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

009 Area Advisor, IPM Vertebrate Pests

Proposed Location/Housing

Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier, CA

Proposed Area of Coverage

San Joaquin Valley and surrounding counties.


Associated Documents



Vertebrates continue to be important and challenging pests for California's agricultural commodity producers. This position is needed to strengthen the statewide UC IPM network, especially in the face of a recent loss / transfer of academic expertise in the area. This Advisor will be well positioned to collaborate with UC Davis Specialist Roger Baldwin with regards to applied vertebrate IPM research, outreach and demonstration.
Posted May 30, 2014 3:37 PM by Andrew Sutherland
California agriculture is constantly battling major damage caused by wildlife including rodents, birds and predators. The Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is on the front line interacting with growers, ranchers, land managers and others to deal with these problems in an economical and environmental sensitive manner. In the past, our office has worked closely with Specialists and Advisors from your department to find better solutions to wildlife problems. Our department has provided research sites, staff, material support, our perspectives and experience to these research efforts. Over the past 10 years the needs of agriculture in dealing with wildlife problems has grown. Unfortunately, your department’s ability to perform research to deal with our local problems will not be available if the position of Area Advisor, IPM Vertebrate Pests is not filled.

I, and my staff, strongly support the filling “Area Advisor, IPM Vertebrate Pest” position. Hopefully, the position will be housed at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, and will be focused primarily on vertebrate pest management as it pertains to agriculture in the Central Valley. As you are very aware, dealing with wildlife in appropriate ways continues to challenge us and our program. Our wildlife damage management program has always accepted the challenge to be on the cutting edge of new methods and technology. UC ANR can provide the leadership needed to bring about the necessary changes in our management strategies to improve our effectiveness while still being a good steward to, and protecting the environment

Please let me know what I or my staff can do to support your efforts in getting this position approved.

Les Wright
Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner
/Sealer of Weights & Measures
Posted Jun 6, 2014 9:37 AM by Fred Rinder
Expertise in vertebrate pest management is typically required by almost all CE Advisors at some point in time, yet expertise in the UC system is currently limited to one Specialist and a brand new Advisor in the South Coast area. Providing two more Advisors strategically placed in the Central and Northern parts of the state would finally provide a continuum of expertise throughout the state for which an effective Vertebrate Pest Management program could be constructed. Additionally, these Advisors will focus on different aspects (South Coast = urban and urban/wildlife interface; Central = ag; Northern = ag and wildlands with potential focus on birds), thereby providing the expertise within UC to fill current gaps in ANR and IPM publications. Therefore, the Area Advisor, IPM Vertebrate Pest position is of great importance to fill this needed gap and provide Californian's with much needed vertebrate pest management expertise.
Posted Jun 10, 2014 1:54 PM by Roger Baldwin
Human-wildlife conflicts are a growing concern for the State of California. Human population growth and rapid urban expansion into native habitats are increasing such conflicts. This has resulted in the state’s constituents demanding improved education and outreach efforts, damage mitigation techniques and genuine stakeholder involvement in pest management decisions as demonstrated in recent public meetings before the California Fish and Game Commission. In response to such pressures, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has developed a human-wildlife conflict program(HWCP).

The CDFW and the HWCP support the UC Cooperative Extension’s proposal to fill an Area Advisor, IPM Vertebrate Pests position at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. This move by the UCCE is well-aligned with the CDFW’s efforts to address the public’s growing concern about vertebrate pest management. In addition, the CDFW would welcome any collaborative efforts that could result from creating and filling this position.

Marc Kenyon
Senior Environmental Scientist
Human-Wildlife Conflicts Program Coordinator
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Posted Jun 20, 2014 2:12 PM by Marc Kenyon
California agriculture has many challenges ahead and certainly includes pest control. Shifting of pest pressures and influx of exotic species that require shifting of IPM established programs makes this position critical for commodities in the San Joaquin Valley. I strongly support filling this position.
Posted Jul 10, 2014 2:12 PM by Gary Obenauf
The California Tree Nut Research & Extension Planning Group, representing the almond, pistachio and walnut industries strongly support this position. As the tree crop acreage has been increasing, in particular in tree nuts, and in particular in the San Joaquin Valley, there are increasing issues with vertebrates and tree crops: damages range from eating bark/roots of young trees (killing them), to nut consumption from the tree, to bird damage to nuts (just last week an almond FA was asking for help identifying the culprit of holes in nuts…the best images were from a paper done in 1937!), to coyotes chewing on irrigation tubing, to gophers holes posing risks to humans, equipment, and water moving through the orchard. At the same time the number of tools available to growers has been restricted by EPA, requiring the exploration of alternative and new methods for limiting the damage caused by various vertebrate animals in orchards. Work also is needed on how to manage such animals while also ensuring endangered species are not affected by control methods. Thus, we support a position focused on vertebrate pest management based in Kearney to work in conjunction with the knowledge Roger Baldwin has been building.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 1:46 PM by Gabriele Ludwig
Within the U.S., California has long been regarded as “ground zero” for vertebrate pest problems and solutions, largely because of the state’s huge diversity of ecological zones, agricultural crops, and wildlife species. In few geographic areas has it been so challenging to find economical and appropriate solutions to wildlife damage to crops, to livestock, and to natural resources, primarily caused by birds, rodents, rabbits and hares, and predators. Out of this need, and the resulting tools and strategies developed by those in agriculture, wildlife management, and public health, grew the Vertebrate Pest Conference, largely conceived of and founded in 1962 by research and extension academics based at UC Davis and by their colleagues within the then-California Department of Agriculture. Today, this challenge continues as does the Conference, fueled by a growing population, expanding wildlife populations including invasive species, greater limitations and public sensitivities surrounding tools such as rodenticides, avicides, and traps, and shrinking public funding. Over time, academic programs have arisen at a few other universities to meet this need: University of Nebraska, Cornell University, the Berryman Institute at Utah State and Mississippi State Universities, but none have had the depth or breadth of the programs in California, and programs at Nebraska, Utah, and Mississippi are now in decline. At present, UC is poised to resume its national leadership in this field by adding 2 new area advisor positions, to join the CE Specialist at UCD (Dr. Roger Baldwin) and the newly-hired IPM Area Advisor at South Coast REC (Dr. Niamh Quinn). Moving forward on this position will be critical to creating a critical mass or ‘cluster’ of UC academics with extension outreach and applied research expertise in human-wildlife conflicts. While this sub-discipline within pest management will still be small in comparison to UC academics in parallel fields (e.g., entomology, weed science, plant pathology), it will permit statewide coverage, providing services to diverse clientele and extension programming that is networked and well coordinated with professionals in Food & Agriculture, Fish & Wildlife, Public Health, USDA Wildlife Services, and others as listed in the position’s proposal. This proposed position will likely be heavily involved in rodent and bird damage problems in the major agricultural crops of the San Joaquin Valley (including grapes and stonefruits, nuts, forage, and also fresh green produce from the Salinas Valley, with potential issues of food safety that implicate feral pigs and various wildlife species). There is an increasing need for such a position, inasmuch as growers and others find many of their tools becoming more restricted due to issues of pesticide misuse, presence of T&E species, and occurrence of rodenticide residues in nontarget species. I believe it is very important for an academic with vertebrate pest expertise to be part of the Statewide IPM Program, given the significance of vertebrate pest damage to agriculture and natural resources in California.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 2:47 PM by Robert Timm, Ext. Wildlife Specialist emeritus
The Vertebrate Pest Council strongly supports filling the IPM Vertebrate Pest Area Advisor position proposed for the Kearney Agricultural R & E Center in Parlier. This position is critical to vertebrate pest management as it pertains to Central Valley agriculture. In addition it provides a complementary focus to that of the recently filled South Coast Area Advisor IPM Vertebrate Pest Position (urban wildlife) and the proposed Northern California Area Applied Vertebrate Ecology Advisor position (native and introduced wildlife-principally birds). Taken together these three positions enable Cooperative Extension to address major types of Vertebrate Pest problems and provide coordinated solutions for agriculture, industry, governmental agencies and the public.
The nonprofit Vertebrate Pest Council has been in existence for 52 years. The Council, made up of University, Government and Industry professionals, organizes the Vertebrate Pest Conference which held in late winter every two years. It is the largest and most widely-recognized conference in the world dealing with vertebrate pests. The Vertebrate Pest Conference Objectives include: exchange information on Vertebrate Pest Management; advance environmentally safe Vertebrate Pest Management methodology; advance undergraduate and graduate education in Vertebrate Pest Management; cooperate with public and private agencies in the solution of Vertebrate Pest problems and encourage research by both public and private agencies on Vertebrate Pest Management problems and their solutions.
John O’Brien Vertebrate Pest Council NV State Dept. of Ag. (retired)
Posted Jul 21, 2014 2:49 PM by John O'Brien
The Vertebrate Pest Control Research Advisory Committee strongly supports filling the Area Advisor, IPM Vertebrate Pests position. Vertebrate pest issues are increasing in all parts of California. Vertebrate pests can have dramatic impacts on agricultural, industrial, residential, commercial and wild lands alike. As these pest impacts are increasing the tools and techniques for dealing with vertebrate pests are under increasing scrutiny and further regulation. As the already limited control options become more and more difficult to use local expertise in identifying pests and the damage they cause is needed to develop effective integrated pest management strategies that are consistent with regional agricultural and cultural practices. California being one of the most diverse states in the nation provides quite an opportunity for unforeseen vertebrate pest issues to arise. Over the years the University California Area Advisors have plaid a vital role in carrying out the research projects funded by the Vertebrate Pest Control Research Advisory Committee. Even more important is taking the information developed with VPCRAC funding and getting it in to the hands and minds of local growers. The UC Area Advisors have been a fantastic resource for providing that local hands on expertise but they have been limited by the the geographical area one can cover. With California’s ever increasing population leading to more urban-wildlife conflicts and it’s agricultural penchant for specialty crops there is a significant need for filling the Area Advisor, IPM Vertebrate Pest position.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 3:44 PM by David Kratville, Secretary Vertebrate Pest Control Research Advisory Committee
Animal damage management continues to be a challenging issue in production agriculture, food processing, endangered species protection, and public health. The few people in both the UC and CSU systems who have made a career working in this area of applied ecology are beginning to move into retirement. The challenges faced by the growers and general population have been compounded by increased regulation and loss of registered rodenticides and avicides. With the move to Dr. Baldwin to UC Davis, the need for someone who can contribute to ecologically sound animal damage management strategies in the San Joaquin Valley has again become a gap in UC IPM program delivery. I would encourage you to make this position a high priority.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 5:14 PM by Charlie Crabb

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