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Barman named UCCE IPM advisor in Imperial County

Apurba Barman

Apurba Barman joined UC Cooperative Extension as low desert integrated pest management advisor on Jan. 11, 2021. He will be headquartered at the UCCE Imperial County office, which adjoins the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville.

"I am very excited for my new role as an IPM advisor based in Southern California and for the opportunity to serve one of the most important vegetable production regions in the state,” Barman said. “The diversity and intensity of crop production in this region demand targeted research to solve pest management issues and effective extension programs to reach diverse clientele. I feel prepared for this job with my experience and passion to serve the community.”

Barman earned a bachelor's degree at Assam Agricultural University in India, and master's degrees in Indiana and at Texas Tech University, Lubbock. In 2011, he completed a doctorate degree at Texas A&M University in College Station, where he developed a research program to understand the extent of damage and management of thrips in the Texas High Plains region.

Barman comes to UC Cooperative Extension from the University of Georgia, where he led a whitefly monitoring and management progress across cropping systems in the southern region the state.

Barman can be reached at (209) 285-9810 and akbarman@ucanr.edu. His Twitter handle is @Ento_Barman.

Tian joins UCCE as viticulture advisor in Kern County

Tian Tian

Tian Tian has been named the UC Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor in Kern County, beginning Jan. 4, 2021. Tian previously served as a graduate research assistant at Oregon State University in Corvallis, where she conducted experiments and statistical analyses of data sets while completing her doctoral degree.

“I feel very excited to join UC Cooperative Extension and be part of this collaborative group,” Tian said. “I look forward to working with local growers and industry to improve management practices in the vineyard and increase the profit margin of table grape production.”

Tian earned a master's degree at California State University, Fresno, and a bachelor's degree at Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, China, both in viticulture and enology. For several years she worked in industry, including an internship at E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto and as the assistant vineyard manager at Berryessa Gap Vineyard in Winters.

Tian's doctoral research focused on development of better guidelines for vineyard nitrogen management for growers in the Willamette Valley. She and the research team evaluated the influences of vineyard nitrogen on vine productivity, fruit composition and wine characteristics in chardonnay and pinot noir.

Tian can be reached at titian@ucanr.edu. Her Twitter handle is @TianUcce.

Garay named social media strategist

Doralicia Garay

Dora Garay joined UC ANR as a social media strategist on Jan. 19. She brings over 15 years of communications experience, most recently serving as the digital marketing specialist at Everett Community College in Washington, where she managed more than 20 college-wide social media accounts and conducted innovative marketing campaigns in both English and Spanish.

Garay has a track record of engaging and empowering communities through her effective communications strategies and social media expertise. Along with more than a decade of working with digital media, her experience includes producing news and education segments for Univision, a top-rated television network.

Garay earned a bachelor of arts in political science at UC Berkeley and a Master of Communication in Digital Media at University of Washington.

She will be based in the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at dgaray@ucanr.edu and (510) 630-5622. Her Twitter handle is @DoraliciaGaray.

Flavell remains interim director of Sierra Foothill REC

Dustin Flavell

An internal search to fill the director position at Sierra Foothills REC was conducted during November-December 2020. Unfortunately, no applications were received. UCANR leadership and UC Livestock & Natural Resources academics are exploring options to provide sustained leadership for SFREC.

In the meantime, SFREC superintendent Dustin Flavell will continue to oversee the center. Flavell has served as interim director since September, when Jeremy James left UC ANR to become department chair of Natural Resources at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

DOE honors Sanchez for carbon removal research

Dan Sanchez

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) granted a Secretary of Energy Achievement Award to a team including UC assistant Cooperative Extension specialist Daniel Sanchez and Ph.D. candidate Bodie Cabiyo in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley.

Sanchez and Cabiyo's team "Getting to Neutral Carbon Emissions" was selected for their outstanding service and research contributions, both to the agency's mission and the benefit of the nation, in greenhouse gas emissions reduction scholarship.  

The team's final report, titled “Getting to Neutral: Options for Negative Carbon Emissions in California,” provides a comprehensive study of technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It offers frameworks for developing public policy and legislative action based on scientific data to help California achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 or sooner. Sanchez and Cabiyo contributed research to help estimate the amount of forest biomass that can be used in negative emission pathways, as a result of managing 1 million acres of forest each year. They used economically driven models to identify the most cost-efficient forest management strategies for the team's Forest Carbon Plan goals. 

The award is one of the highest internal, non-monetary recognitions that DOE employees and contractors can receive. 

Mitchell receives No-Till Innovator Research & Education award

Jeff Mitchell, right, and Esther Mosase, UCCE climate-smart educator, demonstrate soil health at a 2019 field day.

Jeffrey Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, received the No-Till Innovator Research & Education award for his commitment to the advancement of no-till farming systems.

Mitchell, who is based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, has been a pioneer in design, research, knowledge generation and extension in conservation cropping systems in California. With his dedication, these conservation cropping systems are now beginning to be gradually adopted in the state and are receiving much attention from growers, extension, industry, educational institutions, state and federal government agencies, and non-governmental agencies, says Anil Shrestha, chair of the department of Viticulture and Enology at Fresno State University.

Initially, Mitchell established the UC Conservation Tillage Workgroup that was primarily focused on no-till systems. Later, he expanded the workgroup and established the Conservation Agriculture Systems Initiative (CASI) group with a broader conservation systems approach. CASI won the No-Till Innovator Award in 2018. 

Mitchell expanded his work to vegetable crops and is among the first in the U.S. to work on these systems combined with precision irrigation technology. Mitchell organizes the CASI Workgroup Field Days and Demonstrations at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center. 

An important part of Mitchell's research and education efforts has emphasized evaluations of the impacts and tradeoffs that reduced disturbance tillage and cover cropping have on soil and cropping system function. 

Based on a long-term study dating to 1999, Mitchell worked with a team that documented that no-till and cover crop practices in sorghum, cotton, corn, wheat and tomato could not only maintain productivity, but also greatly impact a number of important soil quality indicators — including higher soil carbon and nitrogen, aggregation and infiltration. This work has documented that significant positive changes have occurred even in the arid, irrigated soils in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Wang honored for olive research

Selina Wang evaluates oil quality.

Selina Wang, research director at the UC Davis Olive Center and UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology, recently received the Olive Wellness Institute's inaugural award for achievement in olive science research.

Wang joined the Olive Center as a postdoctoral researcher in 2010 and became research director in 2011, leading the center's research efforts in olive oil quality, authenticity and standardization. She took on her Cooperative Extension duties in 2018. “I still do the work I've been doing with olives and olive oil, but now I cover all the crops that are important for California,” she said.

Research from the Olive Center contributed to the scientific basis for the establishment of California grade and labeling standards for olive oil, refined-olive oil and olive-pomace oil. Under the standards, producers of greater than 5,000 gallons per year must test every lot of oil for quality, thereby instilling confidence in consumers.

Wang said she looks forward to continued research on maximizing quality, health benefits, yield and sustainability — in the field and in processing. “We've made a tremendous amount of progress in the past decade, and there's more work to be done, especially in response to climate change,” she said. “I will continue extension with the growers and processors and education with the students at UC Davis who are the future leaders.”

Dan Flynn, the recently retired Olive Center director, nominated Wang for the award. “Dr. Wang stands among the very best people I have worked with,” he said. “Her independent and significant research achievement, skill at attracting financial backing and resources, ability to inspire students, robust work ethic, dedication to the public interest and exceptional interpersonal skills place her among the noteworthy olive scientists globally.” – UC Davis News and Media Relations 

Khan elected to national hydrologic science board

Safeeq Khan

Safeeq Khan, assistant UC Cooperative Extension specialist for water and watershed sciences based at UC Merced, has been elected to the board of directors for the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI).

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, CUAHSI is a non-profit organization with a mission to serve the interdisciplinary water science community in promoting and expanding formal and informal educational opportunities.

Gosliner to serve on Farm to School Working Group subcommittee

Wendi Gosliner
Wendi Gosliner, project scientist at the Nutrition Policy Institute, has been invited to work on a California Department of Food and Agriculture subcommittee of the California Farm to School Working Group by CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

Gosliner was recommended to participate in the Health Systems Data subcommittee because of her experience in measuring impact for food systems projects.

As a subcommittee member, Gosliner will help create a unified vision for the future of farm to school in California. The group will meet January 2021 through October 2021, culminating in the publishing of a “Roadmap to Success” for California's farm to school movement.

“Our state leaders recognize the need to transform our food system into one that is climate-smart, equitable, resilient, reflective of all of California's diverse cultures, and accessible to all,” said Ross and Siebel Newsom. “We know school nutrition is a key element of this transformation, and a recent $10m budget allocation from Governor Newsom shows the state is making a serious effort to expand its impact.”

Names in the News

ACWA honors PCWA and French Meadows Forest Restoration Project team

Safeeq Khan at French Meadows Forest.

The Association of California Water Agencies has selected the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) French Meadows Forest Restoration Project for the 2020 Clair A. Hill Agency Award for Excellence. The award recognizes exemplary programs developed by ACWA members that creatively address water industry issues and show commitment to water use efficiency and conservation, leadership in broad water-related issues, and excellence in agency management and operations. 

The French Meadows Project is a collaborative partnership that aims to accelerate ecologically based forest management to reduce wildfire risk and promote healthier, more resilient source waters. Safeeq Khan, assistant UCCE specialist in water and watershed sciences at UC Merced's Sierra Nevada Research Institute, is part of the project team that includes members from the Placer County Water Agency, U.S. Forest Service, Tahoe National Forest, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Placer County, American River Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy.

As a part of this effort, Khan is evaluating forest management impacts on hydrology (e.g. snow accumulation and melt, soil moisture, streamflow and evapotranspiration) and forest health (e.g. tree growth and mortality) in the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the American River.

“The overall aim is to measure and assess the effects of restoration treatments on downstream water supplies, and drought resiliency in source-water watersheds,” Khan said. “My research team is working on installing and measuring water- and energy-balance in the project area and has acquired digital imagery for the site that provides baseline before-and-after data for analysis and scaling.

The results will inform land managers locally and across the region of the multi-year impacts of landscape-scale vegetation treatments and stimulate further participation in both restoration and long-term management.”

The award was presented to PCWA during ACWA's 2020 Virtual Summer Conference. As a part of this award, PCWA will have the honor of awarding a $5,000 scholarship to a deserving student in the name of Clair A. Hill. 

Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 2:57 PM

Survey: How should wildlands in California be managed for climate change mitigation and adaptation?

Safeeq Khan (shown), Tapan Pathak and Toby O’Geen are conducting a need assessment survey about land management and ecosystem climate solutions.

Do you have an opinion on how California wildlands are managed? UC Cooperative Extension specialists Safeeq Khan, Tapan Pathak and Toby O'Geen are conducting a need assessment survey about land management and ecosystem climate solutions.

Khan, Pathak and O'Geen are part of the Innovation Center for Ecosystem Climate Solutions (CECS), a state-funded collaboration between eight California research institutions, including UC ANR, working to develop innovative solutions to managing California's wildlands to reduce negative impacts of drought and climate change. Their goal is to identify land management practices that simultaneously enhance carbon sequestration, reduce wildfire severity, protect watersheds, and increase ecological and community resilience.

Khan would like your help in identifying problems and issues like wildfire and water supply, multiple benefits and beneficiaries of wildlands management, data and information gaps, and major implementation barriers.

To help the research team better understand stakeholder needs and develop data/information solutions for active ecosystem management, please take the survey at https://ucmerced.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8ptCWlrQBTILyAd. It should take about 30 minutes to complete.

Please feel free to share the survey with your colleagues. To get more involved in the project, contact the team at wildlandsurvey@ess.uci.edu.

The project is funded by the Strategic Growth Council of California.

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 4:08 PM

Names in the News

Randhawa to oversee UCCE in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties

Karmjot Randhawa

Karmjot Randhawa joined ANR on Sept. 6, 2019, as the UC Cooperative Extension director for Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties. 

In this newly created staff position, Randhawa is responsible for the coordination and overall operations of Cooperative Extension programs in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties. Unlike traditional county director positions, Randhawa will have no academic research responsibilities so she can focus on overseeing the educational and applied research programs and providing direction and leadership to the academic and support staff within the county extension programs. 

Prior to joining ANR, the Central Valley native was the research translation operations manager at George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication. 

“I look forward to increasing the visibility of UCCE by communicating the positive impacts realized by the people who live in the San Joaquin Valley and benefit from the research activities and contributions of these units,” Randhawa said.

Randhawa received her B.S. and M.S. in research psychology at California State University, Fresno and received her MBA from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently completing the Climate Change and Health Certification Program at Yale University. 

Karmjot is based in Fresno and can be reached at (559) 241-7514 and kgrandhawa@ucanr.edu

Zhou named UCCE assistant specialist for small farms

Qi Zhou

Qi Zhou joined ANR on Sept. 3, 2019, as a UCCE assistant specialist for small farms in Santa Clara County. She will work closely with project directors at UCCE Santa Clara to lead research and extension and extension work related to food safety practices on small farms, beginning farmer education and Asian vegetable production. 

Prior to joining ANR, Zhou conducted research on peach fruit production at Clemson University. At Huazhong Agricultural University, Zhou designed and conducted an experiment that identified the differences between flood-tolerant and flood-susceptible Poplar seedlings. Zhou has published several scientific manuscripts and abstracts and given extension presentations.

Zhou earned a Ph.D. in plant and environmental sciences with a minor in statistics from Clemson University, South Carolina, a master's degree in horticulture and forestry from Huazhong Agricultural University, China, and a bachelor's degree in horticulture from Hunan Agricultural University, China. In addition to English, Zhou is fluent in Mandarin.

Zhou is based in San Jose and can be reached at (408) 282-3109 and qiizhou@ucanr.edu

Aram named UCCE specialty crops advisor

Kamyar Aram

Kamyar Aram joined ANR on Aug. 5, 2019, as the UC Cooperative Extension specialty crops advisor serving Contra Costa and Alameda counties. 

Prior to joining ANR, Aram was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Davis working on research and outreach for the management of vectored grapevine virus diseases, emphasizing diagnostics, the use of disease-screened plant materials and area-wide management approaches. He also has several years of work experience in commercial viticulture and winemaking in New York, Chile and California. His doctoral research focused on the life cycle of the Sudden Oak Death pathogen in aquatic environments, and as a staff research assistant at UC Davis, his research focused on diagnostics and outreach for this forest and landscape disease. For his master's thesis, he studied the use of compost as a source for nitrogen and in suppression of soilborne diseases in vegetable production, gaining experience with field production at Cornell's vegetable research farm.

Aram earned a Ph.D. in plant pathology from UC Davis and an M.S. in horticulture (vegetable crops) from Cornell University. He received B.S. and B.A. degrees from the Ohio State University in plant biology and Latin. In addition to English, he speaks Spanish, Italian, French and Farsi.

Aram is based in Concord and can be reached at (925) 608-6692 and kamaram@ucanr.edu.

Khan named UCCE water and watershed sciences specialist

Safeeq Khan

Safeeq Khan joined ANR on Oct. 1, 2019, as a UC Cooperative Extension assistant water and watershed sciences specialist. His research broadly focuses on understanding the interaction between climate and ecosystems to inform land and water management. He uses data-driven numerical models as a research tool to aid in the understanding of watershed systems. As a CE specialist, Khan will focus on developing and carrying out collaborative, multifaceted research and extension related to mountain hydrology and their linkage with downstream water uses statewide, with special attention to the Sierra Nevada-Central Valley watersheds.

Prior to joining UC ANR, Khan was a professional researcher and adjunct professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Merced for five years. Khan brings over 10 years of research, education and extension experience. He has published more than 35 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters, successfully secured several externally funded projects, and presented his work to a diverse range of audiences through digital and print media, workshops and conferences. He has worked very closely with state and federal agencies, local landowners and nonprofit organizations, both in California and elsewhere. He has led several projects related to watershed management, from investigating the impact of non-native tree species and groundwater overdraft on streamflow in Hawaii to mapping hydrological vulnerabilities to climate change in the Pacific Northwest. More recently, his research has been focused on evaluating climate change and watershed restoration impacts on water and forest health and developing stakeholder-driven adaptive decision support tools. He serves as an associate editor for the journal Hydrological Processes. Khan is also a co-director of UC Merced's first Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) grant that focuses on connected wildland-storage-cropland subsystems in California.

Khan earned a Ph.D. in natural resources and environmental management from University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also holds a master's degree in agricultural systems and management from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India and a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering from CSA University of Agriculture and Technology Kanpur, India. In addition to English, he is fluent in Hindi and Urdu. 

Khan is based at UC Merced and can be reached at (209) 386-3623 and msafeeq@ucanr.edu. Follow him on Twitter @safeeqkhan.

Farrar elected chair-elect for National IPM Coordinating Committee

Jim Farrar

Jim Farrar has been elected chair-elect for National Integrated Pest Management Coordinating Committee, which is under the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' ESCOP/ECOP committee system. He will be chair-elect, chair, and past-chair for the next three years.

Farrar will serve with committee chair Danesha Seth Carley of the Southern IPM Center and Ann Hazelrigg of University of Vermont Extension, who moves into the past-chair position.

The National IPM Coordinating Committee is a committee of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) and the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) and is a subcommittee of the ESCOP Science and Technology Committee. The committee facilitates coordination and collaboration nationally among and between IPM research and extension at the land-grant universities, and between the land-grants and federal agencies involved in IPM. 

Fennimore receives Fulbright award

Steve Fennimore

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced that Steven Fennimore, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to work in agriculture in Uruguay. Fennimore will conduct research and teaching at the INIA Las Brujas horticultural field station as part of a project to develop sustainable weed management systems in specialty crops.

Fennimore, director of the statewide Vegetable Research and Information Center, focuses on weed management in vegetable crops and small fruits, as well as weed seed biology and physiology, and seed bank ecology.

Based in Salinas, Fennimore conducts a research and extension program focused on weed management in vegetables, flowers and strawberries, particularly in coastal production areas in California. His program combines chemical and nonchemical methods, for both organic and conventional systems, with the objective of minimizing weed management costs. He also focuses on automated weeding systems to mitigate the severe labor shortages in California, and use of field-scale steam applicators to reduce the need for chemical fumigation in sensitive sites and near urban areas. 

Fennimore is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2019–2020 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 4:26 PM

UC ANR to launch fourth annual #GivingTuesday campaign Nov. 27

On Nov. 27, ANR is once again participating in #GivingTuesday—a 24-hour global giving challenge—a movement about ordinary people coming together to do extraordinary things. Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season. For ANR, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to raise funds for UC Cooperative Extension county programs, research and extension centers and statewide programs. To help Californians recover from recent wildfires, adapt to climate change and escape persistent pockets of poverty, the needs in the coming year will be great, and year-end giving is an opportunity for donors to assist.

“UC Cooperative Extension professionals have a deep passion for their work and a dedication to the communities they serve. While most deliver their research and programs quietly every day, it is especially incredible to witness their response to disaster; for example, recent wildfires saw local UCCE offices responding immediately with vital information for coping with the fires, care for livestock and pets, as well as service in food banks and other volunteer needs,” said VP Glenda Humiston.

UC Cooperative Extension staff and 4-H members took care of evacuated farm animals at the fairgrounds, and in Siskiyou County, partnered with local agencies to create and distribute Pet Emergency Evacuation Plan pamphlets.

“Giving Tuesday gives us an opportunity to talk about our research and outreach to enhance food systems and create thriving communities, as well as all the other positive things everyone in ANR is doing to make life better for Californians,” Humiston said.

For UC ANR stakeholders, #GivingTuesday presents an opportunity to support the many programs and services that strengthen California communities each day and more importantly, during times of crisis. Last year, over $76,000 was raised on #GivingTuesday to support UC ANR programs including the 4-H Youth Development Program and UC Master Gardener Program.

“As residents of California, we're all each other's neighbors—we lend a helping hand, we share information, we care about our community. That's what our #GivingTuesday #NeighborCA campaign is all about.” said Emily Delk, director of annual giving for UC ANR.

“This year, I'm excited to share that we will have two match challenge funds. One supporting the California 4-H Foundation and one for all UC ANR.” said Delk.

A website is up with links to all of ANR's programs, Research and Extension Centers and UCCE offices: ucanr.edu/givingtuesday. It invites donors to designate programs or locations to which they wish to donate.

The website contains a toolkit for county offices and programs to participate. It includes:

  • Sample tweets and social media posts
  • Custom images to include in social posts
  • Templates for “unselfies.” Donors may take photos of themselves holding an unselfie sign and share on social media how they are giving.

The UC Master Gardener Giving Tuesday website is at http://mg.ucanr.edu/givingtuesday.  

The 4-H Youth Development Program also has its own website at http://4h.ucanr.edu/GivingTuesday.

Although not as well-known as the shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday appeals to people who are swept up in the spirit of giving at the end of the year. 

This year Development Services has set a goal of collecting a total of $100,000 for 4-H and UC ANR from 300 or more donors on #GivingTuesday. Last year UC ANR and 4-H received nearly 300 gifts.

“The #GivingTuesday #NeighborCA campaign is a fun way for people in all ANR programs to give to the programs most important to them,” said Delk.

Posted on Friday, November 2, 2018 at 5:43 PM

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