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Posts Tagged: May-June 2019

UCCE Riverside County funding goes from zero to zero cuts

More than 100 4-H members, 4-H volunteers, Master Gardener volunteers, farmers, nutrition course participants and other UCCE stakeholders attended a meeting to tell the Riverside County Board of Supervisors how they have personally benefited from UC ANR research and outreach.

In May, Eta Takele, UCCE Riverside County director, was told to expect to receive no funding from the county in light of a budget shortfall in revenue. She and her UCCE staff and academics relayed the shocking news to their Riverside County clientele, and many asked how they could help.

In early June, more than 100 4-H members, 4-H volunteers, Master Gardener volunteers, farmers, nutrition course participants and other UCCE stakeholders attended a meeting to tell the Riverside County Board of Supervisors how they have personally benefited from UC ANR research and outreach and urged them not to cut UC Cooperative Extension funds.

Despite the need to make budget cuts, the Board of Supervisors agreed to maintain their contribution to UCCE and talked of expanding support later as an investment in the people of Riverside County.

In a recording of the board meeting, public comment begins at 18:30. Starting at 1:17:45, Supervisor Chuck Washington makes a motion to not cut UCCE programs, but find savings in lease expenses.

“Many, many thanks are due to a tremendous number of supporters who took the time to reach out to Supervisors and share their stories,” said Wendy Powers, associate vice president, who attended the board meeting with Takele. “Jeffries commented that the public participation in the meeting far exceeded his expectations.”

A 4-H member who traveled nearly three hours from her home in Blythe to testify about the benefits of the 4-H program at the hearing told the supervisors, “It definitely saved me from getting into trouble.”

In “As Riverside County ponders spending cuts, public outcry saves 4-H, Master Gardeners,” the Press-Enterprise quoted Supervisor Jeff Hewitt: “'I think if we get this financially fit, why aren't we helping expand these programs?' Hewitt said to cheers.”

“This experience shows that our programs touch peoples' lives and there is strong support for UC Cooperative Extension in Riverside County,” said Anne Megaro, government and community relations director. If you have questions about outreach to elected officials, please contact Megaro at or (530) 750-1218.

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

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


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. 


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 and

The award was presented Feb. 12 at Cal-EPA headquarters in Sacramento during a ceremony recorded at  

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.”


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

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

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

UC IPM celebrates 40th anniversary

Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Bill Quirk presented Jim Farrar with a proclamation honoring UC IPM at the Capitol. From left, Quirk, Anne Megaro, Mark Bell, Farrar, Mark Lagrimini and Aguiar-Curry.

The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Established July 1, 1979, with funding from the California Legislature, UC IPM built upon a growing movement to reduce dependence on pesticides. Drawing on expertise across the University of California system, UC IPM develops and distributes UC's best information on managing pests using safe and effective practices that protect people and the environment.

On July 8, Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Bill Quirk congratulated Jim Farrar, UC IPM director, and presented him with a proclamation honoring UC IPM at the Capitol.

Mark Bell, vice provost of strategic initiatives and statewide programs; Mark Lagrimini, vice provost of research and extension; and Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations, joined Farrar in the Assembly chambers for the presentation.

Quirk, whose district includes parts of Alameda County, noted that UC IPM is vital to the health and well-being of California's agricultural and urban communities.

“UC IPM is also active in urban neighborhoods, schools, and childcare centers,” Quirk told his fellow assemblymembers. “The advisors work with the public to manage pest populations, while reducing pesticide exposure for a healthier community.

“Specifically, we've all heard about bed bugs in urban centers and their harmful health and economic impacts on communities. UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program responded to the public need and now leads the effort for controlling bed bugs by researching and developing best practices.”

He added, “UC Integrated Pest Management Program epitomizes what UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is all about – getting practical information into the hands of all Californians and serving as a trusted public resource for science-based information.”

Read more about the UC IPM 40th anniversary at

UC IPM staff celebrated the statewide program's 40th anniversary at the ANR building in Davis on July 2.


Posted on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 9:21 AM

Jan Corlett, chief of staff to the VP, retires

Jan Corlett, second from left, receives thanks and congratulations from Tu Tran, Mark Bell and John Fox.

Jan Corlett, chief of staff to Vice President Humiston, retired July 1 after a 20-year UC career.

Corlett, who joined UC ANR in 2011, served on numerous special projects over the years, but she is best known for overseeing the conversion of an old skating rink into UC ANR's LEED-certified Second Street offices and conference facilities in Davis, which opened in 2013. In 2017, she oversaw a project to expand parking behind the ANR building and incorporate a water-quality project in the parking lot for the urban horticulture and water researchers. Since 2014, she has overseen a project to preserve UC Cooperative Extension history at UC Merced.

With Linda Marie Manton, she provided “Crucial Conversations” training to give employees tools for dealing with people when stakes are high, emotions are strong, and opinions differ.

Corlett began her career with UC in 1999 evaluating the California Food and Fiber Futures project for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and serving as assistant director of the Academic Preparation Programs at UC Davis.

In 2002, she moved to UCOP to serve as assistant director of the Early Academic Outreach Program. In 2005, she was tapped to become special assistant to the UC provost and deputy to the vice provost, and she was promoted to executive officer and chief of staff to the provost in 2009.

Before joining UC, Corlett served in the Peace Corps in Upper Volta. She later worked for PLAN International for 10 years as a field director in Southeast Asia and as the assistant director of the department of international relations for the child-focused development organization. She earned a B.A. in international studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and an M.S. in international agricultural development and a Ph.D. in geography from UC Davis.

Jan Corlett and Shawn Tibor toured the renovated ANR building on Second Street with Sherrell-Cline Richmond, Connie Schneider, Joyce Strand and Susan Donohue to discuss plans for shared storage and work space in July 2013
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 9:14 AM

ANR Learning & Development






Check out the growing list of learning opportunities on the ANR Learning & Development website.

Make it Acccessible: SiteBuilder for Everyone

Thursday July 18
noon-12:30 pm
Learn basic techniques to make your website accessible to your audience.

With Bruce Lidl and Andrew Waegli, ANR IT.

Zoom access:
1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 751 701 428





Women in Agriculture
Wednesday Webinars, University of Maryland Extension
2&4 Wednesday of each month at 9 am Pacific Time 

Next one: July 24, 2019
Introduction to Integrated Pest Management Register here.






Social Cafe' Drop-in Sessions

Second Thursdays of each month @ 11:30 am starting in September. (Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, and Dec. 12).

Join the monthly ANR Social Cafe series for drop-in conversations and questions about the effective use of social media and communications in Extension work. Each Social Café opens with a 5-10 minute “tutorial” of a new tool or feature on commonly used social platforms, or a brief showcase of an ANR employee who is using digital communications in innovative and effective ways. The remainder of the time is devoted to sharing best practices, discussion and Q&A.

Zoom access:

+1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 751 701 428

With Rose Hayden-Smith UCCE Advisor, hosted by UC ANR Strategic Communication.





Career Catalyst Lunchtime Series Schedule

These in person and online webinar workshops require no prior enrollment. So mark your calendars for any or all of the exciting topics!






Wellness Workshops Worklife Calendar
In-person and Zoom options at UC Davis.

Ergonomics 101 LinkedIn Learning Video

Is lower back pain familiar? Or perhaps your upper back feels tight or your wrists feel a dull pain. Regardless, maybe it's time for you to view this course to gain nuggets of wisdom on common risk factors and how to prevent them. If you do not have a LinkedIn Learning account, contact ANR Learning & Development to request your account.






How Daymond John Sets His 10 Goals Every Morning and Night LinkedIn Learning Blog

If you think you might learn something from the founder of FUBU (a clothing line) and resident "Shark" on ABC's Shark Tank who built his career from nothing, you're right. What helped Daymond John push through tough times were his goals. In an interview he shared that goals act as a compass and by reciting them every night and morning, you stay focused. Read more about John's short-term and long-term goal setting in this LinkedIn Learning Blog.





The Puzzle of Motivation (TedTalk Video 18:32)
Daniel Pink

Scientists who've been studying motivation have given us a different approach. It's built much more around intrinsic motivation—around the desire to do things because they matter, because we like it, they're interesting, or part of something important.

The effective operating system for our businesses revolves around three elements: autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives.
Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters.
Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.






Conducting Employee-Centric Development Conversations Gartner®
Every ANR employee has free access to this Gartner® Tool. Go to the log in page to access!

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 9:30 AM

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