- Author: Deanne Meyer
Last week sped by in the blink of an eye. Monday Greg Ira and I attended the 7th Annual Summit for California Climate Action Network (CalCan). ANR was well represented with Betsy Karle, Dan Macon, Toby O'Geen, Devii Rao, Leslie Roche, Lillian Thaoxaochay and Daniele Zaccaria. Additionally, our Climate Smart Educators participated in the sessions. One session discussed the importance of trees to convert carbon dioxide to biomass. Keep in mind, one of the big drivers in the State's Climate Action Plan is urban trees. This dovetails with research done by Janet Hartin on urban trees evaluating varieties and their survivability under different conditions.
Tuesday was a super exciting day for the Master Gardener Program. After much work with Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) and Informatics and GIS (IGIS) they launched the Spotted Lantern Fly eLearning course on eXtension. More than 5,500 email invitations were sent to volunteers. A phenomenal 65% open occurred. Within minutes 87 volunteers enrolled and began the 45-minute course with certificates and badges being awarded by the minute. This is an outstanding example of a multi-state project (PA was prominent), multi-campus project (within UC), state-agency collaboration (CDFA) and program cooperation/integration with MG, IPM, and IGIS. Lauren Snowden spearheaded the project. Way to go! You too can get in on the excitement by going to the website for the eLearning course . Here's the project weblink should you want additional information. Invasive Spotted Lanternfly (ucanr.edu)
Thursday's townhall featured Shannon Klisch. Shannon shared impactful work where Market Match is used at farmers' markets to augment CalFresh dollars. They saw a 171% increase in CF dollars redeemed at markets. Convening all associated with farmers' markets made a huge impact to reduce barriers associated with the program. Providing greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables is laudable.
Welcome Rachel Lee to UC ANR! Rachel is our new Director of Publication. Rachel has worked with UC for more than 20 years. If you're in the building on Tuesday-Thursday, don't hesitate to pop by her office and introduce yourself.
The week ahead will have many people spending time with family and friends. The Thanksgiving story many of us were taught as children is far from the truth. For a more realistic recounting of history read the blog post by Jennifer Sowerwine.
Be safe as you travel near and far for the holiday. Enjoy family, fellowship, food and festivities. Bon Appetit.
I had a chance last week to attend the annual Department of Pesticide Regulation's IPM Achievement Award ceremony. The first awardees worked with schools. The winners acknowledged Cheryl Wilen for her assistance with their project. Congratulations, Cheryl, for that recognition!
The second winners acknowledged was the Spray Application Pest Management Alliance Team. Lynn Wunderlich did a fantastic job providing an overview of the project and the impacts to date. The project is a team effort between UC and industry, including the following ANR colleagues:
Maria Alfaro, Community Educator Specialist, UC Statewide IPM Program.
Catherine Bilheimer, California Department of Pesticide Regulation-Grant Manager.
Lisa Blecker , Pesticide Safety Education Program Coordinator, UC Statewide IPM Program.
Stephanie Bolton, Communications & Sustainable Winegrowing Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission.
Matt Bozzo, Chair, Yuba-Sutter Spray Safe; Farm Manager, Golden Gate Hop Ranch, Yuba City, CA.
Luis Espino, UCCE Rice Farming Systems Advisor, Colusa/Glenn/Yolo.
Franz Niederholzer, UCCE Yuba/Sutter/Butte Farm Advisor, Co-Principle Investigator.
Ken Giles, Professor, UC Davis Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department.
Gwen-Alyn Hoheisel, Washington State University Regional Extension Specialist
Petr Kosina, Content Development Supervisor, UC Statewide IPM Program.
Peter Larbi, UCANR Spray Application Specialist, Kearney Ag. Center.
Ray Lucas, Sr. Producer/Director UC ANR Communication Services.
Tunyalee Martin, Associate Director for Communication, UC Statewide IPM Program.
Louie Mendoza, Butte County Agricultural Commissioner.
Cheryl Reynolds, Instructional Designer UC Statewide IPM Program.
John Roncoroni, Weed Science Farm Advisor Emeritus, North Coast
Marcie Skelton, Glenn County Agricultural Commissioner.
Rhonda Smith, UCCE Viticulture Advisor, Sonoma County.
Matt Strmiska, (former) CEO, Adaptiv.
Emily Symmes, (former) Area IPM Advisor, Colusa/Glenn/Sutter-Yuba/Tehama.
Congratulations to the team! Be sure to take a look at the video to learn more. What a nice event.
I missed the last Black History Month activity this week. From what I have heard, it was another fantastic event. All of the sessions had great topics with outstanding presenters. I hope the attendance at this last session of the series was as strong as it was for the other presentations. Congratulations to Esther, Keith, and LeChe for their success. Their hard work is much appreciated.
Darren gave a great presentation to the UC ANR Governing Council. He talked about the role that the RECs, and UC ANR more broadly, can play in connecting different, reductionist research topics to construct a holistic approach to addressing the urban living realities. The Council had great ideas. One member said “I want to be a part of this”. Council members will be key to identifying partners and players from around the UC system and beyond. Well done, Darren!
I am looking forward to a warm weekend, with hopefully a bit less wind. I need the internet to move a bit faster.
Anyone anxious this week? And it's not over, yet. My Pollyanna voice says that while the country is divided, no one is on the short end of a landslide. Some important ‘firsts' took place across the country (NY, DE, NM), too, suggesting changing times. An interesting week, indeed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote – I hope you remained COVID-safe during the process! A special thank you to Michelle Hammer-Coffer's football team for sending dinner to all the vote counters in Pennsylvania! I finished a project this weekend for a fan of that team. Don't tell him; it's a Christmas gift.
Meanwhile, Jose Luiz Carvalho de Souza Dias started this week in Merced County as an Agronomy and Weed Management Advisor. Jose has programmatic responsibilities in Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin Counties. Please welcome Jose to UC ANR!
Amidst the voting and vote counting, Program Council met this week. We spent some time talking about partnerships, within UC, across CA and beyond. Mark has assembled a useful document to describe opportunities. If you have ideas, please reach out so we can assist in pursuing the partnership. In particular we talked about the research continuum comprised of AES researchers, CE Specialists, CE Advisors, and Community Education Specialists and how to ensure that all know of the benefits of working with partners across the continuum. Jim Farrar shared a high level vision for the IPM program that was particularly interesting.
Tomorrow, Glenda and I will share our UC ANR work and the planned work of both the ANR Strategic Plan and the REC Strategic Framework with the UC Vice Chancellors for Research. We hope to generate interest in our work and identify possible partnerships across the UC system. We will have a similar conversation with the UC Committee on Research and Policy next week.
This is the first week of the month which means that Friday is the monthly meeting with REC Directors, followed by County Directors. Following is a 2-hour professional development session for Extension Directors that I am particularly looking forward to about helping people cope with the stresses of 2020. I'm not alone in finding this an important topic; record attendance is anticipated at the session. A few more meetings follow on Friday, before the weekend arrives. I don't know about you, but I am already ready for the weekend! I plan to keep the news channels turned off.
Last week was a bit exhausting – so much thinking between the REC Director meeting and the Ideation Workshop, not to mention other meetings and obligations. But I have to admit that it was quite fun though I wasn't under any of the pressure that the Ideation teams experienced. At one point there was a comment about making time to be creative 1 hour per week – teams exceeded it last week. And the ideas were fantastic! I can't wait to see all of them move towards implementation. My favorite statement of the week came from the ANR 3.0 team in reference to all of UC ANR personnel: "You can't buy a better collection of experts". My favorite formula was the change formula:
(Dissatisfaction × Vision × First Steps × Support) > Resistance
The mathletes amongst us were quick to point out that if any one of those factors is zero, resistance wins. Overall, the week seemed to exceed Resistance but time will tell.
Amidst the thinking was the entertainment, compliments of Jim Farrar and Scott Brayton. If you didn't catch the livestream, you really missed out. My favorite part was that Jim couldn't help himself but to infuse education throughout the Pest Fest (I stand corrected that it wasn't all about bugs!).
Today is CORO graduation. CORO is a UC leadership program. This year Jim Farrar completed the program. Admission is highly competitive. Fortunately, the many talented individuals throughout UC ANR are recognized. As a result, UC ANR does pretty well with CORO participation. Congratulations, Jim! It's great to see Jim's other talents highlighted this week.
The SI Leaders will meet this afternoon to continue discussions about planning structures. Also, plans are underway for an SI conference in spring 2019. The SI Leaders are thinking something a bit different from past events. Stay tuned for details. Finally, during today's meeting, the SI Leaders will finalize a soon-to-be-released RFA looking for projects that build online educational resources targeted at reaching non-English speaking clientele.
Wednesday I have a chance to catch up on some things, including follow up communications with the Ideation teams and a review of the REC rates for the upcoming year. Then it is off to Riverside on Thursday to visit with Eta, Chutima, and group and share our programs with the Global Food Initiative director to brainstorm about how we might leverage our efforts.
Friday is full of standing Zoom meetings. This week promises to be more traditional as far as creativity goes. But who knows, there could be a surprise around the corner.