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Posts Tagged: Research and Extension Centers

Take a virtual tour of the 9 RECs

UC ANR operates nine Research and Extension Centers (RECs), each location representing a unique climatic zone of the state. Extending from the Oregon border in the north, through the Sierra Foothills and Central Valley, along the Pacific Coast and south to the Mexico border, the REC System covers rich and unique resources connecting research and extension activities to regional challenges and issues. Now you can tour all of them without leaving your desk.

A virtual tour of UC ANR's nine research and extension centers is posted online at https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/3eac885337854895bd7039d7d4a131f1.

“The new REC tour was made to showcase a taste of the research and extension that goes on within the UC ANR REC System,” said Kathy Eftekhari, chief of staff to the vice president. “It was developed for general distribution to possible new partners across UC, CSUs, other research and Extension institutions across the country, private industry, state and local agencies, etc. 

Employees are encouraged to view the tour and share it with interested stakeholders.

“Many people even within ANR are not fully aware of what goes on at each REC,” Eftekhari said.

 

Posted on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 4:16 PM

Research costs for RECs established

Following up on previous messages, the Rate and Recharge Committee and Associate Vice President Tu Tran have approved the full-costed rates for each of the nine Research and Extension Centers (RECs). This represents a major accomplishment given the change this year to a ‘line of service' approach to establishing research costs at each REC. The staff and director at each REC are to be commended for their effort, along with Deb Driskill, Han Pham and Jennifer Bungee.

Each REC director now has information regarding the amount of funds they have available for FY18-19 to fund down projects. The REC directors are working with Deb Driskill and the appropriate REC business officer to determine the researcher cost for each line of service. Full cost rates will be posted for each REC. Project investigators who have requested to conduct projects at a REC will be notified of the researcher cost for their project. It is intended that this information is available and shared by each REC director in the next couple of weeks.

We appreciate your patience while each REC works through this process. The overarching goal is to support research to the greatest extent possible with funds available. Furthermore, it remains the goal to be able to provide researchers who are applying for multi-year grants, the cost for the duration of the grant submission. This represents a change from past practice and one of the primary goals of the transition to a new way of costing research.

Sincerely,

Glenda Humiston, vice president

Wendy Powers, associate vice president

Tu Tran, associate vice president, Business Operations

Jeff Dahlberg, director, Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Jairo Diaz, director, Desert Research and Extension Center

Jose Fernandez De Soto, director, Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Beth Grafton-Cardwell, director, Lindcove Research and Extension Center

Darren Haver, director, South Coast Research and Extension Center

Bob Hutmacher, director, West Side Research and Extension Center

Jeremy James, director, Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center

Kim Rodrigues, director, Hopland Research and Extension Center

Rob Wilson, director, Intermountain Research and Extension Center

Posted on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 10:30 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Innovation

RECs develop new funding model

The Research and Extension Center (REC) System is a key component of UC ANR (Cooperative Extension + Agricultural Experiment Station + Research and Extension Centers + Statewide Programs). Each of the nine RECs is unique and offers a wide array of opportunities to research and extension personnel within the University of California, and to our external partners. UC ANR will continue to deploy funds to support research projects. However, these funds do not go as far because salaries, benefits, and infrastructure expenditures continue to rise, while state and federal support for the Land Grant systems declines or remains flat.

To address these budgetary issues, cost increases must be offset by increasing the proportion of research costs covered by research projects. We project that approximately 25 percent of today's central funding will need to be redirected to cover increases in personnel salaries and benefits, deferred maintenance, strategic investments to ensure long-term operation of the REC system for generations to come, and increases in operating expenditures that are not included in research expenses. Increased expenses will be covered over time through a combination of fund development, increased revenue generated through increased programming and services, increased efficiency of business operations, and a reduction in the current level of research funding by UC ANR which, at present, averages approximately 80 percent across all REC supported projects.

For over a year now, we have been working to secure a bright future for the REC system by looking at the research that is conducted at each REC and considering how we do business now and in the future. In addition to the current work and programming that occurs at each REC every day, there is incredible untapped potential for new research and programs. Improved understanding of the cost to conduct research has been a key part of the review process undertaken at each of the centers over the past year. A deep dive into the accounting and cost structure has occurred at each facility; identifying the lines of service at the facility and the costs to provide those services. The FY 2018-19 cost structures for each center have been submitted to the UC ANR Rate and Recharge Committee for review this past week. Following review, the REC system will receive feedback and recommendations for changes to be made prior to rate approval.

We aim to have the full cost structures approved by late April 2018. Concurrent with the effort to identify costs for each line of service is work by each REC director to identify the level of funding that will be available in their individual budgets to reduce those costs to support research projects at each facility. We anticipate these rates will be available in late April for projects conducted in FY 2018-19 and with estimates for FY 2019-20 available at the same time.

Continuing a long tradition of supporting impactful research at each REC to solve agricultural and natural resource issues remains our highest priority. Ramp up of fund development efforts and identification of new or additional income opportunities at each REC will take time as will the ability for these strategies to offset research costs. In the meantime, the REC directors have identified that providing extra financial support to UC academics who have been in their jobs six years or less is critical to the success of new and early-career UC academics. To the extent that UC ANR funding permits, extra financial support may also be provided to support exploratory or high risk/high reward projects, projects that extend critical, under-funded, long-term research, and projects conducted by PIs who are first time users of the REC.

While the current budgeting efforts come with uncertainty and discomfort in the short-term, change is needed to secure long-term success. The leaders of each REC and UC ANR senior leaders are committed to transparency of research costs, exemplary customer service and investment into facilities and infrastructure that further our ability for sustained growth of the REC System.

Sincerely,

Glenda Humiston, vice president

Wendy Powers, associate vice president

Tu Tran, associate vice president, Business Operations

Jeff Dahlberg, director, Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Jairo Diaz, director, Desert Research and Extension Center

Jose Fernandez De Soto, director, Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Beth Grafton-Cardwell, director, Lindcove Research and Extension Center

Darren Haver, director, South Coast Research and Extension Center

Bob Hutmacher, director, West Side Research and Extension Center

Jeremy James, director, Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center

Kim Rodrigues, director, Hopland Research and Extension Center

Rob Wilson, director, Intermountain Research and Extension Center

 

View or leave comments for ANR Leadership at http://ucanr.edu/sites/ANRUpdate/Comments.

This announcement is also posted and archived on the ANR Update pages.

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 11:45 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

UC Merced chancellor, 4-H’er and VP discuss community outreach with regents

From left, UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland and 4-H member Melina Granados joined VP Humiston to discuss UC ANR impacts with UC regents.

UC VP Glenda Humiston, 4-H member Melina Granados of Riverside County and UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland gave the UC regents a presentation about UC ANR's community outreach and impact. The Public Engagement & Development Committee meeting was held at the UCSF–Mission Bay Conference Center on Jan. 24, 2018, in San Francisco.

Opening the discussion, Humiston gave an overview of ANR, explaining that for 150 years ANR has been bringing the power of UC directly to the people in all California counties. Melina, who was born in Mexico, talked about her role as president of the Eastside Eagles 4-H club and what she has learned. Leland described joint projects between UC Merced and ANR in climate adaptation, nutrition and drone technology research.

Watch the 25-minute recording of the UC ANR presentation to the regents below, or visit https://youtu.be/ptFS8HwlsjE.

Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 12:37 AM
Focus Area Tags: Economic Development, Environment, Family

AI can help growers more precisely manage their fields, Humiston tells Little Hoover Commission

Glenda Humiston gave testimony on the impacts of artificial intelligence in the agricultural sector to the Little Hoover Commission in Sacramento on Jan. 25.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, can improve precision agriculture by using sensed environmental data to “learn” and continually adapt, VP Glenda Humiston told the Little Hoover Commission at a hearing in Sacramento on Jan. 25.

The Little Hoover Commission is reviewing the impacts of artificial intelligence. While there is no singular definition, artificial intelligence encompasses a broad range of technologies that seek to approximate some aspect of human intelligence or behavior.  

Throughout its study, the commission will consider the potential policy role of California state government in areas such as regulation, workforce development and retraining.

Humiston was asked to give a statement on the impacts of artificial intelligence in the agricultural sector.

“California's working landscapes face some critical challenges; among those are drought, climate change, air quality, soil health, pests, pathogens and invasive species,” she said. “Additionally, rural/urban conflicts and urban sprawl continue to reduce available farm land and make viability of food production more difficult.

“Of importance to today's hearing, California's labor-intensive crops are facing increasing difficulty accessing necessary labor – both skilled and unskilled. This situation has led growers and universities to seek solutions through mechanization, automation and other new technologies.”

She sees opportunities in precision agriculture for growers and ranchers to more precisely manage their operations by using site- and crop-specific data gathered by new technologies.

“Artificial intelligence improves this further by using the sensed environmental data to ‘learn' and continually adapt to ever-changing conditions as it receives data that strengthens the computer's ‘intelligence,'” she said.

Humiston also outlined some of the challenges to harnessing the power of AI for agriculture.

“Artificial intelligence is extremely difficult in agriculture because of the huge amount of variability in environmental conditions across a single field,” she said. “This requires many sensors, complex algorithms, and large real-time data processing – all integrated and working together to inform decisions and actions.”

In a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, the vast majority of the 1,896 experts anticipated that robotics and artificial intelligence will “permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025.” The commission's artificial intelligence project will investigate the shape and speed of these changes in California and in society.

Through its public process, the commission intends to study the key challenges of artificial intelligence in California, its economic implications and how it can be used to solve societal ills. The commission will review issues such as justice, equity, safety and privacy. The project will consider recent studies on workforce impacts, which could include both job creation and job displacement. Possible mitigations and worker protections will be discussed as will examples of efforts to plan and prepare for innovations and labor transformations. 

To read Humiston's full testimony to the Little Hoover Commission, visit http://www.lhc.ca.gov/sites/lhc.ca.gov/files/CurrentStudies/ArtificialIntelligence/WrittenTestimony/HumistonJan2018.pdf.

 

Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 12:20 AM
Focus Area Tags: Innovation

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