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

013 Area Applied Vertebrate Ecology Advisor

Proposed Location/Housing

TBD - Northern Sacramento Valley

Proposed Area of Coverage

Northern California


Associated Documents



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. This is particularly important as no other agency or University in the state is covering this important issue to any great extent. All Vertebrate Pest 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 Applied Vertebrate Ecology Advisor 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 1:52 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 Applied Vertebrate Ecology Advisor position in Northern California. 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 2:14 PM by Marc Kenyon
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 could be housed at a County UCCE office in the northern Sacramento Valley, or alternatively it could be housed at either the Hopland R&E Center or Sierra Foothill R&E Center. Regardless, the range of topics likely to be encountered in the northern half of California range from Belding ground squirrels in crops the northeast; to bears damaging forestry plantings in the northwest; bird damage to rice and wild rice in the Sacramento Valley; plague and hantavirus in rodents in the Sierra Nevada foothills; crow roosts in cities and small towns; coyote predation on sheep and calves; bird damage to ripening winegrapes; deer damage to orchards, vineyards, and crops; feral pig damage to agriculture and to landscaping including turf; and within the next several years, emigration and establishment of gray wolves into California from Oregon.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 2:32 PM by Robert Timm, Ext. Wildlife Specialist emeritus
The Vertebrate Pest Council strongly supports filling the Area Advisor Vertebrate Ecology position proposed for Northern California. This position is critical to vertebrate pest management in Northern California with its’ foci on native and introduced wildlife (specifically birds) that are detrimental to natural resources, specialty agriculture and the public. 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 Central California IPM Vertebrate Pest Area Advisor (agriculture). Taken together these three positions enable Cooperative Extension to address major types of Vertebrate Pest problems and provide coordinated solutions to 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 3:23 PM by John O'Brien
The Vertebrate Pest Control Research Advisory Committee strongly supports filling the Area Applied Vertebrate Ecology Advisor 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 of 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 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 Applied Vertebrate Ecology Advisor position.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 3:48 PM by David Kratville, Secretary Vertebrate Pest Control Research Advisory Committee

Add New Comment/Feedback for this Proposal

Comments are currently closed.
Webmaster Email: