ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

ANR Opportunity Grants Program Funded Projects

 

Training Master Gardeners to Help Landowners Through the Re-vegetation Process After Large Scale Tree Mortality in the Sierra Nevada

Project Leader: Susie Kocher, Central Sierra Cooperative Extension

Amount Awarded: $10,000

Award Source: Slosson

The Sierra Nevada has experienced an unprecedented die-off of trees on both private and public lands. Current assistance and outreach programs to help with removal and replacement of dead trees are available through the state and are valuable but available only to landowners of at least a 20-acre parcel. This project will mobilize the resources of UCCE Master Gardener volunteers and provide them with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed for the volunteers to extend the tree removal and replanting information to small parcel owners, homeowners associations, and other community organizations.

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Food Evolution: A Documentary Movie Educational Resource

Project #: 17-OP02

Project Leader: Alison Van Eenennaam, UC Davis Animal Science

Amount Awarded: $5,000  

Award Source: ANR General

In 2014 UC Davis Professor Alison Van Eenennaamm and other faculty were interviewed for a documentary commissioned by the Institute of Food Technologists, (ITF). The documentary explains how science is applied to agriculture and how technology can help provide solutions to nutrition and food security. The documentary, Food Evolution, focuses on the GMO debate as an archetype of how misinformation is driving public perception around scientific topics. Food Evolution has been very well received and opportunity grants funds were provided for additional screenings of the documentary at UC ANR events.

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Massive Tree Mortality in the Sierra Nevada: Consequences for Forest Health, Carbon Storage and Wildfire Hazard

Project #: 17-OP03

Project Leader: Jodi Axelson, UC Berkeley Environmental Science, Policy and Management

Amount Awarded: $10,000  

Award Source: Federal Smith-Lever

The cumulative tree mortality from 2012 to 2016 is over 102 million trees on 7.7 million acres of drought-impacted forests. California has been changed at the stand-to-landscape level with preliminary calculations suggesting a 7% loss of carbon stored in live vegetation and this threatens critical ecosystems that California forests support. Funds were requested to begin work on capturing strategic, on-the-ground-measurements of tree mortality and forest characteristics, the first step in developing analytical tools and materials to address the near and long-term consequences of massive tree mortality on forest structure and function.

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University of California Sustainable Community Project: Bringing 4-H to Under-served Youth in Biola

Project #: 17-OP04

Project Lead: Shannon Mueller, (originally Tara Batista) Fresno County Cooperative Extension

Amount Awarded: $ 8,200

Award Source: Federal Smith-Lever

The traditional 4-H program in Fresno County has consistently fallen short of achieving parity for every demographic across all age groups in the county. With this funding the UC Cooperative Extension office in Fresno County will expand their 4-H programming to under-served areas in the county. The project team will test several different types of 4-H program structures and curriculum that can be tailored to meet the needs of under-served populations and also scaled-out to permanently serve those populations. This project also has the support and collaboration of a local charitable foundation.

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Wildfire Recovery for Communities and Natural Lands in California

Project #: 17-OP05

Project Leader: Kate WilkinSutter-Yuba Cooperative Extension

Amount Awarded: $10,000   

Award Source: Federal Smith-Lever

Northern California experienced an unprecedented wildfire season in 2017 and while the loss of homes and lives was unprecedented the fires themselves were not. By sharing UC Cooperative Extension knowledge and our larger network we can help communities develop a science-based recovery approach that also reduces the likelihood of future catastrophic wildfires. A multi-county partnership team will develop and assemble outreach materials, host public workshops on wildfire recovery in seven counties, and disseminate the developed material to the media and public through various platforms.

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Assessing the Toxicological Risk of Eggs from Backyard Chickens in Fire Affected Urban Areas of Northern California

Project #:17-OP06

Project Leader: Maurice Pitesky, UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Extension

Amount Awarded: $10,000  

Award Source: Kearney

Due to the high density of backyard chickens in fire affected areas targeted surveillance of their eggs is essential toward understanding the potential for risk to humans consuming the eggs. We hypothesize that table eggs from fire affected areas will have higher levels of heavy metals, PCBs and PBDEs than eggs from non-fire affected areas. We plan to identify and recruit backyard poultry participants from both fire and non-fire affected areas; perform qualitative and quantitative measures of heavy metals, PCBs, and PBDEs in the eggs, develop risk maps, and extend the knowledge to backyard poultry owners in the affected areas and to state officials.

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Restoring Critical Rangeland Ecosystem Services Following Catastrophic Wildfire

Project #: 17-OP07

Project Leader: Matthew Shapero, Ventura County Cooperative Extension

Amount Awarded: $9,885  

Award Source: Kearney

While fire is a natural disturbance in California the literature regarding management response to catastrophic wildfire on working ranches in California is alarmingly limited; this project seeks to fill a critical knowledge gap for land managers and ranchers. A series of treatment sites and enclosures across ranches in Ventura County will be established to monitor the recovery of fire affected rangeland; in particular understanding soil and vegetation dynamics. What is learned should provide land managers and ranchers with science-based information on how to best manage rangeland to recover critical ecosystem services after fire.

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Produce Safety After Urban Wildfire: Cumulative Risk Assessment & Community Education on Air Pollution Impact on Produce Safety in the Aftermath of the Sonoma County Fires

Project #: 17-OP08

Project Leader: Julia Van Soelen Kim, Marin County Cooperative Extension

Amount Awarded: $10,000  

Award Source: Kearney

Smoke from the 2017 Northern California wildfires likely included high concentrations of carcinogens such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, PAHs, flame-retardants, dioxins and furans, and more. There is insufficient data on the environmental fate of these chemicals and how plant tissue takes up air pollutants; opportunity grant funding will be used for comprehensive testing of different produce grown in the fire-affected areas. Once completed we will develop and disseminate a working paper with a summary of the lab analysis result to help guide communities with actionable information to reduce wildfire public health impacts of poor air quality.

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Wildfire Recovery for Communities and Natural Lands in Southern California

Project #:18-OP09

Project Leader: Sabrina Drill, Los Angeles County Cooperative Extension

Amount Awarded: $9,999

Award Source: Kearney

In December 2017 wildfires in Southern California burned over 300,000 acres. UC Cooperative Extension will help Southern California communities develop a science-informed recovery approach with an overall message of informing residents that they can recover from wildfire in a way that reduces future wildfire losses. We will develop and assemble outreach materials and present a series of workshops designed for different audiences; homeowners, agriculture landowners and producers, range and natural landowners, and land-use decision makers.

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Mini Documentary (Urban Coyote Management)

Project #: 18-OP10

Project Leader: Niamh Quinn, UC ANR South Coast Research & Extension Center Cooperative Extension

Amount Awarded: $10,000

Award Source: Kearney

Funding was acquired from 2 Los Angeles public agencies to purchase 20 GPS collars to allow testing of the efficacy of hazing as a management option for urban coyotes in Southern California’s urban areas. Opportunity grant funding will provide for filming of a documentary about the research project that will be used to increase extension capacity and to educate Californians living in urban areas that experience human-coyote conflict on the use of hazing as an urban coyote management tool.

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HREC Post-Fire Data Collection

Project #: 18-OP11

Project Leader: John Bailey, UC ANR Hopland Research & Extension Center

Amount Awarded: $10,000

Award Source: Kearney

The Carr wildfire in 2018 burned over 3,000 acres of the 5,000-acre UC ANR Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC). Given the long history of ecological research and data at HREC, and recent prescribed burns on the site, we are uniquely situated to examine both fine-scale and landscape-scale effects of fire on vegetation and the rest of the ecosystem. This funding is going to allow us to collect baseline data on all of HREC’s post-fire landscape with the use of drone technology. The landscape-level data collected will provide a common baseline for diverse research projects facilitating cross-study collaboration and integration across a wide-range of fields.

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Nutritive and Toxicological Effects of Wildfire Ash on California's Forage Crops

Project #: 18-OP12

Project Leader: Betsy Karle, Glenn County Cooperative Extension

Amount Awarded: $10,000

Award Source: Kearney   

Extension offices in communities affected by the Carr and Mendocino Complex fires have been contacted by clients expressing concern about the potential impact of the ash load on feed crops they harvest for their animals. The main concern is ash load on their forage crops from the high number of structures containing unknown levels of contaminants that burned and there are few data collections that examine this effect and impacts are largely unknown. This project will perform a cross-sectional survey across 55 forage production fields in California; a commercial laboratory will test the samples for nutrient value and toxic contaminants, and the project academic team members will review the results. County-based advisors will disseminate the results to the public primarily through existing extension newsletters and websites.

 

 

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