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Posts Tagged: July 2021

Names in the News

Gibbs named new Development Services Executive Director
Greg Gibbs

Greg Gibbs is UC ANR's new executive director of Development Services, effective July 1, 2021. He succeeds Lorna Krkich, who retired on April 2.

Gibbs has served as the director of major gifts at UC ANR since 2017. He brings more than 15 years of fund development expertise with 11 years at UC Davis before joining UC ANR. Over the past few years, the Development Services team has been generating approximately $3 million to $5 million annually through new endowments, capital campaigns, giving days and many other new donor relationships

Gibbs is based at the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at and (530) 848-7860.

Murillo-Barrick named ag land coordinator in San Joaquin Valley

Cristina Murillo Barrick

Cristina Murillo-Barrick joined UC Cooperative Extension as an agricultural land acquisitions academic coordinator II on July 15, 2021. She will serve Fresno, Merced and Tulare counties.

In her new role with UCCE, Murillo-Barrick will support the mission of California's Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation Program (SALC) to fight climate change by protecting productive farmland. Collaborating with the Strategic Growth Council and the Department of Conservation, she will provide local and regional planning agencies, land trusts, nonprofits, landowners and other stakeholders with input on critical land use issues, strategies and opportunities. This work will involve actively engaging partners, providing technical expertise and enhancing capacity of underserved communities.

Prior to joining UC ANR, Murillo-Barrick has been an environmental science educator at
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Yosemite National Park and Shenandoah National Park, trained ecotourism guides, and volunteered for programs in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Last year she and Clare Gupta, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, teamed up with California Institute for Rural Studies and the Community Water Center to produce the podcast Water is Gold: How Central Valley Communities are Still Fighting the Drought. This work was part of a National Science Foundation-funded multidisciplinary research project that examined the effects of groundwater, drought and climate change.

She earned an M.A. in geography, M.S. in community development, B.A. in international relations, and B.A. in Spanish, all from UC Davis. She is fluent in Spanish and trained in both translation and interpretation. Within this position, Murillo-Barrick said she hopes to “support, amplify and expand efforts to achieve agricultural sustainability and address climate change within California's most impacted communities. A fundamental piece of this work will involve providing sound technical assistance while centering on equity, antiracism and language justice.”

Murillo-Barrick is headquartered in Fresno and can be reached at (559) 458-6193 and

Gautam named area citrus IPM advisor

Sandipa Gautam

Sandipa Gautam joined UC Cooperative Extension as an area citrus integrated pest management advisor, on July 12, 2021.

Prior to accepting the UCCE advisor position, Gautam was an assistant research entomologist in the UC Riverside Department of Entomology. Since 2016 she had worked with UCCE specialist Beth Grafton-Cardwell at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center leading a research group that works on IPM in citrus. She has studied fungal feeding mites Lorryia formosa and Tarsonemus bakeri, California red scale, Asian citrus psyllid and the efficacy of treatments against arthropod pests of export concern.

She earned a Ph.D. and M.S. both in entomology from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and a B.S. in agriculture from Tribhuvan University of Nepal.

Gautam is headquartered at Lindcove Research and Extension Center and can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @gautamsandipa.


Posted on Friday, July 30, 2021 at 5:15 PM

UC ANR celebrates budget increase, releases 10 UCCE positions for recruitment

After three years of limited hiring due to budget constraints, Vice President Glenda Humiston announced the release of 10 UC Cooperative Extension positions for recruitment.

The new UC Cooperative Extension positions include:

  • #11 Plant Pathology Area Advisor, Santa Cruz County
  • #13 Soils and Irrigation Advisor, Kern County
  • #15 Urban Agriculture/Small Farms Area Advisor, San Bernardino County
  • #27 Community Nutrition & Innovative Technologies Specialist, UC Davis
  • #31 Forest and Fuels Management Specialist, UC Berkeley
  • #37 Subtropical Crops Pathology Specialist, UC Riverside
  • #45 Diversified Agricultural Systems Area Advisor, Lake County
  • #55 Forestry and Natural Resources Area Advisor, Sutter-Yuba counties
  • #59 4-H Youth Development Advisor, San Mateo-San Francisco counties
  • #63 Integrated Vineyard Systems Area Advisor, at Hopland Research and Extension Center

The county listed beside the advisor title is where the office for the employee will be located. All of the UC Cooperative Extension Advisor positions will serve multiple counties.

A full description of each position is available at the corresponding position number at the bottom of, with some modifications.

On July 12, the state restored UC ANR's budget to pre-COVID levels of FY 2019-20 and provided a 5% increase plus an additional $32 million in ongoing funding, bringing total state support to $107.9 million for the division.

“This budget increase is transformational,” Humiston said, “It will allow us to rebuild UC Cooperative Extension's boots-on-the-ground to help Californians cope with wildfire, drought, climate adaptation and economic development among other issues.”

Over the past 20 years, UC ANR had seen its budget decrease by almost 50% when adjusted for inflation. As a result, UC ANR was forced to reduce Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists – from 427 positions in 2001 down to only 269 in 2021 – creating vacancies in many critical positions.

Twenty UC Cooperative Extension positions have been designated as critically urgent to fill. To avoid overwhelming UC ANR's Human Resources staff, the other 10 positions of the 20 will be released in late September as they ramp up hiring for future recruitment. Seven to 10 positions will be released each of the next four months, with more positions to be released in 2022.

“We look forward to releasing additional positions for recruitment – both academic and program support members – throughout the next several months,” said Humiston. 

“We are extremely grateful to Governor Newsom, the Legislature and especially Senator John Laird, who championed the budget increase, and look forward to working with our community partners to leverage these resources.”

Visit UC ANR Jobs to see the current positions open for recruitment.

Posted on Friday, July 30, 2021 at 10:37 AM

New book shows how Californians are improving climate resilience

“Climate Stewardship" is a collection of personal stories of individuals who are striving to improve climate resilience.

Wildfires that generate their own weather, drought, record-breaking heatwaves, and frequent flooding are compelling more people to try to mitigate and adapt to climate change. A new book co-authored by Adina Merenlender, UC Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley, shows how Californians are working together across diverse communities and landscapes to improve resilience and address climate justice. 

“Climate Stewardship: Taking Collective Action to Protect California,” published by UC Press, will be required reading for participants of the UC Climate Stewards certification course, but it isn't a textbook. The book is a collection of personal stories of individuals who are striving to improve climate resilience.

“The stories, many gathered through UCCE extension efforts, show what everyday people can do together to improve community resilience across agricultural, natural and urban landscapes,” Merenlender said. “'Climate Stewardship' also offers an uplifting way to learn about climate science that is most relevant for California's communities and ecosystems.”

"My parents, Siong and Fong Tchieng, are picking green bell, purple bell, and sweet Italian peppers. The shade is to help prevent sunburn on the peppers during the hot summer in Fresno," wrote Ka Tchieng. Michael Yang, UCCE small farms and specialty crops Hmong agricultural assistant, works with these farmers to advance climate-smart agriculture. Photo by Ka Tchieng

Merenlender suggests UC ANR colleagues consider sharing the book, which is written for a lay audience, with their clientele.

“It is written in narrative form with stories meant to showcase what can be done and some relevant climate science is woven throughout,” she said. “For this reason, it is meant to be of interest to a wide California audience.” 

The book is illustrated with original paintings by Obi Kaufmann, author of “The California Field Atlas,” and co-authored by Brendan Buhler, an award-winning science writer.

For more information about the book, see the California Naturalist blog at To buy the book with a 30% discount, use code 20W8895 at

Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Slides outline ANR history and mission

PowerPoint slides that give an overview of UC ANR are now available in the ANR communications toolkit. If you are giving a presentation and need some background information about UC ANR, you can select what you need from a set of 14 slides.

The slides – which Vice President Humiston has used to educate UC regents and many other groups – outline ANR's mission, history and public values and provide examples of program impacts and activities. A map shows UC ANR locations. Statewide programs are listed.

In the ANR portal, look for “Branding Toolkit” in the left column. On the Communications Toolkit page, click on “Branding,” then click on “Messaging” in the left navigation under Messaging, you will see “ANR overview slides.”  

The direct link to the ANR overview slides is

While you are looking at branding, please make sure your email signature and other branded items are updated with the current UC ANR logo. You can download the current logo and other branded materials at

Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 3:32 PM

Strategic Initiative Brief: Recruit excellent candidates for new positions


The UC ANR Strategic Initiatives offer a home for strategic thought - drawing on members of the wider UC ANR community and beyond to 1) help people connect and 2) to help them identify and address issues of current and emerging importance.  

Help spread the word for a stronger UC ANR and greater impact.

  • The good news? The very positive news is the state increase in funding to UC ANR's budget. 
  • The challenge? We have to move fast to attract and hire excellent candidates. 
  • If we get it right? If we do this right, we strengthen our current needs, and lay the foundation for future success.

Help spread the word to attract excellent candidates: a three-step plan.

1. Track released positions 

Note that seven to 10 positions will be released each of the next four months. More positions will be released in 2022. Visit UC ANR Jobs for the latest releases.

2. Use your connections to promote jobs 

Research shows many vacancies are filled by people connecting through networks and personal contact. So, share links and news on vacancies through your social media (e.g., LinkedIn; Facebook, etc.), networks, blogs and newsletters, etc. 

Do what you think is best, but you can simply share a link and the name or topic of job(s) being released. Ask people to share with others.

3. Think diversity

Look to share through locations or platforms you might not normally include when sharing the word on opportunities with UC ANR. 

For more on the SIs and their activities, contact:

Jim Farrar: Pests (EIPD)

OPEN: Natural Ecosystems (SNE) (Let us know if you are interested in making sure SNE has a voice)

David Lewis: (Water)

Deanne Meyer: Food Systems (SFS)

Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty: Families and Communities (HFC)

Mark Bell: Vice Provost (Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs)

Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 2:36 PM
  • Author: Mark Bell

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