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Posts Tagged: December 2015

PAC discusses UC president’s initiatives

UC Food Observer has quickly built a following on social media, Rose Hayden-Smith told the President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Downtown Oakland was the site of December's biannual UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC) meeting, which focused on President Janet Napolitano's Carbon Neutrality, Global Food, UC-Mexico and Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiatives, and the ways in which UC ANR can support them moving forward.

After opening remarks from UC ANR vice president Glenda Humiston, each of the Presidential Initiatives took center stage, with two-to-three person teams each offering brief presentations. The teams each included one or more UC ANR representatives, who spoke about the division's contributions – current and future – to the initiative in question.

Tapan Pathak, UC Cooperative Extension specialist for climate adaptation in agriculture (at UC Merced and the Sierra Nevada Research Institute), offered insights into what UC ANR is doing in regards to carbon neutrality. Pathak's expertise is focused on how the latest climate science can help agricultural producers reduce risks and enhance profitability.

On the UC-Mexico Initiative, Khaled Bali, UC Cooperative Extension advisor for irrigation and water management and director for Imperial County, spoke about UC ANR's collaborative research and education programs with Universidad Autonoma de Baja California in Mexicali. Mike Janes, UC ANR's strategic communications director, discussed the division's News and Information Outreach in Spanish operation in Riverside, noting the variety of communications products that office disseminates to California's Latino and Spanish-speaking populations that might be leveraged by the UC-Mexico initiative.

David Doll, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in pomology in Merced County, addressed UC ANR's work related to the UC Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization Initiative. Among other data points, Doll alluded to the many patents and licenses generated by UC ANR throughout the years.

Finally, to demonstrate just one UC ANR activity that has successfully been supporting the Global Food Initiative, Rose Hayden-Smith, UC Cooperative Extension advisor for 4-H youth, family and community development in Ventura County, discussed the UC Food Observer blog she created in support of the GFI. She offered demonstrable evidence of the blog's vast reach and impact.

Following lunch, UC President Napolitano offered glowing remarks about UC ANR's contributions, not only to the Presidential Initiatives but to the UC system generally. She said she was committed to the division's growth and sustainability.

A series of updates followed from the deans of the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources (Keith Gilless), the UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (Helene Dillard), the UC Riverside College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (Michael Anderson), and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (Michael Lairmore).

To give PAC members an opportunity to converse with the presenters about the initiatives informally, they concluded the meeting with a dinner reception at the nearby home of President Napolitano.

Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 12:06 PM

Nominate UCCE academics for ANR Distinguished Service Awards

Nominations are being accepted for the 2016 ANR Distinguished Service Awards, which are sponsored by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and Academic Assembly Council.

Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to recognize outstanding achievement by yourself or your colleagues.

The biennial ANR Distinguished Service Awards recognize service and academic excellence in UC Cooperative Extension over a significant period of time. Awards highlight the use of innovative methods and the integration of research, extension and leadership.

The purpose of these awards is to recognize and reward outstanding accomplishments in five areas:

  • Outstanding Research
  • Outstanding Extension
  • Outstanding New Academic
  • Outstanding Team
  • Outstanding Leader

Winners of individual awards will receive a certificate and $2,000. Winners of the team award will share $5,000. Complete award criteria and instructions for submitting nominations are at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=16765.

Submit all materials in the nomination packet by 5 pm., Feb.15, 2016.

For further information, feel free to contact us.

Sincerely,

The Academic Assembly Council Program Committee

Becky Westerdahl, bbwesterdahl@ucdavis.edu
Jennifer Heguy, jmheguy@ucanr.edu
Keith Nathaniel, kcnathaniel@ucanr.edu
Susie Kocher, sdkocher@ucanr.edu

Academic Assembly Council Website: http://ucanr.edu/sites/UCAAC/

Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Humiston and Parker see climate-smart ideas in the Netherlands

Glenda Humiston and Doug Parker visited Wageningen University with CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.
Last week VP Glenda Humiston and Doug Parker, California Institute for Water Resources director, joined Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, on an agricultural tour of the Netherlands. The purpose of the trip, arranged by Ross, was to strengthen collaboration between Californians and the Dutch in addressing climate change in the agricultural sector.

Ross wrote about the experience in her Planting Seeds blog while Humiston, Parker and other participants posted Twitter updates from their climate smart agriculture tour with the hashtag #CSAmission.

During the visit, Ross and the Netherlands Minister of Agriculture Martijin van Dam signed a Letter of Intent to cooperate on shared agricultural issues.

“The agreement between California and the Netherlands can speed up solutions for the agricultural industry to adapt to climate change,” Humiston said. “With Dutch collaboration on climate-smart research, we'll be able to develop new technology and improve agricultural productivity faster.”

Tomato and sea kale grown in the Netherlands with sea water.
Ross said the trip to the Netherlands is just the start of greater collaboration with the Dutch in addressing climate change in the agricultural sector.

“The innovations in water use, green house technology and saline agriculture are practical on-farm solutions that can assist California's farmers,” Ross wrote in the blog.

At Wageningen University's research farm, the group met Salt Farm Texel growers who are using saline water to produce food crops such as potatoes and tomatoes.  “California has both saline groundwater and saline soils in some areas,” Parker said. “In those areas, our growers may be able to use some of their techniques.”

Noting that the Netherlands has similar water quality concerns to California's, Parker said, “The people we met in the Netherlands are interested in learning from our efforts to find ways to help our agricultural sector produce healthy, environmental sound and sustainable products.”

Dutch scientists are trying to achieve carbon neutrality in greenhouse production.
Humiston and Ross met with Louise Fresco, president of Wageningen University & Research Centre and author of Hamburgers in Paradise, and discussed opportunities for cooperation.

“With our partners at the University of California, we have the opportunity to expand collaboration with Wageningen UR to develop joint research projects on climate smart agriculture – bringing the lessons and practices learned in the Netherlands, home to California,” Ross wrote. “When I see the reuse of water for food production, taste horticultural products grown with salt water and observe the production gains that greenhouse management systems can bring to our berry industry – these are connections that our growers would be eager to learn more about.”

Humiston said, “We will be following up with our new friends in the Netherlands to look at ways our researchers can exchange ideas and information with their Dutch counterparts.” 

The Netherlands is just one of the countries facing challenges similar to those in California where UC ANR hopes to increase collaboration. On Jan. 12 and 13, UC ANR's California Institute for Water Resources will be co-sponsoring “Proven Solutions to Drought Stress: Water Management Strategies for Perennial Crops with Limited and Impaired Water Supplies,”  a workshop in Modesto for scientists from Israel and Australia to discuss drought management with California scientists.

From left, Ross, Louise Fresco, Humiston and Richard Rominger, grower and UC President's Advisory Commission member.
Posted on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 7:54 PM

Names in the News

Patricia.Lonergan
Lonergan named VP's executive assistant

Patricia Lonergan joined UC ANR as executive assistant to Vice President Glenda Humiston on Dec. 9.

Lonergan joined the UC Office of the President in 2014 to support Sandra Kim, UC associate vice president for Finance, in the Capital Asset department. Prior to working at UC, Lonergan acquired over 20 years of experience as an executive assistant. She is also a former small business owner and a trained chef.

Lonergan is located on the 10th floor of the Franklin Building in Oakland and can be reached at (510) 987-0616 and Patricia.Lonergan@ucop.edu.

Donis joins UCCE as postharvest specialist

Irwin Donis-Gonzalez
Irwin Donis-González has joined UC ANR as a UC Cooperative Extension postharvest systems engineering specialist in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis.

He will focus on postharvest engineering, handling (storage, drying, etc.), traceability, and processing of agricultural commodities with a goal of reducing energy consumption while ensuring food quality and safety, critical issues for the fresh market fruit and vegetable, dried fruit, tree nut and rice industries in California. 

Prior to joining UC, Donis was a postdoctoral associate at Michigan State University addressing challenges for agro-based industries in Michigan. His passion for agriculture and postharvest technologies began 10 years ago in his native Guatemala, while working as an independent agricultural consultant after earning his bachelor's and licentiate degree in agricultural engineering from the Del Valle University of Guatemala. He pursued advanced training in postharvest management at Michigan State as a Fulbright Scholar. Using chestnuts as a model, he was instrumental in reducing the microbial contamination in fresh and processed foods by directly overseeing the postharvest management and storage of chestnuts throughout the state of Michigan. He earned his Ph.D. in biosystems and agricultural engineering at MSU to further the use of non-destructive sensing technologies to assess the internal attributes of fruits, chestnuts and vegetables.  

Donis can be reached at (530) 752-8986 and irdonisgon@ucdavis.edu.

Jennifer Pelham
Pelham named environmental horticulture advisor

Jennifer Pelham joined UCCE on Dec. 1, 2015, as an area environmental horticulture advisor for in San Diego and Orange counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Pelham was an extension faculty member in horticulture at the University of Florida/IFAS Extension for 14 years. She planned, developed, promoted and conducted educational programs in horticulture for Florida homeowners, professional landscapers and youth. She also maintained educational posts to Garden Florida social media sites, managed 75 Master Gardener volunteers and managed the “Plant Clinic,” a plant problem diagnostic clinic. She also wrote articles for local newspapers and newsletters and created presentations, marketing brochures, educational fact sheets and community exhibits.

Pelham earned an M.S. in pest management and a Master of Agribusiness from the University of Florida and a B.S. in agricultural business from Pennsylvania State University.

Based in San Diego, Pelham can be reached at (858) 822-7839 and jlpelham@ucanr.edu.

Araceli Saucedo
Saucedo named YFC advisor in Imperial County

Araceli Saucedo joined UCCE on Dec. 7, 2015, as a youth, families and communities advisor for Imperial County.

Prior to joining UCCE, Saucedo was the executive director for the Calexico New River Committee in partnership with the City of Calexico. On behalf of the nonprofit, Saucedo implemented education, awareness and advocacy campaigns to help provide the necessary tools for finding a solution to removing the hazardous threat of an open sewer line, the New River, in the Imperial Valley. She increased public awareness, support and participation in local, state, national and bi-national efforts to reduce adverse environmental and human health impacts from New River pollution. She also coordinated management of the New River projects.  

In addition to her day job, Saucedo teaches upper-division economic courses for San Diego State University in Imperial Valley.

From UC San Diego, Saucedo earned a B.A. in urban studies and planning and a B.A. in economics. She earned an M.A. in Adult Education and Training from the University of Phoenix. A recipient of the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, Saucedo plans to pursue a Doctor of Education in Education Leadership. She is also a Gates Millennium Scholar Ambassador who reaches out to local schools to motivate first-generation college students to achieve scholastically and become leaders within their communities.

Saucedo is based at the Desert Research and Extension Center and can be reached at (760) 352-9474 and asaucedo@ucanr.edu.

Kimberly Steinmann
Steinmann joins IPM as editor

Kimberly Steinmann is UC IPM's new editor as of Oct. 12. Steinmann will develop new extension products and evaluate existing extension publications and products such as the Pest Management Guidelines, online tutorials, videos, identification cards and other training materials. She will also assist UC IPM's urban team by developing curriculum and conducting trainings on the principles of integrated pest management for UC Master Gardeners and other extenders of pest management information.

Prior to joining ANR, Steinmann worked at the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, where she was a senior environmental specialist and managed grants for several projects. She also has practical experience, having worked on farms for nine years, which will help her shape our outreach materials to benefit one of IPM's key audiences – growers.

“We are excited about Kimberly's programming, statistical and database management skills that will be helpful for several projects that are in the pipeline and as we move toward a database to manage our website content,” said Tunyalee Martin, UC IPM associate director for communications. 

Steinmann earned two master's degrees, in agricultural and resource economics and international agricultural development, and a Ph.D. in ecology from UC Davis.

Steinmann is located at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1391 and kpsteinmann@ucanr.edu

Tim Paine
Paine receives national teaching award

Timothy Paine, UC Riverside professor of entomology, received an award for innovative teaching methods and service to students from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Paine accepted the Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences at the 128th APLU Annual Meeting, in Indianapolis. As part of the award, he received $2,000 to improve teaching. He was one of nine recipients of awards in that category.

During his 28-year career at UC Riverside, Paine has taught lecture classes ranging from five students in specialized graduate courses to 527 students in core introductory classes.

Paine has served as Department of Entomology chair, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences divisional dean, and program leader for agricultural policy and pest management in the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Additionally, Paine maintains an active and internationally recognized research program. He studies the ecosystems in which insects, plants and climate conditions interact and he develops bio-control agents to manage accelerating rates of invading pests to reduce detrimental impacts on crops and native plants.

To view the UCR press release about Paine's award, visit: http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/33261.

Posted on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 6:43 PM

UC ANR's 2015 competitive grants program funds 17 projects

I am pleased to announce that VP Glenda Humiston has approved funding 17 projects for UC ANR's 2015 Competitive Grants Program, for a total of $3.7 million over 5 years. The awards range from approximately $50,000 to $450,000. This is comparable to past years' awards. UC ANR awarded $4.46 million supporting 21 projects in 2011, $3.8 million supporting 16 projects in 2012, and $3.5 million supporting 15 projects in 2013. After four grant cycles, the Division has approved funding for 69 projects totaling an investment of $15,464,934. To view the 2015 list of approved projects, please visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/ANRUpdate/files/227066.pdf.

As you may recall, in 2014, the Division did not release a call for ANR's internal competitive grants program in order to conduct a formative assessment to determine if the program's intended results were being reached or if there were plans in place to achieve appropriate outcomes. As a result, applicants this year were required to address strategic initiative priority issue areas to better facilitate the identification and measurement of efforts and impacts.

Key highlights from 2011-2013:

  • 229 UC ANR-affiliated faculty and staff — AES, CE Specialists, CE Advisors, and Academic Administrators and Coordinators — have participated in the grants program.
  • 95 UC students (56 graduate and 39 undergraduate) have participated in grants.
  • 27 early-career UC ANR-affiliated faculty are supported by the grants program (early career is defined as 6 years or less in their current appointment).
  • 228 people have served as collaborators, many of them on more than one project.
  • 65 non-UC ANR-affiliated agencies/partners have collaborated on UC ANR grants (e.g. USDA, CDFA, nonprofits, non-UC universities, among others).

UC ANR's internal competitive grants program continues to support high-priority issues that are consistent with the Strategic Vision, encourage collaboration among academics, strengthen the research-extension network, support short-term, high-impact projects and contribute policy-relevant outcomes that address significant agricultural, economic, environmental and social issues in California.

With UC ANR's Strategic Vision as our guide, we are focusing our resources where there is an opportunity to demonstrate impact, inform public policymaking and attract new resources to support all elements of UC ANR. In doing so, we strive to achieve the greatest benefit for Californians with our investment. Please join me in congratulating this year's recipients of UC ANR competitive grants.

Sincerely,

Bill Frost
Associate Vice President

Posted on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 6:18 PM

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