- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
After leading the Western Integrated Pest Management Center through the global COVID crisis as acting director, Matt Baur has been named permanent director effective July 1 to lead the center into the post-pandemic future.
Baur, an IPM practitioner and entomologist by training, had been the Western IPM Center's associate director since 2014.
“Like everyone, the center had to change the way we worked during the pandemic and some of those changes are likely to continue into our future,” Baur predicted. “The region we serve in the West is huge – Guam to Colorado, Alaska to New Mexico – and the remote technologies and virtual platforms we all became familiar with in 2020 can help us connect across those miles.”
Baur's goals for the center are to build on its successes and expand its outreach to serve new areas and audiences, promoting smart, safe and sustainable pest management across the region to protect the people, environment and economy of the American West.
“The vision of the center is “A healthier West with fewer pests,'” he explained, “and that's something I care about deeply. I have two sons and promoting integrated pest management is one way I help protect their world.”
Baur sees a need to reconnect with the people who research and teach IPM, and plans to attend meetings and conferences for all the scientific disciplines involved in pest management. He also plans to expand the center's connections to communities that have been under-represented and under-served in the past.
“I believe it's vital that we not only listen to but represent all the stakeholders in the West affected by pests and pest-management practices,” Baur said. “There are voices we haven't heard and communities we haven't served well in the past, and I am very happy to have the opportunity to change that. Integrated pest management can be a way to promote environmental and social justice, and as a regional IPM center, we can be leaders in that.”
Before joining the Western IPM Center, Baur worked as a research scientist at DuPont/Pioneer and was a research assistant professor at Louisiana State University. He received his doctorate in entomology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and his bachelor's degree in biology from UC San Diego. He is a licensed pest control adviser in the state of California.
Baur is based at the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. – Steve Elliott
Shum named director of Business Operations Center
Su-Lin Shum joined UC ANR as director of the Business Operations Center June 14, 2021. Shum will oversee the consolidated Business Operations Center in Davis.
Shum brings over 25 years of experience in financial management, budget oversight, and financial operations and analysis within the UC system and beyond. Throughout her career, she has specialized in finance and business services while serving as the director of finance and business services at Sierra College, the director of budget and finance at the UC Berkeley Library, the interim assistant dean for Finance and Administration at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, and project manager and principal budget analyst at the UC Davis Budget Office.
While living in Canada, Shum served as the executive director of strategy and operations at the Pacific Carbon Trust Environmental Investment Agency and as director of corporate planning, reporting and program reviews/audits at the British Columbia Office of the Auditor General.
Shum earned an MBA from Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, and a BA from the University of British Columbia.
Shum is based at the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at email@example.com.
Heather Kawakami rejoined ANR as associate director of statewide programs operations and research and extension centers on June 7.
Kawakami, who has worked for UC since 1992, served as chief business officer for the Nutrition Policy Institute in 2017 and 2018. She has also worked in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis, most recently as the business unit manager for the Department of Plant Sciences.
She earned a BA in medieval studies with a minor in Latin from UC Davis.
Kawakami is based at the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amir Haghverdi, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in irrigation and water management in the Environmental Sciences Department at UC Riverside, has been selected to receive the 2021 Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) Early Career Award for Applied Research. The national award recognizes outstanding early contributions in applied research related to water and promise of continued professional growth and recognition.
Haghverdi's research focuses on developing and disseminating scientific knowledge, practical recommendations, and tools for sustainable urban and agricultural water resources management. His approaches include field research trials, laboratory analyses, and computer modeling to identify opportunities for synergy between research and extension activities. His main research themes include irrigation water management, root zone soil hydrology, and precision agriculture. He is also interested in applications of advanced data acquisition and mining techniques, including remote sensing, GIS (geographic information systems) and GPS (global positioning system) technologies, machine learning, and wireless sensors.
UCOWR is a consortium of academic institutions and affiliates invested in water resources research, education and outreach.
4-H wins Diversity & Inclusion Award
The 2016-2019 UC 4-H Latino Initiative is the recipient of the Diversity & Inclusion: Expanding the 4-H Audience Award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals.
Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, statewide 4-H director, and 4-H advisors Steven Worker, John Borba, Claudia Diaz-Carrasco, Russell Hill, Katherine Soule and Liliana Vega, and Lupita Fabregas, former 4-H Youth Development assistant director for diversity and expansion, developed, implemented and evaluated culturally responsive program models to attract and retain Latino youth, families and volunteers into 4-H.
The project focused on seven counties – Kern, Merced, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Sonoma – selected to represent rural, suburban and urban communities. The number of Latino youth participating in the 4-H program increased more than 250% in three years. Youth enrollment statewide grew from 1.1% of the school-aged population in 2016 to 1.9% at the end of 2019. All counties achieved parity – within 80% of Latino youth in the population – by the end of year three (except Orange County which withdrew in year two). Read more about the UC 4-H Latino Initiative at http://4h.ucanr.edu/Resources/Latino/.
The NAE4-HYDP Diversity & Inclusion Award recognizes outstanding effort and accomplishments in achieving, expanding and/or sustaining diversity in the NAE4-HYDP organization, programs, and/or audiences.
The UC 4-H Latino Initiative team will be recognized at the NAE4-HYDP Conference in Memphis, Tenn., on November 16 or 17.
WEDA honors California Dairy Quality Assurance Program
The Western Extension Directors Association presented a 2021 Award of Excellence to the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program - Environmental Stewardship: A Public Private Partnership.
Launched in 1997, the program is led by Deanne Meyer, UCCE livestock waste management specialist, UCCE advisors Betsy Karle, Jennifer Heguy, David Lewis, Jeffery Stackhouse, Nicholas Clark, Randi Black and Daniela Bruno, and Denise Mullinax of the California Dairy Research Foundation.
The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is a voluntary partnership between the dairy industry, government and academia. It has been proactive in addressing environmental concerns, setting up a voluntary certification project before the adoption of water quality regulations that targeted nitrogen management. To protect California's air and water quality, more than 700 dairy farms have completed an on-site, third-party evaluation of their facility's manure management.
Katherine Uhde, UC Master Gardener Program coordinator in Santa Clara County, has been selected as one of 50 Bloomberg fellows to receive full scholarships to earn a Master of Public Health through the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Uhde's project will focus on environmental challenges. She is working with Lucy Diekmann, UCCE urban agriculture and food systems advisor for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, to develop project ideas that address public health practice needs.
“Generally, the project will focus on environmental health and wellness in Santa Clara County and the Bay Area,” Uhde said.
Ali Harivandi, emeritus UC Cooperative Extension turfgrass advisor, recently received an Ike Grainger Award from the United States Golf Association.
A UC Cooperative Extension environmental horticulturist based in Alameda County who specialized in turf, soil and water for 33 years, Harivandi served on the USGA's Turfgrass and Environment Committee and Green Section Research Committee. He is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert on recycled water use on golf courses and other landscape sites. His expertise in soil and water quality have been important to the USGA.
Each year, the USGA presents the Ike Grainger Award to individuals who have served the Association as a volunteer for 25 years. These dedicated men and women tirelessly give back to the game through a variety of roles.
Harivandi was instrumental in encouraging the committee to seek out research to develop warm season grasses with greater drought tolerance and grasses that will some day be able to remain green during the winter in areas where bermudagrass has historically gone dormant.
Garvey wins ACE photo awards
Kathy Keatley Garvey, UC Davis communications specialist for UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won silver and bronze awards in a photography competition hosted by the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences (ACE). ACE announced the awards June 22 at its virtual conference.
She captured the silver with a Canon MPE-65mm lens and posted the image at https://bit.ly/3cUx358 Aug. 10, 2020, on her Bug Squad blog.
“The purpose of my image is to draw attention to the dwindling monarch butterfly population,” wrote Garvey, who creates habitat for monarch butterflies in her family's pollinator garden. “They are on life support.” The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation reports that overwintering monarchs have declined 99% in coastal California since the 1990s.
In addition to the silver award, Garvey won a bronze award for her photo series of male and female Gulf fritillaries, Agraulis vanillae, “keeping busy.” Her post, “Fifty Shades of Orange, with a Touch of Silver,” appeared July 13, 2020, on her Bug Squad blog at https://bit.ly/2Q6cU3q.
The Staff Assembly Council currently consists of a chair, a vice chair/treasurer, a scribe, a program chair, a senior Council of University of California Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) delegate and a junior CUCSA delegate.
ANR staff members are being sought to serve in the posts of junior CUCSA delegate, vice chair, program chair (s) and scribe. Candidates can be self-nominated or nominated by someone else.
Matt Baur is currently chairing the nominating committee, which conducts the elections and will communicate the results of the elections at the Staff Assembly Networking function at the ANR Statewide meeting in Ontario in April. In addition to Baur, the nominating committee includes two UC ANR Staff Assembly members at large.
Nominations for positions on the Staff Assembly Council will take place from March 1 through March 9. Voting will be by survey and will take place March 19 through March 30.
The duties of the positions can be found on the Staff Assembly website http://staffassembly.ucanr.edu under the “Bylaws” tab. In short, the vice chair/treasurer drafts annual budgets, the scribe takes meeting minutes, program chair develops programs and meetings, and the Junior CUCSA representative attends quarterly CUCSA meetings and participates in CUCSA workgroups. All members of the council assist with committee responsibilities and committee assignments as needed. The council meets monthly by zoom and has in-person meetings once or twice a year.
If you have additional questions, please contact your local staff assembly ambassador.
- Author: Jeannette Warnert
“I'm especially pleased to be able to bring this announcement to you,” Humiston said. “Principles of Community and staff assembly are milestones in the history of the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.”
Late last year, Humiston appointed a committee to draft the Principles of Community and she appointed a committee to develop the process for forming the statewide ANR Staff Assembly.
“I want to offer my sincere thanks to the members of these committees for their commitment and their work,” Humiston said.
Both committees completed draft documents, which are now on the web for review and input. Staff Assembly bylaws are on the Staff Assembly website. The Principles of Community are on UC ANR's main website. Forms for submitting questions and comments are available for both documents.
Matt Baur, chair of the Staff Assembly committee and associate director of the Western Region IPM Center, introduced the new Staff Assembly framework at the town hall meeting. He said all staff in ANR are part of the Staff Assembly, including all appointment types and county employees.
“Everyone needs to participate in the assembly for it to function properly,” Baur said. “We want to offer opinions and recommendations to leadership on policies, processes and programs, and to channel information from leadership back to the staff. It's a two-way information flow.”
Part of the assembly's mission will be offering learning opportunities, career training and professional development to ANR staff to further career advancement. Humiston said the Staff Assembly joins Academic Assembly as equally important pieces of shared governance for UC ANR.
Two members of the Staff Assembly committee will represent ANR at the statewide meeting in June of the Council of UC Staff Assemblies. In the fall, winter and spring, ANR Staff Assembly plans to hold regional meetings around the state to engage staff in the organization.
The Principles of Community were outlined at the Town Hall by committee chair Terri White, executive assistant for Communication Services and Information Technology. She said the committee started its work with 31 pages of comments from the environmental assessment workshops. They looked for commonalities to identify workshop participants' suggestions for creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace.
“With our group, we determined that fairness, trust, respect, physical and emotional safety and security were important. That was what we felt our target was,” White said. “We vetted our early draft with 12 academics and staff and introduced it to leadership in March. Now we're looking to all of you for input.”
The principles outlined in the document are:
- Ensure open communication
- Work together to achieve common goals and mutual understandings
- Value the contribution and worth of all members
- Appreciate and celebrate differences and diversity
- Foster a sense of belonging and emotional safety
- Practice mutual respect
- Demonstrate ethics and integrity
- Invest in all members
- Recognize that all members are important
In closing the town hall session, Humiston noted that the larger vision of the Division is outlined in the Strategic Vision 2025 and that the existing Strategic Initiatives will continue for at least another five years.
“As we're working together, that's our vision of where we are and where we are going as we implement the Principals of Community and utilize the Staff Assembly to get us there,” Humiston said.
View the 27-minute video of the town hall below.
On behalf of the Work Environment Assessment Committee, we want to thank all who volunteered to be part of statewide committees to create an ANR Staff Assembly and to develop UC ANR Principles of Community. Response throughout the six regional workshops was tremendous and we appreciate your enthusiasm.
From the list of nearly 50 volunteers, committee rosters were developed that balance people from different areas of the state and different job responsibilities in order to provide a diverse representation of UC ANR. For those not selected, we sincerely appreciate your willingness to serve and to be part of these committees.
Here are the committee members:
UC ANR Staff Assembly
UC ANR Principles of Community
The Staff Assembly will be a mechanism through which non-academic staff will be able to voice their issues, concerns and suggestions. The committee will meet throughout the fall and then provide a report to UC ANR Senior Leadership in February 2016.
The Principles of Community Committee will also work throughout the fall, taking the input from all of the Work Environment Assessment Workshops. The committee will work together to develop a draft set of Principles of Community for UC ANR by February 2016.
Both committees will reach out for feedback and will provide updates on a regular basis.
Thank you again to our volunteers who stepped up to create the first UC ANR Staff Assembly and to develop our own UC ANR Principles of Community.
Jan Corlett, chief of staff to the vice president
Linda Marie Manton, executive director for ANR Staff Personnel