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Posts Tagged: Alireza Pourreza

Names in the News

Gabriel Torres
Torres named grape advisor for Tulare and Kings counties

Gabriel Torres joined UCCE on Feb. 1, 2018, as an area viticulture advisor in Tulare and Kings counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Torres was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Nematology at UC Riverside developing an integrated pest management strategy for controlling the most prevalent nematode species in grape vineyards in California. Torres evaluated rootstock resistance, chemical and biological compounds, and anaerobic soil disinfestation methods. Torres conducted most of the nematode experiments under the supervision of UC Cooperative Extension specialist Andreas Westphal.

From 2014 to 2016, Torres was a leader of the plant pathology program for the Colombian Oil Palm Natural Research Centre (CENIPALMA) in Bogota, Colombia. There he developed and guided projects aimed at solving disease problems of the oil palm crop in Colombia, including bud rot, lethal wilt, and basal stem rot.

He completed a Ph.D. in plant pathology from Michigan State University and a B.Sc. in agronomy from Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Caldas, Colombia.

Torres is based in Tulare and can be reached at (559) 684-3316 and gabtorres@ucanr.edu.

Lund named grape advisor for Madera, Merced and Mariposa counties

Karl Lund

Karl Lund joined UCCE on Jan. 8, 2018, as an area viticulture advisor in Madera, Merced and Mariposa counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Lund was a trial specialist at Syngenta Flower, where he designed and conducted floriculture research trials under both greenhouse and garden conditions for a wide variety of flowering plants, specifically focused on the development of fertilization recommendations and nutrient profiles. In 2016, Lund was a technology development representative at Monsanto, where he worked with seed distributors and local farmers to plant, maintain and evaluate pre-commercial varieties of lettuce, bell peppers and spinach.

Lund spent many years teaching and conducting research in viticulture. Starting in 2008, he worked in the laboratory of Andy Walker at UC Davis, where he ran a project looking at the phenotypic and genetic diversity of phylloxera in Northern California, and trying to understand the genetics of phylloxera resistance in hopes of breeding new phylloxera resistance rootstocks for California.  His research helped identify new feeding types of phylloxera in Northern California and connected those feeding types to genetic groups. He also identified new sources of broad phylloxera resistance to be used in breeding phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.

As a postdoc in the Walker lab, Lund looked at drought avoidance in grapevine rootstocks. Insights from this work may be useful in the creation of more drought-tolerant rootstocks. In addition to his research, he was a teaching assistant for several UC Davis classes. Lund wrote a book chapter on grapevine breeding in the western United States and lectured at Cal Poly SLO for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Lund completed a B.S. and a Ph.D. in genetics at UC Davis.

Based in Madera, Lund can be reached at (559) 675-7879, ext. 7205 and ktlund@ucanr.edu.

Kansal joins CSIT as portfolio and project manager 

Namita Kansal

Namita Kansal recently joined the Communication Services and Information Technology as a portfolio and project manager. 

Some of the projects she is working on include assessing the network status of all UCCE sites in California to inform strategic decisions to fund and prioritize the UCCE sites that urgently need network upgrades, portfolio-level reports to inform strategic, operational and funding decisions for the Web IT team, a change management process for the entire IT team, and a project plan and funding estimates for the ANR website redesign.

Before joining ANR, Kansal was a project manager at the UC Davis School of Medicine, working to operationalize strategic initiatives, program development and project management.  

She earned a masters in public administration and a master in arts from Syracuse University. 

Kansal is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1207 and namkansal@ucanr.edu.

Ali Pourreza
Pourreza wins ASABE Sunkist Young Designer Award

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers has selected Ali Pourreza, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis, to receive the Sunkist Young Designer Award.

This award recognizes and honors ASABE members under 40 years of age for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the agricultural engineering profession and to stimulate professional achievement.

Sponsored by Sunkist Growers, Inc., the Young Designer Award recognizes the development of a technical plan that influences agricultural engineering progress, as evidenced by use in the field.

Pourreza developed a polarized imaging technique to detect accumulation of starch in citrus leaves as an early indication of citrus greening disease or huanglongbing (HLB).

“The polarized imaging technique was primarily used for early citrus greening detection, that is a major disease of citrus with no known cure,” said Pourreza. “Early detection of citrus greening is important because growers can prevent further spread of the disease before the entire orchard gets infected. The polarized imaging technique can also be used in other applications that involve the detection of starch or sugar.”

He also developed the Virtual Orchard, which uses aerial imagery and photogrammetry to create a 3-D image of an orchard.

“Knowledge about tree geometry such as individual canopy cover, volume, height and density is important for growers to understand variability within their orchard and make timely decisions about irrigation, nutrient, pest and disease, etc.,” Pourreza said. ”Virtual Orchard is an affordable technology that makes this information accessible for growers. Information extracted from the Virtual Orchard can be used to apply variable rate inputs in a site-specific manner according to the prescription maps that identify the application rate at different locations of an orchard.”

The award will be presented to Pourreza during the ASABE annual meeting in July in Detroit.

UC ANR receives award for extending high-speed broadband

Gabe Youtsey
The nonprofit organization CENIC has awardedUC ANR its 2018 Innovations in Networking Award for Broadband Applications. The award recognizes work to extend high-speed broadband to University of California researchers in rural communities across California by connecting UC ANR sites to the California Research and Education Network (CalREN),

Gabe Youtsey, chief innovation officer; Tolgay Kizilelma, chief information security officer; and Tu Tran, associate vice president for business operations, were recognized as project leaders.

Tolgay Kizilelma
In 2016, CENIC began working with UC ANR to connect its nine research and extension centers to CalREN, equipping them with internet speeds comparable to those found on UC campuses. For example, the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center in Mendocino County and the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Imperial County are both connected at 500 Mbps, five times their previous level of connectivity. 

“You can't do big data with dial-up internet speed,” said Jeffery Dahlberg, director of the UC Kearney Research and Extension Center. “Before this upgrade, our internet was slower than my home internet speeds. Now we have speeds more like you will find on UC campuses.”

Tu Tran
Due to the remote location of most of these facilities, the work involved in identifying suitable pathways for connections between each site and the CalREN network has been extensive. Engineers from CENIC and UC ANR collaborated on network design, deployment, and troubleshooting to equip these facilities with the high-speed internet they need.

In addition to the RECs, Highlander Hall, home to News and Information Outreach in Spanish and the Citrus Clonal Protection Program, is now connected to CalREN. Elkus Ranch (the environmental education center for Bay Area youths), the UC ANR building in Davis and 30 UC Cooperative Extension sites are in the process of being connected.

Posted on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 4:58 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Krkich named Executive Director of Development Services

Lorna Krkich
Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that we will be joined by a new colleague, Lorna Krkich, who has accepted the position of UC ANR Executive Director of Development Services. She will begin the position on Dec. 29.

Lorna brings a wealth of experience in income development, relationship building and strategic planning for future growth and sustainability. She has deep roots in California and is an alumna of UC Santa Cruz.

Working with The Salvation Army, Lorna developed funding opportunities, and trained and managed major gift officers across four states. Her program, in which she achieved well over annual goals and initiated a lapsed-donor process, resulted in 60 percent growth across the territory. During her time with the American Lung Association, she worked with staff and volunteers to build community presence and implement new fundraising initiatives in mid-level and major giving, increasing corporate donations by 900 percent in three years.

We are very excited to have Lorna working with us to grow our UC ANR programs, rebuild our academic footprint and improve our research infrastructure. Please join me in congratulating and supporting Lorna in her new appointment.

Glenda Humiston
Vice President

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 4:53 PM

Names in the News

Emma Fete
Fete joins 4-H as advisor for San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties

Emma Fete joined UCCE as an area 4-H youth development advisor for San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties on Dec. 4, 2017.

For five years prior to joining UCCE, Fete taught and developed various courses including online and hybrid variants as an instructor for the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. As a part of an interdepartmental team, she evaluated general education requirements for undergraduates. Fete also served on the Diversity Committee, analyzing and recommending departmental policies, hiring and recruiting strategies, and implementing training programs to best represent and serve diverse populations.  From 2010 to 2012, she worked as an assistant language teacher for the Hiroshima Board of Education in Japan, where she taught and developed coursework in three prefectural high schools and a special needs school. From 2007 to 2010, Fete worked at WOSU Public Media, where she helped manage WOSU radio programming, fundraising and development efforts, and the station's community activities. She also has experience in local and state government as well as child-focused local non-profits. Fete is a dedicated horsewoman who was an enthusiastic 4-Her in her youth and continues to coach 4-H participants today.

Fete earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in communication at The Ohio State University and a B.A. in broadcasting from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

Fete is based in Stockton and can be reached at (209) 953-6118 and emfete@ucanr.edu.

Kate Wilkin
Wilkin named area forestry/fire science and natural resources advisor 

Katherine “Kate” Wilkin joined UCCE on Sept. 18, 2017, as an area forestry/fire science and natural resources advisor in Sutter, Yuba, Butte and Nevada counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Wilkin was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley where she developed techniques for the California Air Resources Board to better estimate wildfire emissions and collaborated on an ecosystem services project, including water and carbon, of restored fire regimes. From 2011 to 2016, she was a graduate student researcher at UC Berkeley, and at Cal Poly from 2007 to 2009. Wilkin also worked at Yosemite National Park, National Park Service's Inventory and Monitoring Program, California State Parks, and The Nature Conservancy on complex environmental issues including forest health, wetland restoration, fire management, visitor-use, and mine reclamation. She has been a member of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council since 2011.

Wilkin completed a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in biology from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and a B.S. with a double major in biology and interdisciplinary studies (environmental science) from The College of William and Mary.

Wilkin is based in Yuba City and can be reached at (530) 822-7515 and kwilkin@ucanr.edu.

Oguns joins ANR as financial analyst

Tayo Oguns

Tayo Oguns has joined Resource Planning and Management Office as a financial analyst.

He serves a critical role in strategic planning for future UC ANR staffing and personnel initiatives.

Prior to joining ANR, Oguns was a financial analyst at UC Berkeley.

He earned a bachelor's degree in finance at University of Massachusetts – Amherst and an MS in business analytics at Saint Mary's College of California.

Oguns is based at UCOP and can be reached at (510) 987-9028 and Tayo.Oguns@ucop.edu.

Pete Goodell
UC IPM members win international awards

Three of the twelve awards announced for the upcoming International IPM Symposium will be given to UC Integrated Pest Management Program members.  

Peter Goodell, UC IPM advisor emeritus, and Frank Zalom, professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and former Statewide IPM Program director, were selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The European Grapevine Moth Team was selected for an IPM Team Award for achieving the eradication of European grapevine moth only six years after its discovery in 2009. Team members helped growers in infested counties to monitor the pest and apply control measures on a timely basis. The team's research and extension efforts helped growers avoid losses to the pest every year until it was finally eradicated in 2016.

Frank Zalom
The European Grapevine Moth Team includes Lucia Varela, UC IPM advisor for the North Coast; Monica Cooper, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor in Napa County; Walter Bentley, UC IPM entomologist emeritus; Larry Bettiga, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Monterey County; Kent Daane, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management; Rhonda Smith, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sonoma County; Robert Van Steenwyk,  UC Cooperative Extension specialist in UC Berkeley ESPM; Joyce Strand, UC IPM academic coordinator emeritus; and Zalom.

Goodell started his IPM career in 1981 as an area IPM specialist during a time when farmers sprayed their fields based on a calendar date. Determined to reduce the use of broad-spectrum pesticides being used while still increasing yields, Goodell worked with growers, other IPM experts and organizations including the Natural Resource Conservation Service to promote the use of scouting for pests and the reliance on thresholds and degree-day models to determine when to treat.­­­

Zalom, extension entomologist at UC Davis, also has an impressive record of furthering IPM. Zalom began in 1980 as the IPM Coordinator in California. Although he was responsible for advancing IPM in the state, Zalom championed the idea of promoting IPM on a regional and even national level. For 16 years, he co-chaired the American Public Land-grant University National IPM Committee, leading to the development of the Regional IPM Centers. Zalom believes that the science and implementation of IPM will reduce the impact of pests and pest management on agriculture and the environment.

One of Zalom's most successful projects was IPM implementation in almonds. Because of his research on navel armyworm, damage from the pest fell from 8.8 percent in 1978 to less than 1.5 percent in 1990, with a 40 percent reduction in insecticides.

The winners will receive their awards and recognition at the 9th International IPM Symposium March 19-22, 2018, in Baltimore, Md. 

From left, Bob Van Steenwyk, Lucia Varela, Rhonda Smith and Frank Zalom of the European Grapevine Moth team show in 2016 accepting a UC ANR Distinguished Service Team Award.

CAL FIRE honors Quinn-Davidson

Lenya Quinn-Davidson

Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UCCE fire advisor in Humboldt County, has been selected to receive a CAL FIRE Partnership Award.

“As one of the team members helping work towards the statewide goals for using prescribed fire, your work with CAL FIRE, local cooperators and other stakeholders has created invaluable partnerships and expanded the training opportunities that many agencies were previously unable to access,” Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director, wrote to Quinn-Davidson. “It is important to CAL FIRE to work collaboratively with our partners to achieve our common goals. In this instance, your cooperative approach produced results which exceeded the normal expectations. I thank you for your efforts to further the mission of CAL FIRE.”

Yana Valachovic, UCCE director and forest advisor in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, said, “This is an incredible achievement for someone early in their career and it is strong evidence of her leadership skills and all around excellence!”

Quinn-Davidson will receive the award on Jan. 8 at a ceremony at the California Highway Patrol Academy in Sacramento.  

California Grown Rice Endowed Chair open for applications

Applications are being accepted through Jan. 31, 2018, from individuals who wish to be considered for the UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for California Grown Rice.

Through a funding partnership between the California Rice Research Board and the UC Presidential Endowment program, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources has established a $1 million UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for California Grown Rice. The endowed chair will provide a UCCE scientist a dedicated source of funds to support scholarly activities focused on improvement of California rice production and quality. The chair will be awarded by UC ANR to a distinguished UC Cooperative Extension specialist or advisor currently working in the area of California-grown rice research.

Through a competitive selection process, a chair will be selected to hold a five-year term. 

Application and selection details, including timeline and submission guidelines, are available at http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/275834.pdf.

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 11:25 AM

2017 UC ANR Competitive Grants Program/High Risk, High Rewards recipients announced

I am pleased to announce funding decisions for the 2017 UC ANR Competitive Grants Program/High Risk, High Rewards Program. As in past years, the number of requests received exceeds funding available. With 45 competitive grant proposals requesting over $7 million and six high-risk high-reward proposals requesting over another $500,000, we are pleased to be able to support around 25 percent overall.

I want to thank the Strategic Initiative Panels for their work in screening letters of intent and the Technical Review Panels for their efforts reviewing proposals for technical merit, feasibility and extension prior to the review by Program Council. Program Council then reviewed proposals against all the criteria and had the difficult task of making recommendations to me how best to distribute the finite resources available. I commend the principal investigators and their teams for their submissions. While each submission represented important work, not all proposals could be funded.

I am particularly pleased to see that funded proposals represent each of the Strategic Initiatives and have as principal investigators advisors, specialists, academic administrators and AES faculty from each of the AES campuses, our county academics, and our UC ANR statewide programs. The partnering in each of the proposals illustrates one of the principles of our ANR Promise.

The Strategic Initiative Leaders will be sending review comments out to all applicants over the next few weeks.

Congratulations to all of the awardees. The list of funded proposals is below and also posted on the 2017 funding opportunities web page.

Glenda Humiston
Vice President

Title                                                                                  Principal Investigator              Award Amount

Pathways to Your Future: Destination UC                                    Shannon Horrillo                      $200,000

Massive tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada:                               Jodi Axelson                             $200,000
Consequences for forest health

Reducing nitrate leaching to the groundwater by accounting         Daniel Geisseler                       $199,978
for the soils' capacity to supply N through mineralization

Advancing urban irrigation management to enhance water           Amir Haghverdi                        $199,975
use efficiency                                                                          

The California Master Beekeeper Program: Development of a        Elina Nino                               $199,949
continuous train-the-trainer education effort for CA beekeepers                                                                       

Silent straws: understanding water demands from woody             Lenya Quinn-Davidson             $199,937
encroachment in California's oak woodlands                              

Impact of a warmer and drier future on rangeland ecosystems      Jeremy James                         $199,831
and ecosystem services                                                          

Closing the adaptive management loop for sustainable                 Leslie Roche                            $199,502
working rangelands                                                         

Developing a culturally relevant civic science approach to             Steve Worker                           $194,768
improving scientific literacy for Latino youth                  

Creating cyst nematode suppressive soils by managing                James Borneman                      $100,000
indigenous populations of the hyperparasitic fungus
Dactylellaoviparasitica (High-risk/High-reward)                                                

Smart Farming: Monitoring the health of chickens                        Maja Makagon                           $81,293
(High-risk/High-reward)

Recruiting the next generation of extension professionals             Jennifer Heguv                           $11,030

Read more

 
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