UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is releasing 10 more UC Cooperative Extension academic positions for recruitment.
“These positions are made possible by the historic 2021-22 state budget increase Governor Newsom approved in July,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “We are grateful that the governor and so many California legislators recognize the benefits of reinvesting in UC ANR research and extension to address critical needs across our state.”
The newly released positions include:
- Orchard Systems Area Advisor, Tehama County
- Nut Crops Advisor, Merced County
- Invasive Weed & Restoration Ecology Specialist, UC Davis
- Water Justice Policy and Planning Specialist, UC Berkeley
- Nutrition, Family, and Consumer Science Advisor, Central Sierra Multicounty Partnership
- Nutrition, Family, and Consumer Sciences Advisor, Tulare County supporting the lower San Joaquin Valley region
- Fire Advisor, Mariposa County
- Environmental Horticulture Advisor, Capitol Corridor Multicounty Partnership, serving the Sacramento Valley region
- Agricultural Engineer Advisor, Intermountain Research and Extension Center
- Integrated Pest Management Area Advisor, Butte County
The locations listed after the titles are where the individuals will be headquartered; UCCE Advisor positions serve multiple counties.
In May 2021, UC ANR Program Council identified 15 UCCE Advisor and five UCCE Specialist positions as critically urgent to fill from a list of the remaining positions from the 2018 position call process (updated in 2019) and more recent personnel departures and priorities. To avoid overwhelming UC ANR's Human Resources staff, 10 positions were released in July and this second set of 10 is being released now.
“We look forward to releasing additional positions for recruitment – both academic and program support members – throughout the next several months,” Humiston said.
Humiston encourages everyone to share the announcement with their social networks to “help us find and recruit outstanding candidates.”
To see a list of UC ANR job openings, visit https://ucanr.edu/About/Jobs
Michael Hsu joined University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources as senior public information representative on Aug. 16. He succeeds longtime communications specialist Jeannette Warnert, who retired in July.
“We're excited to have Mike Hsu join UC ANR,” said Linda Forbes, UC ANR's Strategic Communications director. “Along with his writing talents and quick wit, Mike brings a passion for helping people, which aligns with UC ANR's mission of improving the lives of all Californians.”
Most recently, Hsu served as a communications specialist on the Public Affairs and Marketing team at UC Davis Health, where he crafted internal messaging and executed communications campaigns for the health system's 14,000 employees, leading up to and through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bulk of his career, however, has been centered in the conservation nonprofit space. During 11 years at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in San Francisco, Hsu envisioned and delivered an array of multimedia communications as its director of editorial content and strategy.
He hopes to bring to ANR the creative storytelling that helped the Conservancy convey the impact of its youth education initiatives, participatory science programs, community outreach efforts and restoration projects across 80,000 acres of urban national parkland.
Hsu earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and East Asian studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree in Asian studies at UC Berkeley.
Based at the UC ANR offices in Davis, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Twitter handle is @UCANRMike.
Murillo-Barrick named ag land coordinator in San Joaquin Valley
Cristina Murillo-Barrick joined UC Cooperative Extension as an agricultural land acquisitions academic coordinator II on July 15, 2021. She will serve Fresno, Merced and Tulare counties.
In her new role with UCCE, Murillo-Barrick will support the mission of California's Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation Program (SALC) to fight climate change by protecting productive farmland. Collaborating with the Strategic Growth Council and the Department of Conservation, she will provide local and regional planning agencies, land trusts, nonprofits, landowners and other stakeholders with input on critical land use issues, strategies and opportunities. This work will involve actively engaging partners, providing technical expertise and enhancing capacity of underserved communities.
Prior to joining UC ANR, Murillo-Barrick has been an environmental science educator at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Yosemite National Park and Shenandoah National Park, trained ecotourism guides, and volunteered for programs in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Last year she and Clare Gupta, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, teamed up with California Institute for Rural Studies and the Community Water Center to produce the podcast Water is Gold: How Central Valley Communities are Still Fighting the Drought, this work was part of a National Science Foundation-funded multidisciplinary research project that examined the effects of groundwater, drought and climate change.
She earned an M.A. in geography, M.S. in community development, B.A. in international relations, and B.A. in Spanish, all from UC Davis. She is fluent in Spanish and trained in both translation and interpretation. Within this position, Murillo-Barrick said she hopes to “support, amplify and expand efforts to achieve agricultural sustainability and address climate change within California's most impacted communities. A fundamental piece of this work will involve providing sound technical assistance while centering on equity, antiracism and language justice.”
Murillo-Barrick is headquartered in Fresno and can be reached at (559) 458-6193 and email@example.com.
Gautam named area citrus IPM advisor
Sandipa Gautam joined UC Cooperative Extension as an area citrus IPM advisor on July 12, 2021.
Prior to accepting the UCCE advisor position, Gautam was an assistant research entomologist in the UC Riverside Department of Entomology. Since 2016 she had worked with UCCE specialist Beth Grafton-Cardwell at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center leading a research group that works on integrated pest management in citrus. She has studied fungal feeding mites Lorryia formosa and Tarsonemus bakeri, California red scale, Asian citrus psyllid and the efficacy of treatments against arthropod pests of export concern.
She earned a Ph.D. and M.S. both in entomology from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and a B.S. in agriculture from Tribhuvan University in Nepal.
Baur named Western IPM Center director
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.
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 ANR building in Davis and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richards named ag land coordinator in Southern California
Chandra Mercedes Richards joined UC Cooperative Extension as agricultural land acquisitions academic coordinator II for San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside counties on May 10.
As an agricultural lands acquisition academic coordinator II, Richards aims to better support San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego counties through the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) grant program.
“More specifically, I will be identifying and addressing regional barriers to land use planning, connecting producers with ANR services and climate-smart technical assistance providers, supporting grant applications and agricultural assessments, and ultimately protecting agricultural systems in perpetuity,” she said.
The East Coast native has lived in California for 11 years and is rooted in San Diego. Prior to joining UC ANR, Richards was a conservation ecologist at the greater San Diego Resource Conservation District, where she led the agriculture, forest health, and habitat restoration programs and supported climate-smart agriculture through planning, education, and technical assistance. She also was a key grant writer and project implementation leader.
She earned a Ph.D. in soil biogeochemistry from UC Berkeley and double B.S. degrees in chemistry and mathematics from Pennsylvania State University.
Richards is based in San Diego and can be reached at email@example.com.
Mohamed joins Kearney to study alfalfa irrigation
Abdelmoneim “Moneim” Mohamed joined UC ANR Feb. 1 as a project scientist focusing on alfalfa irrigation management.
Mohamed will be working with Khaled Bali, conducting research to identify the best irrigation management practices on alfalfa to enhance water use productivity while minimizing environmental impacts. The project focuses on crop growth and agronomic performance as affected by irrigation management, salinity and other factors.
Prior to joining UC ANR, Mohamed was an agricultural scientist for the Tropical Research and Education Center at the University of Florida. His previous work focused on modeling and optimizing the performance of moving sprinkler irrigation. He has also studied precision and automated irrigation.
After receiving his Ph.D. at Washington State University, Mohamed was an irrigation engineer for WSU Skagit County Extension Center working with extension agents and growers on improved irrigation practices, irrigation systems efficiency evaluation and crop water-use efficiency.
Mohamed earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering from Zagazig University, Egypt, a master's degree in land and water resources management: irrigated agriculture from IAMB, Italy, and a doctorate in biological and agricultural engineering from Washington State University.
Mohamed is based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @moneim_z.
After three years of limited hiring due to budget constraints, the University of California's Agriculture and Natural Resources has announced it will release 10 UC Cooperative Extension positions for recruitment.
UC ANR is home to the county-based UC Cooperative Extension, Integrated Pest Management, Master Gardener and 4-H Youth Development and other programs.
The new UC Cooperative Extension positions include:
- Plant Pathology Area Advisor, Santa Cruz County
- Soils and Irrigation Advisor, Kern County
- Urban Agriculture/Small Farms Area Advisor, San Bernardino County
- Community Nutrition & Innovative Technologies Specialist, UC Davis
- Forest and Fuels Management Specialist, UC Berkeley
- Subtropical Crops Pathology Specialist, UC Riverside
- Diversified Agricultural Systems Area Advisor, Lake County
- Forestry and Natural Resources Area Advisor, Sutter-Yuba counties
- 4-H Youth Development Advisor, San Mateo-San Francisco counties
- Integrated Vineyard Systems Area Advisor, Hopland Research and Extension Center
The county listed beside the advisor title is where the office for the employee will be located. All of the UC Cooperative Extension Advisor positions will serve multiple counties.
Last week, the state restored UC ANR's budget to pre-COVID levels of FY 2019-20 and provided a 5% increase plus an additional $32 million in ongoing funding, bringing total state support to $107.9 million for the division. Over the past 20 years, UC ANR had seen its budget decrease by almost 50% when adjusted for inflation.
“This budget increase is transformational,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “It will allow us to rebuild UC Cooperative Extension's boots-on-the-ground to help Californians cope with wildfire, drought, climate adaptation and economic development among other issues.”
Twenty UC Cooperative Extension positions have been designated as critically urgent to fill. To avoid overwhelming UC ANR's Human Resources staff, the other 10 positions of the 20 will be released in late September as they ramp up hiring for future recruitment.
“We look forward to releasing additional positions for recruitment – both academic and program support members – throughout the next several months,” said Humiston.
“We are extremely grateful to Governor Newsom, the Legislature and especially Senator John Laird, who championed the budget increase, and look forward to working with our community partners to leverage these resources.”
The state budget signed by Governor Newsom Monday night [July 12] includes a historic increase for the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. The state restored UC ANR's budget to pre-COVID levels of FY 2019-20 and provided a 5% increase plus an additional $32 million in ongoing funding, bringing total state support to $107.9 million for the division, which contains the county-based UC Cooperative Extension, Integrated Pest Management and 4-H Youth Development programs.
“This budget increase is transformational and will allow us to rebuild UC Cooperative Extension's boots-on-the-ground to help Californians cope with wildfire, drought and climate adaptation,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources.
Over the past 20 years, state funding for UC ANR decreased by almost 50% (adjusted for inflation), resulting in a significant reduction of UC ANR's Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists – from 427 positions in 2001 down to only 269 in 2021 – creating vacancies in many critical positions.
“We appreciate UC ANR stakeholders for sounding the alarm,” Humiston said. “And we are immensely grateful to Senator John Laird, chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education, for recognizing this critical need and for his leadership and dedication to restoring UC ANR's budget to bring back Cooperative Extension throughout California.”
With this new funding, UC ANR will begin recruiting for 20 UC Cooperative Extension academic positions and prioritizing many more critical positions for hiring during the next several months.
“As in the past, we will be talking to our community partners and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing needs to prioritize the next round of hiring,” Humiston said. “We must identify positions to address California's emerging and future needs. While this state budget increase will allow UC ANR to hire more people, we will continue seeking funding from additional sources to expand access to our diverse resources for all Californians.”
To learn more about how UC ANR enhances economic prosperity, protects natural resources, develops an inclusive and equitable society, safeguards food, develops the workforce, builds climate resilience, and promotes the health of people and communities in California, see the stories in its 2020 annual report at https://ucanr.edu/sites/UCANR/files/352362.pdf.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources brings the power of UC to all 58 California counties. Through research and Cooperative Extension in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, economic and youth development, our mission is to improve the lives of all Californians. Learn more at ucanr.edu and support our work at donate.ucanr.edu.