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Posts Tagged: May 2016

Humiston introduces new Staff Assembly and Principles of Community

ANR employees at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center participate in the town hall by teleconference.
UC ANR now has its own Staff Assembly and Principles of Community, announced UC ANR vice president Glenda Humiston at a town hall in the ANR Building in Davis on May 20, which was broadcast at ANR facilities and offices throughout the state. The two new initiatives are direct results of the Work Environment Assessment (systemwide campus climate study) conducted in 2012 and UC ANR's Work Environment Assessment workshops in 2015.

“I'm especially pleased to be able to bring this announcement to you,” Humiston said. “Principles of Community and staff assembly are milestones in the history of the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.”

Late last year, Humiston appointed a committee to draft the Principles of Community and she appointed a committee to develop the process for forming the statewide ANR Staff Assembly.

“I want to offer my sincere thanks to the members of these committees for their commitment and their work,” Humiston said.

Both committees completed draft documents, which are now on the web for review and input. Staff Assembly bylaws are on the Staff Assembly website. The Principles of Community are on UC ANR's main website. Forms for submitting questions and comments are available for both documents.

Matt Baur, chair of the Staff Assembly committee and associate director of the Western Region IPM Center, introduced the new Staff Assembly framework at the town hall meeting. He said all staff in ANR are part of the Staff Assembly, including all appointment types and county employees.

“Everyone needs to participate in the assembly for it to function properly,” Baur said. “We want to offer opinions and recommendations to leadership on policies, processes and programs, and to channel information from leadership back to the staff. It's a two-way information flow.”

Part of the assembly's mission will be offering learning opportunities, career training and professional development to ANR staff to further career advancement. Humiston said the Staff Assembly joins Academic Assembly as equally important pieces of shared governance for UC ANR.

Two members of the Staff Assembly committee will represent ANR at the statewide meeting in June of the Council of UC Staff Assemblies. In the fall, winter and spring, ANR Staff Assembly plans to hold regional meetings around the state to engage staff in the organization.

The Principles of Community were outlined at the Town Hall by committee chair Terri White, executive assistant for Communication Services and Information Technology. She said the committee started its work with 31 pages of comments from the environmental assessment workshops. They looked for commonalities to identify workshop participants' suggestions for creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace.

“With our group, we determined that fairness, trust, respect, physical and emotional safety and security were important. That was what we felt our target was,” White said. “We vetted our early draft with 12 academics and staff and introduced it to leadership in March. Now we're looking to all of you for input.”

The principles outlined in the document are:

  • Ensure open communication
  • Work together to achieve common goals and mutual understandings
  • Value the contribution and worth of all members
  • Appreciate and celebrate differences and diversity
  • Foster a sense of belonging and emotional safety
  • Practice mutual respect
  • Demonstrate ethics and integrity
  • Invest in all members
  • Recognize that all members are important

In closing the town hall session, Humiston noted that the larger vision of the Division is outlined in the Strategic Vision 2025 and that the existing Strategic Initiatives will continue for at least another five years.

“As we're working together, that's our vision of where we are and where we are going as we implement the Principals of Community and utilize the Staff Assembly to get us there,” Humiston said.

View the 27-minute video of the town hall below.

Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 12:21 PM
  • Author: Jeannette Warnert

Names in the News

Amanda Crump
Crump named director of Western IPM Center

Amanda Crump, former associate director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis, rejoined ANR on May 2 as director of the Western Integrated Pest Management Center.

From June 2008 to December 2009, she was a UCCE environmental horticulture advisor in Fresno County.

She left ANR to take a position at the Horticulture Innovation Lab, which builds international partnerships for fruit and vegetable research that improves livelihoods in developing countries. There, she provided programmatic leadership, managed international horticulture research projects, and worked with stakeholders, federal donors and an advisory board to identify the most pertinent horticultural research needs worldwide and to disseminate the results of this research to farmers in 19 countries.

Crump completed a B.S. in agricultural education from University of Idaho and a M.S. in plant pathology and weed science from Colorado State University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in agricultural education at UC Davis.

Crump is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1271 and

Amber Vinchesi

Vinchesi named vegetable advisor

Amber Vinchesi joined UCCE on April 11 as an area vegetable crops advisor for Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Vinchesi was a postdoctoral research associate at Washington State University, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, where she implemented Lygus management strategies in alfalfa seed production. She developed methods to analyze gut contents of beneficial predators to determine what predators ate when candidate insecticides reduced preferred prey numbers in alfalfa fields. 

From 2014 to 2015, Vinchesi was a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University's Hermiston Agriculture Research and Extension Center, where her research focused on using thiamine (vitamin B1) as an alternative control method for insect-vectored potato diseases like Potato Virus Y and Zebra Chip. She also conducted pesticide trials in the greenhouse and surveyed wireworm species in the area.

As a graduate research assistant from 2009 to 2014, Vinchesi conducted research on the alkali bee, a native, solitary, soil-nesting bee used for alfalfa seed pollination in southeastern Washington. Her work included conducting environmental mitigation studies for the Department of Transportation to determine how rerouting a four-lane highway would affect populations of commercially managed native alkali bees.

Vinchesi completed a B.S. in entomology from Purdue University and both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in entomology from Washington State University.

Based in Colusa, Vinchesi can be reached at (530) 458-0575 and

Greg Douhan
Douhan named citrus advisor

Greg Douhan joined ANR on March 1 as a UC Cooperative Extension area citrus advisor for Tulare, Fresno and Madera counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Douhan had been a staff research scientist in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at UC Riverside since 2013. At UC Riverside, he was involved in virus and viroid diagnostics of citrus, studying the interaction between citrus tristeza virus and Fusarium solani (citrus quick decline disease), and conducting research on the postharvest pathogen Penicillium digitatum. At the same time, he also served as the coordinator of the National Clean Plant Network for Citrus, which has centers in California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Maryland, Florida and Puerto Rico. From 2005 to 2013, Douhan held a faculty position as assistant professor in the department.

He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in plant pathology from Washington State University and completed a B.S. in botany/biology from Humboldt State University.

Douhan is based in Tulare and can be reached at (559) 684-3312 and

Tolgay Kizilelma
Kizilelma to lead IT infrastructure and support

Tolgay Kizilelma joined ANR as the IT infrastructure and support manager on Feb. 29.

He is in charge of modernizing how ANR provides IT support services, overseeing the redesign of our technology infrastructure, and serving as a key lead in upgrading and running ANR's network infrastructure across the state.

“Tolgay has extensive experience in key technology areas such as cyber-security and technical project management,” said Gabriel Youtsey, chief information officer. “He comes to us with many years of experience running IT in both private companies and higher education.”

Kizilelma has 20-plus years of professional IT experience in the business sector, healthcare and higher education. Prior to joining ANR, Kizilelma was the IT manager at Shields Harper & Co based in Martinez, leading companywide IT initiatives for multiple locations in three states. He managed his company's U.S. operations remotely from Turkey from 2007 to 2012. During this time, he also lectured undergrad IT courses and led IT projects within the computer engineering department of Pamukkale University in Turkey.

“I am an advocate of lifelong learning, and I really would like to emphasize the effective and efficient use of resources and tools available for all ANR clients, such as and LMS (learning management systems) for most of our training needs,” Kizilelma said.

He earned a Ph.D. in business management at Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey, an MBA at Saint Mary's College of California and a BSc in computer engineering at Ege University in Turkey.

Kizilelma is located in the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1233 and

Jennifer Caron-Sale
Caron-Sale joins Program Planning and Evaluation

Jennifer Caron-Sale joined ANR's Office of Program Planning and Evaluation as a policy analyst on May 9. She will be assisting Katherine Webb-Martinez and Vanessa Murua with ANR strategic planning efforts and program evaluation. 

Caron-Sale has been a regulatory analyst at the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco for the last eight years. At the CPUC, she focused on overseeing the planning, implementation and evaluation of demand response and energy efficiency programs. Prior to joining the CPUC, she taught environmental science at various non-profits in the Northeast and Midwest.

She earned a B.A. in environmental studies from Mount Holyoke College, a M.S in natural resource policy and management from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a M.P.A. (public administration) from Syracuse University. 

Caron-Sale is based at UCOP and can be reached at (510) 987-0214 and

Mark Takata.
Takata named IPM web coordinator

Mark Takata joined the UC Integrated Pest Management Program on Feb. 29 as a web production coordinator.  

Takata has over 10 years of experience in programming, web production workflow, and user interaction/user experience design. Last year, he spent two days a week working with UC IPM as a contractor from UC Davis Information and Education Technology (IET) to help design and code the user interface for the Urban Plant Diagnostic Tool, mobile Pest Management Guideline framework and other infrastructure projects.

In the private sector, Takata consulted for UC Davis, UC Merced, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Avanade, HDMI, VISA and Accenture among others. In 2015, he returned to UC Davis where he provided technical solutions for the Office of the Chancellor and Provost, Mondavi Center and other campus units as an employee with IET.

For UC IPM, Takata will coordinate and ensure that IPM content is clearly laid out and efficiently published to the UC IPM website. He will also work with the rest of the IT and production staff to transition the current web pages, as well as any new projects, to a more mobile-friendly look and feel.

Takata is located at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1386 and

Lucia Varela
Varela honored for achievement in extension

Lucia Varela, UCCE area IPM advisor in the North Coast, was honored with the 2016 Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America's Distinguished Achievement in Extension Award. 

Varela, who serves high-value wine vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, was nominated by Pete Goodell, UCCE area IPM advisor based at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

In his nomination letter, Goodell wrote: “The impacts from her extension program and team efforts have resulted in a reduction of insecticide use in several crops. Her work with invasive species task forces has mitigated the spread of several invasive species.”

As a specific example, he wrote, “She has taken on a major leadership role in turning back the European grapevine moth (Lobesia) infestation in the North Coast wine region by coordinating with county, state and local agencies.”

Varela received the award at the branch's annual meeting in Honolulu on April 5.

Steve Lindow
Lindow honored by plant pathology peers

Steven Lindow, professor in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, has been ?selected to receive the Award of Distinction, the highest award made ?by the American Phytopathological Society in honor of ?his ?significant contributions to the science of plant pathology. 

?Lindow, who is also executive associate dean for the College of Natural Resources, will receive the award at the APS annual meeting in Tampa, Fla., which will be held July 30-Aug. 3.

Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 4:26 PM

Public comments on proposed UCCE positions accepted until July 11

ANR's 2016 Call for CE Positions has entered the program area/unit review phase, May 5 – Aug. 1, 2016. During this time, the program teams, the ANR-affiliated colleges and professional school, and the regional groups of county/multi-county directors and Research and Extension Center directors will conduct reviews.  For the proposals under their purview, the reviewers will 1) rate (high, medium or “this can wait”); 2) prioritize their highly rated positions (up to five) and 3) provide concise rationale.

The public comment period remains open until July 11, 2016.

Submitted CE position proposals can be viewed on the call web page To see the position description, click the proposal title link. In addition, the full call, including the updated position proposal template as well as the process flowchart timeline and criteria documents are posted as well.

Filling critical academic positions remains a top priority for ANR. Over the past several years, more than 90 CE advisors and CE specialists have been hired, and there are 45 more recruitments approved. New 2016 position proposals should identify additional crucial positions.

Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 10:45 AM
Tags: May 2016 (16), personnel (13), positions (12)

Advisors, let Academic Assembly Council know what you think

The Advisor Representative Committee for the Academic Assembly Council serves as the liaison between UC Cooperative Extension advisors and the council. The committee is currently seeking advisors' input – What are your concerns? What questions would you like the council to address?

Advisors can express concerns to the committee through an anonymous survey at or by contacting one of the committee members directly.

Some common areas where the council can get involved include program evaluation, merit and promotion system, annual evaluations, DANRIS-X, salaries, benefits, working conditions, recruitment and retentions of advisors, programs, travel awards and ANR policy.

While Academic Assembly Council does not make decisions or vote, it does serve as an advisory committee to ANR leadership. By sharing your opinions, concerns, and questions with the Advisor Representative Committee, the council can provide feedback to our leadership.

In the same way, the Advisor Representative Committee also serves as the link from the council to advisors.

“We take advisors' questions directly to the council and share their feedback through newsletters,” said Katherine E. Soule, chair-elect for the Advisor Representative Committee. “We do our best to seek out answers and respond to each comment that we receive. Of course, we cannot get an answer, if the question hasn't been asked. So, be in touch!”

The Advisor Representative Committee is currently seeking new members. If you are interested in serving on the committee or in nominating another advisor, please reach out to Julie Finzel, chair, for more information:


Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 3:32 PM

ANR to host ag hackathon July 15-17

ANR will host the Statewide Apps for Ag Hackathon at the UC ANR building in Davis July 15–17. The finals will be held at the California Exposition and State Fair in Sacramento on July 17 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Gabriel Youtsey, chief information officer, invites everyone to participate in the unique design-and-development competitive hackathon, which he hopes will lead to solutions to on-farm problems in agriculture and food.

“We would really like to see participants come from all corners of the state, including mixed teams of software developers, students, designers, entrepreneurs, and agricultural experts coming together to solve real problems for our farmers and communities with technology,” said Youtsey.

“We are open to a variety of ways for you to participate, including as panelists at the event, identifying a key challenge in some area of agriculture, a member of a team, an observer or perhaps even a judge,” said Youtsey. “We would very much appreciate if you can forward this to colleagues or students that might be interested in attending or sponsoring the event.”

More information can be found at The form for sponsors is at A flyer for the event can be downloaded at

If you have questions or would like to participate, contact Youtsey at (530) 750-1314 or


Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 2:46 PM
Tags: Gabriel Youtsey (4), Hackathon (2), May 2016 (16), Technology (2)

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