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Outstanding work recognized with Distinguished Service Awards

Outstanding work recognized with Distinguished Service Awards

Sponsored by UC ANR and Academic Assembly Council, the Distinguished Service Awards (DSA) recognize service and academic excellence in UC Cooperative Extension over a significant period of time. Awards highlight the use of innovative methods and the integration of research, extension and leadership by UC ANR academics. Award categories include outstanding research, outstanding extension, outstanding new academic, outstanding team, and outstanding leader.

Congratulations to the 2020 DSA recipients!

Outstanding Research – Carlos Crisosto

Carlos Crisosto on right

Carlos Crisosto, UC Cooperative Extension postharvest physiology specialist, has demonstrated an exceptional research program with impacts on both the California food industry and consumers through his work on postharvest handling of tree fruits and nuts. His work has had a significant impact – reducing food loss, improving fruit quality and safety, and expanding markets for California agriculture. Highlights of Crisosto's work include his incorporation of consumer perceptions into the measurement of fruit quality, collaborative development and implementation of protocols for fruit ripening, transportation and retail handling, and research into consumer perceptions of different cultivars. His outstanding research has been coupled with an outreach and education program that included extension through site visits, in person workshops, short courses, manuals, popular articles, websites and collaboration. In addition to his academic successes, Crisosto was awarded the Industry Distinguished Service & Achievement Award by the California fig industry in recognition of supporting cultivar development and improving marketing and utilization of dried and fresh figs over his career. The success of Crisosto's program is a testament to the outstanding work in applied research that can be accomplished through UC ANR.

Outstanding Extension – Andrew Sutherland

Andrew Sutherland with palm weevil

Andrew Sutherland has shaped his pest management program based on his clientele needs since the beginning of his career at UC ANR in 2012 and has had great success implementing pest management programs in urban areas. He has done an extensive amount of work on bed bug, termite and cockroach control. He has worked with several agencies including structural pest control businesses, public health nurses, multi-family housing managers and UC Master Gardeners to deliver practical information on pest management. One ongoing project that has both a public health and an environmental impact in California is bait station systems for control of subterranean termites. The project is evaluating efficacy and costs associated with bait systems and looking into alternatives to liquid termicides, which have been identified as serious environmental contaminants in CA's surface water systems. His work has benefited urban populations in general, but has also reached under-served communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sutherland has made a major effort to reach out to Hispanic audiences, producing materials in Spanish and hosting public presentations and outreach events in low-income areas of his territory. He has worked with industry leaders collaborating on applied research projects considering economic challenges when designing programs that would be beneficial and relevant to his clientele.

Outstanding New Academic – Mae Culumber

Mae Culumber

Mae Culumber has been the CE nut crops advisor in Fresno County since June 2016. She has developed an outstanding applied research program in only 4 years, which addresses clientele needs and is in alignment with the ANR Strategic Vision. Her work provides innovative solutions to identify orchard management practices that maximize the efficient use of water and nutrient resources, and promote biochemical and physical soil characteristics that will lead to improvements in soil health and enhanced vigor and productivity of nut crops. Culumber's work primarily focused on innovative efforts that improved food system productivity. She established successful collaborations with advisors and specialists from UC Cooperative Extension, faculty from UC Davis Plant Sciences, and scientists from USDA-ARS Davis and Parlier to examine greenhouse gas emissions, and soil biochemical carbon and nitrogen dynamics in newly established orchards after whole orchard recycling. Her leadership of this basic and applied research team is exceptional for a newer advisor in the Assistant rank. Culumber recognizes and invests in developing useful information, strategies and trainings to impact and improve clientele practices, that also have statewide public value by protecting California's natural resources.

Outstanding Team – AB 589 Water Measurement Training Team

Khaled Bali speaks at an AB 589 Water Measurement Training in Cottonwood.

This team of CE specialists and advisors rapidly developed and coordinated a training program that met the needs of UC ANR's farming and ranching clientele, in a cost-effective and timely manner. California Senate Bill 88 requires all water right holders who have previously diverted or intend to divert more than 10 ac-ft per year to measure and report the water they divert to the State. For most ranchers and diverters impacted by SB 88, complying with the reporting requirements is expensive and burdensome. The cost and availability of professionals to design, install and calibrate diversion measurement systems resulted in a grass roots effort by California Cattlemen's Association and California Farm Bureau to seek an educational alternative for surface water diverters. With support from the University of California, Assembly Bill 589 (AB 589) was introduced and carried. It passed through the Assembly and the Senate with no opposition and was signed by Governor Brown. The bill allows diverters that complete the UC course to install and maintain measurement devices to comply with SB 88, saving them time and money. Working with industry (California Cattlemen's Association) and regulators (State Water Resources Control Board), the UC team provided a huge service to farming and ranching clientele, and the state. This is a true testament to UC ANR's ability to work with groups of differing interests in order to reach a common goal. The UC team has conducted 20 workshops since the bill was passed and certified over 1,200 diverters. One letter of reference indicated a cost savings of more than $4,000 on his ranch alone.

The AB 589 Water Measurement Training Team includes:

  • Larry Forero, UCCE director and livestock and natural resources advisor, Shasta County
  • Khaled Bali, UCCE irrigation water management specialist, Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
  • Allan Fulton, UCCE irrigation and water resources advisor, Tehama County
  • Daniele Zaccaria, UCCE associate Cooperative Extension specialist, UC Davis
  • Theresa Becchetti, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor, Stanislaus County
  • Josh Davy, UCCE director and livestock and natural resources advisor, Tehama County
  • Morgan Doran, UCCE director and livestock and natural resources advisor, UC Cooperative Extension Capitol Corridor
  • Julie Finzel, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor, Kern County
  • Cari Koopmann Rivers, former UCCE director, Siskiyou County
  • Glenn McGourty, UCCE director and farm advisor, Mendocino County
  • Rebecca Ozeran, UCCE livestock advisor, Fresno County
  • Devii Rao, UCCE director and livestock and natural resources advisor, San Benito County
  • Tracy Schohr, UCCE livestock and natural resource advisor, Plumas-Sierra and Butte counties
  • Scott Stoddard, UCCE director and farm advisor, Merced County
  • Matthew Shapero, UCCE livestock & natural resource advisor, Ventura & Santa Barbara counties
  • Rhonda Smith, UCCE viticulture advisor, Sonoma County
  • Laura Snell, UCCE director, Modoc County
  • Jeff Stackhouse, UCCE livestock & natural resource advisor, Humboldt & Del Norte counties
  • Julé Rizzardo, assistant deputy director, Division of Water Rights, State Water Resources Control Board-Sacramento
  • Kyle Ochenduszko, deputy public works director, City of Benicia
  • Brian Coats, senior water resource control engineer, SWRCB-Sacramento
  • Jeff Yeazell, water resource control engineer, SWRCB-Sacramento
  • Chuck Arnold, water resource control engineer, SWRCB-Sacramento

Outstanding Leader – Katherine Soule

Katherine Soule

Katherine Soule holds a number formal leadership roles in ANR including leading several statewide programs locally, serving as director of UCCE in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and as Academic Assembly Council president. Soule holds informal leadership roles as a mentor and colleague. Outside of ANR, she leads a national working group, is a local non-profit board member, and leads research and development for a professional organization.When Soule became county director (July 2017), she began strategic planning focused on building relationships with key stakeholders (administrative, clientele, academics, and community partners) and addressing the needs, opportunities, and challenges UCCE faces in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Her efforts focused on improving fiscal management, increasing understanding of UCCE, and eliminating program inefficiencies.

Soule uses strengths-based leadership and her leadership position to support and communicate the goals of academics' programs and their successes, while ensuring the fiscal resources needed to carry out their visions. She recognizes the strengths and expertise of those she leads and provides others with meaningful opportunities to develop shared visions and long-term objectives. She has supported the development and advancement of several team members, who have completed advanced degrees while working for UCCE, taken higher-level positions, and increased their professional contributions to their respective fields. She is sought throughout the ANR system to provide guidance and support for academics, statewide leaders and other personnel.

Names in the News

Soule named assistant vice provost for CE

Katherine Soule

Katherine Soule will serve as ANR's new Assistant Vice Provost for Cooperative Extension. She will start her new duties on July 1, 2020, and continue to serve as UCCE director for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and as UCCE youth, families and communities advisor. The role was previously held by Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty until she assumed the role of Statewide 4-H Youth Development Program director.

“We are excited to have Katherine on the Cooperative Extension administrative team! She brings a breadth of Cooperative Extension experiences and leadership skills,” said Mark Lagrimini, vice provost for research and extension. “Katherine is known for her innovative, collaborative, and strengths-based leadership. She cares deeply about improving lives and working environments for her unit, her community and ANR.”

Soule earned her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, Athens in 2013 and became the UCCE youth, families and communities advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. In 2017, she accepted an additional appointment as UCCE director for these counties. She was elected as UC ANR's Academic Assembly Council president for a two-year term ending in June 2020.

"As the assistant vice provost of Cooperative Extension, I look forward to supporting the development and successes of new and existing county directors,” Soule said. “I hope to promote collaborative, cross-county communication, while focusing on identifying and meeting the needs of county directors across the division. We are all most effective when we learn from and support one another, so I look forward to connecting with academics, county directors, ANR leadership and other UC ANR personnel in this new role."

Choe, Dara and IPM team honored by Pacific Branch of ESA

Dong-Hwan Choe
UC ANR scientists Dong-Hwan Choe, Surendra Dara, David Haviland and Jhalendra Rijal received awards for their exemplary work from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America. The PBESA presented its annual awards on April 20, at a virtual ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Choe, UCCE specialist in the UC Riverside Department of Entomology, won the Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Award.

“Since joining the faculty at UC Riverside in 2011, [Choe] has developed an outstanding research and extension program dealing with the major urban structural pests and related issues in the western United States,” wrote Mike Rust, UC Riverside entomology professor, in his nomination letter.

His research includes exploiting the role of semiochemicals and behavior to control social insects and developing novel ant baits.

“Dr. Choe has been at the forefront of developing hydrogels as carriers of baits to control ants and yellowjackets. Developing cost-effective and environmentally safe delivery strategies has always been a major problem facing the use of ant baits in agriculture and urban setting. His pioneering biodegradable alginate beads promise to be a major advancement,” Rust wrote.

Surendra Dara
Choe also participates in workshops for agricultural pest control advisers, UC Master Gardeners and urban pest control operators.

Dara, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and biologicals advisor for San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, won the Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management.

This annual award recognizes individuals who made outstanding contributions in research and outreach in the area of IPM. Dara's new IPM model has been well-received and its impact has been documented in a UC Delivers story. Dara is the first UC ANR scientist to receive this award and fourth from UC since the Pacific Branch began offering awards in this category in 2009.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team won the Entomology Team Work Award. The team consists of UC IPM advisors David Haviland and Jhalendra Rijal, former UCCE advisor Emily Symmes, UCCE Kern County staff research associate Stephanie Rill, 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. Based on a survey of pest control advisers and growers conducted in the early 2019, the anticipated use of navel orangeworm mating disruption for the 2019 season in San Joaquin Valley was 32%, as opposed to the 7% adoption in 2017. Kern County data showed a 26% countywide increase in the adoption of mating disruption from 2017-2018.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team. From left, DPR Director Val Dolcini, Brad Higbee, Chuck Burkes, Jhalendra Rijal, David Haviland, UCCE staff research assistant Stephanie Rill, and the Almond Board’s Jesse Rosemond, Bob Curtis, Rebecca Bailey and Jenny Nicolau.

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 nine demonstration orchards across the San Joaquin Valley as part of CDPR Pest Management Alliance and Almond Board of California grants.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team received an award in February from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Environmental Protection Agency

Three UC Davis faculty members were also selected for prestigious awards: Lynn Kimsey, Walter Leal and Robert Kimsey.

The Pacific Branch covers provinces/states in Canada, U.S. and Mexico on the Pacific Coast. 

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 12:47 PM

Names in the News

Kron named area IPM advisor for North Coast

Cindy Kron

Cindy Kron has joined UC Cooperative Extension as areawide IPM advisor for Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties.

Before joining UCCE, Kron studied the three-cornered alfalfa hopper as a research entomologist for USDA in their Crop Disease, Pests and Genetics research unit. She tested cover crop species as feeding and reproductive hosts of the three-cornered alfalfa hopper in addition to testing commercially available biocontrol agents against the different life stages of the treehopper. She collaborated with a UC Davis colleague to create a degree day model that predicts the ideal timing to implement cultural control measures with the greatest impact on treehopper populations. 

Kron has conducted research on a variety of insects including two-year vineyard study on the population dynamics of Virginia creeper leafhopper, western grape leafhopper, and variegated leafhopper.  For her dissertation, she investigated the biology and behavior of the three-cornered alfalfa hopper and their relationship with vineyards. She also studied the effects of temperature on the developmental rate of the invasive European grapevine moth and reared brown marmorated stink bugs for USDA fumigation studies.

“My experiences have motivated me to help growers, stakeholders and the industry solve agricultural pest management problems through applied research by identifying IPM strategies and tactics that are economically feasible and implementable while having the lowest environmental impact,” Kron said.

Kron earned her bachelor's degree in viticulture and enology, with a minor in agricultural pest management, and her doctorate in entomology at UC Davis.

She is based in Santa Rosa and can be reached at ckron@ucanr.edu.

Glass takes on new HR role 

Patricia Glass

Patricia Glass began a new position as human resources business systems analyst starting in August. In her new role, Patricia coordinates the management of ANR's HR information systems, including UCPath, Talent Acquisition Management (TAM), ePerformance, and the UC Learning Center. She is also responsible for process improvement, user training, and the development of reports and analytics for the HR systems.

Glass brings more than 15 years of UC experience to the position, including time as a finance manager on the Davis campus and, most recently, team lead responsible for staff recruitment and compensation with ANR Human Resources.

Glass continues to be based at the ANR building in Davis as part of the ANR HR team and reachable at (530) 750-1324 and pglass@ucanr.edu.

Montano assisting Tran

Barbara Montano

Barbara Montano will be temporarily covering executive assistant Cheryl Hyland's duties assisting Tu Tran, AVP business operations starting Sept. 25 and will be available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or as needed.

Montano is a Bay Area native who graduated from UC Berkeley last year with a bachelor's degree in English and legal studies. As a student, she worked on campus and interned for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, a philanthropy supporting organization, and the law offices of Aiman-Smith & Marcy. After graduating, she worked as temporary development associate at GCIR, managing its grant work.

Montano is located at UCOP in Cubicle #10134F and can be reached at (510) 987-0183 and Barbara.Montano@ucop.edu.

Bailey appointed to USDA Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

John Bailey

John Bailey, director of Hopland Research and Extension Center, has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. His two-year term expires on Sept. 17, 2021.

The purpose of the committee is to advise the USDA Secretary on strategies, policies and programs that enhance opportunities for new farmers and ranchers.

“As a member of the Committee, you will advise me on matters impacting beginning farmers and ranchers, including access to land and capital, recruitment and retention of farmers and ranchers, and more. Your role is vital as I strive to obtain the public and industry perspectives on National and State strategies, policies, and programs impacting beginning farmers and ranchers,” Perdue wrote in Bailey's appointment letter.

Before joining UC, Bailey was the Mendo-Lake Food Hub project manager for North Coast Opportunities, where he coordinated local growers to dramatically increase sales of their crops.

For 12 years, he worked at McEvoy of Marin, first as a gardener in their orchards, then director of operations overseeing product development, sales and marketing. He also owned Middle Mountain Farm, which grew and marketed row crops.

Bailey earned an MBA in sustainable enterprise at New College of California and a B.A. in biology and Certificate in Ecological Horticulture at UC Santa Cruz.

Gaudin and Light to serve on Western Cover Crop Council

Amelie Gaudin visits the no-till dairy silage field of Turlock farmer Michael Crowell.

Sarah Light, UC Cooperative Extension agronomy advisor for Sutter County, and Amelie Gaudin, UC Davis assistant professor of agroecology in the Department of Plant Sciences, will serve as California representatives on the new Western Cover Crops Council, a group from the 18 western states that aims to gear up information development and exchange activities throughout the broad region. 

Sarah Light samples cover crop biomass in a reduced-disturbance field in Guinda.
Both Gaudin and Light are currently conducting broad and comprehensive cover crop research work.  Gaudin specializes in permanent cropping systems with a strong emphasis on almonds and Light works in annual cropping systems. 

The mission of the WCCC is to facilitate and enhance communication and collaboration among farmers/growers, agents, researchers and other agricultural professionals to transfer information and technology that promotes the successful adoption and integration of cover cropping into Western U.S. agricultural systems. The WCCC Planning Team currently consists of about 16 members representing several western states. They are in the process of creating goal statements and means for better linking educational activities about cover crops throughout the region. 

Krause accepts job with Driscoll's Berries

Dave Krause

After nearly 14 years with UC ANR's Information Technology unit, Dave Krause has accepted a new role with Driscoll's Berries to help improve the technology in their research environment. This opportunity will take Krause to some of Driscoll's global locations yet allow him to stay connected to many of us at ANR and at UC. 

Krause started his UC career as a programmer with ANR Communication Services in 2006. Initially hired to build a new version of Site Builder and Collaborative Tools, Krause has since architected and implemented dozens of applications to support the work of UC ANR staff and academics. In recent years, Krause became the IT manager and interim chief information officer for the Division.

“Please join me in thanking Dave for his many contributions to the arduous work of the Division in supporting the communities and the people of this state,” wrote Tu Tran, associate vice president for business operations.

Krause's last day with UC ANR is Oct. 11. Leadership will work immediately on selecting a successor to lead the IT unit.

 

 

 

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2019 at 6:05 PM

At UCCE’s suggestion, Humboldt waives air-quality fees for public benefit burning

A Mendocino County Fire Safe Council member sets a prescribed burn during a UC ANR fire retreat. Photo by Lenya Quinn-Davidson

“I thought you all might enjoy this bit of good news from Humboldt County. Yesterday reminded me of the important role we at UCCE can play in these types of local issues,” wrote Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UCCE area fire advisor in Humboldt County.

Concerned about habitat loss and fuel buildup on private lands in Humboldt County, Quinn-Davidson and Jeff Stackhouse, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor, recently formed a Prescribed Burn Association.

Thanks to Senate Bill 1260, which was signed into law last year, air districts are receiving grants from the California Air Resources Board to support local prescribed fire programs. 

Stackhouse and Quinn-Davidson attended the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District Board meeting Sept. 18 in Weaverville to suggest their district subsidize the air quality permit fees for prescribed burners.

Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Jeff Stackhouse suggested that their district subsidize the air quality permit fees for prescribed burners. The board accepted all of their suggestions.
“All of our suggestions were incorporated into the plan,” Quinn-Davidson said.

“Our district has decided to use some of these grant funds to subsidize air quality permit fees for prescribed burners in the district. This is welcome news to those of us with the PBA who have been working for the last year to alleviate air quality permit fees, which can be $250 to $1250 for bigger projects. For our PBA burns, air quality permit fees are one of our biggest project costs, and now those fees will be waived.”

The air board's original plan was to subsidize projects with a focus on wildfire risk reduction. At the meeting, she and Stackhouse encouraged them to broaden the scope and include all projects that have a public benefit, including burns focused on habitat restoration, range improvement, forest improvement, cultural resources, etc., in addition to fuels reduction. 

“We suggested that they tie the subsidy program to Public Resources Code 4475, which was amended through SB1260 to include an expanded definition of ‘public benefit burning.' They accepted our suggestion and amended the rule to reflect this broader suite of project types, which covers most of the great burning we're all doing in the North Coast: oak woodland restoration, medusahead/starthistle/blackberry control, coyote brush/coastal rangeland/prairie burning, understory fuels reduction, etc. With this cost relieved, we can start thinking about planning more projects and bigger projects! Yesterday, a 300-acre burn would have cost $1,250 (permit) + $65 (smoke management plan). As of today, those costs will be $0.”

The district's proposal also recommended excluding federal agencies and timber companies from the subsidy program, but Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse asserted that any entity doing work that benefits the public should have equal access to the subsidy. In response, the Board voted to expand the program to include federal agencies and timber companies.

“Based on what air district staff said at the meeting, it sounded like this would save landowners about $14,000 to $18,000 per year in fees district-wide. I think it'll be even more than that in the coming years, with all the interest we have in prescribed fire,” Quinn-Davidson said.

“We're still working with the district to think about longer term solutions to their fee structure, but in the meantime, this is a fabulous step in the right direction!” Quinn-Davidson said.

 

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2019 at 3:01 PM

Three counties win Newhall Family Foundation match

Funding from the Newhall Foundation will subsidize enrollment fees and help UCCE Fresno County launch a Teen Teaching Academy with entrepreneurial high school students from Valley STEM.

Last year, Mary Ciricillo, California 4-H Foundation director, secured a $73,000 gift from the Newhall Family Foundation for 4-H Diversity initiatives, including $36,500 for Santa Barbara, Merced and Fresno counties. In order to receive the $36,500 match, UCCE had to raise funds as well as deliver the program. 

“All three counties did it!” said Lorna Krkich, Development Services director.

4-H in Santa Barbara County used the Newhall Foundation funds outreach to more children in low-income families and Latino youth in Santa Maria Valley.

4-H advisor Russ Hill in Merced County, 4-H community educator Alena Pacheco in Fresno County, and Liliana Vega, 4-H community educator in Santa Barbara County, led the successful fundraising efforts in their respective counties.

“I shared the FY19 fundraising report with the executive director of the Newhall Foundation illustrating how much each county 4-H program garnered in private support since July 1, 2018,”Ciricillo said. “I am happy to share that he was very pleased and impressed by Russ, Alena and Liliana's efforts.”

With support from the Newhall Foundation, 4-H was able to offer fee waivers, leadership conference scholarships and reduced participation fees for Merced County youth.
Posted on Friday, September 27, 2019 at 5:01 PM
 
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