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In memoriam: Robbin Thorp

Robbin Thorp was a world authority on Franklin's bumble bee. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

Robbin Thorp, a global and legendary authority on bees and a distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, passed away Friday, June 7, at his home in Davis, surrounded by family. He was 85.

Thorp, a member of the UC Davis entomology faculty from 1964-1994, achieved emeritus status in 1994 and continued to engage in research, teaching and public service until a few weeks before his death.

A tireless advocate of pollinator species protection and conservation, Thorp was known for his expertise, dedication and passion in protecting native pollinators, especially bumble bees, and for his teaching, research and public service. He was an authority on pollination ecology, ecology and systematics of honey bees, bumble bees, vernal pool bees, conservation of bees, native bees and crop pollination, and bees of urban gardens and agricultural landscapes.

“Robbin's scientific achievements during his retirement rival the typical career productivity of many other academic scientists,” said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. “His contributions in support of understanding bee biodiversity and systematics are a true scientific legacy.” 

Read more about Thorp's career at

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2019 at 4:41 PM
  • Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Tags: bees (1), Robbin Thorp (1)

File Vault to retire in September, share files with Box

Have you heard of Box?

UC Davis staff, students and faculty are entitled to an account with the cloud file-sharing service; this covers most ANR staff. It includes the ability for users without ANR Portal accounts to send files to ANR staff. Because it can do much of what the File Vault can do and so much more, we are retiring the File Vault service in the near future. The instructions below provide Box equivalents to the main File Vault functions. If you have any questions or concerns, let us know via or

If you have a UC Davis account, go to and log in using your UC Davis username and password (what you use, for instance, to log in to the Time Reporting System). Several other UC campuses have agreements, although the configurations may differ. For more information, see:

Some comparisons between Box and File Vault


File Vault


Total space available



Maximum file size

975 MB

15 GB

Length of time uploads by outside users are kept

30 days (1)


Can the tool convert documents to PDF or resize/rotate images?



 (1) Uploads in the File Vault are deleted after 30 days unless you 'claim' them, at which point they have the same expiration options that other files do.

Dates to remember

Sept. 2, 2019

File Vault uploads will be disabled but existing files will still be available for download

Oct. 1, 2019

File Vault will be completely disabled and unavailable to all users

Dec. 2, 2019

Any remaining files in the File Vault will be deleted

More information

  1. Select Login with Box
  2. Select Use Single Sign On (SSO)
  3. Enter your email address
  4. If you aren't already authenticated with UCDavis, you'll be asked for your UCDavis Username and Passphrase

Also, we're planning to host a webinar training session on Zoom to help anyone with Box basics. Look for that announcement soon.


Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 1:28 PM
  • Author: Stephen Edberg
Tags: File Vault (1), IT (6), May-June 2019 (2)

UC Staff Engagement Survey closes June 7

Dear UC ANR staff members,

Please complete UC's Staff Engagement Survey by June 7 if you haven't done it already. Your unique survey link is in an email from Willis Towers Watson. We are currently at 39% response rate, in third place for responses, trailing UC Merced staff at 42% and UC Santa Barbara staff at 40%.

UC is conducting the biennial Staff Engagement Survey to learn more about non-represented (policy-covered) staff impressions about working at the university.

During the week of May 13, UC ANR's policy-covered staff members were sent an email from Willis Towers Watson, a firm conducting the survey on UC's behalf, with an invitation to take the survey.

The survey was developed by the Council of University of California Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) in collaboration with Systemwide Human Resources and Willis Towers Watson.

This is not spam so please do not delete the email invitation.

The Staff Engagement Survey aims to help UC better understand the views, experiences and needs of policy-covered staff on topics related to working at UC ANR, including career development, performance management and workplace collaboration.

This is the fourth staff engagement survey; the last survey was in 2017.  ANR's past survey results led directly to ANR Staff Assembly's increased focus on wellness, including guidelines for health meetings and UC Walks. By comparing the results of the past surveys, ANR Staff Assembly and Human Resources will get insight into areas where progress has been made and areas that need further effort and focus.

You can find information about past survey results on the ANR Staff Assembly website:

We encourage you to complete the survey, if you should receive it. It is an opportunity to provide direct feedback that will help shape how we work at UC ANR.

The survey is completely confidential. Individual responses to the survey and personally identifying information will not be shared with UC.

Note that union-represented employees will not participate in the survey because UC receives their feedback through their union representatives during the collective bargaining process.

More information on UCNet:

If you have questions about the survey, please contact

Shane Feirer
Chair, UC ANR Staff Assembly

John Fox
Executive Director, UC ANR Human Resources


Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 1:17 PM

Communications Advisory Board seeks new members

The advisory board to ANR Communication Services and Information Technology (CSIT) is seeking to fill positions. Nominations for Communications Advisory Board membership can include, but are not limited to, specialists, advisors and faculty affiliated with UC ANR.

The board provides advice and support to CSIT leadership on Division program connection, resource allocation prioritization, major policy issues, budget and long-range planning. It also provides oversight of the peer-review process for ANR educational materials.

Board members are appointed by AVP Wendy Powers toserve three-year, rotating terms. The board meets on a quarterly basis in Davis. The new appointments begin in November 2019. Existing board members whose terms are ending may reapply.

Recruitment is now underway for new members. CAB accepts applications from county and campus-based academics in any subject matter. We have a current need for new members with a background in forestry or fire science.

Nominations are due July 25, 2019. Academics may nominate themselves or someone else. Send nominations, along with contact information, to Communications Advisory Board Subcommittee Chair Dustin Blakey at If nominating yourself, please fill out the online application survey at and send a curriculum vitae.

Current members of the advisory board are Dustin Blakey, UCCE county director and farm advisor, Inyo and Mono counties; Surendra Dara, UCCE strawberry, vegetable crops and IPM advisor, San Luis Obispo County; John Harper, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor, Mendocino County; John Karlik, UCCE environmental horticulture advisor, Kern County; David Lewis, UCCE county director and watershed management advisor, Marin and Napa counties; Don Merhaut, UCCE nursery and floriculture specialist, UC Riverside; Fe Moncloa, 4-H youth development advisor, Santa Clara County; Jennifer Sowerwine, UCCE equitable food systems specialist, UC Berkeley; Rachel Surls, UCCE sustainable food systems advisor, Los Angeles County; and Patti Wooten Swanson, UCCE nutrition, family and consumer science advisor, San Diego County.

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 11:38 AM

UC ANR visits the Capitol

The first UC ANR Day at the Capitol was March 26, 2019.

UC ANR Day at the Capitol was held on March 26, 2019, to update California legislators and legislative staff on UC ANR's research and outreach projects. Vice President Glenda Humiston and a UC ANR delegation discussed a wide variety of topics during the legislative visits, including wildfire and forest health, water quality, youth development, nutrition and climate adaptation.

Every year, representatives from each UC campus gather in Sacramento for UC Day at the Capitol to educate lawmakers about the importance of research and higher education and their contributions to California's economy and progress. Although UC ANR participates in the annual Ag Day at the Capitol, this was the first UC ANR Day at the Capitol.

State Senator Jim Nielsen, fourth from left, who represents the Town of Paradise and the surrounding communities, thanked Tracy Schohr and Bailey Butler for helping Butte County residents evacuate their animals and keep them safe during the Camp Fire.

ANR's Global Food Initiative fellow Maci Mueller set up appointments with the policymakers and coordinated the UC ANR delegation to explain the value of investment in UC ANR research and outreach.

The UC ANR delegation consisted of two teams led by Humiston and Wendy Powers, associate vice president. The teams included Faith Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources academic coordinator; Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UC Cooperative Extension small farms advisor for Fresno and Tulare counties; Tracy Schohr, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resource advisor for Plumas, Sierra and Butte counties; Alena Pacheco, 4-H community education specialist in Fresno County; Bailey Butler, Oroville 4-H member; and El Dorado County 4-H Ambassadors Emily Ferrell, Josie Rothman and Isabella Veffredo, who were accompanied by El Dorado County 4-H program representatives Vera Bullard and Denise Veffredo. 

Alena Pacheco told Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman, standing fourth from left, how 4-H collaborates with UC Master Gardener Program and UC CalFresh Nutrition Education to engage at-risk children in Fresno County in gardening and other activities to teach them life and work skills.

“As a team, we were able to connect with every member or staffer that we met,” Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog. “Sometimes it was around the 4-H program, and what the program has done for our impressive team members, sometimes it was around fire or water, and other staffers or members were particularly interested in moringa. Either way, the goal was to make a connection so that each visit left an impression.”

“UC ANR Day was a terrific opportunity for 4-H members to practice their communication skills and get involved in advocacy at the state level,” Mueller said. 

Oroville 4-H member Bailey described for legislators and their staff how she worked from Nov. 8 when the Camp Fire broke out until after Christmas with UC Cooperative Extension advisor Tracy Schohr and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine staff to care for 1,200 evacuated livestock and to train others to assist. Emily, a 4-H Ambassador in El Dorado County, said her 4-H experience with STEM activities and leadership training helped her get into the university of her choice – UC Santa Barbara.

Bailey and Emily told Assemblymember Laura Friedman, fifth from left, how they have benefited from their 4-H experiences and she is interested in learning more about UC Cooperative Extension activities in Los Angeles County.

The 2018-19 UC budget fact sheet can be downloaded at
The teams visited a total of 17 offices including state senators Cathleen Galgiani (Senate Agriculture Committee chair), Hannah-Beth Jackson, Brian Jones, Connie Leyva, Mike McGuire, Holly J. Mitchell, Jim Nielsen and Scott Wilk and assemblymembers  Brian Dahle, Susan Talamantes Eggman (Assembly Agriculture Committee chair), Heath Flora, Laura Friedman, Monique Limon, Jose Medina, Jay Obernolte, Robert Rivas and Jim Wood.

Greeted warmly by each office, the teams shared examples of work being done by UC ANR in their districts, offered them assistance and thanked the legislators for their support. They left a copy of the UC ANR Snapshot, UC ANR map and overview, a 4-H fact sheet and UC at a Glance.

Legislators praised the 4-H members and UC ANR staff for the work they do for Californians.

“I look forward to making UC ANR Day at the Capitol an annual event,” Humiston said. “Telling people about the value of ANR's work is not only part of our mission, it is essential in educating others about all that we accomplish with the resources we have.”

A fact sheet showing the effects of shrinking public investment in the University of California and agricultural research can be downloaded at


At Ag Day at the Capitol, UCCE Modoc County Director Laura Snell talks with Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Maci Mueller.
Senator Richard Pan discusses avocado production with VP Humiston.
State Senators Steven Bradford and Brian Jones talk with members of California 4-H about rabbits.
VP Humiston tells Assemblymember Steven Choi about the array of research projects conducted at South Coast Research & Extension Center in his district.
Mueller welcomed Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, to the UC ANR booth at Ag Day at the Capitol.

Sean Hogan, IGIS academic coordinator, talks drones with Assemblymember Devon Mathis.
Sean Hogan, IGIS academic coordinator, talks drones with Assemblymember Devon Mathis.

Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 6:21 PM

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