Posts Tagged: Emily Symmes
McPherson joins ANR as Bay Area UCCE regional director
Frank McPherson joined UC ANR on Feb. 3, 2020, as a regional director for UC Cooperative Extension serving Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, and Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center. He is highly experienced in providing service to external and internal customers.
Prior to joining ANR, McPherson was director of Customer Service at San Jose-based BD Biosciences, where he led the Customer Service division of 75 employees and provided direction to clinical and research applications support, education services, technical support, contract administration and other teams.
From 2000 to 2013, McPherson served as a senior manager at Applied Materials where he led a team of highly skilled account service representatives; directed and managed Contact Center start-ups across the globe, negotiated contracts; and interfaced with planning, purchasing, order fulfillment and logistics to meet customer requirements.
From 1998 to 2000, as a manager at Air France, he was in charge of customer support for clients in Canada, the United States and Mexico. As a director of operations at Global Discount Travel from 1995 to 1998, McPherson managed 200 staff members with 2,000 accounts nationwide. From 1985 to 1995, as a superintendent in the US Air Force, he was in charge of command posts and operation centers.
McPherson holds a bachelor's degree in business management from University of Maryland and a master's degree in business management from Troy State University in Alabama. He is fluent in German.
He is based at the UCCE office in Concord and can be reached at (925) 608-6674 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mada appointed ANR chief information officer
After a long open search, Sree Mada has been named chief information officer, effective March 1, 2020.
Mada has 22 years of technical, functional and business experience in the field of Information Technology. During his career, he has demonstrated strong expertise in enterprise technical solutions in various complex business transformative implementations.
Mada joined UC in 2012, and in 2014 he joined ANR as program manager for UCPath.
“UCPath successfully went live last October thanks in no small part to Sree's skills and commitment to UC ANR's mission, and to his colleagues and the team he led,” said Tu M. Tran, associate vice president for Business Operations.
In his new role as chief information officer, reporting to Tran, Mada will be responsible for moving ANR to new technology platforms and readying our systems for an improved cybersecurity environment. He will also be responsible for implementing modern solutions for programmatic, business and administrative computing, in addition to building an organization that delivers efficient and effective technical solutions to advance the education, research and service mission of UC ANR.
Mada holds certifications from the Project Management Institute and the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, in addition to earning a bachelor's degree in statistics and political science and a master's degree in computer science and applications from Osmania University, India.
Mada will be located in office 173 in the ANR building at 2801 Second Street in Davis and can be reached at (908) 346-0196 and email@example.com.
Brown named director of Staff Human Resources
Bethanie Brown has assumed the role of director of Staff Human Resources effective Feb. 1, 2020.
Brown, who was associate director of Human Resources, now is responsible for staff recruitment and compensation, organizational development/workforce planning, UCPath Human Resources operations and employee/labor relations. Brown continues to report to John Fox in his role as executive director for Human Resources. Brown's expanded role over Staff Human Resources will allow Fox to focus on initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion, employee engagement and career development. Fox also continues to serve as ANR's Title IX and non-discrimination officer.
Tina Jordan, Academic Human Resources manager; Jodi Azulai, ANR Learning & Development coordinator; and David White, principal Affirmative Action analyst and Title IX investigator continue to report to Fox.
Master Gardeners welcome three new program coordinators
Growing up in Denver, Danica Taber explored plant cultivation as a student at University of Colorado Boulder by volunteering at the university greenhouses to help care for the phenomenal teaching collection.
In 2012, she moved to Santa Barbara, where she gained growing experience. “I was fortunate enough to serve as the manager for UCSB's research greenhouses and teaching collections. I got a crash course in IPM, and I also began to appreciate how valuable invested volunteers are,” says Taber.
After completing master's degrees in public affairs and environmental science at Indiana University-Bloomington, Taber moved back to the area to live with her husband.
Taber is based in Santa Barbara and can be reached at (805) 893-2125 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally from Iowa, Uhde earned her B.S. in kinesiology, public health option from Iowa State University, where she studied human nutrition, exercise science and public health. After graduating, she moved to Kansas where she coordinated regional food access programs and led statewide farmers market, food policy, and school health initiatives, including the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, which served over 5,000 eligible older adults through 19 local agencies and 450 certified farmers. Uhde also managed a weekly farmers' market on the capitol grounds in Topeka. She holds a Master Gardener Home Horticulture Certificate from Oregon State University Extension.
“Katherine is passionate about community policy, systems and environmental changes that are sustainable, protect the environment and promote healthy lifestyles. We are delighted to have her as part of the UC Master Gardener Program,” said Lucy Diekmann, UCCE urban agriculture and food systems advisor.
Uhde is based in San Jose and can be reached at (408) 282-3138 and email@example.com.
Burke earned a bachelor's degree in sociology at UC Santa Cruz. After graduating, she pursued her interests in food, agriculture and education. Working with the local farm and garden community for close to 10 years now, she has experience in both the programs and operations sides of small nonprofits.
Burke is based in Half Moon Bay and can be reached at (650) 276-7425 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about the new UC Master Gardener program coordinators at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=39206.
Almond Pest Management Alliance Team wins IPM award
The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team received an award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Environmental Protection Agency for their vigorous promotion of IPM and acting as a hub for growers, pest control advisers, researchers and others to organize their collective efforts and rapidly respond to arising pest issues.
The Almond Pest Management Alliance Team serves as a role model for the implementation of integrated pest management practices in California. The team consists of UC IPM advisors David Haviland, Jhalendra Rijal and Emily Symmes, industry researcher Bradly Higbee of Trécé, USDA scientist Charles Burkes and Bob Curtis of the Almond Board of California.
The team encouraged the adoption of mating disruption for managing navel orangeworm, a major pest in almond orchards, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. After they began demonstrating that mating disruption proved to be an economical pest control method in orchards, they saw a rapid rise in growers adopting the technology. Kern County showed a 26% countywide increase in the adoption of mating disruption from 2017-2018.
For more than a decade, the team conducted research on navel orangeworm, spider mites, leaffooted bug and ants that laid the groundwork for IPM adoption. For the past three years, the team put these IPM practices on display using eight demonstration orchards across the San Joaquin Valley as part of a CDPR Pest Management Alliance Grant.
PCAs and growers who participated in UC Almond Pest Management Alliance activities were surveyed – an average of 93.8% of participants stated that information that they received was considered when making pest management decisions.
The Almond Pest Management Alliance Team also received a California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition sponsored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas.
A three-minute video about the Almond Pest Management Alliance Team can be downloaded at https://ucdavis.box.com/s/7bo2ckkxi7kfvqevc346js6m6g3gvtg5.
Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse win CSAC Challenge Award
The California State Association of Counties honored UCCE Humboldt County advisors Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Jeffery Stackhouse and the Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association with one of its 18 Challenge Awards to recognize county innovation and best practices. As part of the award, CSAC wrote a story at https://www.counties.org/county-voice/first-west-humboldt-countys-prescribed-burn-association-teaches-value-fire and produced a video about their efforts. The video is posted at https://youtu.be/EhkCFRVZ2NE.
In 2017, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse developed the Prescribed Burn Association, which has steadily grown. The association is composed of landowners, nonprofits, volunteer firefighters and other community members who work together to carry out prescribed burns on private land. Until the association was created, most landowners and community members lacked access to prescribed burn information and training.
In 2017, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse developed the Prescribed Burn Association, which has steadily grown. The association is composed of landowners, nonprofits, volunteer firefighters and other community members who work together to carry out prescribed burns on private land. Until the association was created, most landowners and community members had lacked access to prescribed burn information and training.
The concept of a prescribed burn association is catching on. Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse have presented the Humboldt County model to numerous counties around the state.
Beyond the benefit of prescribed burns for land management, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse say the association brings together groups that have traditionally been at odds – ranchers, people who work in timber, environmentalists and cannabis growers.
“Instead of being on opposite sides of an issue, people are gaining understanding for the other side,” Stackhouse told CSAC. “It has opened the door for real, honest communication between different groups that otherwise would not be happening. Having people work together who have been on different sides of the community really is amazing.”
Meyer receives Water Quality Stewardship Award
The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board presented its Water Quality Stewardship Award to Deanne Meyer, a UCCE specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis, on Feb. 6.
Meyer studies livestock waste management, lectures in the Department of Animal Science and advises agricultural and environmental majors. She is also the environmental stewardship module coordinator for the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP), part of the California Dairy Research Foundation.
Meyer has provided technical advice and comments in developing the North Coast Regional Water Board's dairy program. She provides technical expertise at CDQAP workshops to help dairy operators comply with the requirements of the Regional Water Board's dairy permit. Meyer also served on the Technical Advisory Committee for the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Alternative Manure Management Program. Meyer is currently working with Regional Water Board staff on a contract to test manure and soil on 30 North Coast pasture-based dairies to assist dairy operators in developing a nutrient budget for Nutrient Management Plans.
The Executive Officer's Water Quality Stewardship Award is an annual award given to an individual or group whose exceptional work contributes to the preservation and enhancement of surface water and groundwater quality in the North Coast Region.
4-H Camping Advisory Committee receives national research award
The American Camp Association recognized the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee with its 2020 Eleanor P. Eells Excellence in Research in Practice Award. Marianne Bird, 4-H youth development advisor in Sacramento County and chair of the 4-H Camping Advisory Committee, accepted the award on behalf of the team on Feb. 12 At its national conference in San Diego.
The Eells Award recognizes programs that apply innovative, quality research or evaluation findings to improve program practice, and share their findings with others.
Since its inception in 2004, program evaluation and improvement has been a focus of the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee. However, engaging the 25 or more local, volunteer-run camps in program assessment proved challenging.
To engage camps in data and the program improvement process, the committee embraced the use of “data parties” to share results and encourage dialogue with the camps participating in the current study. A data party gathers stakeholders to analyze or interpret collected data. The committee invited camps to bring a team of three to six people (4-H teen leaders, adult volunteers and professional staff) to explore statewide findings, as well as data from their own camp. Teams then created an action plan for improving their programs.
The event encouraged buy-in and a sense of ownership to the data. Participants reported new insights and greater understanding of the data, and cited changes they had made to their programs as a result. Since initiating the data party format four years ago, participation in the statewide evaluation has grown from nine to 22 camps.
“When those engaged in programming understand and embrace data, then is an evaluation truly useful,” said Bird. “These are the people who can make change happen. For California 4-H, the camp data party has been the key to opening dialogue and improving our programs."
Between the Camp Fire in Butte County and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California in November, most ANR members have been affected in some way by the devastating wildfires. Several have experienced major personal losses that they are still dealing with.
While the Camp Fire was still raging on Nov. 14, Emily Symmes, director of UCCE in Butte County, wrote:
“As you can imagine, due to the destruction of nearly the entire town of Paradise and other ridge communities, all of our employees have numerous friends, family, and loved ones who have lost their homes and all of their belongings, as evacuations were so sudden and urgent that most left with only what they could grab in minutes. As such, all have been affected to varying degrees. We have two direct staff members, Alexandra Falk (nutrition education specialist) and John Klepps (Honey Bee Tech Transfer Team) who lived in Paradise. Both have received confirmation that their homes were among those destroyed. They and their families and pets are now safe and have found temporary housing. Many in our extended network of 4-H and Master Gardener program participants and volunteers resided in Paradise have also been heavily impacted, losing everything.”
Among the Master Gardener volunteers in Paradise who lost their houses is Bob DiPietro and his wife, parents of Damon DiPetro of ANR's IT team. Damon's sister and her family also lost their house.
Colleagues have asked how to help.
Emergency resources for UC employees
In response to queries, the Staff Assembly has posted information on their website about the impact of the Camp Fire on our ANR employees and their families at http://staffassembly.ucanr.edu/Resources_/Emergency_Resources_/. Earlier in the year, they posted similar information for those impacted by the Mendocino fires and have committed to maintain Emergency Services information on their website whenever any UC ANR employees are impacted.
Emergency support is also available to UC employees from the university's benefit plans https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2018/11/emergency-support-from-ucs-benefit-plans.html.
UC ANR assists Camp Fire survivors
In the midst of their own losses, UCCE staff in Butte County and neighboring counties have been reaching out to assist community members. For example, Ryan Cleland, 4-H representative, has been working with the 4-H community since Nov. 8, the day the Camp Fire erupted, to coordinate assistance and volunteerism. He is providing vetted and frequently updated information on where evacuated and displaced people can find help and how other community members can volunteer, donate and contribute.
The UCCE nutrition education team has been assisting with meal preparation at shelters, and also with volunteering at indoor youth activities available through the shelters and the local area recreation district.
Other UCCE staff and advisors have been volunteering where needed – helping gather and deliver supplies, volunteering at human shelters and animal shelters, helping out at the numerous meal centers that have popped up.
UC Master Gardener volunteers have been reaching out to fellow Master Gardeners who have lost their homes or remain evacuated to offer housing and other support.
Tracy Schohr, UCCE livestock and natural resource advisor in Plumas and Sierra counties, has been helping care for large animals in the evacuation zone.
The forestry, fire and natural resource advisors have ongoing fire safety research and education programs, coordinating with fire safe councils, and working with other agencies to assist in recovery and become better prepared for natural disasters.
Thanks to everyone who participated, UC ANR's #GivingTuesday campaign was a resounding success.
“We surpassed our stretch goal of $100,000,” Emily Delk, director of Annual Giving and Donor Stewardship, announced jubilantly before 5 p.m. on Giving Tuesday, as she rang a bell and the Development Services team and other ANR staff members cheered.
As of 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 27, #GivingTuesday 2018 donors had contributed $121,000 to UC ANR, including approximately $81,000 for the California 4-H Youth Development Program.
“Our team is still tallying numbers,” Delk said, “However, we are confident to report that we raised over $121,000 for the UC ANR network. This is a phenomenal response of generosity from 342 donors.”
With generous contributions from the President's Advisory Commission, staff and donors, the first $10,000 of donations to UC ANR were doubled. The 4-H Foundation had $25,000 in matching funds.
“A huge congratulations is in order for the Development Services team, all of the Statewide Program Leaders, county directors, the many, many donors and everyone else involved in making the day a success!” wrote Wendy Powers, associate vice president, in her ANR Adventures blog.
In addition to raising money, the #GivingTuesday social media campaign helps raise the visibility of ANR programs and awareness that programs such as the 4-H Youth Development Program are part of the University of California.
“Giving days are driven by social media and the rise of crowd funding is a powerful way to invite new donors to support our work,” Delk said.
The UC Master Gardener Program team made a video of the “unselfies” posted on social media by their supporters: https://youtu.be/PI-rKJikTD0.
Via video, VP Glenda Humiston thanked donors for supporting UC ANR: https://youtu.be/x3Z1LFhx5pc
The staff engagement in the campaign was bigger and better than ever before thanks in part to fun incentives. As a token of appreciation, members of Development Services delivered balloons to donors in the ANR building in Davis.
As an added incentive, UC IPM Director Jim Farrar committed to eating a pest if at least 20 people made a donation of $10 or more to UC IPM. On Wednesday, Nov. 28, all UC IPM donors were invited to participate in the special pest-eating event in the UC ANR building, where Farrar talked about and consumed corn smut, a roasted grasshopper and a live meal worm.
“Giving Tuesday gives us an opportunity to talk about our research and outreach to enhance food systems and create thriving communities, as well as all the other positive things everyone in ANR is doing to make life better for Californians,” Humiston said.
With UC ANR's go-live date of UC Path approaching in March/April 2019, ANR's Change Network Committee has been compiling useful resources for you. In addition to offering monthly webinars, these resources are meant to familiarize you with the new systemwide HR and payroll-reporting system that will serve all UC employees.
UCPath training and other resources are being developed and will be available for ANR HR and payroll processors, unit managers and supervisors, fiscal officers/business managers and other employees at ANR's UCPath website: http://ucpath.ucanr.edu/training_resources.
Resources on the website will include a glossary, job aids, e-learning videos, instructor-led training, user simulations and Zoom webinars.
Employees may view a short video summary of the new employee self-service portal that will be available to employees when UCPath goes live at UCPath Employee Self Service.
Managers can view a short video summary of the new self-service portal that will be available to managers and supervisors when UCPath goes live. UCPath Manager Self Service.
Please note that the most expedient method for receiving pay on established UC pay dates will be via UC's direct deposit process. Verify your home address and paycheck delivery method in UC At Your Service Online (AYSO) at https://atyourserviceonline.ucop.edu.
After UCPath goes live, employees who are signed up to receive paper checks will receive checks sent to home addresses through U.S. Postal Service mail from a check distribution center in Arizona. Paychecks may take several days to arrive in the mail after the UC pay date. We encourage all employees to register in advance for direct deposit, if possible, at the following website: http://directdeposit.ucdavis.edu. It may take up to two pay periods for direct deposit to take effect.
For more information on UCPath, check the UC ANR UCPath website http://ucpath.ucanr.edu.
Schilder named director for UCCE Ventura and Hansen REC
Annemiek Schilder joined ANR on Aug. 1, 2018, as director of UCCE Ventura County and Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center. She hails from the Netherlands, where she grew up in an extended family of dairy and field crop farmers. Her grandfather, who farmed well into his 90s, inspired her to follow a career in agriculture.
Schilder studies small fruit pathology, mycology, applied virology, plant disease diagnostics, integrated pest management and organic and sustainable disease management.
She joins UC ANR from Michigan State University, where she was associate professor from 2006 to 2018 and an assistant professor from 1998 to 2005 in the Department of Plant Pathology and Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. At MSU, Schilder was responsible for research, extension and teaching of sustainable disease management in small fruit crops, such as grapes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries. She studied the diagnosis, epidemiology and integrated control methods for major fungal and viral diseases of these crops, and worked closely with entomologists, horticulturists, plant breeders, agricultural economists, extension educators, and growers to develop a holistic approach to plant health. Schilder also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
From 1994 to 1997, Schilder was a postdoctoral fellow at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria, researching legume and cassava diseases, seed health, and plant quarantine issues, and gaining an appreciation for the challenges faced by African farmers.
Schilder earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in plant pathology (cereal diseases) from Cornell University and a B.S. in agronomy from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She also studied plant sciences for a year at Wageningen Agricultural University in The Netherlands.
Schilder is based in Ventura and can be reached at (805) 662-6943 and email@example.com.
Humiston named 2018 California Steward Leader
California Economic Summit Nov. 16. She currently serves on the 2018 Economic Summit Steering Committee, and is the Action Team co-lead for Working Landscapes and co-chair of the Elevate Rural California initiative.
“I was really involved in the 1990s in trying to figure out how agriculture and environmental interests find common ground, as well as building bridges between rural and urban sectors," Humiston said. "In the 2000s, I started focusing on economic development and sustainability. In my current job, I'm bringing all of those together around the reality that sustainability truly has to be a triple bottom line. We've got to develop ways for people, the planet and prosperity to all thrive and enhance the synergies between them."
In nominating Humiston for the award, Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore wrote, “Glenda is a powerful and relentless advocate for triple bottom line prosperity. She has championed and delivered in every position I have seen her in. As one of the co-chairs/Steering Committee for the Economic Summit, she has ensured that working landscapes remains a driver for rural prosperity.”
“Glenda embodies what CA Forward and the California Stewardship Network are all about: empowering regional hubs to own their own future,” added Gore, who served with Humiston at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as presidential appointees under President Obama.
As co-chair of Elevate Rural California, Humiston is working on three main areas: biomass, rural broadband and water infrastructure. “We identified those issues at last year's summit and worked this year to identify where the opportunities were as well as options to pursue,” she said. “We're bringing that information to the summit this year to get people to really rally around those three issues and move forward working on implementation.”
CAPCA honors Koike
Steve Koike, emeritus UCCE advisor in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties and current lab director of TriCal Diagnostics, has been awarded the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture Award from the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA).
CAPCA gives the prestigious award to people who have made a meaningful difference in support of California agriculture.
“This honor recognizes the plant pathology research and problem-solving expertise that Steve provides to growers, PCAs and others in the agricultural industry,” said Mike Stanghellini, TriCal research director. “Steve's priorities, previously with UC Cooperative Extension and now with TriCal Diagnostics, are to be scientifically and technically correct in the lab as well as practical and useful in the field. He is pleased to continue to provide diagnostic services to the agricultural industry in California and other states, and he remains engaged in plant pathology research and investigations.”