- 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
While the temperatures are certainly heating up, my productivity is definitely down. I started the week with a scratched cornea, the result of gardening. Who knew blinking could be so painful! Just another reason I've been trying to keep my eyes open. Anyway, that left me with only have my target merit and promotion reviews completed for the weekend. But I'm back to clear vision (almost) so I can pick up again in the evenings – about 30 to 35 left to review.
Today I meet with the California Leafy Greens Research board. They are meeting in Davis and asked me to stop by. It will be the end of what may have been a long meeting for them. I am sure we will be discussing the 2018 Position Call process and the recently posted positions (scroll to bottom) as the Advisors in the central coast area are key to their businesses. Research needs and costs, indirect cost rate, and the UC ANR budget are other likely topics. The Board is a strong supporter of UC ANR so it is good that I am able to spend some time with the group and brainstorm a bit.
Tomorrow is the Star Awards ceremony, beginning at 2 PM. In case you can't make it to Davis, here's the Zoom info: https://ucanr.zoom.us/j/5307501239 or call 669/900-6833 with meeting ID 530 750 1239. Please join in to celebrate our awardees!
Thursday I am off with the 2 Marks to visit Janine and the Yuba/Sutter UCCE offices. This will be my first time in those offices. Then Friday we are in Butte County. I'm close to wrapping up my first visit to every county; I think only Santa Clara County is not scheduled or in the process of being scheduled. Then it's time to go around again. Given our hirings and departures, as well as changing goals and challenges, I don't plan to visit counties just once. Rather, my goal is to be in every county at least once every other year, pending invitations to visit. I find this helps as I am reading the merit and promotion documents because I can put the work into context and names to faces and conversations. I find it very rewarding as well as educational. I use the conversations to find common themes around the state and keep my eyes open to opportunities. Offices put considerable time and effort into the visits; hopefully they find it well worth their time.
Next time, I'll be able to share some of my journey with you!