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Posts Tagged: Joji Muramoto

Names in the News

Muramoto hired as first UCCE organic ag specialist

Joji Muramoto

Joji Muramoto joined ANR on May 29 as an assistant Cooperative Extension organic production specialist. The first UCCE specialist hired to focus on organic agriculture, Muramoto will coordinate a statewide program focused on fertility and pest management in organic production systems across the state.

He has a joint affiliation with UCCE and the Department of Environmental Studies and the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at UC Santa Cruz. Muramoto, who is fluent in Japanese, is also an affiliate professor in the Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan.

Prior to joining ANR, Muramoto served in multiple capacities at UC Santa Cruz. Since 1996, he has conducted research and extension on fertility and soil-borne disease management in organic and conventional strawberry and vegetable production in coastal California. Over the course of his 32-year career as a soil scientist/agroecologist, Muramoto has secured and managed over $11 million of external grants as a principal investigator or co-PI, conducted numerous field-based research projects, published 39 peer-reviewed or invited papers or book chapters including several multidisciplinary papers, supervised more than 100 undergraduate student workers and interns, and given more than 90 extension presentations in California.

Muramoto earned a Ph.D. and an M.S. in agriculture chemistry (soil science), and a B.S. in agriculture chemistry from Tokyo University of Agriculture. 

Based at the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems in Santa Cruz, Muramoto can be reached at (831) 459-2178 and jmuramoto@ucanr.edu.

Amir Haghverdi
Haghverdi receives USDA New Investigator Award

Amir Haghverdi, assistant UC Cooperative Extension irrigation and water management specialist in the UC Riverside environmental sciences department, has been awarded a nearly $500,000 Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement New Investigator grant by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

NIFA Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement Grants are highly competitive funds awarded to researchers at the beginning their career, with less than five years postgraduate career-track experience.

Haghverdi's research focuses on developing and disseminating scientific knowledge, practical recommendations, and tools for sustainable urban and agricultural water resources management. His approaches include field research trials, laboratory analyses, and computer modeling, with a goal of identifying opportunities for synergy between research and extension activities. 

The award will support a project to enhance irrigation management in Southern California desert agriculture. – Holly Ober

Read more at https://insideucr.ucr.edu/awards/2019/03/28/irrigation-specialist-receives-usda-new-investigator-award

Monica Cooper
Cooper receives Viticulture Extension Distinction Award

Monica Cooper, UCCE viticulture advisor for Napa County, received the 2019 American Society for Enology and Viticulture Extension Distinction Award on June 19 at the ASEV National Conference at the Napa Valley Marriot Hotel.

Cooper joined UC Cooperative Extension in Napa County in 2009 as a viticulture farm advisor. Her applied research and outreach programs provide data-driven information to the vineyard industry. She directs the Napa Valley Vineyard Technical Group, a local forum for technical information and collaborative learning. Fluent in Spanish, she also offers education programming to farmworkers.

Cooper's early career was defined by programs addressing invasive pests such as vine mealybug and European grapevine moth. Her current research interests include disease epidemiology, pest management, rootstock evaluation, labor issues affecting farmworkers and improving extension delivery. 

Read more at https://www.asev.org/press-release/asev-selects-dr-monica-cooper-uc-cooperative-extension-receive-2019-extension

ESA Pacific Branch honors Grafton-Cardwell, Dara, Williams

Beth Grafton-Cardwell

Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Surendra Dara and Neal Williams received awards from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America April 2 at PBESA's annual meeting in San Diego.

Grafton-Cardwell, director of the Lindcove Research and Extension Center, UCCE IPM specialist and research entomologist with the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside, received the CW Woodworth Award, which recognizes an individual Pacific Branch ESA member for outstanding accomplishments in entomology over the past 10 years. Her research interests include all aspects of integrated pest management of citrus pests, including biocontrol, pheromone disruption, pesticide efficacy and selectivity, pesticide resistance management, pest monitoring and economic thresholds. With her collaborators, Grafton-Cardwell has authored over 60 journal articles and over 270 extension articles on these subjects. In the past decade, she has spent much of her time responding to invasive pests and disease, the most serious situation being Asian citrus psyllid, the vector of huanglongbing, a deadly bacterial citrus disease. Her extension program on this subject reaches the citrus industry, Master Gardeners, homeowners, regulatory agencies and the news media.

Surendra Dara
Dara, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and biologicals advisor, received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension, which recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to extension entomology. Dara, who serves San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, studies pest management with biostimulants, biopesticides and other biological materials. He has authored more than 340 scientific and extension publications that include 13 book chapters, three co-edited manuals, and several peer-reviewed trade journal, newsletter and eJournal articles. Dara has delivered presentations worldwide and has trained strawberry and vegetable growers in Bangladesh, Haiti, India, Kosovo, Moldova, Myanmar and Transnistria about crop production, pesticide safety and IPM.   

Neal Williams
Williams, a pollination ecologist and professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis, won the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Award. The annual award is given to an individual with outstanding accomplishments in the study of insect interrelationships with plants. His research focuses on the ecology and evolution of bees and other pollinator insects and their interactions with flowering plants. Williams was recently named a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.

July 17-20, Williams will co-chair the Fourth International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy at UC Davis. The four-day conference, themed “Multidimensional Solutions to Current and Future Threats to Pollinator Health,” will highlight recent research advances in the biology and health of pollinators, and link to policy implications.

Jim Stapleton
Stapleton and biosolarization team win DPR award

Jim Stapleton, UC IPM plant pathologist based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, received a 2018 California Department of Pesticide Regulation Integrated Pest Management Achievement Award as co-PI of the Soil Fumigant Alternatives BioSolarization Team. The scientists research techniques that can be used in place of agricultural soil fumigants to reduce human health and environmental risks.

For the past 14 years, this team has generated and disseminated a large body of information on soil pest management practices. By improving the implementation and efficacy of biosolarization, the team is seeking to create an alternative to soil fumigants—a DPR priority issue. Solarization is a well-established pest management practice. Biosolarization, and its cousin anaerobic soil disinfestation, are newer and lend themselves to innovations in quality and implementation. The team's work on quantifying the factors that influence effectiveness has the potential for tailoring treatments to individual sites and reducing pesticide use throughout California. In addition to managing soil pests and pathogens, biosolarization practices promoted by the team aim to improve soil health and reduce landfill waste. Members of the team have been conducting outreach and collaborating with industry, academic/research groups, and public stakeholders for many years. More information is available at https://ucanr.edu/sites/solarization/ andhttps://youtu.be/6EtyhFVCDhM.

The award was presented Feb. 12 at Cal-EPA headquarters in Sacramento during a ceremony recorded at https://www.facebook.com/CaPesticideRegulation/videos/362918121219643.  

Kabashima honored for volunteer achievement 

Rick Otis, left, presents award to John Kabashima.
The Reduce Risks from Invasive Species Coalition presented John Kabashima, UCCE environmental horticulture advisor emeritus, an award for outstanding volunteer achievement for his continued efforts to address shot hole borers across California and the West. He received the award June 11 at a Congressional reception and awards program in Washington DC with a crowd of over 100 Congressional and federal agency officials in attendance. The event was hosted by RRISC and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) as co-chairs of the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus. 

The polyphagous shot hole borer, an invasive wood-boring beetle, attacks dozens of tree species in Southern California, including commercial avocado groves, common landscape trees and native species in urban and wildland environments. The beetle spreads a disease called fusarium dieback, which can kill trees.

“Noticing insufficient support from the California state legislature, John spearheaded an Invasive Species Summit in January 2018 to develop consensus recommendations that conservation organizations would use to lobby state legislatures,” said the RRISC. “This effort, in consultation with John, developed two bills based on the Summit's recommendations, and retained $5 million to address invasive shot hole borers. While the efforts to maintain funding and awareness continue, John's excellent, actionable leadership has helped produce important awareness for a pressing invasive species issue.”

Sourbeer and Zacarias receive EFNEP awards 

From left, Sonia Rodriguez, who nominated Johana Zacarias, Katie Panarella, director of Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Leah Sourbeer.

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture presented awards to two California women for their role in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). EFNEP participant Johana Zacarias of Yolo County and Leah Sourbeer, UCCE EFNEP supervisor, were honored at the 50th Anniversary celebration at the National EFNEP Coordinators Conference in Virginia, March 11-14.

Zacarias, a young mother of four children, participated in EFNEP at Cedar Lane Elementary School in Olivehurst, Calif. EFNEP educator Sonia Rodriguez suggested participants check with their doctors before changing their exercise and dietary habits. Zacarias visited her doctor and discovered she had early stage fatty liver disease.

 “I was 220 pounds, never exercised, nor controlled my diet,” Zacarias told an EFNEP educator. “Because of the changes I made coming to EFNEP, using the Walk Indoors CD, I now weigh 166 pounds, and my liver is normal.”

Sourbeer, who supervises seven EFNEP educators in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, developed online systems to enable educators to capture outcome data and success stories. She seeks out professional development opportunities for herself and staff to enhance evidence-based nutrition knowledge, teaching methodologies, and social determinants of health.

“Leah demonstrates exceptional programmatic skills,” her nominators wrote. “She often mentors other EFNEP supervisors and represents EFNEP staff on two university-wide committees.”

Read more at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=29693

Long honored with Bradford Rominger Ag Sustainability Leader Award

From left, VP Glenda Humiston, Rachael Long and Tom Tomich, director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, which hosted the award event.

Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension advisor covering integrated pest management for field crops in Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties, is the recipient of the 2019 Bradford Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award.

During her career with UCCE, Long has been a pioneer in developing practices to protect water quality from agricultural crop production, helping farmers meet state mandates for clean surface water. She worked on hedgerows, documenting that field edge plantings of native California plants attract beneficial insects, including bees and natural enemies, for better pest control and pollination in adjacent crops. She documented that birds and bats are farmer allies; they help control codling moths in walnut orchards. She promotes hawks and barn owls for control of rodent pests. She has also written numerous publications focusing on agronomic practices for managing pest, weeds, and diseases in field crop production.

At the time she started her research projects over 25 years ago, her ideas were way outside the box and on the fringe. Now her work is mainstream with the UC IPM guidelines incorporating the value of habitat planting for enhancing natural enemies and pollinators on farms for better pollination and biocontrol of crop pests. The California Healthy Soils Initiative and Natural Resource Conservation Service have cost-share funding for hedgerow establishment on farms for pest management and carbon sequestration.

Long continues to do research on hedgerows, but more importantly, she strives to be a leader by teaching others about agriculture and the need to have co-existence between farming, food production, and wildlife conservation for a better world for all.

Long received the award at a presentation May 28 in the UC Davis Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center. Read more at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=30262.

UC communicators win 10 ACE awards

Niamh Quinn shows that a coyote ate a rabbit. Steve Elliott won a gold award for writing within a specialized publication for “Learning to Manage – and Live with – Coyotes in Southern California.”
Three UC communicators were honored for their work by the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences (ACE).

Steve Elliott, communication coordinator for the Western Integrated Pest Management Center won four ACE awards:

  • A silver award for the Western IPM Center's monthly electronic newsletter, highlighting integrated pest management research, issues, funding opportunities, jobs and meetings.
  • A bronze award, with UC ANR designer Will Suckow, for the Western IPM Center website westernipm.org.

Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won five awards:

  • Kathy Keatley Garvey won a silver ACE award for a feature photo of a honey bee covered with mustard pollen.
    A gold award for her news story, "To Boldly Go, and the Chancellor Did: To an Insect Museum," chronicling UC Davis Chancellor Gary May, who is a Star Trek enthusiast, and Dean Helene Dillard's tour of the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
  • A silver award for a feature photo of a honey bee covered with mustard pollen.
  • A bronze award (third place) for "The Bee Man" newspaper story on Norm Gary, emeritus professor of entomology, book author, and retired bee wrangler
  • A bronze award for writing within a specialized publication. This was a feature on "Bugs and Beats," published in Entomology Today, a publication of the Entomological Society of America, and featuring the Entomology Band of UC Davis graduate students
  • A bronze award for her Bug Squad blog, "When Queen Bees Get Permanents," showcasing the art of Karissa Merritt, UC Davis entomology student, in a Bohart Museum calendar

Science writer Gregory Watry of the College of Biological Sciences won a silver award in the promotional writing category for his story, “Feeding the Future: Growing Stronger Crops.”

The awards were presented at the annual ACE conference June 26 in San Antonio, Texas. UC's recipients did not attend the event, which was held in a state that is subject to California's ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel.

 

 

Posted on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 2:10 PM

PAC discusses strategic plan and urban agriculture

At the recent President’s Advisory Commission meeting, President Napolitano praised UC ANR’s work in “areas of critical importance.”

Downtown Oakland was the site of the biannual UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC) meeting on Aug. 9, which included a Q&A session with President Napolitano, program presentations from UC Cooperative Extension county directors Rob Bennaton and Igor Lacan, and updates from deans Helene Dillard (UC Davis), Keith Gilless (UC Berkeley) and Kathryn Uhrich (UC Riverside), as well as Executive Associate Dean John Pascoe (filling in for Dean Michael Lairmore, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine). 

In her opening remarks, UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston introduced Mark Bell, the division's new vice provost for statewide programs and strategic initiatives. Bell spoke about the strength of the UC system, the diversity of programs offered by UC ANR statewide, and his plans to leverage the strong volunteer and staff base of programs like UC Master Gardeners and 4-H.

Humiston also offered updates on the division's strategic plan and the significant progress made in implementing its key goals. Associate Vice President Tu Tran then gave a presentation on the division's financial situation, which he titled “A Fiscal Plan for Success.” Tran addressed UC ANR's place in the state budget and its revenue projections through FY 2021-22, which includes significant growth in major gifts and fundraising.

Jerry Lohr, right, congratulated fellow PAC member Grant Davis on his new position as director of the state Department of Water Resources.

Bennaton and Lacan both gave spirited and enthusiastic presentations that were received well. Bennaton, who serves as county director for Alameda and Contra Costa counties as well as UCCE urban agriculture advisor for the Bay Area, discussed the benefits of urban agriculture and the assortment of activities going on in community development, habitat restoration and youth programming.

Lacan, also a UCCE environmental horticulture advisor for the Bay Area and co-director in San Mateo and San Francisco counties, talked about the diverse and richly rewarding work he spearheads in urban forestry. His work currently focuses on sustainable management of urban trees and urban water.

Following lunch, UC President Napolitano offered glowing remarks about UC ANR's contributions and the long-term strategy reflected in the division's new strategic plan. She said she was particularly impressed by ANR's recent work in water, childhood obesity, nutrition education, and Asian citrus psyllid, calling them “areas of critical importance.” She also praised Humiston's leadership in the area of tech innovation and partnerships.

During a Q&A period, the president engaged PAC members on various issues such as potential public-private partnerships that could involve UC ANR, targeted approaches to advocacy and deferred maintenance needs for UC writ large but also for UC ANR and its research and extension centers system, specifically.

The deans gave updates on research and activities occurring at their respective colleges and school.

The next PAC meeting is scheduled for December, also in Oakland. 

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 5:06 PM
  • Author: Mike Janes

Travel funds available for UCCE specialists, AES faculty to collaborate with off-campus ANR academics

ANR will be making additional travel support available for UC Cooperative Extension specialists to collaborate with ANR academics off-campus, including UCCE advisors in the counties and ANR academics at the RECs in fiscal year 2017/18.

With the level of funds available, each specialist may apply for up to $2,500 for FY 2017/18 (travel reports must be submitted within 45 days of travel, and funds must be expended by June 30, 2018). These travel funds must be utilized by the UCCE specialists only and cannot be used for out-of-state travel.

UC ANR values the work of AES faculty across the three partner campuses. As the recognized lead for the California Agriculture Experiment Station, UC ANR receives federal Hatch funds to support the AES mission and distributes those funds to the three partner campuses to manage and support AES faculty. In recognition of the importance of the partnership between UC ANR academics and AES faculty, UC ANR is expanding the travel support program to include AES faculty as part of a pilot program. Upon completion of a request, UC ANR will support travel by AES faculty to meet and work with UC ANR county-based or REC-based academics. Support is limited to $1,000 per AES faculty member with a cap on the total pool of funds available set at $25,000 for FY17-18. Additional support may be available through the campuses; AES faculty should consult their departments or colleges to determine if additional support is available. Travel support must be used by the AES faculty member for his/her own travel to plan and execute research or present research findings at meetings hosted by UC ANR academics.

Completing a short online survey is the only step to apply for these funds.

A brief survey form is accessible from your ANR Portal. The direct link is http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=18400. The survey asks 

•        Name and title of specialist requesting support

•        Project/Program name

•        Brief project description (one paragraph)

•        Collaborating advisors

There is no deadline for applications for these travel funds, but they must be expended in the fiscal year 2017/18.

 

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 4:35 PM

Names in the News

Light joins UCCE as agronomy advisor

Sarah Light

Sarah Light joined UCCE on July 5, 2017, as an area agronomy advisor in Sutter, Yuba and Colusa counties.

Light earned a dual M.S. in soil science & botany and plant pathology from Oregon State University and conducted her graduate research in potato production at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Eastern Oregon. Light, who speaks Spanish, also holds a B.A. in Latin American studies with a minor in Spanish literature from Brandeis University.

Prior to joining UCCE, Light was working as a Biological Science Technician for the USDA Agricultural Research Service on a project that evaluated the impact of biochar application on soil water properties. Light volunteered with the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program in Malawi and worked for several years in small-scale farms and gardens in the Bay Area.

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

Milliron named UCCE orchards advisor

Luke Milliron

Luke Milliron joined UCCE on June 12, 2017, as an area sustainable orchard systems advisor in Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Milliron worked as an agronomy technician at Dellavalle Laboratory, Inc. since April 2016. He was responsible for soil and plant tissue sampling in almond, walnut, grapevine and processing tomato systems. He also supported grower irrigation management with neutron probe, pressure chamber and watermark readings.

From January 2015 to March 2016, Milliron was a UC Cooperative Extension horticulture intern, funded by the Almond Board of California and the California Dried Plum Board. During his internship, he was based in UCCE Sutter-Yuba and San Joaquin counties where he worked on 20 UCCE trials in almond, prune, walnut, processing tomato and landscape horticulture. Milliron also assisted UCCE farm advisors on visits with almond, prune, walnut and tomato growers, wrote newsletter articles and delivered talks to growers and pest control advisers.

Milliron earned an M.S. in horticulture and agronomy from UC Davis. His research focused on the measurement of almond tree water stress during winter dormancy. He earned a B.S. in agricultural science, with an option in crops and horticulture from California State University, Chico.

Milliron is based in Oroville and can be reached at (530) 828-9666 and lkmilliron@ucanr.edu and on Twitter @MillironLuke.

Satomi joins UCCE as forestry advisor

Ricky Satomi

Ricky Satomi joined UCCE on May 15, 2017, as an Area Forestry and Natural Resources Advisor in Shasta, Trinity and Siskiyou counties.

Satomi earned an M.S. in forestry from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in forestry & natural resources and society & environment from UC Berkeley.

Prior to joining UCCE, Satomi worked as a research associate with the UC Wood Biomass Utilization Group, analyzing wood utilization capacity in California. His master's thesis focused on productivity and cost tracking of forest fuel mastication treatments using open source geospatial analysis. He also developed interactive web and audiovisual platforms to enhance delivery of forest management practices to the public. From 2009 to 2013, Satomi was a field forester working on inventory and management plans for land ownerships throughout Northern California.

Satomi is based in Redding and can be reached at (530) 224-4900 and rpsatomi@ucanr.edu.

Montazar joins UCCE as water management advisor

Ali Montazar

Aliasghar Montazar joined UCCE on June 1, 2017, as an area irrigation and water management advisor in Imperial and Riverside counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Montazar was a project scientist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis for three years. From 2011 to 2014, he was a research associate in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at UC Davis. He is also a former associate professor at the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering at the University of Tehran, Iran. Montazar has more than 15 years of research, extension, teaching and technical consulting experience and has served in several leadership positions in agricultural water management and irrigation engineering in California and abroad.

Montazar, who is fluent in Persian and Arabic, earned a Ph.D. in irrigation and drainage from University of Tehran, Iran; an M.S. in irrigation structures from Tarbiat Modares University, Iran; and a B.S. in irrigation engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran.

Montazaris is based in Holtville and can be reached at (442) 265-7707 and amontazar@ucanr.edu.

Chen named nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor

Wei-ting Chen

Wei-ting Chen joined UCCE on Aug. 29, 2016, as the area nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Chen worked for a health communications firm based in Atlanta, Ga., where she managed health communication projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and led user research and evaluation efforts for web-based health communication products.

At Johns Hopkins University, she developed an urban agriculture summer training program for low-income inner-city teens, led the founding and operations of the university's first community garden, conducted a literature review on the topics of community food security and farm-to-school through the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and surveyed SNAP recipients at farmers markets about their experience with fruit and vegetable incentives. Her dissertation combined her interest in poverty, social policy, and food system issues and examined public assistance-dependent mothers experience as consumers in the food system and how they made food decisions for their households. From 2005 to 2008, Chen, who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, worked for the California Charter Schools Association coordinating its board and leadership development program.

She earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in sociology at Johns Hopkins University and her B.A. in political science and sociology at UC Davis.

Chen is based in Half Moon Bay and can be reached at (650) 276-7429 and wtgchen@ucanr.edu.

Megaro joins ANR as government and community relations director

Anne Megaro

Anne Megaro joined UC ANR as government and community relations director on Aug. 28. In her new role, Megaro will guide UC ANR employees in nurturing relationships with government officials and will monitor legislation that could affect UC ANR. She will also develop programs to promote community awareness of UC ANR.

Megaro, who earned a Ph.D. in animal science from Cornell University and a B.S. in animal science and management from UC Davis, brings a solid understanding of agriculture, science and the UC system along with knowledge of California's legislative processes.

“We're absolutely thrilled to have someone of Anne's caliber and credentials on board at UC ANR,” said Vice President Glenda Humiston. “Her hiring is a real coup for us and couldn't come at a more critical time. Educating our elected officials about the value of ANR research and outreach is always important, but especially as we try to increase investment in research infrastructure to address issues such as water, wildfire, invasive pests, food insecurity and other challenges facing the state.”

For the past five years, Megaro has been the California State Senate Committee on Agriculture's consultant. As the sole agriculture committee consultant for the Senate, Megaro planned legislative hearings, conducted independent research and analyzed agricultural bills to advise senators and staff on policy and legislative issues. She collaborated with senators, assembly members, governor's staff, legislative staff, government agencies, stakeholders and members of the public to resolve issues related to specific bills or policies.

“With the goodwill she's developed and contacts she's made in the state Senate, coupled with her ability to work with UC Cooperative Extension county directors and Research and Extension Center directors on effectively engaging policymakers at the local level, Anne will elevate UC ANR's ability to connect people with the data they need to make informed policy decisions,” Humiston said.

Megaro is based at the ANR building in Davis in Room 178 and can be reached at (530) 750-1218 and ammegaro@ucanr.edu.

Haver named interim associate director of REC system

Darren Haver

Darren Haver has agreed to serve as the interim associate director of the Research and Extension Center system, effective Oct. 1, 2017. Haver has served as the UC Cooperative Extension water resources advisor in Orange County since 2002, director of South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine since 2009 and director of UC Cooperative Extension in Orange County beginning in 2011.

“Darren brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Wendy Powers, associate vice president and interim REC director. “We continue to develop a plan to address administrative vacancies and look forward to working with him in this interim role.”

Haver will serve in this capacity until June 30, 2018, or until a new director is appointed. He will succeed Lisa Fischer, who plans to retire from UC ANR in September after five years as associate director of the REC system.

“Under her direction, each REC has developed a strategic plan to set the course for the future and numerous capital improvements have been made to the RECs, including new office and conference spaces,” said Powers. “We wish Lisa the very best as she takes on new adventures.”

Harper honored by California Wool Growers

John Harper

John Harper, UCCE livestock advisor for Mendocino and Lake counties, received the California Wool Growers Association's Golden Fleece Award at their annual meeting Aug. 19 in Cambria.

The Golden Fleece Award is presented each year to a living and active member of the California Wool Growers Association or a public official who through his or her position has made a lasting contribution to the California sheep industry. This is the “un-sung hero” award. Recipients are intended to be those individuals who have given unremitting support and service to the California sheep industry and received little recognition for their efforts.

“John Harper was honored with the California Wool Growers Association Golden Fleece Award for his unrecognized contributions as livestock/natural resources advisor for Mendocino and Lake counties to the California sheep industry over the years,” said Erica Sanko, CWGA executive director. “John is known statewide and nationally for his sheep shearing and wool grading schools, which provides a much-needed resource of qualified sheep shearers for the California sheep industry.”

Since 1990, Harper has been hosting the UC Cooperative Extension Sheep Shearing School, which is the only program of its kind in California. At the five-day intensive course, more than 300 students from California, other states and other countries have been trained to shear sheep, giving them skills to start a new and profitable career. Harper, who serves as secretary for the Mendocino/Lake Wool Growers Association, has also authored or co-authored more than 350 research-based articles and publications.

Ingram honored by Nevada County Fair board

Roger Ingram

Roger Ingram, UCCE advisor emeritus, was named the 2017 Blue Ribbon Award recipient by the Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors. The award was created by Western Fairs Association (WFA), a nonprofit trade association serving the fair industry, to recognize those who support and contribute to the quality of their local fair. During opening ceremonies on Aug. 9, Ingram was recognized for his contributions to the agriculture programs at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

Ingram's involvement with the fair began in 1986 when he joined UC Cooperative Extension as the 4-H/livestock and natural resources advisor in Nevada County. At the Nevada County Fair, he organized and conducted a livestock judging contest until 1995. He has been instrumental in coordinating carcass quality programs for fair animals and working with exhibitors and leaders to understand the data and to use it to improve their feeding and management practices.

From 2006 to 2011, Ingram gave a series of agriculture-related presentations at the fair as part of the workshop series coordinated by the Nevada County Resource Conservation District.

“For decades, Roger has been an advocate of local youth in agriculture, particularly the youth at the Nevada County Fair,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “His contributions to the agriculture programs at the Fairgrounds have educated adults and children.  Whether it's participating in the annual farm day, assisting with agricultural youth programs, serving as a guest speaker in the seminar series at the fair, or assisting the kids at the fair – his work is invaluable.”

 

Putting Youth on the Map wins UC tech award

The University of California recognized 10 teams from across the system with the 2017 Larry L. Sautter Award. Putting Youth on the Map won a Golden Award. The Center for Regional Change's interactive website provides analyses of California youth well-being and curricula on how to use them. The website is a resource for researchers and policymakers, as well as youth and adult advocates, who are working to ensure the well-being of young people in the state.

The annual award, which is sponsored by the UC Information Technology Leadership Council, recognizes collaborative innovations in information technology that advance the university's mission of teaching, research, public service and patient care, or that improve the effectiveness of university processes. The award encourages collaboration and solution sharing across the UC system. Systemwide Chief Information Officer Tom Andriola announced the winners Aug. 8 at the UC Computing Services Conference in San Diego.

Nancy Erbstein, who holds a research faculty appointment in the UC Davis Department of Human Ecology, is the principal investigator for the project. UC Cooperative Extension advisors Charles Go, Russell Hill, Anna Martin, Fe Moncloa, Terri Spezzano and Steven Worker; UCCE nutrition education coordinator Dennis Carrasquilla, UC CalFresh director David Ginsburg and former Youth, Families and Communities Program director Constance Schneider contributed to the development of Putting Youth on the Map.

The resource was created with support from The California Endowment, UCANR, the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California and Sierra Health Foundation.

The Putting Youth on the Map website is at http://interact.regionalchange.ucdavis.edu/youth.

 

UC Master Gardener Conference brings together volunteers, coordinators, advisors and industry experts for learning experience

UC Master Gardener Conference participants explored Rancho Los Cerritos and admired the popcorn cassia.

The 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference was buzzing with activity as participants learned about the latest research in home horticulture and networked with fellow gardening enthusiasts in Long Beach on Aug. 22-25.

“It turns out there is far more to the UC Master Gardener Conference than talk about gardening!” AVP Wendy Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog. “I was unable to attend as many talks as I had hoped but those I made were great – filled with timely information from UC ANR advisors.”

Anne Schellman, urban UC IPM educator, taught conference participants how to make an insect collection.
 
Over the three days, participants could choose from 58 sessions to learn about subjects such as training fruit trees, pruning grapevines or roses, managing garden pests, selecting low-water-use plants, photographing plants, making an insect collection and many more.

The attendees took field trips to tour gardens at Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach, South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens and Huntington Botanical Gardens.

UC Master Gardeners who have reached milestones over 5,000 volunteer hours were honored.
 
Missy Gable learned about the very first UC Master Gardener Conference, which took place in 1994, from volunteer Elaine Byrd of Riverside County.
Keynote speaker Adam Schwerner, Disneyland Resort's director of horticulture and resort entertainment, talked about the magic and comingling of ornamental horticulture and art. Allan Armitage, University of Georgia professor emeritus and author of 14 books, riffed on the personal experience of gardening. Rosalind Creasy, a pioneer in the field of edible landscaping, spoke and signed copies of some of her most recent publications, including “Edible Flower Garden” and “Edible Herb Garden.”
 
"The 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference was an extraordinary event that connected the vast network of volunteers, coordinators, advisors and industry experts from across California!” said Missy Gable, director of the UC Master Gardener Program. "We were extremely excited to be able to learn together and most importantly celebrate the incredible impacts and accomplishments of our volunteers."
 
At the conference, volunteers celebrated the winners of the 2017 UC Master Gardener Search for Excellence awards. UC Master Gardener Programs in Los Angeles, Orange and Marin counties took the top three awards of the Search for Excellence competition. First place went to Los Angeles County with its “Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative,” second place was Orange County's radio show: "In the Garden with UC Master Gardeners” and third place was Marin County's “Dig it, Grow it, Eat it."

For shoppers, the conference MarketPlace was stocked with handcrafted items from UC Master Gardener volunteers, gardening tools and UC ANR publications. Funds raised from the sales will be used to support the county programs. 

UC Master Gardener volunteers from Riverside County took a break to snap a group photo to share on social media.
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 8:23 AM

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