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El-kereamy named Lindcove REC director

Ashraf El-kereamy

Ashraf El-kereamy will be the new director of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Lindcove Research & Extension Center, starting on July 1, 2020. He will continue to serve as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside and based at Lindcove Research & Extension Center.  

“Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell retires this year after 13 years as director of Lindcove REC, California's premier citrus research center,” said Mark Lagrimini, UC ANR vice provost for research and extension. “We are excited to have Ashraf in place to carry on the tremendous success attributable to the research performed at Lindcove. Ashraf brings a breadth of research, extension and leadership skills.”

El-kereamy has extensive experience with several commodities with research revolving around plant hormones, fruit ripening, plant nutrition, and the responses of different plant species to abiotic stress conditions. 

Since February 2019, El-kereamy has been serving as a UC Cooperative Extension citrus specialist based at Lindcove Research and Extension Center. Prior to the specialist position, El-kereamy was a UCCE viticulture and small fruit advisor for Kern County, where he established a research and extension program serving the San Joaquin Valley table grape industry for four years. Prior to joining UC ANR, he was an assistant/associate professor in the Department of Horticulture at Ain Shams University in Egypt. 

“I am honored and very excited to be the director of Lindcove Research and Extension Center, which plays a crucial role in the California citrus industry,” El-kereamy said. “I am confident that, with the support of our industry, community and the University of California, we will build tomorrow's Lindcove REC as a center of excellence in research and extension. I am looking forward to leading Lindcove REC and providing our clientele with up-to-date technologies to cope with the challenges facing the California agriculture industry.” 

El-kereamy earned a bachelor's degree in horticulture and master's degree in pomology from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, and a doctorate in agriculture with an emphasis in grapevine physiology and molecular biology from Toulouse University in France.

Campbell named NORDP Rising Star for 2020

Vanity Campbell

The National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) has named Vanity Campbell, UC ANR proposal development coordinator, one of its three Rising Stars for 2020. 

Campbell helps UC ANR employees improve their grant applications for success in receiving funding.

“Vanity's reputation as a fierce advocate for inclusive research development, an exceptional organizer, and a passionate cheerleader for her colleagues makes her precisely the kind of person this award was designed to celebrate,” wrote her nominator. “When I think about the future of NORDP, I hope she is helping us to lead it.”

NORDP established the Rising Star Award in 2016 to recognize up to three members annually who have made outstanding volunteer contributions and show great potential for future contributions to NORDP and the research development profession. Campbell will be presented with an etched glass plaque and receive free registration for a future NORDP conference.

Communicators win global awards

Steve Elliott won a silver award for writing "IPM in Yellowstone."

Six UC ANR-affiliated communicators won writing or photography awards in a global competition hosted by the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences (ACE). 

Steve Elliott, communications coordinator for the Western Integrated Pest Management Center, won one silver (second-place) and two bronze (third-place) for his writing and photography; Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, two silvers for her writing and photography; and Diane Nelson, communication specialist for the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, won a bronze for her writing. 

Ricardo Vela, Miguel Sanchez and Norma de la Vega of UC ANR's News and Information Outreach in Spanish won a bronze award in diversity electronic media and audio for targeted audiences.

Elliott's entries and the categories: 

Kathy Keatley Garvey won a silver award for this candid photo of Kira meeting a stick insect.

Garvey's entries and the categories: 

  • Writing for Newspapers, silver award for “Paying It Forward,” about the successful career of award-winning academic advisor Elvira Galvan Hack
  • Picture Story, silver award for “Kira Meets a Stick Insect” (at Bohart Museum of Entomology)

Nelson's entry and category:

Vela, Sanchez and de la Vega's entry and category:

The awards were presented during ACE's virtual conference June 24. ACE is an international association of communicators, educators and information technologists who focus on communicating research-based information. The organization offers professional development and networking for individuals who extend knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences.

Read more at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=42747.

Meyer receives Bradford-Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award 

Deanne Meyer

Deanne Meyer, UC Cooperative Extension livestock waste management specialist, is this year's recipient of the Eric Bradford & Charlie Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award, given by the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) at UC Davis. 

Meyer is being honored for her leadership in substantially improving the sustainability of California's dairy industry through her research and outreach.

The Bradford-Rominger award recognizes and honors individuals who exhibit the leadership, work ethic and integrity epitomized by the late Eric Bradford, a livestock geneticist who gave 50 years of service to UC Davis, and the late Charlie Rominger, a fifth-generation Yolo County farmer and land preservationist. 

Meyer has directed the environmental stewardship efforts of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP)—a voluntary partnership between the dairy industry, government and academia—since the program's inception in 1996. 

Meyer's dedication to build a bridge between industry and regulatory agencies has paid dividends for California's air and water quality. With Meyer's leadership, more than 700 dairy farms have completed an on-site, third-party evaluation of their facility's manure management. The program has been so successful that it received California's highest environmental honor, the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, in 2007.

Reflecting on Meyer's work, Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources, said, “Serving as chair of California's Water Quality Task Force in the mid-1990s, I had a front row seat to the challenges Deanne faced as she organized CDQAP and brought many unlikely allies to the table. The many successes of that program is a testament to her skills as both a scientist and a diplomat.”

Beyond Meyer's work with CDQAP, her research in groundwater salinity has provided farmers, agency staff and other concerned stakeholders with unbiased information presented with an understanding of agricultural realities.

“Her efforts, leadership, and dedication are so valued by all the diverse sectors she works across,” said Anita Oberbauer, professor and dean for Agricultural Sciences at UC Davis. “By working closely with regulatory agencies and farmers, she ensures our state's livestock and dairy producers have the tools that they need to meet the environmental challenges.” 

Names in the News

Delk joins Development Services

Emily Delk

Emily Delk joined the Development Services team in August as the director of Annual Giving and Donor Stewardship Programs.

She brings fundraising and event planning experience from a broad background of nonprofit organizations including the Crocker Art Museum, Sutter Health, and Fairytale Town. Earlier this year, Delk was selected as one of 10 development professionals to compete for cash and in-kind support through a public-speaking program called Fast Pitch, where she earned high praise and won top prizes.

She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in communications from Chapman University in Orange.

Delk is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1346 and eddelk@ucanr.edu

Eskalen moves to UC Davis

Akif Eskalen

Akif Eskalen, a UC Cooperative Extension specialist whose research focuses on plant pathology at UC Riverside, has accepted a new position at UC Davis. He will be filling the position of his late mentor, Doug Gubler. From now on, he will work on grapes, strawberries, caneberries, blueberries and other tree fruits.

“Akif has been instrumental in bringing new light to the understanding of such basic disease problems as citrus twig and shoot dieback, citrus botryosphaeria branch canker, citrus dry root rot and ‘Fukumoto' foamy bark (http://eskalenlab.ucr.edu/citrusdiseases.html),” wrote Ben Faber, UCCE advisor in Ventura County, in the Topics for Subtropics blog. “He has cleared up the mysteries surrounding avocado black streak, dothiorella branch canker and avocado stem and leaf blight. His studies have also covered oak diseases that are exacerbated by invasive pests (http://eskalenlab.ucr.edu/handouts/oakwoodlandsdiseasesmanagement.pdf).”

Eskalen and John Kabashima, UCCE advisor emeritus, recently received the Award of Arboricultural Research from the Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture, recognizing their research on the polyphagous shot hole borer, a beetle that is causing severe fusarium dieback damage to avocado and landscape trees in Southern California (http://eskalenlab.ucr.edu/pshb.html).

Eskalen can be reached at 267 Hutchison Hall at UC Davis and aeskalen@ucdavis.edu.

Hoddle and Stouthamer elected ESA fellows

Mark Hoddle, left, and Richard Stouthamer

Mark Hoddle and Richard Stouthamer have been elected 2018 fellows of the Entomological Society of America, the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and individuals in related disciplines.

Hoddle and Stouthamer are among 10 new fellows elected by the Governing Board of the ESA, an honor that acknowledges outstanding contributions to entomology in research, teaching, extension and outreach, administration or the military.

Hoddle, a UC Cooperative Extension specialist and director of UC Riverside's Center for Invasive Species Research, is known for his work on the biological control of invasive arthropods that adversely affect agricultural, urban and wilderness areas.

Stouthamer, a UC Riverside professor of entomology, is known for his research on wolbachia, invasive species and insect-transmitted plant pathogens.

The fellows will be recognized during Entomology 2018, the Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Societies of America, Canada and British Columbia, Nov. 11-14, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Merenlender elected California Academy of Sciences fellow 

Adina Merenlender
UC Cooperative Extension specialist and UC Berkeley adjunct professor Adina Merenlender has been elected a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. She will be formally inducted on Oct. 9 during the Fellows Annual Meeting and Gathering in San Francisco. The Fellows of the California Academy of Sciences are a group of distinguished scientists, nominated and appointed in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the natural sciences. Fellows help extend the academy's positive impact on research, public engagement and education through individual and collaborative efforts with academy researchers and staff.

In a nominating letter, UC Berkeley biology professor Claire Kremen called Merenlender “an accomplished and impactful conservation biologist.”

Merenlender's work spans an array of topics, from genes to ecosystems and single species management to regional land use planning. Currently she is involved in three main research efforts:

  • Land use planning to support biodiversity conservation and climate resilience in California oak woodlands
  • Watershed restoration and sustainable watershed management in Mediterranean ecosystems
  • Development of effective citizen science and amateur naturalist and steward training programs with lasting benefits for biodiversity conservation

According to the academy, the scientists elected as fellows have shown strong evidence of world-class impact, measured through publications, discoveries and awards. Merelender has published more than 80 papers in conservation biology, including co-writing the book “Corridor Ecology: the science and practice of linking landscapes for biodiversity conservation.” In 2016, Merenlender was recognized for her extension and outreach when she won the UC ANR Distinguished Service Award.

In its selection criteria for fellows, the academy notes that potential candidates are engaged in science communication efforts.

Merenlender is founder and director of the UC California Naturalist program. The program launched in 2012 with five partner institutions and has grown into a network of more than 37 partners. They have collectively offered more than 100 certification courses, training 1,864 naturalists who have contributed more than 100,000 volunteer hours, reaching 53,000 people.

Building on the success of the California Naturalist program, Merenlender is designing a Climate Stewards program to provide outreach, training and engagement with diverse audiences on climate change science and policy. The Climate Stewards advisory team has set the goal of launching the program in 2019.

“As an extension scientist, (Merenlender) is strongly attuned to the importance of conducting research with direct relevance to contemporary environmental challenges and to connecting research with conservation on the ground,” wrote UC Berkeley professor David Ackerly in a letter seconding Merenlender's nomination to be a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. – Jeannette Warnert

UC communicators bring home gold, silver and bronze

Steve Elliot, left, of the Western IPM Center, and Diane Nelson the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences won multiple communications awards.

Six communicators affiliated with UC Davis and UC ANR received a total of 10 awards for excellence from the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences (ACE).

They brought home five gold or first-place awards: three silver or second-place awards; and two bronze or third-place awards. “That was quite a haul!” commented an ACE member on Facebook.

Diane Nelson, communication specialist with the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, won two golds. One was for promotional writing, “Weighing Pig Personality,” (https://bit.ly/2KDdYmQ), featuring animal science professor Kristina Horback's pioneering research examining the role personality plays in the welfare and sustainable production of pigs. The second gold was for web writing, “The Last Stop: When There's Nowhere Colder to Go,” (https://bit.ly/2M6iOOR), spotlighting research by animal science professor Anne Todgham, who studies how climate change affects polar species. Both of Nelson's submissions drew perfect scores from the judges.

Kathy Keatley Garvey, communication specialist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won gold for best newswriting, “Why These Youngsters Want to Become Entomologists” (https://bit.ly/2sYwhye), about children of California migratory workers touring the Bohart Museum of Entomology and then staging a press conference to interview director Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology. Judges awarded the news story a perfect score. Garvey also received a silver in the writing-for-the-web category for her Bug Squad blog post, “Once Upon a Monarch” (https://bit.ly/2BrePU5). She writes the blog, launched in 2008, every night, Monday through Friday, on the UC ANR website.

Jim Downing picked up an ACE gold award for California Agriculture journal.
Jim Downing, executive editor of California Agriculture, the peer-reviewed journal of UC ANR, won gold in the magazine division (http://calag.ucanr.edu). California Agriculture is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal reporting research, reviews and news on California's agricultural, natural and human resources. First published in December 1946, it is one of the country's oldest, continuously published, land-grant university research publications.

David Slipher, director of marketing and communications for the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences, won gold for best picture story for his piece on “Pigeon Parenting” (https://bit.ly/2KCfCoN), focusing on research from the Rebecca Calisi Rodríguez lab. Calisi Rodríguez is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior.

Steve Elliot, communication coordinator for the Western Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center, won two silvers and a bronze: a silver for his photo essay, “America's Arctic Agriculture: Growing Crops, Managing Pests and Monitoring Invasives in Alaska” (https://bit.ly/2OS2Vtc); silver for the diversity awards video category, “Gold Spotted Oak Borer: A Threat to California's Oaks” (https://youtu.be/In2e5atd3ZY); and a bronze for the Western IPM Center's monthly newsletter, “The Western Front” (https://bit.ly/2M5mL6s). The center, a USDA-funded program, aims to promote smart, safe and sustainable pest management to protect the people, environment and economy of the American West, encompassing 17 western states and territories.

Gregory Watry, science writer for the College of Biological Sciences, won a bronze award in the “Writing for Diverse Audiences” (https://bit.ly/2M4Nq3o) in a diversity awards category. The story described undergraduate research opportunities in Calisi Rodriguez's lab.

ACE is a worldwide association of communicators, educators and information technologists, offers professional development and networking for individuals who extend knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences. The awards were presented Aug. 7 at the 2018 Ag Media Summit held in Scottsdale, Ariz., where ACE members joined forces with U.S. crop and livestock news media professionals. – Kathy Keatley Garvey

Forty UCCE position proposals submitted as process enters phase 2

The 2018 UC Cooperative Extension call for positions process has entered phase 2. The UCCE county directors and REC directors have submitted 20 CE advisor position proposals and the executive associate deans, working with campus departments, have submitted 20 CE specialist position proposals. Both groups engaged program teams, statewide programs/institutes, and external stakeholders in the development of these proposals. All 40 phase 1 proposals are posted on the 2018 Call for Position web page: http://ucanr.edu/2018callforpositions.

Phase 2 is underway:

  • Program teams are reviewing the 40 phase 1 proposals to determine if there are any positions they feel are of higher priority.
  • If so, each program team can propose one additional CE advisor position and one additional CE specialist position by August 1-- remembering that the more proposals there are at the end, the lower the probability of being approved for recruitment.
  • The proposals that didn't make the phase 1 final 40 can be picked up by Program Teams. Proposed positions available for pick up can be found on the proposal ideas web page.

“We thank the ANR network for actively engaging in this participatory process to strengthen and rebuild CE positions statewide,” said Wendy Powers, associate vice president.

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 8:58 AM

Lagrimini aims to invest in ANR for the future

Mark Lagrimini is based in Davis, but will be traveling throughout the state to ANR locations.

Mark Lagrimini, UC ANR's new vice provost of research and extension, moved into his office at 2801 Second Street in Davis on June 1.

As Vice Provost of Research and Extension, Lagrimini will oversee county-based Cooperative Extension personnel and employees at the nine UC Research and Extension Centers. His hiring was announced via ANR Update Feb. 21.

“State funding for public universities has been decreasing all across the county, including California. If UC ANR wishes to stay relevant, and continue to be a resource for Californians, then we will have to seek untapped sources of income. I will help our centers and county offices to become more entrepreneurial, and operate more as a business,” said Lagrimini, who was a professor in the Department of Agronomy & Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before joining ANR.

Lagrimini noted that ANR needs to recognize the true value for its services, and charge appropriately. Additional revenue-generating possibilities include the marketing of crops and livestock, creative uses for our facilities, and more aggressive philanthropy efforts.  

He is looking forward to traveling the state to familiarize himself with ANR people and facilities.

“I need to meet people face to face,” he said. “I need to see all the research and extension facilities and county extension offices and meet the directors and ANR team members. Each location is unique, and will require differing approaches to achieve financial stability.”

Broadly, ANR will work with grant writers at UC Office of the President as an effort to successfully obtain federal funding to support our programs.

“We must continuously make investments, even in periods of budget-cutting,” said Lagrimini, a former project leader for Syngenta Biotechnology Inc. in Research Triangle Park, NC. “We'll have to make strategic investments to stay relevant in the future. Capital investment in infrastructure will make our research facilities attractive to collaborators and position ourselves for the next 50 years. If we just tread water, we won't be able to help Californians reach their potential. We need to be on the cutting edge to be a leader.”

Lagrimini encourages invitations to events that will give him perspective on California agriculture and ANR's activities.

“We have people who are energetic, creative and passionate about what they're doing and we need to provide support for them,” he said.

Lagrimini can be reached at (530) 750-1369 in the office, cell (402) 304-0400 andmlagrimini@ucanr.edu.

To read more about Lagrimini's background, see //ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=26475.

 

Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 5:56 PM

Names in the News

Ciricillo named California 4-H Foundation director

Mary Ciricillo

Mary Ciricillo, director of annual giving and individual gifts in ANR's Development Services, has accepted the position of California 4-H Foundation director. 

“Amongst a very talented and competitive pool of candidates, Mary's history of success in board development and donor cultivation made her the standout candidate for the position,” said Lorna Krkich, executive director of Development Services. “Her passion for and experience with the 4-H program was an added bonus! The California 4-H Foundation, while part of the UC ANR Development Services Unit, has a volunteer Board of Directors and is dedicated to raising funds for 4-H activities in California.” 

As annual giving director, Ciricillo has had a major impact: Giving Tuesday donations for UC ANR increased in 2017 by 49 percent over 2016, and general online gifts, not associated with Giving Tuesday have increased by almost 14 percent over the prior year.  

Ciricillo joined UC ANR in 2016 from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, where she built new relationships and expanded existing partnerships, creating new revenue streams for the department. Prior to her career in not-for-profit development, she worked in the communications industry as an account executive building corporate branding and marketing solutions. Her clients included The Gap, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, San Francisco Ballet and Oracle. 

Ciricillo will transition into her new role, which becomes effective July 1, and will continue to be based in the ANR building at 2801 Second Street in Davis. Her contact information will remain (530) 750-1302 and mciricillo@ucanr.edu.

Cutler and Harrison elected to NAS

Sean Cutler

Sean Cutler, UC Riverside professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, and Susan P. Harrison, UC Davis professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, are among the 84 new members of the National Academy of Sciences announced May 1.

Cutler is known for pioneering the use of chemistry and genetics to define genes and manipulate the resiliency of plants to drought. His work to characterize the abscisic acid receptor could lead to the development of new tools to improve a crop's drought tolerance.

Susan Harrison
As an ecologist, Harrison studies the processes that shape and maintain plant species diversity at the landscape scale. Much of her recent work has focused on how climatic drying is affecting the biological diversity of California grassland communities.

NAS has 2,382 active members and 484 foreign associates.

NAS is a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research. The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community.

Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 4:31 PM
Focus Area Tags: 4-H, Agriculture

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