- Author: Wendy Powers
It's hot out there. Even the group in the Bay area I saw wearing long sleeves last week, are looking for ways to cool down. This, too, shall pass. Mark Bell has spent some time on the water. I've spent some time in the pool. I ran across an old photo that had me longing for a swim that requires fins.
I had an opportunity to review the ANR section in the Public Service Chapter for the systemwide 2021 UC Accountability Report. The California Naturalist Program is one program called out this year. Take a look at the impressive accomplishments that Greg and the team have had:
UC ANR's statewide California Naturalist Program promotes stewardship of the state's natural resources through education and service. The program delivery model involves partnering with around 50 well-established institutions to form a statewide network of organizations that offer the California Naturalist certification course. Since its inception in 2012, the program has certified over 3,770 graduates as California Naturalists who volunteer to support conservation and restoration efforts in 51 counties. In response to the 2020 national push for racial justice, the program re-examined its approach. As a result, the program is further emphasizing building meaningful relationships with organizations serving underrepresented groups and focusing on workforce development organizations; ensuring the relevance of program content, language, and delivery to diverse groups; increasing recruitment to those historically underserved by reducing barriers to access, including offering more scholarships; and taking responsibility for their own professional development and growth. In 2020, the program developed new partnerships with the following organizations serving underrepresented groups: Community Nature Connection, Nature for All, Outward Bound Adventures, and Southern California Mountains Foundation's Urban Conservation Corps. In Southern California, the program has seen the largest growth in partnerships with organizations serving underrepresented groups. In the Central Sierra region, non-white participation has gone up from 20 percent in 2019 to 35 percent in 2020.
I am looking forward to the STAR Award program tomorrow afternoon. An advanced ‘congratulations' to all of our winners! Earlier in the day, I will participate in a NIFA listening session to share Extension priorities that overlap with NIFA priorities, such as climate change, resilient communities, urban agriculture, workforce development, and DEI.
I head to the Hansen REC on Sunday. My first work-related trip in a very long time! I hope things cool off before then.
- Author: Wendy Powers
Whether you observed Easter or Passover, were preparing for Ramadan to start in 10 days or celebrated the time off, I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend. For those in Modoc County, I hope you enjoyed the Easter Bunny Wave. The weather was perfect for it. I love the creativity by the 4-H members to take the bunny parade to the homes of the residents! So much easier than having to go to the parade. The 4-Hers in San Benito County did something special to reach out to emergency workers and people who may be feeling sick or lonely. How thoughtful!
Last week, President Napolitano joined the President's Advisory Commission (PAC) meeting from her dining room table, clearly not her usual mode of work. During the meeting, Secretary Karen Ross shared current challenges related to food distribution, including travel restrictions for seasonal labor necessary for harvest. The more significant issue may be the impact on farmers of closed restaurants and schools, resulting in food produced with no place to go. Every day I look to make sure the milk truck comes to the dairy across the street. So far, so good.
During the PAC meeting, we had some discussion about COVID-19, itself, including the positive test in Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo, Nadia, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions developed a dry cough. It seems only Nadia tested positive. Did you know that at one point, my dream job was to be the Chief Veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo? At the time, I was in 4th grade and had read about Emil Dolensek, who was at the time the Chief Veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo and the subject of the book, Doctor in the Zoo. The Bronx Zoo was my favorite place to visit. While I didn't pursue that career choice, it was a promising deterrent from my earlier plans. On the first day of kindergarten, when we each introduced ourselves and indicated our intended career path, I proclaimed my intentions of becoming a professional pickpocket. Alas, plans change.
On Friday, I had a chance to listen to Thursday's eXtension Social Café, featuring Brook and Sarah from the UC California Naturalist program and hosted by Rose Hayden-Smith. Rose will feature the UC California Naturalist program in the eFieldbook she is creating for eXtension as an outstanding example of social media use in #scicomm. I was really pleased to learn how Sarah ties in academic content from other UC ANR programs in her story posts. While not so fond of the idea of taking quizzes, I like the inclusion of the interaction and the fact that I can opt out of that part. Excellent work, Brook and Sarah!
Earlier in the week, I received an email from a colleague in North Carolina sharing that she had just read a Fast Company article that called out the UC Master Gardener program. Congratulations to Missy and the team! What an excellent recognition for their work and the program.
Speaking of gardening, it sounds like the last-minute change to the Contra Costa County plant sale is having some success. Lorna has shared some positive feedback from some of the donors who have purchased starter plants. Hopefully, many of the UC ANR staff can take advantage of the Staff Assembly's GROWS program. What a great idea!
I hope to see everyone at the Town Hall later this week!