Last month, the Thelma Hansen Fund hosted a three-day series to inform about climate change and the science behind it. In an effort to raise awareness of current and predicted impacts on Southern California, the impressive line up of UC speakers focused on the environment, agriculture, and disasters such as drought and fire.
If you missed the series or want to watch again, here is a brief overview and links to the recordings:
Climate change in California: A drier or wetter future—or…both?,
Dr. Daniel Swain, UCLA
Climate change has arrived in California, and scientific evidence linking the increasing severity of the region's recent droughts and wildfire seasons grows stronger with each passing year. But our warmer future may yet hold some surprises—and that includes the prospect of increasing "precipitation whiplash" that will increase the risk of both severe drought and extreme flood events.
UC Climate Stewards: Fostering resilience in California communities and ecosystems,
Sara-Mae Nelson, UC Climate Stewards Academic Coordinator
Climate Change Trends and Impacts on Agriculture in California and Ventura,
Dr. Tapan Pathak, UC Merced
Current and future trends in climate including temperature, precipitation, snowpack, extreme heat, frost risks etc. and how these trends could potentially impact agriculture in California and regionally in and around Ventura.
Heat, Wind, Freeze, Wind, Repeat, Dr. Ben Faber, UCCE-Ventura County
What is going on with the weather and what is the impact on farming? Coastal farming has enjoyed a fairly constant environment over the years, disrupted by the occasional freeze and the regular occurrence of devastating Santa Ana winds. Now, thrown into this pattern, are devastating heat waves which affect cropping patterns and cause significant crop damage and loss. What are these changes and consequences?
Overview of the Healthy Soils Program, Nicki Anderson, UCCE—Ventura County
What is the Healthy Soils Program and what has it accomplished so far? A look on how this program plans to continue working for California farms and farmers.
How can we address the growing wildland-urban interface problem in California?
Dr. Max Moritz, UCSB
With increasing area burned and homes lost in California, we must somehow adapt to, and coexist with, wildfire in the coming decades. A review of what we've learned about incorporating human development into future projections of wildfire and mitigation of losses, particularly as they relate to stronger land use and urban planning.
Fire and rangelands: impacts to Ventura County livestock agriculture,
Matthew Shapero—UCCE Ventura County
While the hills that surround our urban centers in Ventura County might appear from a distance as wild and uncultivated, many of them are in fact working cattle ranches. These are the lands that are most directly impacted by Ventura County's frequent wildfires. What is the history of wildfire in the county, what are the impacts to livestock agriculture, and how we plan to mitigate impacts in the future?
SAFER, Sustainable And FIRE Resistant Homes and Landscapes, Dr. Sabrina Drill—UCCE Ventura County
Creating safer landscapes in fire-prone areas starts at the home. How do you increase the likelihood of homes surviving fire at the structure and near-home landscaping scale.
Spring Education & Outreach season is coming to a close. It's time to reflect on all the accomplishments:
- Be a Scientist-over 1200 visitors, youth to adult, joined UC HAREC & CE staff for a fun filled day celebrating 100 years of science and service. The May 8th activities geared for youth were also a big hit with adults. Presentations on topics such as bees, soils, gardening, and water were provided by Master Gardeners and CE Advisors. Kudos to Program Representative, Gwyn Vanoni for leading this amazing event.
- Sustainable You! Two train-the-trainers workshops were completed. HAREC and Desert REC staff as well as community partners were trained on this pertinent curriculum created by Dr. Roslyn Brain, University of Utah. A week long Sustainable You! summer camp scheduled for June will be delivered by UC intern, Chris Massa.
- Student Farm-a successful first year ended with a celebration attended by parents, siblings, school administrators, and Hansen Advisory Board members. Bonnie Weigel, Food Share, CEO presented the Center and students with a certificate of appreciation for the near 800 pounds of produce grown, harvested and donated to the food bank which serves hundreds of individuals and families in need county-wide.
- From Watersheds to Planter Beds-a Water Education Program-developed by REC sponsored intern summer 2013, this timely themed new field trip kicked off to the delight of our young visitors. Individual components of the program will go on the road as 4-H Classroom Outreach offerings in the fall.
- 4-H Field Trip, Classroom & Afterschool Outreach-with the help of our treasured volunteers, Food Corps service member and staff, spring youth outreach soared to 1999 and ages reached ranged from Preschool to 8th grade.
The season is just ending but field staff are already busy preparing the farm for new fall crops and displays. Stay tuned for posts about exciting new research projects beginning over the summer.
School buses deliver 2nd and 3th graders excited to participate in the agricultural literacy field trip that repeats spring and fall. The farm is transformed with seasonal plantings. This year, raised beds teaming with pumpkins and other winter squash varieties provide an opportunity to explore cucurbits. Students (and adults) enjoy comparing and contrasting the flowers, leaves and learning about the nutritional value of this plant family.
A Marmon, Thelma Hansen’s personal vehicle, was endowed to the University in 1993 as part of the Hansen estate, a major funding source for UC HAREC (http://ucanr.edu/sites/hansenagcenter/). The car with an interesting history including being remodeled into a pickup truck, fire, theft, and abandonment in a storage shed for 50 years, was needless to say, in disrepair and barely recognizable. A talented Moorpark rancher and auto enthusiast by the name of Charles Bedford Schwabauer came to the Marmon’s rescue. Charles volunteered countless hours to meticulously restore the antique car to its original grandeur worthy of the reputation as a reliable, speedy, and upscale means of transportation of the era. The gleaming 1917 Marmon Model 34 Cloverleaf Roadster is currently housed and on display at the Murphy’s Auto Museum located in Oxnard http://www.murphyautomuseum.org.
The staff of the UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center is deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Schwabauer and would like to acknowledge his generous contribution to the University.
Dr. Surls collaborates with Mr. Allen on a multi-city study of urban farms. Allen is Co-Principal Investigator for the Community and Regional Food System (CRFS) Project, a 5-year nationwide study funded by the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (www.community-food.org). He is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Growing Power, Inc., a 20-year-old sustainable agriculture organization based in Milwaukee, with project offices in Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin (www.growingpower.org). A farmer of more than 30 years, teacher, and community activist, his work is highly regarded and widely emulated and the Growing Power training sessions are nationally recognized. Allen has been the recipient of numerous local, state, and national awards and recognitions, including a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award. In 2012, he was invited to the White House to join First Lady Michelle Obama in launching “Let’s Move!” her signature leadership program to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. His autobiography, The Good Food Revolution, was published by Gotham Books in 2012.
Mr. Allen and guests also toured the HAREC facility with Director, Jose De Soto, and learned about other agriculture related research and education activities available at the Center.