Downing to lead Publishing and Production
Senuta joined UC ANR in 1994 after serving as an external member of the ad hoc review committee tasked to evaluate the future of publishing in the Division. She helped shape the Communication Services unit, which, in its early days, concentrated on publishing and gradually expanded to address the Division's growing information technology and strategic communications needs. With academics from the Communications Advisory Board, Senuta helped formulate all aspects of the ANR peer-review process, which ensures that ANR's education materials are accurate, useful and timely. With her staff, Senuta created a professional unit that produced, published, and marketed ANR research in awarding-winning books, online publications, California Agriculture journal, and provided attractive visual services of graphic design, photography and videography.
Senuta credits her creative staff, the committed scientists of ANR and her two supervisors – former CSIT executive director Bob Sams and AVP Tu Tran – for challenging and inspiring her. “When my son was little, he asked what I did at my job,” she said. “I told him that I help our scientists explain to Californians how to grow more food, use fewer chemicals, eat healthier and keep the land protected. That simplistic explanation has been my motivation for 24 years.”
In his new role, Downing will provide leadership of UC ANR publishing and advance Division strategic, business and operational objectives. Advised by the Communications Advisory Board, he will direct all phases of academic peer review, editorial planning and production for California Agriculture journal, print and electronic ANR publications, visual communications and, as appropriate, strategic communications materials. He will also manage the unit's professional staff, budget and physical resources.
Downing has served ANR for 3½ years as California Agriculture executive editor, steering the journal to its recent first-place award in the Periodicals category by the Association for Communications Excellence, the international professional association for agricultural communicators, educators and information technologists. Before joining UC ANR, Downing was the Sacramento Bee's agriculture, energy and climate reporter, and he produced publications on natural resources and agriculture for agency, NGO and corporate clients. He received a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering from Cornell University and master's degrees in energy and resources and in environmental engineering, both from UC Berkeley.