ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

Names in the News

Tara Batista
Batista joins ANR as 4-H advisor

Tara Batista joined UCCE as an area 4-H youth development advisor for Kings, Fresno and Tulare counties on Oct. 3.

Prior to joining UCCE, Batista was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Management, Entrepreneurship and International Business at Stetson University in Florida from 2013 to May 2016. Batista has 15 years of experience in nonprofit management and positive youth development. She has worked for the Southeastern Network for Youth and Family Services, Girl Scouts, the U.S. Dream Academy and the Boys and Girls Clubs. Batista has also designed, implemented and evaluated youth development programs in Chimaltenango, Guatemala; Vieques, Puerto Rico; Oxford, U.K.; Bogota and Barranquilla, Colombia; Pinellas Park and DeLand, Fla.; New York City and Providence, R.I. She is currently president of Run 4 a Cause Foundation, which helps youth in central Florida to participate in sports outside of school time.

Batista earned a Ph.D. in social enterprise administration and an M.Phil. in social work from Columbia University. She completed a M.Sc. in evidence-based social intervention at the University of Oxford. She also earned a B.B.A in international business and a B.A. in Spanish from Stetson University.

Batista is based in Hanford and can be reached at (559) 852-2739 and tabatista@ucanr.edu.

Mae Culumber
Culumber named Fresno County nut advisor

Catherine Mae Culumber joined UCCE on June 30 as a nut crops advisor for Fresno County.

Culumber has engaged in a broad range of research disciplines, investigating the impacts of land management on plants and soils in agricultural, forest and range ecosystems. Completed in 2016, her Ph.D. dissertation described the effects of novel orchard floor management approaches on soil health, water use, tree root distribution and tree growth in stone fruit orchards. Her graduate work, conducted in collaboration with the USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research Lab, characterized the phylogenetic structure of native grass populations used for grazing and range restoration in the western U.S.

She earned a Ph.D. in soil science and M.S. in ecology from Utah State University, and a B.S. in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Based in Fresno, Culumber can be reached at (559) 241-7526 and cmculumber@ucanr.edu.

Follow her on Twitter at @ucnutadvisor.

JP Martins
Martins joins ANR as dairy advisor

Joao Paulo Martins joined UCCE on Aug. 1 as a dairy advisor in Tulare and Kings counties.

Martins, who goes by the nickname JP, was a private veterinarian for a year in Brazil, then worked as a research assistant and laboratory manager in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University. His research relates to herd health, reproductive management, cattle breeding, synchronization of ovulation, in vitro fertilization, and superovulation in commercial beef and dairy cows. He has expertise in ultrasonography for ovarian morphology, pregnancy diagnoses, fetal sexing and oocyte pick-up.

During his youth, the Rio de Janeiro native worked on his family's dairy farm in the Brazilian dairy state of Minas Gerais.

Martins earned a DVM degree from Federal Fluminense University (UFF), Niterói, RJ, Brazil, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in animal science from Michigan State University.

Based in Tulare, Martins can be reached at (559) 684-3313 and jpmartins@ucanr.edu.

Alex Putman

Putman named UCCE plant pathology specialist

Alex Putman joined UC ANR on April 1 as an assistant specialist in Cooperative Extension and assistant plant pathologist in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at UC Riverside.

Prior to joining ANR, Putman was a postdoctoral researcher based in Salinas for the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis from 2014 to 2016.

Putman focuses on diseases challenging vegetable and strawberry production, especially disease caused by soilborne fungi such as Athelia, Fusarium, Macrophomina, Sclerotinia, Stromatinia and Verticillium. To understand these diseases, his program will integrate various research approaches that could include cropping systems, epidemiology, host resistance, pathogen biology, remote sensing or soil ecology.

He earned a Ph.D. in plant pathology from North Carolina State University, an M.S. in agronomy from the University of Connecticut and a B.S. in natural resource sciences from the University of Maryland.

Putman is based in Riverside and can be reached at (951) 827-4212 and alexander.putman@ucr.edu. Follow him on Twitter @VeggiePathUCR.

Derrick Robinson
Robinson named Money Talks coordinator

Derrick Robinson joined ANR on Aug. 1 as an academic coordinator for the Money Talks project.

Prior to joining ANR, Robinson was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Economics and Geography at University of North Florida for a year. He developed and instructed courses in economics on principles of microeconomics, macroeconomics, intermediate microeconomics, conservation of natural resources, economic geography and business statistics. From 2014 to 2015, Robinson developed and taught a course in agribusiness, entrepreneurship and ag-policy analysis at Tuskegee University. At Auburn University, he worked on community-based research with local Sea Grant offices as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collegiate fellow from 2011 to 2015. From 2009 to 2011, he was a project manager for the University of North Florida Environmental Center, where he organized programs for the campus community and surrounding regional community.

Robinson earned a B.S. in communication: electronic media and a B.A. in economics from University of North Florida, and his Ph.D. in applied economics from Auburn University.

Based in San Diego, Robinson can be reached at (858) 822-7679 and dearobinson@ucanr.edu.

Liz Sizensky
Sizensky joins NPI and communications

Liz Sizensky has joined the Strategic Communications team in Davis and the Nutrition Policy Institute in Berkeley as a communications strategist. She brings extensive experience managing digital and print projects. Prior to joining ANR, she served nine years at UC Berkeley, where she led web and print projects that increased awareness of the research and initiatives of the School of Public Health, SafeTREC, the Division of Student Affairs, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Before UC Berkeley, she spent eight years overseeing websites and marketing communications for Silicon Valley technology companies including Netscape, HP and VeriSign. She is known for translating complex ideas into clear and engaging communications that educate, inform and inspire readers.

She earned a B.A. with honors in English from Mills College in Oakland.

Sizensky can be reached at (530) 750-1272 in Davis on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at easizensky@ucanr.edu.

Janet Caprile
Caprile wins IPM Achievement Award

Janet Caprile, UCCE advisor for Contra Costa and Alameda counties, and the Contra Costa County Agriculture Department have been awarded a 2016 IPM Achievement Award by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for their cherry buckskin project.

Cherry buckskin disease has wiped out cherry production in several areas of California since it was first reported in 1931. In the 1980s, the disease became established in San Joaquin County. To prevent the establishment of the disease in neighboring Contra Costa County, a collaborative effort among UC Cooperative Extension, the county agriculture department and local cherry growers began in 1987. 

Caprile trained UC Master Gardener volunteers to identify cherry buckskin disease symptoms and organized them to help perform an annual survey during harvest. Mid Valley Ag Services covers the cost of lab testing each year. The Master Gardeners and former coordinator Emma Conner first detected infected trees during the 2002 survey.

Caprile informed growers of the disease detection and worked with them to develop an aggressive IPM treatment and eradication program to prevent the establishment of this devastating disease. As a result of these efforts, the disease has been eliminated in Contra Costa County.

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

Doug Parker
Parker honored for professional service

The Renewable Natural Resources Foundation honored Doug Parker, director of the California Institute for Water Resources, with its Chairman's Award for Professional Service to the foundation.

In announcing the award, Robert D. Day, RNRF executive director, wrote to Parker: “You received the award because of your essential volunteer assistance in developing the program and identifying eminently qualified prospective speakers for RNRF's 2015 Congress on sustaining Wester Water. Plus, you launched the congress with an excellent opening address. We would not have had the program that we did without you.”

Parker is president of the Universities Council on Water Resources, an association of universities and organizations leading in education, research and public service in water resources. As UCOWR president, he serves on the executive council for NIDIS, the National Integrated Drought Information System, which maintains the Drought.gov website at https://www.drought.gov/drought.

The Renewable Natural Resources Foundation (RNRF) is a nonprofit, public policy research organization based in North Bethesda, Md. It is a consortium of scientific, professional, educational, design and engineering organizations whose primary purpose is to advance science, the application of science, and public education in managing and conserving renewable natural resources. 

Marianne Bird (on left)
Bird and Hill receive national extension 4-H awards

The National Association of Extension 4-H Agents honored the work of 4-H youth development advisors Marianne Bird and Russell Hill on Oct. 13.

Bird, who serves Sacramento County, received the 2016 NAE4HA Meritorious Service Award. According to the association, Bird received the award because she “loves bringing new learning opportunities to young people, especially in STEM and environmental education.” It also noted that “She works extensively with camps and afterschool programs and enjoys empowering teens-as-teachers. Marianne served on the National 4-H Science in Urban Communities team and fashioned 4-H on the Wild Side, a National 4-H Program of Distinction.”

Russ Hill (on right)
Hill, who serves Merced, Madera and Mariposa counties, received the NAE4HA Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service and dedication to the 4-H youth development profession.

Hill recently celebrated 10 years of service with UC ANR. His prior roles include county 4-H program representative and the director of the 4-H Military Partnership. He is part of the team recently honored by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Cooperative Extension system, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) with the National Extension Diversity Award for systematically enhancing the intercultural competency of 4-H personnel and others in California.

Bird and Hill received the awards on Oct. 13 at the NAE4HA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Vernard Lewis
Lewis inducted into Pest Management Hall of Fame

Vernard Lewis, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, was inducted into Pest Management Professional Magazine's 2016 Hall of Fame on Oct. 17 in honor of his 35-year career in pest management. The entomologist focuses on urban pests, including ants, cockroaches and wood-boring beetles, but is best known for his integrated pest management research and outreach on bed bugs and termites.

Saying that he's “had a blast,” Lewis, who joined UC ANR in 1990, told Pest Management Professional that he plans to retire in 2017. He reminisced about doing pest control at San Quentin Prison and building Villa Termiti at the Richmond Field Station to test termite detection and control measures. To read the article, visit http://www.mypmp.net/2016/09/22/pmp-hall-of-fame-2016-inductee-dr-vernard-lewis-reflects-on-career.

 

 

 

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