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Randhawa to oversee UCCE in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties

Karmjot Randhawa

Karmjot Randhawa joined ANR on Sept. 6, 2019, as the UC Cooperative Extension director for Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties. 

In this newly created staff position, Randhawa is responsible for the coordination and overall operations of Cooperative Extension programs in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties. Unlike traditional county director positions, Randhawa will have no academic research responsibilities so she can focus on overseeing the educational and applied research programs and providing direction and leadership to the academic and support staff within the county extension programs. 

Prior to joining ANR, the Central Valley native was the research translation operations manager at George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication. 

“I look forward to increasing the visibility of UCCE by communicating the positive impacts realized by the people who live in the San Joaquin Valley and benefit from the research activities and contributions of these units,” Randhawa said.

Randhawa received her B.S. and M.S. in research psychology at California State University, Fresno and received her MBA from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently completing the Climate Change and Health Certification Program at Yale University. 

Karmjot is based in Fresno and can be reached at (559) 241-7514 and kgrandhawa@ucanr.edu

Zhou named UCCE assistant specialist for small farms

Qi Zhou

Qi Zhou joined ANR on Sept. 3, 2019, as a UCCE assistant specialist for small farms in Santa Clara County. She will work closely with project directors at UCCE Santa Clara to lead research and extension and extension work related to food safety practices on small farms, beginning farmer education and Asian vegetable production. 

Prior to joining ANR, Zhou conducted research on peach fruit production at Clemson University. At Huazhong Agricultural University, Zhou designed and conducted an experiment that identified the differences between flood-tolerant and flood-susceptible Poplar seedlings. Zhou has published several scientific manuscripts and abstracts and given extension presentations.

Zhou earned a Ph.D. in plant and environmental sciences with a minor in statistics from Clemson University, South Carolina, a master's degree in horticulture and forestry from Huazhong Agricultural University, China, and a bachelor's degree in horticulture from Hunan Agricultural University, China. In addition to English, Zhou is fluent in Mandarin.

Zhou is based in San Jose and can be reached at (408) 282-3109 and qiizhou@ucanr.edu

Aram named UCCE specialty crops advisor

Kamyar Aram

Kamyar Aram joined ANR on Aug. 5, 2019, as the UC Cooperative Extension specialty crops advisor serving Contra Costa and Alameda counties. 

Prior to joining ANR, Aram was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Davis working on research and outreach for the management of vectored grapevine virus diseases, emphasizing diagnostics, the use of disease-screened plant materials and area-wide management approaches. He also has several years of work experience in commercial viticulture and winemaking in New York, Chile and California. His doctoral research focused on the life cycle of the Sudden Oak Death pathogen in aquatic environments, and as a staff research assistant at UC Davis, his research focused on diagnostics and outreach for this forest and landscape disease. For his master's thesis, he studied the use of compost as a source for nitrogen and in suppression of soilborne diseases in vegetable production, gaining experience with field production at Cornell's vegetable research farm.

Aram earned a Ph.D. in plant pathology from UC Davis and an M.S. in horticulture (vegetable crops) from Cornell University. He received B.S. and B.A. degrees from the [LF1] Ohio State University in plant biology and Latin. In addition to English, he speaks Spanish, Italian, French and Farsi.

Aram is based in Concord and can be reached at (925) 608-6692 and kamaram@ucanr.edu.

Khan named UCCE water and watershed sciences specialist

Safeeq Khan

Safeeq Khan joined ANR on Oct. 1, 2019, as a UC Cooperative Extension assistant water and watershed sciences specialist. His research broadly focuses on understanding the interaction between climate and ecosystems to inform land and water management. He uses data-driven numerical models as a research tool to aid in the understanding of watershed systems. As a CE specialist, Khan will focus on developing and carrying out collaborative, multifaceted research and extension related to mountain hydrology and their linkage with downstream water uses statewide, with special attention to the Sierra Nevada-Central Valley watersheds.

Prior to joining UC ANR, Khan was a professional researcher and adjunct professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Merced for five years. Khan brings over 10 years of research, education and extension experience. He has published more than 35 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters, successfully secured several externally funded projects, and presented his work to a diverse range of audiences through digital and print media, workshops and conferences. He has worked very closely with state and federal agencies, local landowners and nonprofit organizations, both in California and elsewhere. He has led several projects related to watershed management, from investigating the impact of non-native tree species and groundwater overdraft on streamflow in Hawaii to mapping hydrological vulnerabilities to climate change in the Pacific Northwest. More recently, his research has been focused on evaluating climate change and watershed restoration impacts on water and forest health and developing stakeholder-driven adaptive decision support tools. He serves as an associate editor for the journal Hydrological Processes. Khan is also a co-director of UC Merced's first Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) grant that focuses on connected wildland-storage-cropland subsystems in California.

Khan earned a Ph.D. in natural resources and environmental management from University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also holds a master's degree in agricultural systems and management from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India and a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering from CSA University of Agriculture and Technology Kanpur, India. In addition to English, he is fluent in Hindi and Urdu. 

Khan is based at UC Merced and can be reached at (209) 386-3623 and msafeeq@ucanr.edu. Follow him on Twitter @safeeqkhan.

Farrar elected chair-elect for National IPM Coordinating Committee

Jim Farrar

Jim Farrar has been elected chair-elect for National Integrated Pest Management Coordinating Committee, which is under the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' ESCOP/ECOP committee system. He will be chair-elect, chair, and past-chair for the next three years.

Farrar will serve with committee chair Danesha Seth Carley of the Southern IPM Center and Ann Hazelrigg of University of Vermont Extension, who moves into the past-chair position.

The National IPM Coordinating Committee is a committee of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) and the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) and is a subcommittee of the ESCOP Science and Technology Committee. The committee facilitates coordination and collaboration nationally among and between IPM research and extension at the land-grant universities, and between the land-grants and federal agencies involved in IPM. 

Fennimore receives Fulbright award

Steve Fennimore

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced that Steven Fennimore, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to work in agriculture in Uruguay. Fennimore will conduct research and teaching at the INIA Las Brujas horticultural field station as part of a project to develop sustainable weed management systems in specialty crops.

Fennimore, director of the statewide Vegetable Research and Information Center, focuses on weed management in vegetable crops and small fruits, as well as weed seed biology and physiology, and seed bank ecology.

Based in Salinas, Fennimore conducts a research and extension program focused on weed management in vegetables, flowers and strawberries, particularly in coastal production areas in California. His program combines chemical and nonchemical methods, for both organic and conventional systems, with the objective of minimizing weed management costs. He also focuses on automated weeding systems to mitigate the severe labor shortages in California, and use of field-scale steam applicators to reduce the need for chemical fumigation in sensitive sites and near urban areas. 

Fennimore is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2019–2020 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 4:26 PM

Farm Bureau celebrates centennial at Capitol

Assemblymember Adam Gray of Merced, who grew up working at his parents’ dairy, met the farm advisors.

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources joined in the California Farm Bureau Federation's Centennial Celebration at the State Capitol on June 26.

State legislators visited booths where county farm bureaus displayed products from local growers and ranchers and discussed the benefits of agriculture in their county.

“We love Cooperative Extension!” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross exclaimed when she saw Jim Farrar and Katherine Jarvis-Shean talking with Jenny Lester Moffitt, CDFA undersecretary.

Sarah Light got to meet her Assembly representative James Gallagher of Yuba City.
UC ANR was represented by Jim Farrar, UC IPM director; Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, UCCE Delta crops advisor for San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties; Sarah Light, UCCE agronomy advisor for Sutter-Yuba and Colusa counties and Katherine Jarvis-Shean, UCCE orchard systems advisor for Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties. They answered questions about pest management and crop production and discussed their research and outreach.

4-H volunteer Julie Farnham and Nicole Jansen and members of the Esparto/Capay Valley 4-H Club brought a small petting zoo consisting of three dairy calves and two exotic sheep and talked with legislators about the benefits of participating in 4-H.

“The California Farm Bureau Federation's Centennial at the Capitol was a great opportunity to talk with legislators about how UC is present in their districts and helping their constituents,” said Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations, who coordinated ANR's participation in the event.

UC Cooperative Extension has partnered with the Farm Bureau for more than a century. As UC Cooperative Extension was being organized in 1913, UC leaders required each county government that wanted to participate in the partnership to allocate funding to help support extension work in that community. It was also required that a group of farmers in participating counties organize into a “farm bureau” to help guide the UCCE farm advisor on the local agriculture issues. These grassroots groups later evolved into the California Farm Bureau Federation.

Assemblymember Devon Mathis of Visalia welcomed the Esparto/Capay Valley 4-H Club members and their livestock.

Michelle Leinfelder-Miles and Anne Megaro greeted Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Susan Eggman of Stockton.
Assemblymember Jim Cooper of Elk Grove chatted with 4-Hers about their calves and the woolly Navajo churro sheep before meeting the farm advisors.
Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton had some questions for the farm advisors.
State senator Bob Wieckowski of Fremont talked with 4-Hers about raising dairy cows.
Assemblymember Steven Choi of Irvine, whose district includes South Coast Research and Extension Center, visited with Megaro and the UCCE farm advisors.
State senator Jim Nielsen of Tehama greeted Leinfelder-Miles and Jarvis-Shean.
Posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 11:02 AM

UC IPM celebrates 40th anniversary

Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Bill Quirk presented Jim Farrar with a proclamation honoring UC IPM at the Capitol. From left, Quirk, Anne Megaro, Mark Bell, Farrar, Mark Lagrimini and Aguiar-Curry.

The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Established July 1, 1979, with funding from the California Legislature, UC IPM built upon a growing movement to reduce dependence on pesticides. Drawing on expertise across the University of California system, UC IPM develops and distributes UC's best information on managing pests using safe and effective practices that protect people and the environment.

On July 8, Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Bill Quirk congratulated Jim Farrar, UC IPM director, and presented him with a proclamation honoring UC IPM at the Capitol.

Mark Bell, vice provost of strategic initiatives and statewide programs; Mark Lagrimini, vice provost of research and extension; and Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations, joined Farrar in the Assembly chambers for the presentation.

Quirk, whose district includes parts of Alameda County, noted that UC IPM is vital to the health and well-being of California's agricultural and urban communities.

“UC IPM is also active in urban neighborhoods, schools, and childcare centers,” Quirk told his fellow assemblymembers. “The advisors work with the public to manage pest populations, while reducing pesticide exposure for a healthier community.

“Specifically, we've all heard about bed bugs in urban centers and their harmful health and economic impacts on communities. UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program responded to the public need and now leads the effort for controlling bed bugs by researching and developing best practices.”

He added, “UC Integrated Pest Management Program epitomizes what UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is all about – getting practical information into the hands of all Californians and serving as a trusted public resource for science-based information.”

Read more about the UC IPM 40th anniversary at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=30686.

UC IPM staff celebrated the statewide program's 40th anniversary at the ANR building in Davis on July 2.

 

Posted on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 9:21 AM

New leaders named for three strategic initiatives

Jim Farrar
New leaders for three of the five UC ANR Strategic Initiatives have taken the helm for the three SI leaders who rotated off, effective Jan. 2.

Jim Farrar, director of UC Integrated Pest Management Program, succeeds Cheryl Wilen as leader for Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases (EIPD).

David Lile
David Lile, UCCE director in Lassen County, succeeds John Harper as leader for Sustainable and Natural Ecosystems (SNE).

Neil McRoberts, associate professor of plant pathology at UC Davis, and Deanne Meyer, UCCE specialist in animal science at UC Davis, succeed David Doll as co-leaders for Sustainable Food Systems (SFS).

Neil McRoberts
The strategic initiative leaders play a key role in unifying, communicating and advocating to promote the science and impact of the work of UC ANR. A key undertaking for the SI leaders in 2018 will be to revisit and evolve the role of the initiatives themselves, identifying how the strategic initiatives can better help us advance the UC ANR agenda of touching the lives of 40 million Californians.

Deanne Meyer
Wendy Powers, associate vice president, and Mark Bell, vice provost for strategic initiatives and statewide programs, thanked Wilen, Harper and Doll for their service as SI leaders.

Keith Nathaniel continues to lead the Healthy Families and Communities initiative and Doug Parker continues to lead the Water Quality, Quantity and Security initiative.

Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 6:59 PM

Names in the News

John Fox
Fox named HR executive director                  

John Fox has been appointed as executive director – Human Resources, effective Oct. 1. He will assume the responsibilities of managing the Academic and Staff Personnel units, which have been consolidated into Human Resources, as Linda Marie Manton, executive director for Staff Personnel, transitions into her planned retirement in December.

Fox has over 20 years of progressive leadership and human resources experience with the University of California. The UC Berkeley graduate comes to UC ANR with extensive experience in working with UC Office of the President HR policies, issues management, benefits and training programs.

For the past five years, Fox has served as the executive director for UCOP Human Resources, where he led the development of a new model for HR service delivery, focused on strategic partnerships to drive organizational goals. He is the HR lead on the UCOP UCPath implementation Steering Committee and is an active member of the UCPath Center Advisory Committee.

Prior to serving as the chief HR officer for the Office of the President, Fox held a number of leadership and project management positions in universitywide Human Resources, including director of HR policy, chief of staff to the vice president – Human Resources, and trainer/writer in Benefits Communications.

Fox is based at the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1343 and jsafox@ucanr.edu.

Jim Farrar
Farrar named UC IPM director

Jim Farrar has been named director of the UC ANR Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, effective Oct. 1.

Most recently, Farrar was director of the Western IPM Center, where he has served since 2013. Cheryl Wilen, area IPM advisor based in San Diego, has been acting UC IPM director since June. Kassim Al-Khatib, UC IPM director since 2009, has become a UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.

Prior to joining the Western IPM Center, Farrar was a professor of plant pathology in the Department of Plant Science at California State University, Fresno for 12 years.

The Wisconsin native completed his Ph.D. in botany and B.S. in plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his M.S. in plant pathology at UC Davis.

Farrar is based in the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1271 and jjfarrar@ucanr.edu.

Leslie Roche
Roche named rangeland specialist

Leslie Roche became a UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in rangeland management in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis on Sept. 1. Before joining ANR, she was a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellow and project scientist.

Her research and extension program is at the intersection of agricultural, environmental, economic and social aspects of ranching and livestock production on California's rangelands and pastures. Roche works with a diversity of rangeland stakeholders to integrate management expertise and applied research to address key challenges, including managing for multiple agricultural and ecological outcomes and coping with and adapting to drought.

Her current projects include “California Ranch Stewardship Project: Adaptive Management for Profit and Rangeland Health,” “On-Ranch Impacts, Management and Planning Horizons Following Severe Drought” and “Wildfire and Grazing Management and Planning.”

She earned a Ph.D. in ecology, an M.S. in horticulture and agronomy and a B.S. in agricultural management and rangeland resources, all from UC Davis.

Roche can be reached at (530) 752-5583, lmroche@ucdavis.edu and on Twitter @UCDRange.

Jhalendra Rijal
Rijal named area IPM advisor

Jhalendra Rijal joined UC ANR on July 1 as an area integrated pest management advisor in Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties.

Rijal's interest is in applying principles of pest monitoring, insect abundance and spatial distribution, insect behavior and chemical ecology in pest management to attain a sustainable production system. Rijal, who is fluent in Nepali and Hindi, focuses on pest problems on major agricultural crops, including tree nuts, tree fruits and other specialty crops in the area.

Prior to joining UC ANR, Rijal was a postdoc scholar in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis. There, Rijal worked on two different collaborative research projects in peppermint and cool-season vegetable crops. The goals of these projects were to understand the behavior and biology of the target pests and find better pest management alternatives by evaluating environmentally benign biopesticides and reduced-risk pesticides.

Rijal earned a B.S. in agriculture and an M.S. in entomology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He completed a Ph.D. in entomology at Virginia Tech.

Rijal is based in Modesto and can be reached at (209) 525-6800 and jrijal@ucanr.edu.

Lupita Fabregas
Fabregas to lead 4-H Diversity and Expansion

Maria Guadalupe (Lupita) Fabregas Janeiro is the new assistant director for 4-H Diversity and Expansion. Fabregas will provide leadership for increasing participation of Latino and other underrepresented populations in 4-H through strengthening current programming and developing new innovative programming that reflects the needs, interests and resources of California's diverse youth, families and communities.

Her interests in research and professional development areas are intercultural competency, diversity, multiculturalism and the development and integration of Hispanic communities in the United States.

Before joining UC ANR, Fabregas worked at the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) in Mexico for 29 years. She has worked in the United States for 13 years, including two years at Oklahoma State University in the College of Human Sciences as a clinical assistant professor and multicultural and community engagement specialist.

Fabregas earned her doctorate in agricultural education at Oklahoma State University, her master's degree in education from UPAEP and her undergraduate degree in agriculture engineering and animal sciences from Monterrey Tech in Mexico.

Fabregas is based in the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1273 and lfabregas@ucanr.edu.

Faith Kearns
Kearns named CIWR academic coordinator

Faith Kearns began a new position on July 1 as an academic coordinator with the California Institute for Water Resources. She joined UC ANR in 2013 as a water analyst, coordinating research and outreach programs for the water institute. Her research interests lie at the intersection of science communication, community engagement and relationship-building, particularly as these topics relate to the environment and water resources.

Before joining ANR, Kearns served as an officer with the science division of the environment program at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she collaborated with policy and advocacy staff to develop research projects and integrate scientific information into campaigns. She has also managed a wildfire research and outreach center at UC Berkeley, served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science policy fellow at the U.S. Department of State and developed science communication projects at the Ecological Society of America.

Kearns received her Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management with an emphasis on freshwater ecology from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in environmental science from Northern Arizona University.

She continues to be based at UC Office of the President in Oakland and can be reached at (510) 987-9124 and faith.kearns@ucop.edu.

Lauren Au
Au joins NPI as assistant researcher

Lauren Au joined UC ANR on Sept. 1 as an assistant researcher for the UC Nutrition Policy Institute.

Prior to joining ANR, Au was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley's Center for Weight and Health, where she managed several research projects, conceptualized research designs and generated research funds. From 2013 to 2014, she served as a congressional fellow to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), developing nutrition and health legislation, including helping to introduce the bipartisan Summer Meals Bill, and preparing policy briefs on federal nutrition and health policies. From 2009 to 2013, Au was a USDA obesity graduate research fellow for Tufts University, Friedman School for Nutrition Science and Policy. During her time at Tufts, she served as a consultant for the HBO film “The Weight of the Nation” (2012). She also worked as a registered dietitian for the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City in 2009.

Au completed a Ph.D. in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts University, an M.S. in nutrition and public health from Columbia University and a B.S. in nutritional aciences and dietetics from UC Berkeley.

Au is based in Berkeley and can be reached at (510) 642-1584 and leau@ucanr.edu.

Katelyn Ogburn
Ogburn to lead Master Food Preservers

Katelyn Ogburn joined UC ANR on Sept. 8 as the new UC Master Food Preserver coordinator. As coordinator, she will support the development of a statewide framework for the growing UC Master Food Preserver Program. She will generate statewide tools and resources, coordinate and convene an advisory board, communicate program updates and information and facilitate program planning and evaluation. Ogburn will also offer support to UC Master Food Preserver program staff and volunteers.

Ogburn completed her bachelor's degree in biology with the Honors College at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. After spending time farming in Colorado, she made her way out to California, where she completed two AmeriCorps programs. After concluding her service-learning terms, Ogburn worked as a coordinator for Habitat for Humanity.

She discovered through farm work, community gardening, potlucks and other experiences that her real passion revolves around food — in particular, increasing food access and decreasing food waste.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Master Food Preserver Program, where I can follow my passion at my workplace and work to bring home-preservation practices to communities throughout California,” Ogburn said.

Ogburn is based at the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1387 and kbogburn@ucanr.edu.

 

Posted on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 2:47 PM
 
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