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Posts Tagged: President’s Advisory Commission

PAC discusses rural-urban interface

The UC President's Advisory Commission (PAC) met via Zoom on March 22.

Vice President Humiston provided updates on COVID-19 operations, the UC ANR budget, recently completed strategic plans for the division and the research and extension center system, and the status of land sales in Davis, at Hansen REC and at South Coast REC.

PAC members had a lively discussion on ways to effectively capture input from the full commission on both emerging issues and longer-term topics of interest. VP Humiston suggested that UC ANR could host monthly “special topics meetings” to be led by each of our statewide program and initiative leaders so that the PAC may communicate directly with UC ANR personnel regarding needed research, programs and opportunities. This new initiative is scheduled to launch by early May with the first topic being integrated pest management.

In the afternoon, President Drake joined the group for presentations and discussion on the rural-urban interface.

Darren Haver, assistant vice provost and director of South Coast REC and Orange County UCCE, kicked-off this section of the agenda with a presentation outlining the concept for a new UC ANR “Hub for Urban Living.” The vision is to establish a network of researchers from multiple institutions, government and community agencies, and the private sector who are interested in engaging in a physical and virtual, interdisciplinary space that connects the power of research to address short and long-term issues impacting the sustainability of urban life.  A systemwide hub design workshop is scheduled for May 18 to further develop the concept.

Three PAC members also presented on related topics.  Paula Daniels, co-founder and chair of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, talked about regional food systems; Connie Stewart, executive director of initiatives at Humboldt State University, gave a presentation on UC-CSU partnerships; and Lucas Frerichs, associate director of state policy at The Nature Conservancy, talked about private-public research partnerships.

Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 8:18 PM
  • Author: Kathy Eftekhari
  • Author: Linda Forbes

PAC discusses forest management

President Drake, top left, listens to Kathryn Uhrich, outlined in yellow, deliver an overview of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

The UC President's Advisory Commission met Dec. 14 via Zoom as coronavirus precautions continued to discourage travel.

“It's the beginning of a new phase,” said President Drake, announcing that the first coronavirus vaccines would be arriving at UC medical centers the next day. Acknowledging that the pandemic has created challenges for everyone, Drake urged everyone to protect themselves as they continue to perform critically important activities for Californians.

In her update on UC ANR activities, VP Glenda Humiston announced that she and AVP Wendy Powers have accepted leadership roles in the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU). Humiston is chair of the Budget and Legislative Committee for the Experiment Station Council on Policy (ESCOP) and Powers is chair-elect of the Extension Council on Policy (ECOP).

Humiston also briefed PAC members on the 2020 California Economic Summit that was held online Dec. 3-4. The statewide conference focused on improving economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, and social equity. Humiston spoke about the benefits to California of investing in wildfire reduction and forest restoration work.

Dan Sanchez, UC Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley, gave PAC members a presentation on how UC ANR and partners collaborate to advance forest health, reduce fire risk and develop jobs and economic growth with high-value products from biomass.

During a report from the ANR Governing Council, UC Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox, who is chair of the council, encouraged more collaboration between UC ANR and campuses. He suggested climate change as a subject for connecting UC ANR and campus expertise.

Humiston noted that she and Powers recently gave a presentation about UC ANR to UC vice chancellors of research, who expressed interest in working with UC ANR and Powers has been meeting with them regularly.

Continuing with the natural resources theme, Ish Herrera, California Forward director of regional stewardship, gave a presentation on wood products and Eric Holst, Environmental Defense Fund associate vice president for working lands, gave presentations on forest management. Both see roles for UC ANR.

Herrera suggested UC could use wood products in building projects to create more of a market for trees removed to thin forests.

Fire management in forest ecosystems is one of more pressing issues in the state and ANR's interdisciplinary expertise makes it the “right organization, right time,” Holst said.

Deans gave reports on the School of Veterinary Medicine and the three Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) colleges affiliated with UC ANR.

In wrapping up the meeting, Drake lauded the group for “big thinking” and “broad thinking” to lift up society.

The PAC will meet again on March 22 via Zoom.

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 7:46 PM

President Drake meets the PAC

 

UC President Michael Drake (in yellow-outlined square) attended his first meeting with the PAC on Sept. 30.

UC President Michael Drake attended his first meeting with the President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources (PAC) on Sept. 30. Vice President Humiston, PAC Chair Jean-Mari Peltier and PAC members welcomed the ophthalmologist and former UC Irvine chancellor Drake home to UC and shared their excitement about the future of UC under his leadership.

After a series of presentations to provide Drake with perspectives on California agricultural and environmental issues and the role of UC ANR, he graciously stayed overtime to address members' questions and comments. Participants learned more about his background and his commitment to the university's role in addressing key agricultural, environmental, health and safety, and social justice issues. From his love of farm visits to his interest in carbon sequestration, it was clear that his leadership will bring exciting things to UC ANR.

California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross gave a presentation on California agriculture and CDFA's critical and valued partnership with UC ANR.

Six PAC members shared their experiences with UC ANR engagement in issues they face in the field: 

  • Mike Mellano, chairman of the Board and VP of Farming, Mellano & Company, discussed his third-generation family farm's reliance on UC Cooperative Extension partnership and agricultural research.
  • Ashley Boren, chief executive officer of Sustainable Conservation, shared insights about the importance of UC ANR's work in natural resource conservation.
  • Rancher Dina Moore of Lone Star Ranch focused on UC ANR's vital role in working with ranchers on livestock and timber management.
  • Lon Hatamiya, president and CEO of The Hatamiya Group, shared insights on UC ANR's role in agricultural technology innovation.
  • Celeste Cantu, vice chair of the San Diego Water Quality Control Board, discussed the important role of UC ANR and UC Master Gardener volunteers in addressing urban issues.
  • Grant Davis, general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, covered UC ANR's contributions to and valued partnership in water resources management.

UC Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox provided an overview of the UC ANR Governing Council and the division's partnerships with campuses.

Deans David Ackerly (UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources), Helene Dillard (UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) and Michael Lairmore (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine) shared updates on current news, issues and challenges on their campuses.

To watch the recording of the PAC meeting, visit https://youtu.be/ED5lbF61F_g

Agenda
10:00-10:10: Welcome
10:10-10:30: California Agriculture and CDFA's Partnership with UC ANR – Karen Ross
10:30-11:00: UC ANR Engagement with Issues in the Field
            -Farming and Ag Research – Mike Mellano
            -Natural Resource Conservation – Ashley Boren
            -Livestock and Timber – Dina Moore
            -Innovation and Ag Tech – Lon Hatamiya
            -Urban Issues and Volunteers – Celeste Cantu
            -Water and Local Agencies – Grant Davis
11:00-11:05: UC ANR Governing Council and Partnering with Local Campuses – Kim Wilcox
11:05-11:45: Discussion
11:45-12:00: Campus Updates from AES Deans

Posted on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:42 PM
  • Author: Linda Forbes

PAC meets virtually, thanks President Napolitano for her service

President Napolitano met with the PAC via Zoom to thank the members for time and advice during her seven years as UC president. She plans to step down from the office Aug. 1.

The President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources met via Zoom April 9 as everyone was sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic. Jean-Mari Peltier, PAC chair, welcomed the PAC members for their last meeting with President Janet Napolitano. Last September, Napolitano announced that she will step down as UC's leader Aug. 1.

President Napolitano commended ANR for its flexibility in response to the COVID-19 crisis. ANR is “the University of California for large parts of the state and we're proud that you are,” she told VP Glenda Humiston, adding that ANR is performing well under her leadership.

Napolitano thanked the PAC members for contributing their time and advice during her seven years at the UC helm, calling ANR “essential to UC identity as land grant university.” The commissioners thanked the president for her support for ANR. In response to questions about building support for ANR with her successor, Napolitano recommended taking the new president out of Oakland for site visits to learn about ANR. She described her visits to Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Humboldt County and other ANR sites as “eye opening.”

In her update about ANR, Humiston reported that despite the coronavirus pandemic's disruption to public gatherings, all ANR programs are still serving communities. “I'm really impressed with the innovative ways they are finding to deliver outreach,” she said, adding that advisors are adapting, for example, doing ranch visits via phone. Humiston also described the UC ANR Governing Council's tour of the South Coast Research and Extension Center in February to see how ANR engages urban Californians. She noted that a regents tour of South Coast REC planned for April 23 has been postponed until after the pandemic passes.

Karen Ross, secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture, joined the group to discuss how CDFA is responding to food system disruption resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. “I am optimistic about agriculture; we are so innovative and resilient,” Ross said, adding that she is concerned about funding for UC ANR and UCCE. She recommended seizing the moment while consumers are thinking about the food system to educate people about UC ANR's role.

Building on their December meeting, the PAC members continued their discussion of the future of the commission. They discussed recommendations to ensure the success and sustainability of ANR as well as the PAC. 

They recommended the role of PAC members include

  • Communication & advocacy
  • Engaging as a strategic tool for problem solving
  • Being a connector to industry leaders
  • Supporting fund development
  • Advising on strategy and mission priorities

To make their membership meaningful, the commissioners said they would like

  • Greater active involvement
  • Knowing they add value
  • Feeling connected with ANR and other PAC members
  • Sharing critical information

Although the PAC usually meets twice a year – in the spring and fall – the PAC agreed to meet again via videoconference in May or June to discuss and approve the new PAC charter.

 

Posted on Friday, May 1, 2020 at 1:36 PM

Names in the News

Soule named assistant vice provost for CE

Katherine Soule

Katherine Soule will serve as ANR's new Assistant Vice Provost for Cooperative Extension. She will start her new duties on July 1, 2020, and continue to serve as UCCE director for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and as UCCE youth, families and communities advisor. The role was previously held by Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty until she assumed the role of Statewide 4-H Youth Development Program director.

“We are excited to have Katherine on the Cooperative Extension administrative team! She brings a breadth of Cooperative Extension experiences and leadership skills,” said Mark Lagrimini, vice provost for research and extension. “Katherine is known for her innovative, collaborative, and strengths-based leadership. She cares deeply about improving lives and working environments for her unit, her community and ANR.”

Soule earned her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, Athens in 2013 and became the UCCE youth, families and communities advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. In 2017, she accepted an additional appointment as UCCE director for these counties. She was elected as UC ANR's Academic Assembly Council president for a two-year term ending in June 2020.

"As the assistant vice provost of Cooperative Extension, I look forward to supporting the development and successes of new and existing county directors,” Soule said. “I hope to promote collaborative, cross-county communication, while focusing on identifying and meeting the needs of county directors across the division. We are all most effective when we learn from and support one another, so I look forward to connecting with academics, county directors, ANR leadership and other UC ANR personnel in this new role."

Choe, Dara and IPM team honored by Pacific Branch of ESA

Dong-Hwan Choe
UC ANR scientists Dong-Hwan Choe, Surendra Dara, David Haviland and Jhalendra Rijal received awards for their exemplary work from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America. The PBESA presented its annual awards on April 20, at a virtual ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Choe, UCCE specialist in the UC Riverside Department of Entomology, won the Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Award.

“Since joining the faculty at UC Riverside in 2011, [Choe] has developed an outstanding research and extension program dealing with the major urban structural pests and related issues in the western United States,” wrote Mike Rust, UC Riverside entomology professor, in his nomination letter.

His research includes exploiting the role of semiochemicals and behavior to control social insects and developing novel ant baits.

“Dr. Choe has been at the forefront of developing hydrogels as carriers of baits to control ants and yellowjackets. Developing cost-effective and environmentally safe delivery strategies has always been a major problem facing the use of ant baits in agriculture and urban setting. His pioneering biodegradable alginate beads promise to be a major advancement,” Rust wrote.

Surendra Dara
Choe also participates in workshops for agricultural pest control advisers, UC Master Gardeners and urban pest control operators.

Dara, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and biologicals advisor for San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, won the Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management.

This annual award recognizes individuals who made outstanding contributions in research and outreach in the area of IPM. Dara's new IPM model has been well-received and its impact has been documented in a UC Delivers story. Dara is the first UC ANR scientist to receive this award and fourth from UC since the Pacific Branch began offering awards in this category in 2009.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team won the Entomology Team Work Award. The team consists of UC IPM advisors David Haviland and Jhalendra Rijal, former UCCE advisor Emily Symmes, UCCE Kern County staff research associate Stephanie Rill, industry researcher Bradly Higbee of Trécé, USDA scientist Charles Burkes and Bob Curtis of the Almond Board of California.

The team encouraged the adoption of mating disruption for managing navel orangeworm, a major pest in almond orchards, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. After they began demonstrating that mating disruption proved to be an economical pest control method in orchards, they saw a rapid rise in growers adopting the technology. Based on a survey of pest control advisers and growers conducted in the early 2019, the anticipated use of navel orangeworm mating disruption for the 2019 season in San Joaquin Valley was 32%, as opposed to the 7% adoption in 2017. Kern County data showed a 26% countywide increase in the adoption of mating disruption from 2017-2018.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team. From left, DPR Director Val Dolcini, Brad Higbee, Chuck Burkes, Jhalendra Rijal, David Haviland, UCCE staff research assistant Stephanie Rill, and the Almond Board’s Jesse Rosemond, Bob Curtis, Rebecca Bailey and Jenny Nicolau.

For more than a decade, the team conducted research on navel orangeworm, spider mites, leaffooted bug and ants that laid the groundwork for IPM adoption. For the past three years, the team put these IPM practices on display using nine demonstration orchards across the San Joaquin Valley as part of CDPR Pest Management Alliance and Almond Board of California grants.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team received an award in February from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Environmental Protection Agency

Three UC Davis faculty members were also selected for prestigious awards: Lynn Kimsey, Walter Leal and Robert Kimsey.

The Pacific Branch covers provinces/states in Canada, U.S. and Mexico on the Pacific Coast. 

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 12:47 PM

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