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Posts Tagged: December 2019

In memoriam: Keith C. Knapp

Keith Knapp
Keith C. Knapp passed away on Nov. 27, 2019, surrounded by his family and friends, in Riverside. Born in Wichita, Kan, on July 28, 1950, Keith was the first son of William H. and Jane L. Knapp.

After moving around the Midwest with his family early in his life, he graduated from Davenport Central High School in 1968. After high school, he went to Iowa State University where he earned a B.S. degree in economics in 1972. He served in the U.S. Army for two years, being stationed in West Germany for 18 months. Following an honorable discharge in 1974, he entered a Ph.D. program offered by the College of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, where he received the Johns Hopkins Fellowship from 1975 to 1980 and specialized in resource and environmental economics. During this time in graduate school, Keith interned at the Water Resources Council and did part-time consulting for the World Bank, both in Washington D.C.

After earning his Ph.D. in 1980, Keith accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences at UC Riverside, where he spent the entirety of his career conducting research on irrigation management, salinity and drainage problems in the San Joaquin Valley, renewable resource management with an emphasis on groundwater, agricultural markets (grain reserves and perennial crops), and the implications of exhaustible resources for economic growth. Keith became a tenured associate professor in 1986, a full professor in 1992, and retired as a professor emeritus in 2019.

Over the 39 years of his distinguished career, Keith published over 85 scholarly articles. In 2002, he and co-authors received the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics Published Research Award from the Western Agricultural Economics Association for an article titled “The Microeconomics of Irrigation with Saline Water.” In 2006, he was awarded the Quality of Research Discovery Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association for an article he co-authored titled “Estimating Intertemporal Preferences for Natural Resource Allocation," published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Keith was an excellent teacher, mentor, friend and colleague. His friends and colleagues knew him as a very caring person who always pursued the truth and looked for practical and logical solutions to tough problems; someone who had a unique ability to explain complex problems in a simple and understandable way; and as a dedicated researcher with original and independent thoughts, but one who would listen carefully to others views. Keith was also beloved by his students for what they would describe as his “lovably gruff commitment to the environment, academic excellence and UC Riverside;” his continual and unwavering belief in their abilities gave them the confidence to more fully reach their potential.  

Outside of his professional life, Keith's passions included skiing, windsurfing and star-gazing/astronomy.

Keith is survived by his brothers Kirk O. Knapp and Kevin B. Knapp, and his sister Julie E. Steelman.

A memorial will be held in Riverside in January 2020. For more information about Knapp's memorial, please contact Kurt Schwabe at or (951) 827-2361.


Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 12:08 PM
  • Author: Kurt Schwabe
Tags: December 2019 (11), Keith Knapp (1)

In memoriam: James M. Lyons

James Lyons
James M. Lyons, UC Davis professor emeritus of vegetable crops and founding director of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, passed away Nov. 9, 2019. He was 90.

Born and raised in Livermore, Jim earned a B.S. in Agricultural Economics at UC Berkeley. After graduation, he worked in the Safeway produce department and became interested in postharvest physiology of vegetables and fruit. He then joined UC Cooperative Extension as a field assistant in Stanislaus County, but was drafted to serve in the Korean War.

Benefitting from the GI Bill and inspired by his UCCE experiences, Jim started graduate school in the Vegetable Crops Department at UC Davis with the goal of becoming a Farm Advisor. At Davis, he was part of a team that did the earliest research on the role of ethylene in fruit ripening. For his Ph.D., he carried out pioneering work describing the physiology of chilling injury in warm season crops, an important concern for food handlers and grocers.

In 1962, after graduate school, he joined the vegetable crops faculty at UC Riverside, where he continued his work on chilling injury and plant physiology, was also responsible for conducting weed management research, and, befitting the natural administrator that he was, became department chair as an assistant professor.

In 1970, he was recruited back to UC Davis, this time as chair of the Vegetable Crops Department. The late 1960s and 1970s was a period when public funding for the University of California was being drastically reduced. Budgets for commodity research were being cut off. Jim took leadership in convincing the agricultural industry that they needed to step up and start funding research in a major way. He worked with the tomato industry to set up the first marketing order research program and went on to help develop similar programs for many commodities, ensuring that important applied research could continue at UC to solve crop production problems. Jim's knack for fostering collaboration was rapidly recognized at UC Davis and he was soon appointed associate dean for Plant Sciences and Pest Management in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. As associate dean, he strove to get people out of their departmental silos and working together in a more interdisciplinary manner.

In 1979, Jim became founding director of the newly established UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. At first, he was filling in for Ivan Thomason, who was on sabbatical, but ended up serving as director or interim director of the IPM Program off and on for more than 9 years. It was under his leadership that the key components of the program were established: the regionally based UCCE IPM advisors, the education and publications group, the UC IPM computer system and the Technical Advisory Committee that oversaw a robust competitive grant program.

Under Jim's guidance, the UC IPM Program brought together scientists from many disciplines, UC campuses and UCCE offices to engage cooperatively in research and extension programs across California in a way that hadn't previously occurred. It was a model that was praised nationally and other organizations and states sought to emulate. Because the program was comprehensive, involving both research and extension, and clearly directed at solving problems, it was successful in helping California growers of many crops better manage pests and reduce the use of the most toxic pesticides. 

Despite his accomplishments, Jim kept a low profile and let others enjoy the credit for the programs he led. He defended the programs vigorously, but allowed people the flexibility to excel. His genius was his ability to bring a group of diverse people together to meet a common goal. Jim stepped down as UC IPM Program director in 1987, but came back to serve as interim director in 1992-93 and again in 2002-2003.

Jim took on many other administrative roles at UC Davis and in UC ANR including director of the UC ANR Center for Pest Management Research, assistant director of the UC Sustainable Agriculture Program, and assistant director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. He retired in 1991.

He is survived by his wife Nancy, daughter Laura, son Andy and several grandchildren.


Mary Lou Flint is former UC IPM associate director for urban and community IPM and UCCE specialist emeritus

Further reading about Lyons' career:

An Interview with James M Lyons by Larry Rappaport, 2001, Aggie Video, UC Davis

Taking The University To The People: University Of California Cooperative Extension, Interview of James M. Lyons by Robin Li, 2008, Regional Oral History Office University of California The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley

A History of the University of California Statewide IPM Program, James M. Lyons. 2003. UC Statewide IPM Program.


Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 12:02 PM
  • Author: Mary Lou Flint
Tags: December 2019 (11), Jim Lyons (1)

Learning & Development: Water, Fund Raising, Grant Tracking, Staff Mentorship

Check out the ANR Learning and Development website for new skills and development opportunities. Webinars are archived here.

January 2020 Announcements
Solutions to CA Water Challenges - Webinar Series (second Tuesdays through May 2020)
Jan. 14, 2020
10 a.m.-11 a.m.
The Water Program Team is bringing you second Tuesday webinars through June 2020. These webinars focus on solutions/approaches for addressing challenges on the complex California water system. The first of this series was Tuesday, Nov. 12 – The Role of the Scientist in Decision Making. Stay tuned for updates and remember - when it comes to California water challenges, there is no silver bullet – but a variety of solutions! Zoom access: | 669 900 6833 | Webinar ID: 502 451 113

Partnering for Fund Raising Success WebANR
Jan. 16, 2020
Noon-12:30 p.m.
Join Development staff and partners to hear real life stories of success in fund raising from around the state.
Zoom: | 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656| Web ID: 751 701 428

Intro to Contracts & Grants and the Grant Tracking System
Jan. 29, 2020
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
This training is for academics and staff who are new, or just need a refresher, to submitting proposals for external funding. We will provide an introduction to the Office of Contracts and Grants including an overview of the proposal submission process and the Grant Tracking System.
Zoom access: |1 669 900 6833 | Webinar ID: 502 451 113

Experiential Learning and Reflective Practice - Webinar 2
January 30, 2020
1 p.m.-2 p.m. 
Making our educational practices public: There's value in the conversation. Reflective practice as an ongoing “check in” strategy can help educators advance their practice. Reflective practice is enhanced when educators share and discuss ideas with colleagues.
Zoom access: 669 900 6833 | Webinar ID: 502 451 113

Staff Mentorship Program Orientation
Jan. 30, 2020
Fifteen mentors and fifteen mentees will meet each other - some for the first time - at the second ANR Staff orientation in January.

Activities will include networking, ice breakers, establishing pillars of trust for the important relationship, and drafting contracts of expectation between each mentor-mentee pair. Each mentor-mentee team, will meet for about 1 hour/month via Zoom, phone, in-person if they are within close range of one another, and using other agreed upon platforms such as texting, emails…etc.

Mentors and mentees will be offered a GallopClifton® Strengths survey which will identify their top five strengths. Then we will follow-up Strengths workshop where our colleague Judyth Isaman will help us learn what these strengths mean. In September 2020 we will debrief about results from the 2020 program and celebrate.

Here are some results from our last program:

% Respondents that reported the following:

100%: The program benefited mentees
94%: The one-on-one meetings were meaningful

94%: There was an increase in self-awareness
89%: Observed professional growth
88%: Grew in skill level (ex., interpersonal communication, leadership, technical)
84%: Identified development actions
83%: The program benefited mentors, too

Mentee: “We each have so much to offer one another, whether we serve as a mentor or mentee. The hard part is finding the time to listen. When someone makes time to feel,understand and relate to another person we all grow. It becomes a rippling effect.”

"Mentee: The mentorship program granted me the privilege and honor of having an exceptional mentor; a leader, role model and friend who helped me gain the confidence and guidance I needed to grow within UC ANR and beyond."

Unexpected results included:
2 Job reclassifications
9 of our mentors reported that their mentorship experience helped them learn about themselves & that mentoring benefits mentors.

Online Learning Standards Revised
The National Standards for Quality Online Courses, Online Teaching and Online Programs have been the benchmark for online programs, districts and state agencies since their creation in 2007. Recently they have released revised standards for virtual education, the first such update since 2011.

eLearning Tips – LinkedIn Learning
Find out how to draft preliminary storyboards to explore your ideas, develop prototypes to test your functionality and visualize your look and feel, design more engaging and visually interesting courses, and add interactivity that gives learners a chance to practice and validate their skills. Go to the course to learn more.

Discovering Your Strengths – LinkedIn Learning
If you match your strengths to your day-to-day work, you will create a big impact in your quality of life and career success. When you focus on what you do best, you'll grow more quickly than working to develop your weaknesses. So how do you know you're your strengths are? This course will guide you through a path of self-discovery, that will help you understand what you are naturally good at doing, where your deepest interest lie, and skills you've already developed. Enjoy it and discover your strengths!

Unconscious Bias - What is it? Linkedin Learning 
Renee Navarro, Vice Chancellor, Diversity and Outreach shares UCSF's initiative to address Unconscious Bias in this article and video. LinkedIn Learning has a course called Unconscious Bias that will help you understand this phenomenon more closely.

Posted on Monday, December 16, 2019 at 6:02 PM

Save the date for Grant Essentials Summit March 2-3

To learn best practices, extend your network, and establish new partnerships towards successfully securing grant funding, attend the 2020 Grant Essentials Summit in March.

Have you identified areas for professional growth related to "grant-winning" that you'd like to strengthen? Are you looking to gain a better understanding of the proposal preparation and funding agency grant review processes? Interested in exploring opportunities and challenges unique to obtaining funding through collective knowledge-sharing and engagement? 

The Office of Contracts and Grants invites you to attend this two-day grant writing event on Monday, March 2, through Tuesday, March 3, in the UC ANR Valley Conference Room in Davis.

Staff and academic participation is welcome!  

The summit is hosted by UC ANR Academic Human ResourcesLearning and Development, and the Office of Contracts and Grants.

For more information, contact Vanity Campbell at


Posted on Monday, December 16, 2019 at 1:46 PM
Tags: December 2019 (11)

Rotary donates $5000 to 4-H in Modoc County

Bill Wilson, Alturas Sunrise Rotary president, with UCCE director Laura Snell, and Sadie Camacho, 4-H program representative.

The Alturas Sunrise Rotary donated $5000 towards the Modoc County Forever 4-H Endowment.

This endowment, established in 2018 amid state budget constraints, is intended to support the 4-H program in Modoc County for generations to come. Over 30% of the youth in Modoc County were served by 4-H programs in 2018.

Donations and memorial gifts are still being accepted for Modoc County Forever 4-H Endowment and will be matched until a goal of $20,000 is met.

“We are just over halfway, $10,935 and have a match for up to $20,000 so we will keep working on it this winter and spring,” said Laura Snell, UCCE Modoc County director.

Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 1:01 PM

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