- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Brent Hales joined UC ANR as the new associate vice president for research and Cooperative Extension on July 3.
Hales brings over 20 years of higher education research and leadership experience, including at land grant institutions and in Cooperative Extension. He most recently served as an associate dean of Pennsylvania State University's College of Agricultural Sciences and director of Penn State Extension.
Before joining Penn State in 2019, he served as the senior associate dean and chief financial officer of the University of Minnesota Extension, associate dean for the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, and the director of the Economic Development Authority Center at University of Minnesota, Crookston.
Hales earned a Ph.D. in rural sociology from Iowa State University, a master's degree in sociology from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor's degree in sociology from Brigham Young University in Utah.
While attending the UC ANR statewide conference in April, he was interviewed by Rodger Wasson for the “Farm To Table Talk” podcast. You can hear Hales explain that “Cooperative Extension is more than just kids, cows, sows and plows” at https://farmtotabletalk.com/beyond-kids-cows-sows-plows-brent-hales-uc-anr.
Hales is based at the Second Street building in Davis and can be reached at email@example.com, (530) 786-0256 and on Twitter @BrentDHales. Vanya Woodward, who is providing his administrative support, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laurie Wayne joined UC Cooperative Extension on July 5 in Modoc County as a nutrition and food systems advisor for Modoc, Lassen and Siskiyou counties. Wayne will work with community members on healthy lifestyles, nutrition, food access and security, local food production, preservation and availability.
Wayne brings years of high-desert food systems experience to her role: she owned and operated Locavore Farms in Fort Bidwell, helped found the Surprise Valley Saturday Market and Modoc Harvest, and was on the team that started the Modoc Harvest Food Hub. She also has worked supporting healthy communities for Oregon State University Extension in Klamath Falls, and at the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance in Bend, Oregon.
She earned a master's degree in TESOL (to teach English as a second language) from Portland State University and worked in school and community gardens with immigrants and refugees as part of her research project. She earned a bachelor's degree in Italian literature from UC Santa Cruz.
This job feels like the culmination of the farming, studying, supporting farmers and working in food systems she has done in the past 15 years, Wayne said.
“I'm especially interested in working on expanding access to affordable, healthy, local food year-round, including extending and preserving the harvest,” Wayne said. Her goal is to help everyone feel empowered to make healthy food choices, and she's learning what resources producers need to improve processing, transportation and production strategies, and overcome barriers that are unique to the region.
To better understand both the food systems needs and the abundant food assets of northeastern California, she will be meeting with community members; state, local and regional nonprofits; schools and other organizations in the next few months. They will discuss ways to strengthen community food system resilience.
“It's all about healthy community members who can eat good local food without breaking the bank, and producers who can make a living feeding them,” Wayne said.
Based in Alturas, Wayne can be reached at email@example.com and (530) 233-6400.
Carly Hyland joined UC ANR in July as a UC assistant Cooperative Extension environmental health sciences specialist/assistant professor in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
She recently finished a mixed-methods project at Boise State University examining pesticide exposure and perceptions of the risks of pesticides among Latino men and women farmworkers in Idaho. In California, she is pursuing projects examining interventions to protect farmworkers from pesticides, extreme heat and wildfire smoke in collaboration with community partners.
“There are so many reasons I wanted to come back to Berkeley, and I think one of the biggest motivating factors for me was the collaborative environment focused not just on conducting innovative research, but also translating those findings into solutions to improve community health,” Hyland said. “Farmworkers are increasingly experiencing the health impacts of climate change on a daily basis, and this position will provide me with the resources and collaborations necessary to identify strategies to address these urgent issues.”
Hyland earned her Ph.D. in environmental health sciences and master's degree in global health and the environment, both from UC Berkeley, and bachelor's degree in environmental science from Carthage College in Wisconsin.
Hyland is based at UC Berkeley and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @c_hyland1.
Samantha Sam-Chen joined the Nutrition Policy Institute on June 15 as a new project policy analyst.
She began her work at NPI as a graduate student and received her master's in public health with a concentration in public health nutrition from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
Her primary research interests include food and nutrition insecurity, evaluating food and nutrition programs, and early childhood nutrition interventions. Through her work, Sam-Chen hopes to contribute to research that will result in policies that eliminate nutrition-related health disparities. She brings over a decade of experience working with California school districts, primarily in rural and predominantly Latino communities. At NPI she works on several projects, such as evaluating the California Nutrition Incentive Program and California's Universal Meals Program.
Sam-Chen is based at UC Office of the President in Oakland and can be reached at email@example.com.
Murillo-Barrick named BIPOC advisor for Bay Area
Murillo-Barrick, who had worked as UCCE academic coordinator focused on planning grants for Fresno, Merced, Madera and Tulare counties since 2021, described her new role as “more holistic,” prioritizing historically marginalized communities. Murillo-Barrick will be identifying opportunities to leverage the strengths of BIPOC communities.
In addition to conducting a needs assessment, Murillo-Barrick is planning to form a language access group at ANR – something she is very passionate about. This group will focus on identifying language barriers and best practices by engaging programs like CalFresh Healthy Living, UC and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program that have expertise conducting multilingual programs throughout California. For example, they may recommend increasing accessibility using infographics and/or video, both of which can be translated into different languages and/or dialects.
The realm of diversity, equity and inclusion is not new to Murillo-Barrick, who has worked in outdoor education spaces, serving historically underserved communities of color. “I worked in DEI before it was considered ‘cool,'” she said.
“I have a lot of influence over program development in this role,” said Murillo-Barrick, who is fluent in Spanish. “So, my goal as an advisor is really focused on the community engagement part,” she added.
Murillo-Barrick earned a master's degree in geography and community development and a bachelor's degree in Spanish and international relations at UC Davis. During graduate school, she studied conservation issues in Nicaragua, as well as in her homeland, Costa Rica.
Aside from her academic training and previous work, Murillo-Barrick believes that mentors – including Mary Blackburn, UC Cooperative Extension health and nutrition advisor for Alameda County – who were instrumental in creating the BIPOC community development advisor position, have prepared her well for this role.
“I'm the only one within UC ANR who has ‘BIPOC' in my title, but everyone has BIPOC among their clientele,” said Murillo-Barrick. “I'm tasked with leading our community development efforts, but we all play a part in this work.”
Murillo-Barrick is based out of the UCCE office in Hayward and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oberholster honored with American Dream Award
“Dr. Oberholster is an example of the promise of the American Dream and importance that immigrants play on education in our country,” said Thompson. “UC Davis is one of the premier research universities in the world, and it is thanks to people like Dr. Oberholster that a UC Davis education is highly sought after. I am proud to honor Dr. Oberholster with the American Dream Award and I look forward to seeing how her research and contributions at UC Davis continue to benefit our region and the world.”
Oberholster was born in South Africa, where she received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and chemistry and an honors degree in chemistry from Stellenbosch University. She earned a Ph.D. in wine science from the University of Adelaide in South Australia in 2008. In 2011, she moved to the United States to work as UC Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Davis.
Oberholster has been a board member of the American Society of Viticulture and Enology for six years and is currently the 2nd vice-president of the society. She also has worked as the secretary of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture Foundation, which fundraises to give scholarships to viticulture and enology students. Furthermore, she is a member of the LLC Management Committee that organizes the Unified Grape and Wine Symposium. She is currently the chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology's coordination and extension committee. Previously, she was the chair of the Viticulture and Enology graduate group and advised incoming students.
Oberholster is vice-chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology and is doing important research to benefit the grape and wine communities. She focuses on grape and wine challenges, including grapevine red blotch disease and the impact of wildfire smoke on grape and wine quality. Oberholster helps the wine community become more sustainable, such as improving the quality of winery wastewater recycling methods.
The American Dream Award honors immigrants who have excelled professionally, through entrepreneurship and innovation, in the arts and culture, or through community service.
Informed by the socioecological determinants of nutritional health, Diaz Rios studies methods of reaching groups at risk of malnutrition. She specializes in applying cross-cultural adaptation methodologies to develop nutrition education and to measure the value of tools. She has contributed to the production of culturally relevant educational resources to improve the food environment for people at critical stages of development, especially young children. Her approaches to adapt and validate evaluation tools for cultural relevance allow for accurate and reliable documentation of the impact of nutrition education programs in California and nationally. Recently, she has been exploring approaches to improve nutrition education in medically underserved communities.
Diaz Rios's published work informed the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior's guidelines for authors, reviewers and editors on publishing race and ethnicity data. One of her studies pointed out the scarcity of quality studies on interventions to improve diet-related health disparities. Her research also highlighted structural factors affecting food security among Latinas during the pandemic.
As a member and later chair of SNEB's journal committee, Diaz Rios led the creation of a mentorship program and recruitment of the first JNEB Mentored Editor; oversaw approval of three of the society's position papers; and participated in advancing the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in the journal.
This award recognizes one SNEB member who has made notable contributions in the field of nutrition education and behavior and to SNEB as an organization during the early stages of their career, defined as less than 10 years as a nutrition educator.
Diaz Rios, who joined UC ANR in 2014, received the award at the SNEB International Conference in Washington D.C. on July 21.
UC IPM wins ACE gold award for online course
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program won a gold award from the Association for Communication Excellence for its online course “Urban Pyrethroid and Fipronil Use: Runoff and Surface Water Protection.”
Cheryl Reynolds, UC IPM interactive learning developer, led development of the self-paced course and served as lead instructional designer, audio/video editor, photographer and narrator. Petr Kosina, UC IPM content development supervisor, contributed instructional design, cartoon animations and photography. Karey Windbiel-Rojas, associate director for Urban and Community IPM, and Loren Oki, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, were principal investigators for the project. California Department of Pesticide Regulation's Robert Budd, Aniela Burant and Carlos Gutierrez served as subject matter experts.
Pesticides are the most common way structural and landscape pests are managed in urban environments. It has been estimated that more than 2 million pounds of urban pesticides are used for structural and landscape applications annually in California, resulting in the potential for pesticide residues to be washed into storm drains during rain or irrigation events. Water carrying this residue runs directly into creeks, lakes, and rivers, harming aquatic organisms and disrupting the entire food chain within sensitive water ecosystems.
The “Urban Pyrethroid and Fipronil Use: Runoff and Surface Water Protection” online course presents information on California's Surface Water Protection Regulations that were put into place in 2012 to reduce the amount of pyrethroids in surface water runoff. The course illustrates the types of applications allowed under the regulations, as well as those that are prohibited and those that are exempt.
This course was developed for licensed pest management professionals who work primarily in structural pest control or landscape maintenance and use pyrethroid pesticides and fipronil for their work.
Funded by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the interactive course has received positive comments from participants such as, “This was a good course to take. It was interesting and well done. It will make you think about what goes down the storm drains.”
The course was developed using the Adobe Captivate authoring software and is hosted on the eXtension platform, which uses the Moodle learning management system.
To learn more about the course, watch this video: https://youtu.be/5ogj2ZLk5XA.
Keatley Garvey wins ACE photo award
Headlined “Monarch Butterflies: Closer to Extinction,” the blog included photos of a monarch egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and male and female butterflies, all images she captured in her family's pollinator garden in Vacaville.
The blog noted that the International Union for Conservation of Nature announced on July 21, 2022, that the migratory monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) was now on its "Red List of Threatened Species as Endangered--threatened by habitat destruction and climate change."
Gosliner appointed to National Institute of Health working group
The ADVANTAGE project is an effort to better understand the intersection of food systems, diet, nutrition and health in a changing environment by addressing how the current realities of climate/environmental change are affecting dietary choices, patterns and relevant aspects of the food system, as well as implications for specific public health outcomes of interest. This effort seeks to determine how an ecological approach can be applied to assess the nature and impact of these relationships and how to best translate the evidence generated to promote health and prevent disease.
Gosliner is a member of the ADVANTAGE Working Group 5, tasked to focus on translation and implementation to support context-specific, equitable, safe and efficacious interventions, dietary guidance and standards of care in a changing environment.
Working Group 5 conducted a virtual workshop on June 12. Gosliner and collaborator Jenn Otten from the University of Washington hosted “A Conversation about Dissemination and Translation.” The recording from their presentation is available online and their talk begins at 1:46:30.
Congrats to the University of California recipients of awards from the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE), an international association of communicators, educators and information technologists who focus on communicating research-based information.
ACE officials recently handed out gold, silver and bronze awards at their 107th annual conference, held in Asheville, N.C. ACE's first conference occurred July 10, 1913, when land-grant college agricultural editors gathered at the University of Illinois.
And now, the California winners:
The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) won the gold award in the Information Technology category, Instructional Design for a Non-Academic Public Online Course, for its “Self-Paced Online Course: Urban Pyrethroid and Fipronil Use-Runoff and Surface Water Protection.”
The team: Petr Kosina, Cheryl Reynolds, Robert Budd, Aniela Burant, Carlos Gutierrez, Karey Windbiel-Rojas and Loren Oki.
The course, for pest management professionals who work primarily in structural pest control or landscape maintenance, “presents information on the Surface Water Protection Regulations that were put into place to reduce the amount of pyrethroids in surface water runoff. It discusses the types of applications allowed under the regulations as well as those that are prohibited and those that are exempt." The course, available for free, must be completed by Dec. 30 of the current year.
Kathy Keatley Garvey (yours truly), communication specialist for the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won a bronze award (third place) in the pictorial series category. Her submission included a series of monarch images published July 27, 2022 on her Bug Squad blog, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources website.
Headlined “Monarch Butterflies: Closer to Extinction,” the blog included photos of a monarch egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and male and female butterflies, all images she captured in her family's pollinator garden in Vacaville.
The blog dealt with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announcement on July 21, 2022 that the migratory monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is now on its "Red List of Threatened Species as Endangered--threatened by habitat destruction and climate change."
“The good news? That the iconic monarch landed on the Red List, which means opening safeguards to protect it."
“The bad news? Being on the list means that it's closer to extinction. The other bad news? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has not yet listed it as endangered or threatened, only that it's a candidate for its list of endangered and threatened wildlife."
“The sad news? The IUCN Red List now includes 147,517 species, of which 41,459 are threatened with extinction."
The ACE winners represent universities or higher institutions of learning in 18 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming. (See list)
Lady beetles, green fruit beetle larvae, and stick-on bug tattoos drew inquisitive and appreciative crowds when the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) staffed an informational booth at Briggs Hall during the 109th annual UC Davis Picnic Day.
Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey and doctoral student Grace Horne of the Emily Meineke lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, chaired the department's Picnic Day Committee. (See 'What's a Picnic Without Bugs?)
Karey Windbiel-Rojas, associate director for Urban and Community IPM/Area IPM Advisor, said attendees asked scores of questions. "Questions were quite varied but those that stood out were how to control: termites, aphids, caterpillars, ants, carpet beetles, and rats," she said.
Green fruit beetles?
Another popular draw: Green fruit beetle larvae. "They were fun for people to get hands-on with and gave us the chance to talk to people about the difference between look alike scarab beetle larvae," Windbiel-Rojas wrote in an email. "Japanese beetles (which are not established in California), masked chafer beetles (their grubs ARE pests in raised garden beds and lawns) and green fruit beetles (which are not really pests but people sometimes see them in compost)."
"The green fruit beetle (scarab, family Scarabaeidae), is also called a fig eater beetle, green fig beetle, or western green June beetle," according to the UC IPM website. "The adults are an occasional pest of ripe fruits. Adults can fly a relatively long distance and are highly attracted to ripe fruit and the odors of manure and fermenting fruit."
UC IPM gave away 500 stick-on (temporary) tattoos, including images of the Chinese red-headed centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans), tarantula hawk (Pepsis heros) and the hickory horned devil caterpillar of a regal moth (Citheronia regalis). They were all gone within a few hours. "Next year we plan to order 1000," Windbiel-Rojas said. Staffing the educational table that included the tattoos were her two sons, Diego, a freshman at McClatchy High School in Sacramento, and Spencer, a seventh grader at Sutter Middle School in Sacramento. As attendees examined and applied the tattoos, the youths talked about invasive pests and the importance of not moving firewood to spread pests.
Meanwhile, at the entrance to Briggs Hall, it was "beetle mania" as members of the UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association kept busy selling their beetle t-shirts, the most popular of their insect-themed t-shirts.
The excitement, the capture, the I-get-to-take-these-home-and-put-them-in-my-garden look.
Who doesn't love a lady beetle? (Besides the gentlemen beetles, of course!)
Karey Windbiel-Rojas, associate director for Urban and Community IPM and area Urban IPM advisor, and her colleagues are ready for the crowds that will descend on entomological displays at the all-day Picnic Day on Saturday, April 15, the 109th annual.
The Briggs Hall activities, organized by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, include cockroach races, maggot art, forensic entomology, and more. (See Bug Squad blog for events and activities at both Briggs Hall and the Bohart Museum of Entomology)
The UC IPM specialists will provide information information sheets on both endemic and invasive pests and will answer questions.
Note that it's not a bug; it's a beetle. Entomologists call them "lady beetles" because this insect is not a true bug. It belong to the family Coccinellidae. Scientists have described about 5000 species worldwide, and about 450 in North America.
"Lady beetles, or ladybugs, are round- or half-dome-shaped insects with hard wing covers," UC IPM writes on its website. "About 200 species occur in California and most are predators both as adults and larvae. Some species specialize on aphids or other groups; others have a broader diet."
Lady beetles, the good guys and gals in the garden, are natural enemies of aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Scientists say a lady beetle may eat around 50 a day, and as many as 5000 aphids in its lifetime. Sadly, the larvae, which look like mini-alligators, are often mistaken for pests.
Don't kill 'em! Treasure 'em!/span>
Call them ladybugs, call them ladybirds, call them lady beetles, call them Coccinellidae, or just call them aphid eaters or deluxe aphid eaters.
And while you're at Briggs Hall, check out the insect-related displays and activities planned and coordinated by entomology doctoral candidate Danielle Rutkowski of the UC Davis Graduate Student Association. The events range from Roach Races (cheer on your favorite roach) to Maggot Art (dip a maggot in non-toxic, water-based paint and create a masterpiece worthy of framing--or at least, it can join your refrigerator art).