for their loss. In 2005, Vela received an Emmy for a news feature, “Los Trovadores del Siglo 21.”
In 2001, Hispanic Business Magazine named Vela one of the 100 most influential Hispanic journalists in the country for his journalistic vision to voice the needs of the Hispanic community in San Diego. He expanded his commitment to the community by writing a weekly column for the El Latino newspaper about issues pertinent to Hispanics in San Diego. In 2004, The San Diego Press Club honored his newspaper column and morning radio talk show, Voces de San Diego, which had been on the air only a few months, and he was named one of the 10 most influential Latinos in San Diego by Tijuana's Frontera newspaper.
On Feb. 28, 2006, the City of San Diego honored him with a proclamation of “Ricardo Vela Day” for his contributions to the Latino community through his radio show.
Vela earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and a bachelor's degree in mass communications/journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso. He also studied film and video at the Art institute in Chicago.
Vela is based at the Rubidoux Building in Riverside and can be reached at (951) 781-2151 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANR women graduate from UC Women's Initiative Program
They were among a group of mid-career women, both staff and faculty, selected from all UC locations to participate in this special program created to improve the professional development and advancement of women at UC.
The four-session program was designed by the Systemwide Advisory Committee on the Status of Women and UC Systemwide Talent Management, and delivered by CORO, a nonprofit leadership development organization.
- Cultivate a vibrant, professional network of women that spans the UC system
- Give women access to top UC leaders—women and men—so they can interview and learn from them about their diverse leadership approaches and journeys
- Strengthen participants' skills and confidence through hands-on practice with a range of tools and skills in the areas of:
- Professional development and impact
- Strategic relationship building
- Developing and delivering a compelling narrative regarding one's professional accomplishments and vision
- Negotiating at work
- Peer coaching
The program is designed for mid-career women, both faculty and staff, who demonstrate the potential to advance their careers at UC. Last year, Katherine Webb-Martinez and Tunnyalee Martin participated in the training.
Van Eenennaam tapped for national research strategy
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine sought nominations for scientific leaders across various disciplines to be part of an activity that will develop a compelling strategy for food and agricultural research for the next decade and beyond. Nominations were sought for transformational thinkers across the scientific enterprise (including but not exclusively limited to the agricultural sciences) to be considered for the study committee. These include individuals on the frontier of scientific disciplines that would be of value but are not traditionally associated with food and agriculture.
In addressing its statement of task, the study committee will offer a strategic and ambitious view of the opportunities for fundamental and applied interdisciplinary research that is both grounded by a deep scientific understanding of food and agricultural challenges and elevated by the breakthrough potential of insights and tools from newly converging disciplines in the food and agriculture setting.
Susan Wessler, the Neil A. and Rochelle A. Campbell Presidential Chair for Innovations in Science Education and distinguished professor of genetics at UC Riverside, is co-chair of the committee.
For more information about the study, visit http://nas-sites.org/dels/studies/agricultural-science-breakthroughs/who-we-are-agriculture-breakthroughs/committee.
- 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.