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Posts Tagged: Marisa Neelon

RECs and county office staff update ANR leaders on current projects

UCCE Master Gardeners and 4-H members partner with City Slicker Farms, teaching people how to grow food in West Oakland.

To get acquainted with the people at each ANR location, Mark Lagrimini, vice provost of research and extension, has been visiting research and extension centers and UCCE county offices and touring the facilities.

“I'm impressed with how passionate and dedicated you are to helping people,” said Lagrimini to UCCE Contra Costa staff after listening to their project updates. He has been impressed with the work he has seen at all of his ANR visits. 

On Sept. 6, Lagrimini visited Hopland Research and Extension Center, three weeks after the River Fire consumed about two-thirds of its property.

John Bailey, right, shows Mark Lagrimini the difference in fire damage to grazed pasture on the left side of the fence compared to the ungrazed areas at Hopland REC.

“While the River Fire damaged parts of the center, none of the main buildings, residences, livestock nor staff were hurt by the fire,” said John Bailey, Hopland REC interim director.

Scientists are invited to a site tour on Oct. 19 to learn more about research opportunities at Hopland REC. 

“With Hopland REC's extensive pre-fire historical data, plus immediate post-fire, pre-rain observations that we are collecting, we have the foundation to support relevant and timely research on the effects of fire and mechanisms of recovery,” Bailey said.

Marisa Neelon, right, shows Mark Lagrimini, left, and Mark Bell the kitchen where UCCE Contra Costa County nutrition educators can prepare food.

AVP Wendy Powers and Mark Bell, vice provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs, are joining Lagrimini for many of the visits to learn the latest about UCCE research and outreach and to answer questions from staff.

On Sept. 11, Rob Bennaton, UCCE director in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, introduced Powers, Lagrimini and Bell to UCCE staff in their Hayward offices, then took them to West Oakland to tour City Slicker Farms. UCCE Master Gardeners and 4-H members partner with City Slicker Farms, teaching people how to grow food at the site.

“Success to us is putting food where people need it and giving them the skills to grow food,” said Rodney Spencer, executive director of City Slicker Farms.

Mark Bell popped into the office of Leah Sourbeer, nutrition program supervisor, to introduce himself.

In Concord, Marisa Neelon, UCCE nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor in Contra Costa County, gave Powers, Lagrimini and Bell a tour of the new office space, which includes space for Master Garden volunteers, a kitchen for nutrition educators to prepare food and a lab for farm and IPM advisors to store and analyze samples.  

UCCE Contra Costa shared quotes from participants whose lives were improved by applying EFNEP lessons.

Staff from each unit delivered a presentation about their current projects for the ANR leaders, who were joined by Humberto Izquierdo, agricultural commissioner for Contra Costa County and Matthew Slattengren, assistant agricultural commissioner.

Charles Go, 4-H youth advisor, and Adan Osoria, EFNEP community nutrition educator, described how 4-H and EFNEP teamed up for 4-H2O, an after school project aimed at reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and increasing water consumption to improve community health and wellness. They launched 4-H2O at John Swett High School in Crockett. At the request of 4-H members, the local school board approved hydration stations and instructed the schools to provide water at meal times, Go said.

4-H and EFNEP teamed up for 4-H2O, an after school project that succeeded at reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and increasing water consumption.

Andrew Sutherland, Bay Area urban IPM advisor, described his research on baiting for cockroaches, subterranean termites and yellowjackets and outreach to educate pest control professionals to practice IPM in schools and multi-unit housing.

“I appreciate the work Andrew does,” said Izquierdo, noting that there is a need for pest management education, especially among the county's urban and immigrant populations.

After seeing all of the presentations, Bell said, “The enthusiasm you bring to your job is inspiring.”

UCCE Contra Costa shared quotes from participants whose lives were improved by applying EFNEP lessons.

After the visit, Powers wrote in her ANR Adventures blog on Sept. 14: “The programs we've seen in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties this week as well as Santa Clara County a couple weeks back are good reminders of the benefits to all of UC ANR when we have strong, relevant programs in urban areas. These programs not only help the clientele, directly, but help increase the visibility of UC ANR and all of its programs across both urban and ag areas.”

On Sept. 26, Powers, Lagrimini and Bell visited UCCE Riverside, then UCCE San Bernardino the following day.

“We spent yesterday in Riverside meeting with the teams from both UCCE Riverside and UCCE San Bernardino,” Powers wrote in ANR Adventures on Sept. 27. “It was very informative, particularly seeing the fresh ideas that are coming from some of the new staff. We were able to hear about the tremendous success that both counties are having truly working as a team across program areas and layering their efforts for increased program success and support.”

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

ANR prepares for budget cuts

The Legislature is still working out the details of the state budget, which is due June 15, but UC is poised to get a major funding boost that will help enroll thousands of additional state students and eliminate the need for tuition increases in the coming school year. Despite the additional funding for the university, ANR will still take a budget cut. At this point, we still do not know how much our actual cuts will be, but anticipate we will have to cover approximately $5 million in unfunded obligations.

We are managing these cuts in three ways:

  •     We are slowing down hiring of UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists throughout the state.
  •     Statewide programs are developing additional cuts to already reduced budgets.
  •     UC ANR Research and Extension Centers are reducing the subsidy that has been provided for research projects at the RECs.

ANR leadership will share additional updates when they find out more. 

Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 8:29 AM
 
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