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Posts Tagged: UC IPM

EPA awards UC IPM $2.675 million for PREP

Lisa Blecker
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program has received funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Pesticide Regulatory Education Program (PREP). EPA expects the total funding for the five-year cooperative agreement, which begins in fiscal year 2020, to be $2.675 million.

“The PREP Network creates and promotes professional development opportunities for pesticide regulatory officials throughout the United States and its affiliated territories,” said Lisa Blecker, Pesticide Safety Education Program and OPIC coordinator for the UC Statewide IPM Program. “Our courses foster network building and sharing of strategies to increase the likelihood that people will comply with critical safety regulations.”

UC IPM will manage the logistics of developing and hosting the courses at UC Davis and in different locations around the nation. 

PREP is an educational program designed primarily for state managers who conduct pesticide regulatory and enforcement programs. The program, which began 30 years ago at UC Davis, provides information on technical, policy and management issues, as well as a wide array of cutting-edge pesticide topics.

Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 10:59 AM
Tags: December 2019 (11), Lisa Blecker (1), UC IPM (4)

Marty Martino retires from UC IPM

Marty Martino
Marty Martino, UC IPM computer resource specialist, retired Feb. 28 after serving UC for over 29 years. He started working for the university in 1989 and joined the UC IPM Program in 1994.

He has been an outstanding addition to the UC IPM IT/production team for more than 25 years as the computer resource specialist (CRS) and meteorology assistant. As the UC IPM CRS, Martino's primary responsibilities included keeping everyone's computer running and updated, helping with loading webpages, and updating the water-related risk tools (WaterTox online in 2004) and weed susceptibility databases. He also ensured that the weather data is accurate and available for the pest weather models, such as the fire blight degree-day model, grape powdery mildew index, and various insect degree-day models.

Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 1:11 PM
  • Author: Chinh Lam, IT Supervisor and Lead Programmer, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Statewide Program
Tags: Marty Martino (1), May-June 2019 (10), UC IPM (4)

Long-time UC Integrated Pest Management advisor Pete Goodell retires June 30

A 36-year career in science led UC Cooperative Extension Integrated Pest Management advisor Pete Goodell to a gratifying conclusion. He found that technical pest management skills are critical, but it's the people skills he has developed over time that were key to bringing about change.

Goodell retires June 30 from what he described as a fulfilling and challenging career that he entered by pure happenstance. His role as a researcher, leader and teacher turned out to be the perfect profession for someone with his interests, skills and passion.

Unable to find a job in forestry after completing an ecology degree at California State University, San Francisco, Goodell answered an ad he saw on a UC Berkeley bulletin board seeking staff to collect insect samples in a hot Los Baños cotton field.

“It wasn't what I wanted, but it got me outdoors and it was very satisfying,” Goodell said. “I was able to use a lot of what I learned in field biology at San Francisco State.”

The job opened the door into the world of agricultural entomology, a scientific field that impacts the most basic of human endeavors, food production. Captivated by the opportunity to make a difference, Goodell continued his education at UC Riverside, where he studied nematology, entomology and plant pathology, earning masters' and doctorate degrees. Just as his education wound down in the early 1980s, there were rumblings in the California State Legislature about the implementation of new regulations aimed at reducing pesticide use.

Retiring UC IPM entomologist Pete Goodell in a cotton field.

With state funding, the University of California created the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project (UC IPM) to help develop feasible alternatives to pesticide use. UC IPM hired a team of academics to conduct the research, write management guidelines and share the information with California farmers. Goodell is the last of the original team, which has grown to now include 10 IPM advisors, 4 affiliated advisors, an affiliated specialist, and 22 staff members.

Jim Farrar, director of the Statewide UC IPM Program, attributed a large part the program's success to Goodell's contributions.

“Pete delivered innovative IPM programs ranging from technical pest sampling strategies to the social science of how people learn and adopt new pest management techniques,” Farrar said.

In the early days, the program focused on producing IPM manuals for the crops that were the highest pesticide users. Teams were established to research, collect and deliver best practices for alfalfa, grapes, walnuts, almonds, rice, cotton, tomatoes and citrus pest management.

“In the UC IPM program we worked together across disciplines, so we got a lot done,” Goodell said.

Today a library of integrated pest management books, leaflets, training resources, websites and blogs deliver UC's best information on managing pests using safe and effective techniques and strategies that protect people and the environment.

The list of Goodell's accomplishments and awards is long. To name just a few, his efforts have been recognized with two Distinguished Service Awards from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists, and even being named by US News and World Report as one of the “Ten Most Indispensable Americans.”

One of the concepts that has defined his career is regional integrated pest management, which pushes the management of pests beyond the boundaries of individual farms.

“When you have a mobile insect, one farmer's decisions can impact the entire community,” Goodell said. “Working together, you can mitigate that problem.”

Goodell worked closely with farmers in the Tulare Lake basin to implement a regional IPM management system. Goodell brought together 10 growers, each managing several hundred thousand acres of farmland, to collaborate on the Lygus bug problem in cotton.

“Lygus bugs build up in safflower. When the safflower is harvested, all the bugs move into cotton and you have to spray pesticides,” Goodell said.

Safflower is an important part of the crop rotation system, so Goodell got the farmers together to decide on a management scheme.

“One acre of safflower can infest 10 acres of cotton. If you spray the safflower, you reduce the area sprayed by a factor of 10,” he said. “The growers all agreed to spray safflower on the same day, before the Lygus bugs get their wings and lay eggs. This reduced pesticide use considerably.”

The coordination was a complex process. “I was privileged to work with such a motivated and engaged community of farmers,” Goodell said.

The same kind of regional management was proposed for a group of growers near Firebaugh, but Goodell found it nearly impossible.

“In the Firebaugh area, numerous farmers with small fields and tremendous diversity of crops was an insurmountable challenge,” Goodell said. “But in the Tulare Lake basin, we showed that regional IPM can work. This is a model that can be used for other insect and disease problems in the future, such as Asian citrus psyllid and glassy winged sharpshooter.”

Goodell has applied for emeritus status to continue his work in collaborative entomology during retirement. He and his colleagues plan to bring together a diverse group of Californians to enhance understanding of pests, pesticides, and integrated pest management.

“We'll have farmers, pest control advisers, farmworkers, day care operators and managers of open areas like golf courses and public parks all in the same room,” Goodell said. “We want to understand where we need our research to be going, and how to bridge the gap between those who think all pesticides are bad and those who believe pesticides are critical to their businesses.”

In retirement, Goodell will also pursue his passion for the Great Outdoors. He plans to hike the John Muir Trail one segment at a time, and visit the National Parks in the western United States in style, by staying at historical lodges.

Getting reservations won't be a problem. “We have a very open calendar,” Goodell said.

Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 9:50 AM
Tags: May 2017 (13), Pete Goodell (1), UC IPM (4)

Names in the News

Pratap Devkota
Devkota joins ANR as weed advisor

Pratap Devkota joined UCCE on Jan. 6, 2017, as an area low-desert weed science advisor for Imperial and Riverside counties. His primary research will address the weed management challenges on agronomic and vegetable crops (alfalfa, bermudagrass, Sudan grass, wheat, cotton, sugarbeet, lettuce, carrot, onion, spinach, cole crops and cucurbits) grown in Imperial, Coachella and Palo Verde valleys.

Prior to joining UCCE, Devkota was a graduate research assistant while working on his Ph.D., evaluating the influence of spray water quality factors on herbicide efficacy. He also researched the interaction of foliar fertilizers with herbicide and the use of adjuvants for improving herbicide efficacy as part of his Ph.D. research. From 2010 to 2012, Devkota studied weed management in vegetable crops as a graduate research assistant. For his master's thesis, Devkota evaluated the efficacy and economics of herbicide programs and soil fumigants as alternatives to methyl bromide for weed control in plasticulture tomato and bell pepper production.

Devkota earned his Ph.D. in weed science from Purdue University, an M.S. in weed science from University of Arkansas and a B.S. in agriculture science (major in agricultural economics) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Based in Holtville, Devkota, who is fluent in Nepali and Hindi, can be reached at (760) 352-9474 and pdevkota@ucanr.edu.

Gordon named orchard systems advisor

Phoebe Gordon

Phoebe Gordon joined UCCE on Jan. 3, 2017, as an area orchard systems advisor for Madera and Merced counties. As a native Californian, Gordon is excited to be able to share her knowledge with growers to improve orchard production and sustainability in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond. She will be covering all tree crops, including stone fruit and figs in Merced. Gordon's extension and research efforts may include water quality, soil salinity, plant nutrition and pests and diseases.

Prior to joining UCCE, Gordon had worked as an agronomist for A&L Western Agricultural Laboratories in Modesto since March 2015. Her responsibilities involved maintaining the soil fertility and plant nutrition status database, providing clients with advice on proper sampling procedures and aiding them in interpreting soil, plant and irrigation water tests performed by the laboratory, and providing fertilizer recommendations based on soil data. At the Ohio State University, her graduate work was in ornamental shade tree production and outplanting and growing trees from seed or tissue culture to liner size using technologies of interest to the nursery industry. She planted a subset of these trees in an urban highway environment and monitored two years of growth and evaluated soil physical properties of the site.

Gordon earned a Ph.D. in horticulture and crop science from the Ohio State University and a B.S. in plant biology from UC Davis.

Based in Madera, Gordon can be reached at (559) 675-7879 and pegordon@ucanr.edu.

Deepa Srivastava
Srivastava named NFCS advisor for Tulare and Kings counties

Deepa Srivastava joined UCCE on Jan. 3, 2017, as an area nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor for Tulare and Kings counties.

Srivastava earned a Ph.D. in human sciences from University of Nebraska-Lincoln with two certifications on transdisciplinary obesity prevention and mixed methods. She earned an M.S. in child development and family science from North Dakota State University. At University of Allahabad, India, Srivastava completed an M.A. in medieval history and a B.A. in English literature, economics and medieval history.

Prior to joining UCCE, Srivastava was project lead for SBSRC Methodology and Evaluation Research Core Facility at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was responsible for designing and developing process evaluation methods including logic model and fidelity protocols, serving as lead for data collection and classroom observations, and assisting in curriculum development for EAT-Family Style project. From 2011 to 2015, Srivastava was a graduate research assistant in the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was involved in multiple evaluation projects in nutrition and has taught graduate-level courses. Her work included evaluation of a middle school nutrition education program; process evaluation/fidelity testing of nutrition curriculum across childcare programs and middle schools; focus groups with EFNEP and a local food bank; implementation and evaluation of NAPSAAC program in early childcare settings; Fuel Up to Play 60 project; and Healthy Home Project for limited resources families. Her research interest is interdisciplinary, intersecting three areas: parenting, healthy lifestyle and culture.

Srivastava, who is fluent in Hindi, is based in Tulare and can be reached at (559) 684-3318 and dsr@ucanr.edu.

Mandeep Virk-Baker
Virk-Baker named NFCS advisor for Fresno and Madera counties

Mandeep Virk-Baker joined UCCE on Jan. 10, 2017, as a nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor for Fresno and Madera counties. Virk-Baker is a registered dietitian and registered dietitian nutritionist.

Virk-Baker's doctoral training at University of Alabama at Birmingham focused on nutrition and cancer prevention including basic lab science and epidemiology. She received an independent competitive grant as the principal investigator to examine the prevalence of equol-producing status  (a bacterial metabolite of the soy isoflavone daidzein) and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women undergoing a physician-recommended breast biopsy. This trial was among the first to evaluate the metabolite-producing status in African American women.

Prior to joining UCCE, Virk-Baker was a cancer prevention postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health for four years. At NCI, Virk-Baker's research was focused in the areas of nutrition, tobacco, dietary carcinogens, and cancer prevention. As a senior fellow, she led multiple independent projects and conducted cancer prevention research, establishing collaborations with investigators from various agencies, participating in professional workshops, preparing manuscripts for publications, and presenting research at national and international scientific conferences. Virk-Baker received the Sallie Rosen Kaplan Postdoctoral Fellowship award at the Center for Cancer Training/National Cancer Institute in December 2015. At this highly competitive leadership development postdoctoral fellowship program for female scientists at the NIH, Virk-Baker received state of the art didactic training for being an effective leader. While working on a health policy detail in the Division of Science and Policy, Office of the U.S. Surgeon General in Washington, D.C., she had an opportunity to gain valuable public health experience.

Virk-Baker earned her Ph.D. in nutrition sciences from UAB in 2012. She received a Master of Public Health and a Global Health Certificate from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2013. She also completed the Didactic Program in Dietetics from CSU Fresno, and completed a dietetics internship at Iowa State University. Virk-Baker also earned an M.S. in food and nutrition and a B.S. in home science from Panjab University, India.

Virk-Baker, who is fluent in Punjabi and Hindi, is based in Fresno and can be reached at (559) 241-7515 and mvirkbaker@ucanr.edu.

Karina Diaz Rios
Díaz Rios to co-lead Blum Center at UC Merced

UC Merced is relaunching its branch of the Blum Center for Developing Economies with a focus on food security for the first two years of the faculty-led effort. Karina Díaz Rios, a UC Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist, and Kurt Schnier, economics professor  with the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, will lead the rejuvenated Blum Center, with administrative help from the Health Sciences Research Institute.

They hope to make the Blum Center a hub for all food-security-related research and outreach on and off campus.

“We want to create a community on campus to address issues of food security,” Schnier said. “We want to help engage students, faculty members and the community to have a direct effect on people's lives.”

Plans include bringing speakers to the campus and community; supporting efforts such as the campus food bank, which serves students and others who don't always have enough food; helping support student researchers such as the students who serve as Global Food Initiative fellows; and facilitating — including through small grants — faculty research centered on food-related topics such as diabetes, communicating about food, and food and social justice issues.

“We're hoping to help translate research into projects that are relevant to the community,” Díaz Rios said.

Merced County's economy is largely based around agriculture, yet many residents do not have adequate access to food or information to help them make healthy choices.

Alec Gerry
Multistate fly project receives national award

Alec Gerry, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside, is part of a research team honored with the 2016 Experiment Station Section Award for Excellence in Multistate Research. The award, given by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Cooperative Extension System and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), honors the team for “S-1060: Fly Management in Animal Agriculture Systems and Impacts on Animal Health and Food Safety.”

Flies are serious pests of livestock and poultry. House fly, stable fly and horn fly species are responsible for damage and control costs that reach over $2 billion each year in the United States.

Through this project, the scientists developed new chemical, biological and microbial control methods, such as using adult flies to deliver pyriproxyfen, which disrupts insect growth, to sites where larvae are developing. A new fly trap for controlling horn flies removed between 1.3 and 2.5 million flies from a herd of 150 pastured dairy cows. The trap doesn't use insecticide and costs $1.50 less per cow than traditional chemical-based treatments.

Through research and outreach, they have given producers the information and tools needed to select appropriate control methods and apply them in a timely manner. Studies have shown what kinds of weather events and landscape features support fly population growth, and national surveys have shown where insecticide resistance is present. Effective fly management practices result in increased profits, a higher quality of life for animals, a safer food supply and improved quality of life in residential and recreational areas near animal facilities. Adoption of new non-chemical control methods significantly reduces the use of expensive insecticides, cutting costs for livestock producers and reducing harm to the environment.

Gerry shares the award with colleagues at Auburn University, Cornell University, Kansas State University, Louisiana State University, New Mexico State University, North Carolina State University, the Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M AgriLife, University of Arkansas, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Tennessee, USDA-ARS, Washington State University, Central Garden and Pet Co. in Walnut Creek, Calif., and Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada. The project is supported in part by USDA NIFA.

For more information about the multistate project, visit www.veterinaryentomology.ucr.edu.

APLU recognizes one multistate project each year for high scientific quality, the level of collaboration and the professional leadership shown in conducting the project. 

A plaque and a small monetary award of $15,000 to support the research project were awarded to the group by the Experiment Station directors on Nov. 14, 2016, at the annual APLU meeting.

From left, California Department of Pesticide Regulation director Brian Leahy presented the IPM award to Ben Byczynski, director of Fetzer Vineyards and Grower Relations, Glenn McGourty, Houston Wilson, Lucia Varela and Ryan Keiffer.

DPR honors Virginia creeper IPM team

UC Cooperative Extension,winegrape growers, the Lake County Wine Grape Commission and the Mendocino County Farm Bureau were awarded a 2016IPM Achievement Award by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for their leadership in protecting crops from Virginia creeper leafhopper.

In 2011, the tiny insect showed up in Mendocino and Lake counties, causing severe losses of wine grapes. By 2014, the new leafhopper had spread across thousands of acres and was devastating vineyards. Some organic growers began using conventional pesticides to stay in business.

Glenn McGourty, UC Cooperative Extension advisor for Mendocino and Lake counties, Houston Wilson, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM) at UC Berkeley, Lucia Varela, UC IPM advisor for the North Coast, Ryan Keiffer, UCCE agricultural technician in Mendocino, Kent Daane, UCCE specialist based in ESPM  and located at Kearney Research and Extension Center, and Serguei Triapitsyn, principal museum scientist at UC Riverside, have contributed to the efforts.

UCCE, grower-collaborators, pest control advisers, the Lake County Wine Grape Commission and the Mendocino County Farm Bureau collaborated to provide newsletters, videos and field days to teach growers to recognize the new leafhopper and its natural enemy, a tiny parasitic wasp that lays its eggs in leafhopper eggs. However, the plentiful natural enemies weren't adequately doing their job in Mendocino and Lake counties. Researchers brought in a new, effective strain of the wasps from the Sacramento Valley, which are now reproducing quickly on their host in the lab and are becoming established in the counties. Eventually, the wasp will enable both conventional and organic growers to reduce synthetic pesticides used to combat the new leafhopper.

The 2016 Achievement Awards were presented at a ceremony at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters on Jan. 26 in Sacramento.

To learn more about the Virginia creeper leafhopper project, visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/vclh.

 

 

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 8:19 AM
 
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