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Posts Tagged: Petr Kosina

ANR invited to California specialty crops tour Aug. 6–9

Robovator directed by little computers that scan lettuce rows cuts weeds. Photo taken by Petr Kosina during 2016 specialty crops tour.

ANR members are invited to participate in the California Specialty Crops Council's 2018 educational tour of specialty crop production and pest management in California. The tour will start on Monday, Aug. 6 in Visalia and will conclude in Sacramento in late afternoon Thursday, Aug. 9.

This educational event is designed for regulators, research scientists, Cooperative Extension personnel and representatives from several state and federal agencies.

“The specialty crop tour was a great opportunity to meet and learn from growers, processors, advisors and government agents about pest management and crop production issues throughout California,” said Ria DeBiase, pest management guidelines coordinator for the UC ANR Statewide IPM Program, who took the tour in 2015.

Participants have opportunities to learn and network while visiting crop production sites in the San Joaquin Valley, Salinas Valley and Sacramento Valley including conventional and organic production practices. Attendees meet farmers, pest control advisers and research and extension personnel dealing with specialty crop production and pest management. All of the topics are addressed in terms of using reduced-risk pest management and improving the competitive posture of California agricultural products in the global marketplace. 

Garlic harvest. Photo by Petr Kosina.

“Talking with farmers and advisors in their fields and orchards helped me to get a better understanding of the diversity of issues they are facing every day,” Petr Kosina, UC IPM content development supervisor, who participated in 2016.

“This is a great opportunity for staff to get a closer look at many aspects associated with California agriculture,” Gary W. Van Sickle, executive director of the California Specialty Crops Council, wrote in an email to AVP Wendy Powers.

The crops expected to be seen on the 2018 tour include pears, carrots, onions, garlic, prunes (dried plums), cherries, melons and leafy greens. The tour agenda is posted at

Tour bus transportation, most meals and all tour materials are provided. Hotel costs will be approximately $350 for participants from the Sacramento area. ANR employees may use funds from their own budgets, but ANR will not provide additional funds for the event.

To attend the tour, register by completing the tour registration form at and emailing it to by June 1. Logistical information about the tour is at

For more information, contact Van Sickle at

Posted on Monday, April 2, 2018 at 1:02 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Learning and development update

New Employee Administrative Orientation

The New Employee Administrative Orientation introduces statewide programs, focuses on administrative units and services and provides an overview of ANR structure, vision and mission. Register here. Staff and academics hired since November 2016, please join us! 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
UC ANR Building in Davis
2801 Second Street, Davis, CA 95618

Interest survey: Winter 2018 UC Performance Management Networking Cohort

Fill out this interest survey if you wish to be considered for the Winter 2018 UC Performance Management Networking Cohort.

Audience: People managers who want to or have completed the UC Performance Management Certificate (via UC Learning Center). There are 10 required and 4 elective modules to complete to earn the certificate. Each module takes from 30 to 45 minutes. (Browse course titles and codes here).

You'll meet for a facilitated call once a month for 10 months to share:

  • Tools used from the UC People Management course and how they are affecting positive change
  • Guidance for challenges or issues in engagement, productivity, or communication
  • Homework assignments from the course

People who complete the course by June 2018 will be eligible to apply for funds to attend the second annual UC People Management Conference in August 2018. See last year's conference website.

What are current participants saying?

Through the online modules and discussions, I have learned about new methods to engage employees in their own performance and career development. Recently, I used one of these methods to address an employee performance issue, which resulted in the employee identifying the issue and coming up with solutions to improve their performance. I would recommend the series to anyone that manages people – whether they are new to supervising or not. – Karina Macias, nutrition program manager, UC Cooperative Extension Fresno County

Petr Kosina (far right) poses with his UC MSAP cohort.

Management Skills Assessment Program

Petr Kosina, UC IPM people manager, attended the October 2017 Management Skills Assessment Program (MSAP) at the UCLA Conference Center at Lake Arrowhead. The goal of MSAP is to address skill gaps and grow competencies that will prepare people managers for future role opportunities in their UC workplaces.

During the four-day program, Kosina participated in simulated UC management scenarios, received behavioral feedback from assessors, attended a career development workshop, and connected with UC systemwide colleagues. Before they arrived, they participated in pre-assessment components and will be involved post-program activities to continue their professional development.

As a testimonial to his experience, Kosina shared, “I enjoyed working in my group, which consisted of people from five different UC campuses and different areas of work (lab management, procurement, maintenance, communications). The one-on-one meetings with the assessor helped me to get a different perspective, self-reflect on the 360-survey outcome, and plan for my continued development as a supervisor. I especially recommend this program to new supervisors.”

Jona Pressman
But MSAP would not happen without UC assessors and a big THANK YOU is due to Jona Pressman, nutrition education program manager, UCCE Butte County. Pressman was assigned three MSAP assessees for whom she provided feedback and coaching during the program.

“Serving as an MSAP assessor for the first time was a challenging but rewarding experience," Pressman said. "I found the program to be intensely fast-paced and filled with a myriad of activities throughout each day and evening. I learned and practiced MSAP observation and feedback techniques from the onset. I was surprised how quickly I established a rapport with my assigned assessees using the MSAP tools and techniques. Since returning from MSAP, I have already used the communication feedback techniques I practiced so intensely while serving as an assessor for MSAP.”

If you are interested in becoming an assessor and helping ANR serve this UC systemwide initiative for upward mobility, please contact Jodi Azulai at Academics can add the assessor service to their merit and promotion package.

The next MSAP will be held April 23-26, 2018. features 

Be an Excel 2013 Microsoft Office Expert. Created by Microsoft Certified Trainer Jennifer McBee, this course helps you prepare for the Excel 2013 Expert Part One exam, the first part of a two-part exam. This course focuses on managing and sharing workbooks, applying custom formats and layouts, creating advanced formulas, and creating advanced charts and tables.

Are you a Mac user? If so, check out Excel for Mac 2016 Essential Training. Learn everything you need to manipulate workbook and cell data, using functions, printing worksheet and collaborating with others.

In the course Giving Employee Feedback, Todd Dewett will provide the tools to hold effective discussions with your employees around performance.

Giving feedback to an employee is fun when it refers to work done well, but it isn't as fun when associated with the need to upgrade the work. And you take the risk that the employee's instant reaction is irritation or shutting down — not what you intended. 

Yet, giving feedback is an essential part of developing employees and something all managers should do.

Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 11:59 AM
  • Author: Jodi Azulai

Names in the News

Katie Panarella
Panarella joins Youth, Families and Communities

Katherine (Katie) Helwig Panarella joined the Youth, Families and Communities Statewide Program as associate director of the Nutrition and Family and Consumer Sciences Program and Policy on July 13. 

Panarella has more than 10 years of experience managing community-based programs in nutrition and food systems though outreach venues, grassroots organizations, community groups and state and federal initiatives. She developed and implemented evidence-based nutrition programs aimed to improve the health of racially diverse, low-income communities with over 500 non-profit agencies, child care providers, and social service agencies in six California counties over eight years.  She comes with experience in staff and volunteer hiring, training and supervision, contract management including USDA programs, and community and school garden development. She was also a professional landscaper for seven years. 

Prior to joining UC ANR, she was a consultant and a research-evaluation specialist for a children's cooking lab project to assess objective and short term outcomes in low-income Boston neighborhoods.

She completed a dual master's program at Tufts University, earning an MS in food policy and applied nutrition from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, plus a Master's of Public Health from the School of Medicine, with a concentration in nutrition. Panarella is fluent in Spanish.  

Panarella is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1393 and

Kearns named CIWR academic coordinator II

Faith Kearns
Faith Kearns is now an academic coordinator II for UC ANR's California Institute for Water Resources, effective July 1, 2015. Kearns joined ANR as a water policy analyst in 2013. She works with CIWR director Doug Parker to coordinate water-related research, extension and outreach efforts across the 10 UC campuses and ANR, with a focus on innovative approaches to science communication.

Prior to returning to UC, Kearns was an officer with the Ocean Science Division of the Pew Environment Group in Washington D.C, where she collaborated with policy and advocacy staff to integrate scientific information into campaigns using a variety of scientific, technical and communications approaches. From 2005 through 2009, she was the associate director of the Center for Fire Research and Outreach at UC Berkeley. She also developed science outreach projects at the Ecological Society of America, served as an AAAS Science and Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State and worked as a research and communications associate at UC Berkeley's Center for Forestry.

Kearns earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science, geology and political science from Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy, and management from UC Berkeley. Her doctoral studies focused on urban freshwater ecosystems, landscape ecology and Web-based tools for natural resource management.

Kearns is based at UCOP and can be reached at (510) 987-9124 and

Siavash Taravati
Taravati named area IPM advisor

Siavash Taravati joined UC ANR as an area IPM advisor based in Los Angeles County on July 6.

Prior to joining UCCE, Taravati was a research assistant at University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Fla., since 2011. There, he worked on the biology and management of rugose spiraling whitefly, an invasive species found for the first time in the U.S. in 2009. He also gained a lot of experience in growing and maintaining vegetables, ornamental plants and shade and fruit trees. Taravati reared several pestiferous and beneficial insects such as whiteflies, scales, lady beetles, lacewings and parasitoids. He conducted several efficacy trials using natural and synthetic insecticides and, as a part of his research, he evaluated the compatibility of systemic imidacloprid with the biological control of rugose spiraling whitefly.

Taravati is a beetle enthusiast and is a co-founder of, which was established in 2005. This website is dedicated to the study of darkling beetles. Taravati holds a patent (U.S. Patent registration number: TX 7-301-658) for a computer program he developed during his master's studies at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. This program aids in conversion and visualization of geometric morphometrics outline data ( Taravati has experience in macro photography, auto-montage, computer programming and Web development.

He is fluent in Farsi and English and is familiar with taxonomic texts in German.

Taravati earned a Ph.D. in entomology at the University of Florida, M.Sc. in biology at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, and B.Sc. in biology, faculty of science, University of Tehran, Iran.

Taravati is based in Alhambra and can be reached at (626) 586-1981 and

Margaret Lloyd
Lloyd named small farms advisor

Margaret Lloyd joined UC Cooperative Extension as a small farms advisor with an emphasis on organic production for Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties on July 6.

Lloyd brings expertise in organic production practices. Under Tom Gordon, UC Davis plant pathology professor, she studied non-chemical alternatives to methyl bromide, including the role of rotation crops and compost in management of soilborne diseases, and leguminous cover crops as cryptic hosts for Verticillium wilt.

As a farm apprentice in Willits in 2003, Lloyd grew 5 acres of organic, biointensive vegetables and grains, which she sold at a farmers market. In 2004 she because assistant garden manager for Ecology Action Mini-farm Demonstration and Research Garden, a non-profit founded by John Jeavons, also in Willits. In 2005, Lloyd founded Home Farming International, a small business in Berkeley that helped Bay Area clients develop sustainable home farms. She provided an in-home “apprenticeship” to grow food, build soil health and ecosystem diversity, and taught workshops and classes for three years. She created and managed the "Salad Bowl Garden," the edible garden at the entrance to the Plant Sciences building on the UC Davis campus, from 2008 to 2012.

She earned a Ph.D. and MS in plant pathology and an MS in international agricultural development, all from UC Davis. She also holds a BA in international relations and environmental science from Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

Lloyd is based in Woodland and can be reached at (530) 564-8642 and 

Petr Kosina
Kosina and Won join IPM

Petr Kosina joined UC Integrated Pest Management Program as the new IPM content development supervisor on April 27. He manages the team of editors who develop the content for online and print integrated pest management information products.  

He has a Ph.D. in crop science from Czech University of Agriculture in Prague and 10 years of experience teaching horticulture and vegetable and fruit production. He has developed many outreach materials similar to what we produce at UC IPM, such as extension publications on a parasitic weed, stem borers in rice and wheat, and wheat stem rust.  He has developed communications products for both technical and non-technical audiences.  Kosina speaks Czech, English, Spanish and Russian, and is learning French. 

Prior to joining UC ANR, Kosina worked at CIMMYT, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, where he developed online tools such as Wheat Atlas and Wheat Doctor, organized and facilitated meetings and conferences, and developed training courses for extension workers in Mexico.

Danny Won
Kosina is located in office 140 of the ANR Building in Davis. He can be reached at (530) 750-1244 and

Danny Won joined the UC IPM Program on June 8 as a program support assistant.  His primary responsibilities are to provide administrative support to the director and all aspects of the UC IPM Program.  His duties can range from coordinating meetings and events to processing travel claims. He may also be the first point of contact for people calling UC IPM with questions about pest problems.

Won can be reached at (530) 750-1353 and  

Rodrigues appointed to state forestry board

Kimberly Rodrigues, director of Hopland Research and Extension Center, has been appointed to the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection by Governor Jerry Brown.

Kim Rodrigues
Rodrigues has held several positions since joining UC in 1991, including executive director of the Academic Personnel Unit, North Coast and Mountain Region director and UC Cooperative Extension forestry advisor from 1991 to 1999. She was a tree improvement specialist at Simpson Timber Company from 1985 to 1991 and chief forester at Applied Forest Genetics from 1984 to 1985. Rodrigues is a member of the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals. She earned a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.S. in forest genetics from Colorado State University.

This position requires state Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.

WEDA honors SOD response team

Janice Alexander, shown with interim VP Bill Frost, accepted the WEDA award for the SOD team.
A group of UC academics and staff who came together to address sudden oak death disease in California were honored by the Western Extension Directors Association with an Award of Excellence.

The award-winning SOD team is composed of Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension personnel: UC Cooperative Extension advisors Yana Valachovic in Humboldt County, Paul Vossen in Sonoma County, Steve Swain in Marin County, Steve Tjosvold in Santa Cruz County, and David Lewis and Ellie Rilla, both in Marin County; UCCE specialists Matteo Garbelotto, Maggi Kelly, Doug McCreary and Rick Standiford, all at UC Berkeley; UC Berkeley professor Richard Dodd; UC Davis professor Dave Rizzo; UC Davis professor Jim MacDonald; SOD program coordinator Lisa Bell; UCCE forest health educator Janice Alexander; public information officer Katie Palmieri; staff research associates Kerri Frangioso, Chris Lee, Brice McPherson, Doug Schmidt, Dan Stark and Brendan Twieg; and many graduate students. 

The award recognizes the team for understanding the issue and situation, working with stakeholders, having a research base and an extension focus, evidencing multidisciplinary and collaborative components, incorporating innovative approaches, achieving impacts and developing scholarly products. 

At the Western Region Joint Summer Meeting in Breckenridge, Colo., Alexander gave a presentation about the UC team's work addressing sudden oak death and accepted the award on the team's behalf on July 8.


Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 11:12 PM

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