ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2016 Call for Positions

On December 14, 2016 UC ANR Vice President Humiston announced the the release of 26 CE positions from the 2016 call for a new round of hiring over the next two years. This new release continues the commitment for hiring to exceed projected turnover, thus achieving the goal of academic growth. And, as funding becomes available, UC ANR will consider additional positions.

2016 approved CE positions

January 12, 2016 solicited proposals for Cooperative Extension (CE) advisor and specialist positions in the ANR Update. The call identified positions for strengthening and expanding the UC ANR network to address programmatic gaps and emerging needs. Below this public webpage displays all 138 new CE position proposals (there is a search tool to assist in finding proposals).

The online submittal process was open from January 12 – May 5 (5:00 PM) to allow as much time as possible for internal consultation and external input from UC ANR stakeholders in all program areas. Submissions were accepted from the following official submitter groups:

The Review Phase was completed May 5 – August 1. All proposals were reviewed. The program area and unit reviews were conducted by the Program Teams; geographic groups of County/Multicounty Partnership and Research and Extension Center Directors, and the UC ANR affiliated colleges and school. These groups prioritized and provided rationale for the position proposals under their purview. This input was used to inform UC ANR Program Council’s recommendations and ultimately the UC ANR Vice President’s decisions. More information about the review process is available in the review orientation.

The public comment period was open Jan. 12 through July 11, 2016. Comments can be viewed by clicking the position links below. Comments were reviewed by the review groups, Program Council and the Vice President.

Relevant documents:

If you have any questions, contact Katherine Webb-Martinez at (510) 987-0029 or


2016 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2016 cycle.

Position Details

118 Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees Specialist

The general disciplinary focus of this position will be on diseases affecting grapevine, berries and other fruit crops in California. The proposed CE specialist would provide the expertise needed to: 1) properly diagnose disease problems 2) conduct research to identify solutions and 3) extend information to industry clientele. Diagnosis helps to identify new problems, establish the scope of existing problems and identify issues that can be resolved through the extension of information or for which research is required. The CE specialist would: 1) utilize expertise in plant pathology to train and provide information to farm advisors, growers and/or other agricultural industry professionals on the nature and control of diseases of vine and fruit crops, 2) conduct in-service training of farm advisors by various means including meetings, personal contacts, web-based resources, and correspondence, and 3) prepare and evaluate educational materials to extend information on diseases of grapevines and fruit trees in California to county staff and the public sector. The candidate would be expected to engage in research that aims to reduce economic losses to disease, minimize environmental impacts of control measures and enhance the sustainability of crop production. Specific areas of research may include collaboration with breeders to develop genetic resistance, creation and implementation of forecasting models to reduce fungicide applications, and optimizing cultural practices to both control plant disease to achieve more efficient use of water and fertilizer without compromising disease management.

Proposed Location/Housing

Department of Plant Pathology, UC Davis

Proposed Area of Coverage



Associated Documents



The high value and economic importance of vines, berries & tree fruit to the state of California justify the high ranking of this particular proposal. In addition, Dr. Gubler has been an key contributor to the success of these crops and the success of UCANR in meeting their mission/goals. As a R&D Representative with Gowan Company I have utilized the expertise and contributed to Dr. Gubler's program for the past 16 years. I strongly agree with this CE Specialist proposal and hope this important position can be filled quickly.
Posted Apr 25, 2016 10:22 PM by James Brazzle
The California table grape industry has identified grapevine pathogens and diseases as research priorities since they have a potentially large impact on vineyard productivity, fruit quality, and profitability. Practical research to diagnose and solve vineyard diseases is essential for table grape growers.

The California Table Grape Commission strongly supports filling the CE Specialist in Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees position as it believes that such position is needed to advance the sustainability of table grape production.

Educating farm advisors, growers and/or other agricultural industry professionals on the nature and control of diseases of vine and fruit crops is an important aspect this position addresses. The commission would hope to work with the new specialist and support research aimed at addressing table grape industry needs in this critically important area.

Kathleen Nave, California Table Grape Commission
Posted Apr 27, 2016 12:24 PM by Kathleen Nave
For strawberries and caneberries, this position will be VITAL to supporting the research and extension work being done by the UCCE Specialists and Farm Advisors working in Watsonville/Salinas, Santa Maria and Oxnard. Given the variety and load of diseases we currently face, from an epic anthracnose outbreak in strawberries this past winter, powdery mildew as a constant, and the ever present scourge of Botrytis, not to mention the recent emergence and rapid spread of two devastating soil diseases, the work we are doing is commendable and valuable, but we are at the absolute limit of our ability with the personnel we currently have. The emergence of yet another new disease, an outbreak of a resistant fungus, or the just the wrong weather conditions, could mean the line no longer holds, and the consequence a catastrophic loss to the industry we serve.

This does not need to happen. Let's get more traction on these disease issues in berries by hiring the UCCE Specialist in Pathology with the skill set and focus given in this position proposal.
Posted May 10, 2016 4:58 PM by Mark Bolda, Farm Advisor, Strawberries and Caneberries, UCCE
This position is very important to our 4 berry crops continuing to be grown in California. Soilborne disease limits our growers' yields and the economics for our growers to continue to farm in the soil in CA. Yield reductions of up to 50% are routinely reported due to soil health problems. While there are key UC colleagues on the Central Coast such as Bolda and Koike and Fenimore and Subbarao and others at UC Davis such as Gordon, among others, there is not a focused research plant pathologist with grad students doing the kind of work that Doug Gubler was doing until his recent retirement. With new molecular tools and pressures to reduce ag chemical solutions to plant health challenges, we are at a unique place to bring on someone who can lead several industries forward into a new ecologically based approach to integrated plant health management for berry and vine crops. We grow our berry crops "twice", once (which can be several years) in the nursery, and once in the fruiting fields. Organic acreage continues to expand for our growers and we have committed to producing organic planting stock, this makes this position all the more critical for Driscoll's and for our industry as a whole. Thanks, Jenny Broome, Global Plant Health Manager, Driscoll's Strawberry Associates
Posted May 12, 2016 11:50 AM by Jenny Broome
It is unthinkable that Doug Gubler’s position would not be filled immediately. Grapes and strawberries are the 2nd and 3rd most valuable crops in California and both crops face enormous challenges. In any other state in the US, the economic importance of each of these crops would justify an extension plant pathologist devoted entirely to grapes and another one devoted entirely to strawberries. I’ll speak to strawberries since this is the crop I work with. The strawberry industry has been at a crossroads for the last decade with the phase out of methyl bromide and no adequate replacements. Soilborne diseases (Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt and Macrophomina crown rot) are claiming more losses each year. Anthracnose raised its head again in 2016 after more than 10 years’ absence. Powdery mildew and Botrytis gray mold do not threaten to destroy the industry, but always claim some degree of losses and require ongoing research efforts to identify new tools, characterize resistance and improve management strategies. New varieties, increased mechanization and new export markets (e.g., China) offer opportunities and challenges for a plant pathologist in every phase of production. At the Cal Poly Strawberry Center, we would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with a UC extension plant pathologist in the area of strawberry diseases and strongly support this position.
Posted May 28, 2016 11:36 PM by Gerald Holmes; Director, Cal Poly Strawberry Center
The California Specialty Crops Council (CSCC), a 501(c) 5 non-profit organization, is a trusted source of field based information spanning horticultural crop production, pest management, food safety and stewardship activities in fruit, root, vegetable, vine and berry crops (fresh, dried, and processed). Our diverse partnership of ag organizations also includes beekeepers. Combined, CSCC growers generate $4.1 billion annually on approximately 522,000 acres of California farmland. Our membership strongly supports the establishment and filling of this position. Many of the problems and challenges facing growers, such as with pests, water, air, labor, marketing, crop care materials, etc., are beyond their control, but through research solutions can and will be found that will have a positive impact on the CA specialty crops industry.
Posted Jun 13, 2016 10:26 AM by Gary W. Van Sickle
Fill this position. You know how important it is. Get it done.

Posted Jun 13, 2016 1:54 PM by Chris Storm
Chronic and acute fungal pathogens constantly challenge grapevines and the crop. The industry has looked to Dr. Gubler and the work his lab produces to stay ahead of mildew, more effectively manage debilitating trunk and root diseases, and evaluate the broad array of fungicides on the market. Without continuity in support for our industry, we will lag in managing some of the most critical challenges grape growers face. Please consider filling the position a high priority.
Posted Jun 13, 2016 4:10 PM by Laura Breyer, IPM Field Specialist, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission
Regarding the ANR position available at UC Davis, I strongly recommend Dr. Walter Mahaffee at Oregon State. He is a great communicator, educator, and very analytical in the field of plant pathology.
John R. Monnich
President, Caltec Ag, Inc.
President, Owner, Winemaker of Silkwood Wines
Founder-First President, Past Board Member CAPCA
Board Member, San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers
Board Member, Family Wine Makers
Past President, Board Member Petite Sirah Advocacy Group
Posted Jun 13, 2016 4:19 PM by John Monnich
Grapevine vascular and surface pathogens (Esca, Eutypa, Botryosphaeria, Petri Disease etc.) are currently the single greatest monetary and vineyard longevity threat facing California Table, Raisin and Wine grape growers. Doug Gubler has provided guidance, direction and solutions to grape growers attempting to protect their vineyards from these pathogens. Loosing a researcher and instructor with Dr. Gubler's expertise is a problem for the California grape, berry and tree fruit industries but not replacing this Cooperative Extension Specialist with an individual possessing similar skills would be potentially disastrous. California growers need sustainable strategies to address these pathogens and a CE Pathologist who is willing to engage with growers in finding ways to deal with soil borne and perennial crop pathogens would be very beneficial for California agriculture.
Posted Jun 14, 2016 12:38 PM by Hal Huffsmith
Having a Specialist in Pathology in the ranks of UC Davis' world renown research team is an essential link for the vine, berry and fruit tree industry, not only for the Sierra Foothill region, but for all of California. Historically it has been unarguably illustrated that the UCCE Specialist in Pathology has been invaluable in identifying and illustrating the destructive impacts of invasive pathogens. Also it is important to note that as we continue to grow as a global economy, invasive pests and pathogens will only increase. Wine grapes are the second leading agricultural commodity in Calaveras County and their value justifies the high ranking of the UCCE Specialist in Pathology. The growers of Calaveras County routinely utilize the expertise of the UC resources, including those of the Pathology Specialist. The Calaveras Winegrape Alliance relies on our UC specialist to provide valuable training and information on pathogens and their control to our members. We depend on the specialist to keep the growers informed about up-to-date research through educational presentations at our monthly meetings and to provide information on local specific problems during our bi-annual vineyard tour. The Plant Pathology Specialist is essential to the vine, berry and fruit tree growers of this state because diseases can destroy crops, spread rapidly and cause severe negative economic and environmental impacts. The position must be considered one of the highest ranking positions in the UCCE system because without the research projects and education the specialist provides to growers on the methods to predict, assess and mitigate the impacts of pathogens, the future of the vine, berry and fruit tree industry may be devastated in our foothill region as well as all of California. There is not a local resource that could replace the function of the UC Specialist in Pathology.
Posted Jun 14, 2016 4:24 PM by Mary Mutz, Calaveras Winegrape Alliance - Education Committee
Retailers and consumers consistently tell California table grape growers that they want fruit with no chemical residues. However. as growers we battle disease in the vineyard constantly. We are challenged to protect our crop and at the same time provide consumers with fruit that is residue free. It is also vital to protect our environment at the same time.

Therefore, it is vital to fill the position of Plant Pathology Specialist to continue to improve the methods and tools to meet these challenges. Without ongoing research we will loose the tools we have and face a future without new tools and practices to replace them.

Jack Pandol
Founder, Grapery, Inc.
Co-Founder, International Fruit Genetics
Past Undersecretary, CalEPA

Posted Jun 14, 2016 5:05 PM by Jack Pandol
I fully support this position and rank it as a high priority
Posted Jun 15, 2016 9:32 AM by Manuel Rosas
We absolutely need a Plant Pathologist continuing the work of Doug Gubler. Doug was an amazing asset to the winegrape industry - his research directly improved, informed, and even revolutionized our farming. For example, because of his work, we double prune, late prune, and paint our pruning wounds to help effectively combat spread of trunk diseases. We use the Gubler index to help target our mildew control - and Doug himself said it needs some revamping to include humidity as a variable. His continuing work on the efficacy of new and old pesticides for botrytis and mildew control informed my spray decisions every year - as a result of his research I have basically eliminated copper use in my vineyards for botrytis. This position is a highly valuable one and I strongly recommend that you continue this position and find an excellent candidate who can fill Doug's shoes.
Posted Jun 15, 2016 11:23 AM by Debby Zygielbaum
Dr. Gubler and his lab have consistently been at the forefront of pathogen identification and treatment. His work has been invaluable to our industry. He has responded quickly and effectively with identification and treatment to new pathogens, and to old pathogens that are adversely effecting our vineyards. His research and treatment applications are practical and effective. It is critical that this position continue to be funded, and in a timely manner.
Posted Jun 16, 2016 1:22 PM by Jim Pratt, Sonoma County Winegrape Grower, Member- CA Grape Rootstock Commission, Chairman- CA Grape Rootstock Foundation
As we all know grapes are a multi billion dollar industry in the state of California. Even with all our advances in technology plant diseases and pathogens continues to be one of our largest and most costly issues. Probably the single largest cause of vineyard collapse and failure.
To continue the work that Dr Gubler has been progressing is of vital importance. Please consider this in your decision.
Posted Jun 20, 2016 10:36 AM by Gene Glaeser
This position is vital to California wine grape growers. It is imperative to have someone researching pathogens and their treatment.
Posted Jun 20, 2016 11:54 AM by Beth Rosenthal
I am writing as an individual agricultural producer and on behalf of the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance in the Sierra Foothills County of Calaveras to support the UC, Central Sierra region Specialist in Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees position. The dollars a Specialist in Pathology saves the farming industry, pays the cost of his or her position tenfold. The Vines and Berries and Fruit Tree Industries including our wine grape industry relies heavily on the expertise delivered by UCCE. The Specialist in Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees is critical to California growers ability to meet the challenges we face in emerging plant health issues, agricultural productivity, and sustainable production of our crops. In particular, to deny the wine grape industry the avenue and means to combat the ever increasing threat facing the worlds food producers is environmental and economic folly. With the globalization of the food chain, California Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees growers constantly face the ever present spread of plant disease and pathogens globalization naturally brings. This impacts the economic viability of farming, a viability very necessary for new farmers to enter the market. As California continues to strive to meet the worlds food supply demands, this need for new farmers is of vital importance. It is also without question, agriculture in the Sierra Foothills is in need for more than one FTE advisor to meet the Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees grower needs of the diverse and growing foothill industry. Please fund this position. Thank you, Richard S Tanner
Posted Jun 21, 2016 7:45 AM by Richard Tanner, Calaveras Winegrape Alliance
The California strawberry industry faces difficult times ahead with important issues across many areas including labor, water, fumigants and pest and disease management. A CE Specialist working small fruit pathology is a critical need for the strawberry industry that needs extensive help developing improved management programs for the many important diseases that affect strawberry in California. With the loss of methyl bromide an the increasing restrictions on the use of other fumigants, the importance of good applied research on managing soil borne and other diseases has become increasingly important to the long term survival of the strawberry industry. The important consideration for this position to be useful to our industry is for the specialist to actually work on strawberry diseases problems and help the industry to improve their management.
Posted Jun 21, 2016 8:23 AM by Dan Legard, California Strawberry Commission
The Western Region IR-4 Program funded by USDA NIFA and based at UCD facilitates the registration of sustainable pest management technology for specialty crops and minor uses. We rely heavily on a collaborative effort among UC ANR CE Advisors and Specialists to help identify and prioritize needs and projects for growers in order to enhance their pest management capabilities. Enhanced expertise in plant pathology of grapes, berries and other fruit crops would support growers by providing input and guidance to the IR-4 program in the identification of appropriate registration projects for these and other specialty crops of this area of the state.
Posted Jun 24, 2016 4:10 PM by Rebecca Sisco
My strawberry farm has seen the steady raise of California Strawberry acreage. In 1962 it was 9,800 acres to almost 40.000 acres in 2013. The UC researchers and the farm advisors had catapulted California strawberry industry into being the most productive and progressive Strawberry growing regions in the world. Farm advisors and the UC researchers helped in it all. by defusing the newest technics and products to the farming industry it had done all that. A shift down to 32000 acres in 2016, this is caused by new laws and regulations of pesticides, rising cost of land, rising cost of supplies, lack of water, shortage of labors, a bottle neck in the Agricultural research (Entomology, Soil pathology, foliar pathology) at UC and with the retirement of Doug Gubler. It is more important now than ever before to do more field research with The extension specialists (farm advisors) level and they can be a conduit of information and doing field research that immediately tangible by growers and can have a higher rate of field implementation and adaptation. A researcher not entangled into UC politics and teaching. A researcher who is self motivated and accountable to ANR and the California Farmers to move us into the 21 century. All central coast farmers need an extension specialist who can do hands on field research that growers can talk to and see firsthand technics and methods. We need at least one doing foliar pathologist, looking at new materials or technics.
I do support to addition of a small fruit production specialists (Farm advisor) to the ANR UCCE. The need is very high. This position will help keep our farmers a tuned to new technics and materials and keep California Strawberry industry, Ag leaders in the global farming commmunity. And the California Economy flourishing. Agriculture is the foundation of this Country.
Thank you for your concideration of this position for us.
Rod Koda
Shinta Kawahara Co,
Posted Jun 29, 2016 2:31 PM by Rod Koda
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers, representing nearly 700 Napa County vineyard owners, vineyard managers, and associated businesses, strongly supports retaining the positions of Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Pathology of Vines, Berries and Fruit Trees and Area IPM Advisor for North Coast Region as both Dr. Gubler and Dr. Varela respectively plan their retirement.

Farm Advisors in California represent a critical link between current research and the latest advances in protocol and technology with regard to pest and disease prevention and the industry that uses and needs the information. To that end, expertise in both vine pathology and entymology is vital for our region.
The NVG is also strongly supportive of any progress in expanding UCD’s research and extension efforts. It is our hope that these positions will be filled, in order to support a healthy winegrape industry that contributes to California’s economy and overall way of life.
Posted Jul 5, 2016 1:32 PM by Jennifer Putnam, Napa Valley Grapegrowers
I am writing on behalf of the El Dorado County Farm Bureau representing approximately 250 members in or county to support the position of Specialist in Pathology of Vines, Berries, and Fruit Trees. This position is of vital importance all agriculture but is especially needed to support farming in the Sierra foothill area. Our area is increasing in wine grapes and small farms growing produce, including blueberries and strawberries, for local sales. At the same time, the available pesticides are being reduced making this position becomes more important than ever.

Our county is experiencing an increase in organic growers to meet the increasing demand for pesticide free produce. Research into organic and natural control of pathogens is essential to continued successful farming practices for our growers. Our growers place a heavy reliance on the expertise provided by the UCCE. We fully support and urge you to fill this position. We look forward to working with the person selected.
Posted Jul 10, 2016 11:45 PM by Merv de Haas, President of the El Dorado County Farm Bureau
This position, previously held by Dr. Gubler has provided decades of critical information for the agricultural industry. As a PCA in the winegrape industry I rely first hand on the knowledge the research from this position has provided, which has helped shape the way I approach managing grape diseases. As we move forward, the need for knowledge and understanding of complex disease and plant relationships will only increase. This position plays a key role in providing the PCA industry with the appropriate knowledge to keep our recommendations on the forefront of IPM. I recommend that the filling of this position is of the highest priority.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 8:57 AM by Charles Starr, Viticultural Services
Dear Sirs,
The El Dorado Winery Association in El Dorado County strongly supports filling the position of the Specialist in Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees for the Central Sierra region.
As the renaissance of the grape and wine industry in our county has built into a major contributor to our region’s agri-tourism success, we as growers have relied heavily on the expertise delivered by the UCCE. Currently, however, the Central Sierra region, where we all farm, is underrepresented in UCCE positions.
By having a UCCE Specialist in Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees, our industry can continue to succeed and grow. This position is critical to our members’ abilities to meet the challenges we face in emerging issues, agricultural productivity, and sustainable production of our crops.
As new growers and established vineyard owners alike search for up-to-date information on everything from water conservation technics to appropriately battling a new pest, having a UCCE Specialist familiar with our region and its unique aspects is paramount to the continued success of our agriculture. And with the ever-present risk of losing prime agricultural land to construction, the health of our agricultural community maintains our region’s rural identity.
We fully support the position of a UCCE Specialist in Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees in our region, and we look forward to working with the individual hired.

-Carey Skinner, President El Dorado Winery Assc.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 11:00 AM by Carey Skinner
The areas of science addressed by this position have real impact on several aspects of winegrape growing. The first aspect is research that provides information on how to protect crops from acute diseases such as powdery mildew. In most cases, a majority of the annual chemical costs go to protecting the crop from this single disease. Continued research on how to efficiently and effectively control powdery mildew will have large impacts on reducing the economic burden of controlling this disease, as well as significantly reducing the environmental footprint of control practices.

A second aspect is control of chronic diseases such as those caused by the family of canker pathogens (Eutypa, Botryosphaeria, Esca, etc,). These chronic diseases are often responsible for reducing the long term economic viability of vineyards. The Lodi Winegrape Commission’s Research and Education Committee recently renewed its list of research priorities and canker disease was ranked the highest priority on the list. Furthermore the Lodi Winegrape Commission would be interested in supporting the position through grower collaboration and financial support of research in the Lodi area. A significant amount of research has been conducted by Dr. Gubler’s lab, but there is a strong need to continue this research and build on the strong foundation created by this position. The Lodi Wine Grape Commission recognizes the importance of this position and recommends that the filling of this position is of the highest priority.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 11:10 AM by Stuart Spencer, Program Manager, Lodi Winegrape Commission

The Lodi District Grape Growers Association (LDGGA) supports the filling of the CE Specialist position in the area of Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees. Pathogens and diseases have a tremendous impact on California vineyards and their productivity, profitability, and long-term viability.
The work of Dr. Gubler on problems such as powdery mildew and canker disease has been of great importance to the wine grape industry. It is imperative that this Specialist position is filled and that practical research and education in this area continues.
LDGGA represents growers and associated businesses in California Crush District 11 which includes over 110,000 acres of wine grapes grown in portions of San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 3:37 PM by Amy Blagg, Executive Director, Lodi District Grape Growers Association
July 11, 2016
Dear Sirs,
I strongly support filling the position of the Specialist in Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees for the Central Sierra region.
Over the years, the information we’ve received from Dr. Gubler has provided us with incredible tools and understanding regarding our vines. To this day I use the mildew model with great confidence, spraying less and conserving more. And having chosen to “naturally farm” our vineyards, the need for a UCCE specialist in our area is even more important. I hope that we will continue to make advances on mildew, botrytis, measles and more with the guidance of a UCCE Specialist in Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees.
I fully support the position of a UCCE Specialist in Pathology of Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees in my region, and I look forward to working with the individual hired.
Paul Bush
Madroña Vineyards
Camino, California
Posted Jul 11, 2016 10:07 PM by Paul Bush

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