Posts Tagged: Mehdi Nemati
Each spring, the UC ANR Office of Program Planning and Evaluation (PPE) compiles and submits a report to our federal funding partner, USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). In August, NIFA approved UC ANR's 2017 report.
A snapshot of the 2017 UC ANR Federal Report is available at the following link: https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning. The snapshot highlights several dozen examples of research and extension occurring in each Strategic Initiative and in the field of sustainable energy. The Federal Report Snapshot can be shared with stakeholders and potential donors to help them better understand the breadth of projects and range of impacts that occur throughout ANR in a given year.
The full report that was submitted to NIFA captures the annual activities, outputs, and outcomes that occur throughout ANR as a result of NIFA funding on campuses, in counties and at the research and extension centers.
Information for the report comes from submissions entered in REEport, DANRIS-X (now replaced by Project Board for FY 2018 and on), and UC Delivers. Content experts identify the most significant research highlights and write the program area narrative summaries. This year we want to thank Chris Greer, Cheryl Wilen, Keith Nathaniel, John Harper, Doug Parker and Jeff Dahlberg. Because the report is thorough and lengthy, PPE has created this condensed snapshot, which is drafted with input from Communications Services.
Both the snapshot and full report are available at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning.
Project Board is a new online system that integrates ANR academic program review, civil rights compliance, and accountability reporting requirements. It also has search features that may facilitate collaboration and support advocacy efforts. Project Board launched on May 3, 2018, for academics who have ANR merit + promotion, and on July 31, 2018, for CE specialists whose merit + promotion packages are processed by a campus.
Project Board will be searchable by keyword by all ANR staff and academics to find projects. Only CE academics are required to enter information into the system. New features, bug fixes and help text are being continuously rolled out. Project Board works best on Firefox and Chrome web browsers.
Reporting for the federal fiscal year that began Oct. 1, 2017, and ends Sept. 30, 2018, is required in Project Board for all Cooperative Extension academics. Training information and technical assistance Zoom hours can be found on this webpage. DANRIS-X is closed for data entry but will remain open for retrievals and reports.
For more information:
- Visit Project Board Help: http://ucanr.edu/sites/ProjectBoardHelp/
- Academic Human Resources questions, contact Kim Ingram at email@example.com
- Civil Rights Compliance/Affirmative Action questions, contact David White at firstname.lastname@example.org
- General Project Board and Program Planning and Evaluation questions, contact Kit Alviz at email@example.com or Chris Hanson at Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org
Sidhu named UCCE vegetable crops advisor for Kern County
Jaspreet Sidhu joined UCCE on Sept. 4, 2018, as the vegetable crops advisor for Kern County.
Sidhu earned a Ph.D. in entomology from Louisiana State University and a M.S. in entomology and a B.S. in plant protection from Punjab Agricultural University, India.
Prior to joining UCCE, Sidhu was a research scientist at Virginia Tech (2016–2018). There, she coordinated and managed different projects funded by USAID in partner countries and provided assistance and expertise for the development of various components of IPM packages for tropical vegetables, fruits and other crops. At Louisiana State University, Sidhu was a research associate working on pest management in vegetable crops, focusing on efficacy trials, maintenance of field and greenhouse experimental trials and data collection and presentation (2014–2016). As a postdoctoral associate, she focused on stem borer management in rice in Louisiana. (2013–2014).
In addition to English, she is fluent in Punjabi and Hindi.
Sidhu is based in Bakersfield and can be reached at (661) 822-6222 and email@example.com.
Diekmann named UCCE urban ag and food systems advisor
Lucy Diekmann joined UCCE on Aug. 20, 2018, as the area urban agriculture and food systems advisor for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
Diekmann earned a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management from UC Berkeley, a M.S. in environmental sciences from University of Virginia, and a B.A. in history from Brown University.
Prior to joining UCCE, Diekmann was a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellow and academic year lecturer in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Santa Clara University. In these roles, she studied the impacts of and barriers to urban agriculture in Santa Clara County, conducting research in collaboration with community partners. She also coordinated a working group on equity in the food system as part of an eXtension Community of Practice. From 2011 to 2014, Diekmann worked as a consultant for Smart Growth California, where she provided outreach materials about land use, transportation and housing policies to a network of funders dedicated to building sustainable communities in California. Her dissertation research examined the social and cultural impacts of ecological restoration on an American Indian community in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
Diekmann is based in San Jose and can be reached at (408) 282-3104 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salinger to lead ANR Food Entrepreneurship
Zachary Salinger joined ANR on Aug. 15, 2018, as the food entrepreneurship academic coordinator under the UC Master Food Preserver program.
Prior to joining ANR, Salinger was working as CEO/founder of Basil (2016 to 2018), an off-the-grid vertical farm company in New Orleans. Basil's vertical farm model utilized 95 percent less water than traditional non-recirculating methods, no pesticides and an automated water system. He produced cherry tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and squash for residents in food deserts. To complete this model, he established partnerships with energy, architecture and farming industries. In 2017, his venture won funding from the prestigious NewDay Award, through the Changemaker Institute Accelerator at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation at Tulane University.
Salinger completed an MPH in nutrition and food security from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a B.A. in psychology from UCLA.
Salinger is based at the ANR building at 2801 Second St. in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1245 and email@example.com.
Gunn named 4-H advisor in San Mateo and San Francisco counties
Maggie La Rochelle Gunn joined UCCE on Aug. 6, 2018, as a 4-H Youth Development advisor in San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
Prior to joining UCCE, Gunn managed Putah Creek Café Garden in Winters from 2016 to 2018. She also owned a business that provided gardening services, mentorship and educational workshops on sustainable gardening and farming topics to local businesses and residents. Gunn's Ph.D. dissertation, titled Portrait of a Learning Farm: Re-rooting Selves, Natures and Relationships, was an ethnography of learning relationships at the UC Davis Student Farm. She examined learning motivations in the experiences of student farmers, socio-spatial relationships, education and production dynamics, critical social issues that bear on learning relationships and institutional dynamics of program management. Gunn's master's thesis, An Analysis of Youth Poems from the River of Words: Exploring Environmental Identity, Education, and Youth Development, was a thematic content analysis of over 700 poems written by young people in the U.S. for the River of Words Poetry Contest. This was a study of youth attitudes toward community and place, yielding insights about constructive learning models and the impacts of negative public discourse around young people and the environment.
Gunn earned her Ph.D. in geography and a M.S. in community and regional development from UC Davis, with emphases in community education and farm and garden-based learning. She earned a B.A. in English literature from UC San Diego.
Gunn is based at Elkus Ranch in Half Moon Bay and can be reached at (650) 276-7424 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vega named 4-H advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties
Liliana Vega joined UCCE on July 10, 2018, as a 4-H Youth Development advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.
Prior to joining UCCE, Vega had been an extension educator at University of Idaho since 2008 and associate extension professor since 2012. In this role, she determined and assessed the needs of area youth, focusing on youth from underserved and minority audiences; developed relationships with other educational institutions, agencies and organizations; identified and prioritized educational needs; planned, developed, coordinated, implemented and evaluated educational programs. She provided leadership in delivering 4-H youth education, disseminated program results through publications and presentations and managed grants and budgets. From 2008 to 2011, Vega was an instructor with responsibilities for 4-H youth development educational programming, afterschool programs, community outreach, volunteer development, volunteer and staff supervision, providing educational opportunities and information to Latino families and networking and partnering with community organizations and institutions.
Vega completed a M.S. in education, adult/organizational learning and leadership from University of Idaho and a B.A. in multi-ethnic studies (minor in Mexican American Studies) from Boise State University.
Vega is based in San Luis Obispo and can be reached at (805) 781-4188 and email@example.com.
Nemati named UCCE specialist in water resource economics and policy
Mehdi Nemati joined UCCE on July 1, 2018, as an assistant specialist in water resource economics and policy in the School of Public Policy at UC Riverside. Nemati's role is to provide leadership throughout the state to develop mission-oriented research programs among colleagues and universities. He facilitates teamwork among government agencies, stakeholder groups and private industry with a focus on promoting sustainable and cost-effective strategies for addressing water-related issues, such as water scarcity/drought. His policy-oriented research and extension program focuses on economic issues associated with urban/municipal water use and water conservation programs, including alternative pricing structures (e.g., budget-based tiered rates and drought pricing), and rebate programs (e.g., turf grass removal); direct and indirect potable water reuse; design of enforcement and monitoring strategies; incentives for the adoption of conservation practices and technologies. He is fluent in Farsi as well as English.
Prior to joining UCCE, Nemati was a graduate research assistant and teaching assistant at University of Kentucky from 2013 to 2018. Nemati's Ph.D. dissertation, Essays on Environmental Economics and Policy, examined various water policies, including 2015 drought mandate, and urban water conservation technologies effectiveness in water use reduction. In addition to research, he has experience explaining critical economic and data-driven concepts to a lay audience. He is the lead author of white papers for Dropcountr company. These non-technical summaries of his research were prepared for Dropcountr management and subsequently shared with government representatives and utility providers.
Nemati received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics and M.S. in economics at the University of Kentucky. He also earned an M.S. in agricultural economics at the University of Tehran, and his B.S. in agricultural economics at the University of Kurdistan.
Wang joins UCCE as specialist in small-scale fruit and vegetable processing
Selina Wang joined UCCE on July 1, 2018, as an assistant specialist in small-scale fruit and vegetable processing in the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis. Wang's research program focuses on chemical quality, purity and nutrition parameters that occur during fruit and vegetable postharvest, processing and storage. Wang is also the research director of UC Davis Olive Center, leading collaborative projects with the university and industry and helping to find practical solutions to push the forefront of olive research and education. She is fluent in Mandarin as well as English.
Wang's postdoctoral project on evaluating the quality of extra virgin olive oil in supermarkets received worldwide attention in 2010 and 2011. Wang has been the research director of UC Davis Olive Center since 2012, developing more than 150 applied research projects in table olives and olive oil - including domestic/international standards, chemical method developments for rapid testing of quality and purity, best practices for harvesting/processing/storage, to byproduct management and health benefits.
Wang earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at UC Davis and a B.S. in chemistry at UC Santa Cruz.
Wang can be reached at (530) 752-5018 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crowder joins Communication Services
Lucien Crowder joined Communication Services and Information Technology in August as a senior writer and editor. He will write news articles, assist in writing opinion articles, edit a range of scientific and technical publications and manage publishing and production tasks for the peer-reviewed journal California Agriculture and the Publishing and Production group's other publications.
From 2012 until joining UC ANR, Crowder was senior editor at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a publication focused on technology-based threats to human civilization. For five years before joining the Bulletin, he was associate editor at Current History, a journal of contemporary international affairs. Previously, while living in Taiwan, he was a reporter for a business magazine and an editor at a daily newspaper. He holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature from the University of Chicago.
Crowder is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1219 or email@example.com.
Mutters honored by rice industry
Randall “Cass” Mutters, UCCE advisor emeritus, received the California Rice Industry Award, which is sponsored by the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation.
Mutters, who worked as a UC Cooperative Extension rice farming systems advisor in Butte County from 1994 until his retirement in 2017, was introduced by UCCE specialist Bruce Linquist.
“As an advisor, Cass conducted an applied research and outreach program directed towards rice growers, pest control advisers, and other rice industry stakeholders,” Linquist said. “Cass' work has been visionary and transformative. Through his efforts, he has helped the California rice industry adapt to new challenges, and remain viable and competitive. He is recognized nationally and internationally as a rice research and extension expert.”
Linquist named a few of Mutters' career achievements.
“Cass developed the Leaf Color Chart to determine mid-season rice nitrogen needs. This has been adopted not only in California but also in many other rice production areas of the world,” Linquist said. “He quantified the effects of cold water on rice growth and yield, providing the California rice industry information needed to mitigate cold water damage. He developed guidelines to drain fields in preparation for harvest that allow growers to save water while maintaining yield and grain quality. In collaboration with the Rice Experiment Station breeders, Cass refined harvesting guidelines for new rice varieties, allowing growers more harvest flexibility and reduced drying costs. He is co-author of the Rice Quality Handbook, the most important publication in California dealing with post-harvest management of rice and used widely by rice storage managers. He was also part of the team that developed the first agricultural carbon offset protocol, approved by environmental groups and regulatory agencies in the U.S.”
In addition, Mutters has collaborated with others to test new California rice varieties, develop nitrogen management guidelines, refine rice water use estimates, and develop strategies to manage herbicide resistant weeds.
As part of his outreach program, Mutters developed the Rice Quality and Rice Production Workshops, which have trained more than 1,000 growers and other rice industry representatives.
Mutters also served the rice industry by participating in many committees of state and national significance, such as the Rice Certification Act, California Air Resources Board Technical Advisory Committee, and the Rice Technical Working Group Executive Committee. Earlier this year, he was recognized for his service to the rice industry with the 2018 Rice Technical Working Group Distinguished Service Award.
Mutters was presented with the rice industry award on Aug 29, 2018, at the annual rice research meeting. The award is given annually to recognize and honor individuals from any segment of the rice industry who have made outstanding and distinguished contributions to the California rice industry. Recipients of the award are nominated and selected by a committee of rice growers and others appointed by the CCRRF Board of Directors.
Downer honored by International Society of Arboriculture
A. James Downer, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Ventura County, received the 2018 International Society of Arboriculture's (ISA) R.W Harris Author's Citation Award. This award of distinction is given to authors who consistently publish timely and valuable content related to the field of arboriculture.
Downer, who holds a Ph.D. in plant pathology, also teaches classes in arboriculture and plant pathology at California Polytechnic State University in Pomona. Presenting at conferences around the globe, he has managed active research that has resulted in over 50 peer-reviewed articles.
“Dr. Downer is a dedicated teacher of the pathology of landscape ornamentals, horticulture, and arboriculture, translating his research into practical outputs,” says Paul Ries, ISA board president. “He has spent over 30 years speaking at conferences not only in his chapter region but internationally as well.”
Downer was recognized during the opening ceremony of the ISA Annual International Conference and Trade Show on Aug. 5 in Columbus, Ohio.
CalNat wins evaluation award
The UC California Naturalist Program was honored by the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs (ANROSP) for their work developing a comprehensive program evaluation and performance management system.
Program evaluation for the UC California Naturalist program has evolved over the last five years and matured into a comprehensive and functional system that provides the CalNat program team with useful information for assessing performance, setting priorities, refining practices and allocating resources.
All of the practices (except the Five-Year Program Review and the Needs Assessment) are conducted annually, allowing for comparisons from year to year. Each practice includes a separate data collection instrument to evaluate the instructors, courses and volunteer service effort and process for reporting integration into planning and operations.
- Data collection, including needs assessment, post course evaluation and site audit survey
- Data analysis, reporting and communication, including a course evaluation report, a partner scorecard and a site audit summary
- Planning and adaptive management, including an annual plan, strategic plan and business plan
- Integration into operations, including revising standard operating procedures, and business process improvements.
These elements together serve as the foundation for the current program evaluation and performance management system for the CalNat program.
Sabrina Drill, UC California Naturalist Program associate director and UCCE natural resources advisor for Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and community education specialists Marisa Rodriguez and Sarah Angulo accepted the award Sept. 12 at the annual ANROSP meeting in New Orleans.
Each year, during Hispanic Heritage Month – from September 15 to October 15 – the country celebrates the culture and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Latinos comprise 40 percent of California's population and a growing portion of ANR's clientele. The work and contributions of Latino ANR members help to customize ANR's outreach for the Latino community, from immigrants to native-born citizens.
“We greatly appreciate the insight and skills of ANR's Latino academics, educators and staff members,” said VP Glenda Humiston. “They enable us to better serve the diverse population of California.”
This year, News and Information Outreach in Spanish, or NOS, is highlighting the work of five Hispanic ANR members whose passion to work in their communities have contributed to better lives for their fellow residents.
“The Latino community is thriving, and growing politically and financially with the help of ANR,” said Ricardo Vela, NOS manager.
NOS has produced videos showcasing the work of Myriam Acevedo, UCCE nutrition educator in Riverside County; Nelly Camacho, UCCE food educator in Alameda County; Carmen Gispert, UCCE area viticulture and pest management advisor based in Indio; Ramiro Lobo, UCCE small farms and agricultural economics advisor in San Diego County; and José Luis Aguiar, UCCE agricultural advisor for Riverside County based in Indio.
UC Cooperative Extension in Sutter and Yuba counties is celebrating a century of serving its community.
“Earlier this year, we unexpectedly found two boxes full of our historical records,” said Janine Hasey, director of UCCE Sutter-Yuba counties. “In those boxes were original reports and photos from 1918 through 1959 for both Sutter and Yuba counties.” The counties merged into one UCCE office in 1974 located in Yuba City.
Sutter County administrator Scott Mitnick paid tribute to UCCE in his blog, writing:
“The Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County conducted a great deal of research into the 100-year history of the Agricultural Extension and discovered that the UC Cooperative Extension has been helping to solve agricultural industry problems from its beginnings. They've tested new crops - they abandoned cotton as a failure here in 1926 - conducted demonstrations on proper tree pruning practices, advocated for the establishment of an adequate system of rural roads, and have played pivotal roles in pest management, best irrigation management practices and orchard nutrition. In 1927 they placed bees in almond orchards and yields increased by 158 percent. Varieties developed by the UC Cooperative Extension make up 85 percent of California's walnut industry. Seven years after introducing safflower in 1950, more safflower was grown in Sutter County than any other in the United States.”
With Hougen's assistance, the UCCE Sutter-Yuba staff wrote articles highlighting UCCE's contributions to the local agriculture industry, which Agricultural Commissioners Lisa Herbert of Sutter County and Steve Scheer of Yuba County published in their annual crop reports.
Beginning on page 15, the 2017 Yuba County Crop Report outlines the history of UCCE in the county, starting with the hiring of William Harrison as Yuba County's first UCCE farm advisor on July 1, 1918, then listing a timeline of contributions that resulted in economic benefit to farmers and reduced impacts on the environment.
The first two pages of the 2017 Sutter County Crop and Livestock Report list major contributions of UCCE to the county over the past 100 years, with a sidebar focusing on rice.
“Our partnership goes back to our first farm advisors, who were housed in the same buildings with the ag commissioners in each county,” Hasey said.
UCCE Sutter-Yuba staff invited elected and appointed officials, 4-H and Master Gardener volunteers, farmers, former UCCE employees, UCCE specialists and UC faculty collaborators, commodity board members and others to celebrate the local UCCE centennial Aug. 24 at John Heier Historic Howard House at the foot of the Sutter Buttes.
After dinner, the guests were given an overview of UCCE history by Chris Greer, UCCE area IPM advisor and former UCCE Sutter-Yuba director and former ANR vice provost of Cooperative Extension. David Ramos, UCCE specialist emeritus and former California Walnut Board research director, who started his UC career as an extension assistant in Sutter County in 1959, provided his perspective on UCCE for the past 60 years.
During the event, Hasey was presented a Senate/Assembly Resolution for UCCE Sutter-Yuba by Laura Nicholson, senior district representative for state Senator Jim Nielsen, and Joe Brennan, who represented Assemblymember James Gallagher. Sutter County Supervisor Mat Conant presented Hasey with a resolution on behalf of Sutter County and Andy Vasquez, Jr., chair of the Yuba County Board of Supervisors, and Supervisor Randy Fletcher, presented a Yuba County Proclamation.
“It is recognition of our value to the community that the boards of supervisors in both counties have funded our operating budget for CE for 100 years for a non-mandated program,” Hasey said in her closing remarks. “Back in the 1920s and early 1930s, the Giannini Foundation at UC Berkeley did a six-year study on the value of Cooperative Extension in Sutter County and found it was over $3 million dollars for that time period. I'm not aware of another study that has determined the value of CE to these counties since then. We thank you, Sutter and Yuba supervisors, for supporting CE's operating budgets for 100 years!”
“When I started in Sutter County, Hartley was the leading walnut and all the others in production were varieties that were brought in from Europe and elsewhere,” Ramos told Kaufman. “Today, virtually all the walnut acreage is almost all university-developed. It revolutionized the nature of the industry with higher quality and more production.”