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Posts Tagged: Missy Gable

Names in the News

Chen named woody biomass and wood products advisor 

Cindy Chen

Cindy Chen joined UC Cooperative Extension Sept. 6 as a woody biomass and wood products advisor for the Central Sierra and Alpine and Mariposa counties.

After receiving her bachelor's in social ecology and master's in demography from UC Irvine, Chen completed her Ph.D. in environmental and forest sciences from the University of Washington, specializing in wood products processing and marketing. Chen has worked and lived in all three West Coast states over the past 20 years and she is familiar with the natural environment in the western U.S. 

Her multidisciplinary expertise allows her to work on a wide range of projects covering topics such as population forecasting, environmental assessment, woody biomass transportation logistics, the end-of-life treatment of wood products and mass timber production optimization.

Chen has worked with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, research scientists, and local stakeholders to investigate the environmental and economic benefits of wood utilization in the construction and energy industries. Her work in evaluating the environmental impacts of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) production helped prepare for the opening of North America's largest mass timber manufacturing facility in the State of Washington. 

In addition to her work in the U.S., Chen also has collaborated extensively with international partners in research projects that explored the global market potential for wood products and bioenergy.

About this position, Chen says, “As the woody biomass and forest products advisor at UC ANR, my goal is to work with the Central Sierra communities in exploring innovative ways to better utilize California's forest resources and biomass, developing biomass processing programs that are appropriate for the region and contributing to local economic development.”

Chen is based in Tuolumne and can be reached at cxnchen@ucanr.edu.

Low brings fire expertise to communities statewide 

Katie Low

Katie Low, who began as the University of California Cooperative Extension statewide fire coordinator on Sept. 1, will fulfill two important functions for UC ANR's team of fire experts.

First, she will coordinate and partner with UCCE fire advisors throughout California to develop and deliver wildfire-related science and outreach materials for a wide range of communities across the state. Low said encouraging diversity in the network of fire experts and engaged communities will be crucial.

“One of my goals is to help build and maintain a diverse and inclusive community of fire and natural resource professionals,” she said. 

Second, based at the UCCE office in Auburn, Low will collaborate with local natural resource professionals and residents in Nevada and Placer counties on projects that bolster community and ecosystem resilience to wildfire and climate change.

“I look forward to working with community groups, land managers and scientists to implement viable fire-resilient management strategies for ecosystems in the region and statewide,” Low said.

Equipped with bachelor's degrees in geography and ecosystems management and forestry, as well as a master's in forestry, all from UC Berkeley, Low brings to UC ANR a wealth of knowledge and a variety of experience.

As a fire and forest ecologist, she studied the impacts of fuels-reduction and forest-restoration treatments on Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests. Low also worked as operations coordinator for the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition, and as a forestry aide for California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Forest Biometrics Program. 

Low can be reached at (530) 889-7385 and katlow@ucanr.edu; follow her on Twitter @lowseverityfire.

Deak named fire advisor for Mariposa, Fresno and Madera counties 

Alison Deak

Alison Deak joined UC Cooperative Extension on Aug. 22 as a fire advisor for Mariposa, Fresno and Madera counties. Since she began work, Deak has been focused on conducting a needs assessment and building rapport with community leaders.

Her role as fire advisor will include promoting the use of prescribed fire to help restore fire adapted landscapes. She will also prioritize community education, applied research and partnership building efforts that are based on scientifically informed ways to help communities mitigate, prepare for, and recover from wildfire.

Originally from northeast Ohio where there are no wildfires according to Deak, it was not until she moved to Colorado for college that she learned of their impact.

When the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire occurred, Deak felt like her playground was burning down so she acted. She began volunteering with the wildfire recovery effort and her career into fire science took off from there.

Deak earned a bachelors in geography and environmental studies from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and master's degrees in geography and nonprofit management from the University of Oregon. 

Before moving to California and joining UC ANR, Deak worked as a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.  

When asked what she is looking forward to most, Deak shared that she is passionate about increasing diversity in the fire science field and, particularly, empowering more women to join. She is eager to help community members prepare for wildfire and mitigate fire risk in a safe and competent manner. 

Deak is located at the UC Cooperative Extension office in Mariposa County and can be reached at aldeak@ucanr.edu.  

Henry joins UC ANR as food systems advisor for capitol region 

Olivia Henry

Olivia Henry joined UC ANR on Aug. 15 as regional food systems area advisor for Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, Placer and Nevada counties. Henry will focus on issues related to marketing, resilient supply chains, distribution infrastructure, processing infrastructure, financing models and food waste.  

Prior to joining UC ANR, Henry worked in various newsrooms – including CapRadio, the Mendocino Voice, KALW Public Radio, San Francisco Public Press and Mother Jones – in community engagement, membership and communications roles. She also worked with Internews, a media development organization, to conduct information needs assessments in the San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire regions. Henry is still involved with community media, and currently serves as the assistant editor of a bimonthly, English and Spanish-language newspaper, “The Ivanhoe Sol,” in rural Tulare County. 

She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Western Washington University and master's degree in community development from UC Davis. While at Davis, Henry studied models of community- and employee-owned news enterprises, with a focus on how stakeholder ownership can protect journalism as a public good. She also earned a graduate certificate in extension outreach and communication. 

Henry said she is excited to be a part of UC ANR, which she has benefitted from as a certified California Naturalist and candidate California Master Beekeeper. She has previously worked at local farms, including a diversified orchard and targeted grazing operation.  

Henry is based in Fairfield and can be reached at omhenry@ucanr.edu and (707) 389-0723.

Neas named 4-H advisor for San Mateo, San Francisco counties 

Sally Neas

Sally Neas began working as the 4-H youth development program advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in San Mateo and San Francisco counties on Aug. 1.

In her role, Neas incorporates environmental education into youth programs at Elkus Ranch and 4-H community clubs. She is also responsible for conducting research and developing new programs.

Neas has worked in youth development and environmental education for several years. When she first moved to California 12 years ago, she worked for Veggielution Community Farm in San Jose and helped launch their first youth development program. 

Since then, she has worked in after-school programming focused on gardening and nutrition in Santa Cruz and has dedicated her time and energy to engaging youth in conversations about climate change.

“I'm interested in building conversations around climate change that focus on culturally relevant and personally meaningful approaches. Not a deficit approach that asks what we're going to give up, but what can we do as a collective,” said Neas. 

Neas earned a doctorate in environmental education at UC Davis and a bachelor's in environmental studies from the University of the South in Tennessee.

Neas centered her dissertation on how young people understand and define climate change. Her research relied on oral histories collected from “youth that, historically, are not represented in the climate change space” such as youth of color and queer youth. To capture their stories, Neas initiated a digital storytelling project, drawing on the collaboration between art and science. 

“I really felt bothered by not hearing educators adequately address climate change. It felt like a looming elephant in the room, where we either didn't talk about it at all or what we were saying wasn't helpful,” she said. 

According to Neas, youth have a moral compass that, unlike in adults, has not been so degraded. Their creativity, compassion and drive inspire Neas to preserve these parts of herself. Moving forward, she is eager to create programs that are inclusive and representative of all youth that she serves. 

Neas is based in Half Moon Bay and can be reached at seneas@ucanr.edu.

Ireland joins UC ANR as senior videographer 

Ethan Ireland

Ethan Ireland joined Strategic Communications as the new senior videographer on Aug. 31.

Ireland is an experienced science communicator and visual storyteller, well-versed in translating and simplifying complex ideas for general audiences. He brings 20 years of experience working in television and feature films as well as running his own videography business.

His role is not only to create engaging videos to promote the impact and value of UC ANR, but also to train and support academics in using video in their research and extension work.

Ireland is based at the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at eireland@ucanr.edu.

Meng, CFHL, Farm Smart win NEAFCS awards

From left, Yu Meng, Stacey Amparano, Stephanie Collins, Chris Wong, Vincent (contract gardener), Paul Tabarez, Rigo Ponce and Martha Lopez. The CalFresh Healthy Living, UC and Farm Smart teams delivered garden kits to preschools.

Yu Meng, UC Cooperative Extension youth, family and community advisor for Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino counties, received two awards from the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences on Sept. 13 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Meng accepted the Communications Television/Video Award and Family Health & Wellness Award on behalf of the CalFresh Healthy Living, UC and Farm Smart teams.

In addition to Meng, the teams included Stacey Amparano, Farm Smart manager; Stephanie Collins, Farm Smart outreach assistant; Chris Gomez Wong, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC community education supervisor; Paul Tabarez, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC community education supervisor; Rigo Ponce, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC community education specialist; and Martha Lopez, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC community education specialist.

The Communications Television/Video Award honored their garden video project “Grow Healthy Foods, Harvest Healthy Families” (“Cultiva Alimentos Saludables, Cosecha Familias Saludables”). 

“The instructional garden video presented a great opportunity to connect with our targeted audience for distance program delivery during the pandemic,” Meng said.

They developed a series of English and Spanish videos, teaching low-income Hispanic families how to grow edible plants with resources accessible through UC ANR's Master Gardener Program and CalFresh Healthy Living, UC.

The videos give step-by-step instructions from seed germination to harvesting and food preservation and engage audiences with healthy recipes, climate adaptive strategies and fun activities in the garden for all ages.  

The Family Health & Wellness Award honored the Farm-to-Preschool Festival project, which was developed by the Farm Smart Program staff and UC Cooperative Extension CalFresh Healthy Living staff. They provided families with instructional videos and garden kits during pandemic. In 2019, they invited families with children 0-5 years old to participate in a day on the farm with educational activities, field trips and community organization family resource booths at UC Desert Research and Extension Center. About 700 to 800 people participated.

During the pandemic, the team made and delivered 344 festival bags to preschool sites. Migrant Head Start Program Preschool provided places to distribute festival bags to families with children 0-5 years old. QR codes and email links led to activities including Green Thumb Planting and Storytime (garden videos for adults), MyPlate activity, Music on the Farm, Lets Get Active, Scrub a Dub handwashing activity, and Let's Craft. All materials were in both English and Spanish because over 80% of residents are Hispanic.

Gable wins national early career award 

Missy Gable

Missy Gable, statewide director of the UC Master Gardener Program, received the 2022 Extension Master Gardener National Coordinator Award for Distinguished Early Career at the organization's annual conference on Sept. 20.

Throughout her nine years with the program, Gable has worked diligently to ensure the program makes an impact and follows its mission to support gardeners and sustainable gardening across the state.

Through her leadership, Gable has provided a clear vision for the future of the program while advocating and supporting county-based programs with 6,216 volunteers across 53 counties in California. Gable's impact on the UC Master Gardener Program, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and its national and local partners has been transformational. 

In announcing Gable's award, the organization said, “Her passion for the UC Master Gardener Program's mission is evident in her tireless advocacy for support and continued recognition of its volunteers.”

Nationally, Gable served as the Southwest Regional Representative for the Extension Master Gardener National Committee in 2016. This role grew to include an appointment as Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Chair. Since 2018, Gable has served on the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) Executive Committee, on the inaugural Board of Directors, and the NICH Farm Bill Committee. In her national leadership roles, Gable has been involved in strategic planning efforts, collaborating with colleagues to provide vision and future direction.

Wang named one of Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 

Zheng Wang

Zheng Wang, UC Cooperative Extension vegetable crops and irrigation advisor in Stanislaus County, has been recognized by Vegetable Grower News as one of Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40. 

The Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Awards honor 40 outstanding individuals under age 40 employed in the fruit and vegetable industry who demonstrate leadership qualities and propel the industry forward.

Wang, who joined UCCE in 2018, focuses his research and extension on innovative production practices to enhance vegetable productivity, water use efficiency and crop health through multidisciplinary collaborations with local producers and various industry and commodity organizations. Using vegetable grafting, precision irrigation tools and managing insects and diseases, he has generated measurable benefits for the vegetable industry.

In one of Wang's projects, growers reported that their successfully grafted watermelon plants produced 15% to 25% more watermelons than non-grafted fields per acre, while using 30% fewer plants and the same amount of water and fertilizers. 

The 40 young professionals represent the best in the industry, according to Vegetable Grower News. The Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 will be honored at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO in December in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and recognized in the October 2022 issues of Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News.

 

UC asks Congress to fund agricultural research and infrastructure

Jim Costa and Glenda Humiston met while Humiston was in Washington D.C. to testify before the House Committee on Agriculture for the 2022 Farm Bill review.

UC Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Glenda Humiston led a delegation from California to meet with congressional members and staff on March 6-11 to discuss specific benefits of UC ANR in their districts and the importance of strong federal funding to support programs, including Cooperative Extension, 4-H youth development, nutrition education, and the research and extension centers.

The California delegation was part of the Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET), which held their annual meeting and (virtually) visited Capitol Hill for the 40th year to jointly request agricultural appropriations that support the land-grant mission.

The UC delegation met with staff from 27 congressional offices via Zoom to discuss the many critical agriculture needs facing California and the nation. They explained how UC is at the forefront of conducting research to understand and solve problems facing the agricultural industry and encouraged Congress to provide the highest possible funding levels in FY 2022 and FY 2023.

“This year, our request included something new – $365 million for agricultural research infrastructure,” said Anne Megaro, UC ANR director of government and community relations. “We have been working with Congress to include significant infrastructure funding in President Biden's Build Back Better legislation, and we are continuing to make this request through annual appropriations.”

Bringing UC's facilities up to modern standards with necessities such as high-speed broadband would provide capacity for cutting-edge research such as precision agriculture, remote sensing and growing space for CRISPR-based research. It would also ensure that U.S. research can continue to meet the agricultural and natural resource needs of the nation.

Humiston was joined by emeritus UCCE advisor Bill Frost, rancher Dina Moore, nurseryman Mike Mellano, Ish Herrera of California Forward, and Alejandra Sanchez of Driscoll's who shared how UC ANR research and outreach have improved their businesses, lives and communities.

“Our local UCCE advisors have given so much to our communities up and down the state; this is just one way I like to give back in support of their efforts. Congress needs to know how valuable ag research and education is, and how much we trust and depend on UC,” said Herrera, California Forward director of regional stewardship.

Rounding out the group were several UC ANR leaders, including deans David Ackerly, Helene Dillard and Kathryn Uhrich.

Missy Gable, UC Master Gardener Program director; Ryan Tompkins, UCCE forestry and natural resources advisor for Plumas and Sierra counties; and Jairo Diaz, director of Desert Research and Extension Center shared examples of their work throughout the state to adapt to living with wildfire, climate change and drought, and to improve Californians' health and wellness.

“As an extension forester, wildfire not only drives our applied research, but also affects the communities we live in and serve,” said Tompkins. “CARET provides opportunities to share real-life experiences of how federal funding supports UC forest and wildfire research, outreach, and education that have meaningful benefit for communities throughout California.”

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 3:39 PM

Storm-water runoff study planned for ANR’s backyard

In addition to the storm-water runoff project, the 3031 Second St. site will add 92 full-sized, paved parking spaces and 40 parking spaces on gravel to the existing 96 spaces at 2801 Second St.

Construction of a new parking lot for the ANR building in Davis is providing an opportunity for UC ANR to demonstrate science at the site by integrating an ongoing water-quality research project.

The research project on the recently purchased 10 acres at 3031 Second St. was developed by Missy Gable, director of the Master Gardener Program; Loren Oki, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in environmental horticulture at UC Davis; Igor Lacan, UC Cooperative Extension urban forestry advisor for San Mateo County; and Marq Truscott, a retired landscape architect who lectures for the Landscape Architecture Program at UC Davis.

The researchers will evaluate the effect of parking surfaces paved with different materials and coupled to rain garden swales on storm water runoff quality and quantity, according to Jan Corlett, chief of staff to the vice president, who is overseeing the project.

The study area of the parking lot will have the swales and three different surface types – typical asphalt, a cellular confinement system and permeable pavers. The researchers will study how these features improve water quality by removing pollutants and reduce runoff volumes by improving soil infiltration. They will be able to collect samples of runoff water from the different paved surfaces.

In addition, all trees planted in the parking lot will have engineered substrates to demonstrate their long-term effect on tree health and condition.

The new lot will add 92 full-sized, paved parking spaces and 40 parking spaces on gravel to the existing 96 spaces at 2801 Second St.

In 2016, a team that did planning for the 3031 Second St. site envisioned a collaborative, systemwide showcase, supported by the following key goals:

  • Enhance the visibility of ANR's mission, research and educational programs that affect the lives of all Californians
  • Ensure an inclusive approach to design and programming that welcomes all members of the ANR community, as well as outside researchers and stakeholders
  • Support the core mission of ANR by ensuring the campus has a full suite of properly-sized and flexibly programmed facilities and spaces
  • Capitalize on the opportunity to tell ANR's story both to the University of California community and outside stakeholders
  • Promote community health and wellness in every aspect of site design and facility programming
  • Reflect the natural California landscape through appropriate site design and landscaping

“This project reflects many of those goals by demonstrating that everything ANR does, even building a parking lot, can include research and extension opportunities,” Corlett said. “The City of Davis is very supportive of this effort, and we expect that it will draw many visitors each year.”

The project broke ground Sept. 5 and is expected to be completed in November.

Posted on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 2:16 PM

PAC discusses strategic plan and urban agriculture

At the recent President’s Advisory Commission meeting, President Napolitano praised UC ANR’s work in “areas of critical importance.”

Downtown Oakland was the site of the biannual UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC) meeting on Aug. 9, which included a Q&A session with President Napolitano, program presentations from UC Cooperative Extension county directors Rob Bennaton and Igor Lacan, and updates from deans Helene Dillard (UC Davis), Keith Gilless (UC Berkeley) and Kathryn Uhrich (UC Riverside), as well as Executive Associate Dean John Pascoe (filling in for Dean Michael Lairmore, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine). 

In her opening remarks, UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston introduced Mark Bell, the division's new vice provost for statewide programs and strategic initiatives. Bell spoke about the strength of the UC system, the diversity of programs offered by UC ANR statewide, and his plans to leverage the strong volunteer and staff base of programs like UC Master Gardeners and 4-H.

Humiston also offered updates on the division's strategic plan and the significant progress made in implementing its key goals. Associate Vice President Tu Tran then gave a presentation on the division's financial situation, which he titled “A Fiscal Plan for Success.” Tran addressed UC ANR's place in the state budget and its revenue projections through FY 2021-22, which includes significant growth in major gifts and fundraising.

Jerry Lohr, right, congratulated fellow PAC member Grant Davis on his new position as director of the state Department of Water Resources.

Bennaton and Lacan both gave spirited and enthusiastic presentations that were received well. Bennaton, who serves as county director for Alameda and Contra Costa counties as well as UCCE urban agriculture advisor for the Bay Area, discussed the benefits of urban agriculture and the assortment of activities going on in community development, habitat restoration and youth programming.

Lacan, also a UCCE environmental horticulture advisor for the Bay Area and co-director in San Mateo and San Francisco counties, talked about the diverse and richly rewarding work he spearheads in urban forestry. His work currently focuses on sustainable management of urban trees and urban water.

Following lunch, UC President Napolitano offered glowing remarks about UC ANR's contributions and the long-term strategy reflected in the division's new strategic plan. She said she was particularly impressed by ANR's recent work in water, childhood obesity, nutrition education, and Asian citrus psyllid, calling them “areas of critical importance.” She also praised Humiston's leadership in the area of tech innovation and partnerships.

During a Q&A period, the president engaged PAC members on various issues such as potential public-private partnerships that could involve UC ANR, targeted approaches to advocacy and deferred maintenance needs for UC writ large but also for UC ANR and its research and extension centers system, specifically.

The deans gave updates on research and activities occurring at their respective colleges and school.

The next PAC meeting is scheduled for December, also in Oakland. 

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 5:06 PM
  • Author: Mike Janes

Travel funds available for UCCE specialists, AES faculty to collaborate with off-campus ANR academics

ANR will be making additional travel support available for UC Cooperative Extension specialists to collaborate with ANR academics off-campus, including UCCE advisors in the counties and ANR academics at the RECs in fiscal year 2017/18.

With the level of funds available, each specialist may apply for up to $2,500 for FY 2017/18 (travel reports must be submitted within 45 days of travel, and funds must be expended by June 30, 2018). These travel funds must be utilized by the UCCE specialists only and cannot be used for out-of-state travel.

UC ANR values the work of AES faculty across the three partner campuses. As the recognized lead for the California Agriculture Experiment Station, UC ANR receives federal Hatch funds to support the AES mission and distributes those funds to the three partner campuses to manage and support AES faculty. In recognition of the importance of the partnership between UC ANR academics and AES faculty, UC ANR is expanding the travel support program to include AES faculty as part of a pilot program. Upon completion of a request, UC ANR will support travel by AES faculty to meet and work with UC ANR county-based or REC-based academics. Support is limited to $1,000 per AES faculty member with a cap on the total pool of funds available set at $25,000 for FY17-18. Additional support may be available through the campuses; AES faculty should consult their departments or colleges to determine if additional support is available. Travel support must be used by the AES faculty member for his/her own travel to plan and execute research or present research findings at meetings hosted by UC ANR academics.

Completing a short online survey is the only step to apply for these funds.

A brief survey form is accessible from your ANR Portal. The direct link is http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=18400. The survey asks 

•        Name and title of specialist requesting support

•        Project/Program name

•        Brief project description (one paragraph)

•        Collaborating advisors

There is no deadline for applications for these travel funds, but they must be expended in the fiscal year 2017/18.

 

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 4:35 PM

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