- Author: Steven T. Koike
Steven T. Koike is retiring from the University of California Cooperative Extension, and in January 2018 he will become the Director of the TriCal Diagnostics lab in Hollister, CA. Koike joined the UCCE Monterey County office in 1989 as the Plant Pathology Farm Advisor, and he conducted an extension research and education program on diseases of vegetable, fruit, and ornamental crops. His work focused on diagnosing plant problems, investigating the epidemiology of diseases, evaluating fungicides and other disease control methods, identifying and characterizing new diseases, and advising clientele on disease management approaches. He collaborated on field studies involving foodborne bacterial pathogens. Koike created and operated the university's only county-based, fully equipped diagnostic lab for plant diseases, located in Salinas. During his 28-year extension career, he published 381 peer-reviewed and 711 non-peer-reviewed publications, including his 450-page book Vegetable Diseases: A Color Handbook. He presented research at many national and international conferences, gave 374 extension presentations, and organized and hosted 88 extension meetings and workshops.
His awards include the following: 1997 Assembly Council Fellowship for Advanced Studies, UC ANR; 1999 Resolution, Monterey County Board of Supervisors for excellence in service and research; 2000 Award for Outstanding Achievement, CA Friends of Agricultural Extension; 2005 Joseph M. Ogawa Research & Teaching Endowment Award; 1993, 1998, and 2006 Milton D. and Mary M. Miller Plant Science Awards, Dept. Plant Sciences, UC Davis; 2011 Oscar Lorenz Award, Dept. Plant Sciences, UC Davis; 2002 and 2011 Distinguished Service Awards for Outstanding Research, UC ANR; 2013 National Award for Excellence in Extension Plant Pathology, American Phytopathological Society.
Koike's new position with TriCal Diagnostics will involve operating a commercial diagnostic lab for plant diseases, supporting research on soilborne plant pathogens, and providing plant pathology information to clientele who grow or work with various agricultural commodities throughout California and beyond.
In leaving UCCE, Koike thanks the many people who assisted and encouraged him in his extension career: growers, pest control advisors, and other professionals in the agricultural industry; fellow extension academics from throughout the state; his Farm Advisor colleagues in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties; research technicians and support staff from his Salinas office; university and USDA researchers who collaborated with and assisted him; and his family (wife Margaret, sons Evan and Andrew). Koike also acknowledges the following mentors: Joseph Ogawa, Bill Manji, Art McCain, Marvin Snyder, Albert Paulus, Ed Butler, and Krishna Subbarao.