ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2014 New Call for Positions

2014 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.

Position Details

077 Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Agriculture Specialist

Proposed Location/Housing

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, departmental affiliation to be determined, UC Davis

Proposed Area of Coverage

California - statewide, collaborative coverage including new UC Merced position

Contacts

Associated Documents

Comments

4 Comments

1
This sounds identical to the position we are hiring at UCM. I think we need to address a lot of urgent vacancies around the state before we hire duplicate positions.
Posted Jul 14, 2014 11:38 AM by Maxwell Norton
2
On behalf of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), I write to express our strong support for this Cooperative Extension position and to echo the comments offered by Secretary Ross in her support letter dated April 29, 2014.

At CalCAN, we have long advocated for the need for increased technical assistance for California’s farmers and ranchers as they grapple with increasingly apparent climate-related challenges. Cooperative Extension is one of the state’s most important such resources and provides a critical bridge between the academic research being conducted and the growers who need practical information about climate mitigation and adaptation.

As Secretary Ross notes, the CDFA’s report “Climate Change Consortium for Specialty Crops,” clearly articulates a need for more positions like this one. In addition, the February 2014 update to the state’s Climate Change Scoping Plan prepared by the Air Resources Board (http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/2013_update/draft_proposed_first_update.pdf) calls for increased technical assistance resources for California producers.

As we know, the climate impacts on agriculture and the most effective mitigation and adaptation techniques are localized and varied, so locating climate experts in both UC Davis and UC Merced—two important agricultural regions and universities—will be both synergistic and complimentary. Establishing this position at UC Davis, where much climate and agriculture research is being conducted, will also facilitate collaboration with the newly establishing USDA climate subhub based there.

We urge you to approve this position, and thank you for your consideration of these comments.
Posted Jul 16, 2014 9:14 AM by Renata Brillinger
3
With climate change presenting a real and current threat to California’s agricultural economy this position is recommended and overdue. UC-Cooperative Extension programs are a well know and trusted source of education and assistance in the agriculture community and would benefit from a position dedicated solely to climate change issues. In the Central Valley, where approximately 25% of the nation’s table food is produced, we are still battling contrarian views towards climate change. This divide is preventing the uptake of necessary mitigation and adaptation strategies that will ensure our robust agricultural economy, and what has become a part of California’s heritage. We are in dire need of California based case studies of carbon sequestration, drought contingency plans for agriculture, predicting and controlling pest pressures, conservation tillage methodology, the list of climate pressures goes on, and we need this information to be applicable to hundreds of regionally grown specialty crops. This research needs to perform solely as a function of battling climate change and not as a mechanism to reduce costs, or increase yields, although all strategies need to include a component for economic viability. This research then needs to be disseminated in a digestible fashion to our stakeholders, becoming a commonly discussed issue being aggressively planned for. The California Department of Water Resources Climate Change Program fully supports this position and we would be eager to work closely with such a person.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 10:12 AM by Jennifer Morales
4
The California Tree Nut & Extension Planning Group, representing the almond, pistachio and walnut industries agree with Maxwell Norton’s comment that this position is redundant with the current Climate Adaptation position at UC Merced that is in the midst of filling the position.
Also, based on our experience in working in the area of climate change, greenhouse gas regulations, and with farmers that fund research, what we really need is the attention of many of the traditional specialties to work together to assess whether adaptation is an option and if so how. For example the various irrigation specialists/engineer/plant water relations positions proposed along with the currently existing positions, could, if coordinated more thoughtfully, help provide adaptation tools to growers in California in the face of likely less reliable water supply. Similarly, expertise in soil biology and management is needed to better assess carbon sequestration opportunities or practices to improve resilience by improved soil health of the soils. Or expertise in how to improve the genetic resilience of the plant materials currently used in California agriculture. OR is it could be someone to work on adapting our farm equipment to a world not based on fossil fuels and work in conjunction with existing engineering and bioenergy expertise within the system. Just as some examples.

Basically, we think it would be better to assess what specific skill set(s) should be added or strengthened to complement the current skill set mix existing within ANR and the UC along with the USDA-ARS systems to truly address aspects related to climate change and adaptation. As written now the position has no thoughtful specificity to complement existing expertise beyond working with the staff of the USDA Regional Sub-Hub for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate in Davis.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 8:11 PM by Gabriele Ludwig

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