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Posts Tagged: Sree Mada

Names in the News

McPherson joins ANR as Bay Area UCCE regional director

Frank McPherson

Frank McPherson joined UC ANR on Feb. 3, 2020, as a regional director for UC Cooperative Extension serving Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, and Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center. He is highly experienced in providing service to external and internal customers.

Prior to joining ANR, McPherson was director of Customer Service at San Jose-based BD Biosciences, where he led the Customer Service division of 75 employees and provided direction to clinical and research applications support, education services, technical support, contract administration and other teams.

From 2000 to 2013, McPherson served as a senior manager at Applied Materials where he led a team of highly skilled account service representatives; directed and managed Contact Center start-ups across the globe, negotiated contracts; and interfaced with planning, purchasing, order fulfillment and logistics to meet customer requirements.

From 1998 to 2000, as a manager at Air France, he was in charge of customer support for clients in Canada, the United States and Mexico. As a director of operations at Global Discount Travel from 1995 to 1998, McPherson managed 200 staff members with 2,000 accounts nationwide. From 1985 to 1995, as a superintendent in the US Air Force, he was in charge of command posts and operation centers.

McPherson holds a bachelor's degree in business management from University of Maryland and a master's degree in business management from Troy State University in Alabama. He is fluent in German.

He is based at the UCCE office in Concord and can be reached at (925) 608-6674 and fmcpherson@ucanr.edu.

Mada appointed ANR chief information officer

Sree Mada

After a long open search, Sree Mada has been named chief information officer, effective March 1, 2020. 

Mada has 22 years of technical, functional and business experience in the field of Information Technology. During his career, he has demonstrated strong expertise in enterprise technical solutions in various complex business transformative implementations.  

Mada joined UC in 2012, and in 2014 he joined ANR as program manager for UCPath. 

“UCPath successfully went live last October thanks in no small part to Sree's skills and commitment to UC ANR's mission, and to his colleagues and the team he led,” said Tu M. Tran, associate vice president for Business Operations. 

In his new role as chief information officer, reporting to Tran, Mada will be responsible for moving ANR to new technology platforms and readying our systems for an improved cybersecurity environment. He will also be responsible for implementing modern solutions for programmatic, business and administrative computing, in addition to building an organization that delivers efficient and effective technical solutions to advance the education, research and service mission of UC ANR. 

Mada holds certifications from the Project Management Institute and the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, in addition to earning a bachelor's degree in statistics and political science and a master's degree in computer science and applications from Osmania University, India. 

Mada will be located in office 173 in the ANR building at 2801 Second Street in Davis and can be reached at (908) 346-0196 and smada@ucanr.edu

Brown named director of Staff Human Resources

Bethanie Brown has assumed the role of director of Staff Human Resources effective Feb. 1, 2020.

Brown, who was associate director of Human Resources, now is responsible for staff recruitment and compensation, organizational development/workforce planning, UCPath Human Resources operations and employee/labor relations. Brown continues to report to John Fox in his role as executive director for Human Resources. Brown's expanded role over Staff Human Resources will allow Fox to focus on initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion, employee engagement and career development. Fox also continues to serve as ANR's Title IX and non-discrimination officer.

Tina Jordan, Academic Human Resources manager; Jodi Azulai, ANR Learning & Development coordinator; and David White, principal Affirmative Action analyst and Title IX investigator continue to report to Fox. 

Master Gardeners welcome three new program coordinators

Danica Lea Taber
Danica Taber, Katherine Uhde and Kali Burke became program coordinators for the UC Master Gardener Program last fall.

Growing up in Denver, Danica Taber explored plant cultivation as a student at University of Colorado Boulder by volunteering at the university greenhouses to help care for the phenomenal teaching collection. 

In 2012, she moved to Santa Barbara, where she gained growing experience. “I was fortunate enough to serve as the manager for UCSB's research greenhouses and teaching collections. I got a crash course in IPM, and I also began to appreciate how valuable invested volunteers are,” says Taber.  

After completing master's degrees in public affairs and environmental science at Indiana University-Bloomington, Taber moved back to the area to live with her husband.

Taber is based in Santa Barbara and can be reached at (805) 893-2125 and dltaber@ucanr.edu.

Katherine Uhde
Katherine Uhde started as the UC Master Gardener program coordinator in Santa Clara County in November 2019. Uhde transferred from UCCE Alameda County, where she was part of the UC CalFresh Healthy Living Program and led a gardening education program for older adults in partnership with the UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County.

Originally from Iowa, Uhde earned her B.S. in kinesiology, public health option from Iowa State University, where she studied human nutrition, exercise science and public health. After graduating, she moved to Kansas where she coordinated regional food access programs and led statewide farmers market, food policy, and school health initiatives, including the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, which served over 5,000 eligible older adults through 19 local agencies and 450 certified farmers. Uhde also managed a weekly farmers' market on the capitol grounds in Topeka. She holds a Master Gardener Home Horticulture Certificate from Oregon State University Extension.

“Katherine is passionate about community policy, systems and environmental changes that are sustainable, protect the environment and promote healthy lifestyles. We are delighted to have her as part of the UC Master Gardener Program,” said Lucy Diekmann, UCCE urban agriculture and food systems advisor.

Uhde is based in San Jose and can be reached at (408) 282-3138 and kuhde@ucanr.edu.

Kali Burke
Kali Burke joined UC ANR as the program coordinator for the UC Master Gardener Program and UC Master Food Preserver Program in San Francisco and San Mateo counties in September.

Burke earned a bachelor's degree in sociology at UC Santa Cruz. After graduating, she pursued her interests in food, agriculture and education. Working with the local farm and garden community for close to 10 years now, she has experience in both the programs and operations sides of small nonprofits.

Burke is based in Half Moon Bay and can be reached at (650) 276-7425 and kaeburke@ucanr.edu.

Read more about the new UC Master Gardener program coordinators at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=39206.

Almond Pest Management Alliance Team wins IPM award

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.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team received an award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Environmental Protection Agency for their vigorous promotion of IPM and acting as a hub for growers, pest control advisers, researchers and others to organize their collective efforts and rapidly respond to arising pest issues.

The Almond Pest Management Alliance Team serves as a role model for the implementation of integrated pest management practices in California. The team consists of UC IPM advisors David Haviland, Jhalendra Rijal and Emily Symmes, 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. Kern County showed a 26% countywide increase in the adoption of mating disruption from 2017-2018.

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 eight demonstration orchards across the San Joaquin Valley as part of a CDPR Pest Management Alliance Grant.

PCAs and growers who participated in UC Almond Pest Management Alliance activities were surveyed – an average of 93.8% of participants stated that information that they received was considered when making pest management decisions.

The Almond Pest Management Alliance Team also received a California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition sponsored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas.

A three-minute video about the Almond Pest Management Alliance Team can be downloaded at https://ucdavis.box.com/s/7bo2ckkxi7kfvqevc346js6m6g3gvtg5

Raul Calderon, second from left and legislative intern for Assemblyman Rudy Salas, presented a California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition to David Haviland, Brad Higbee, Chuck Burks, Jhalendra Rijal, Stephanie Rill and Bob Curtis.

Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse win CSAC Challenge Award

Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Jeffery Stackhouse

The California State Association of Counties honored UCCE Humboldt County advisors Lenya Quinn-Davidson and Jeffery Stackhouse and the Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association with one of its 18 Challenge Awards to recognize county innovation and best practices. As part of the award, CSAC wrote a story at https://www.counties.org/county-voice/first-west-humboldt-countys-prescribed-burn-association-teaches-value-fire and produced a video about their efforts. The video is posted at https://youtu.be/EhkCFRVZ2NE

In 2017, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse developed the Prescribed Burn Association, which has steadily grown. The association is composed of landowners, nonprofits, volunteer firefighters and other community members who work together to carry out prescribed burns on private land. Until the association was created, most landowners and community members  lacked access to prescribed burn information and training.

In 2017, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse developed the Prescribed Burn Association, which has steadily grown. The association is composed of landowners, nonprofits, volunteer firefighters and other community members who work together to carry out prescribed burns on private land. Until the association was created, most landowners and community members had lacked access to prescribed burn information and training.

The concept of a prescribed burn association is catching on. Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse have presented the Humboldt County model to numerous counties around the state.

Beyond the benefit of prescribed burns for land management, Quinn-Davidson and Stackhouse say the association brings together groups that have traditionally been at odds – ranchers, people who work in timber, environmentalists and cannabis growers.

“Instead of being on opposite sides of an issue, people are gaining understanding for the other side,” Stackhouse told CSAC. “It has opened the door for real, honest communication between different groups that otherwise would not be happening. Having people work together who have been on different sides of the community really is amazing.”

Meyer receives Water Quality Stewardship Award

Deanne Meyer

The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board presented its Water Quality Stewardship Award to Deanne Meyer, a UCCE specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis, on Feb. 6.

Meyer studies livestock waste management, lectures in the Department of Animal Science and advises agricultural and environmental majors. She is also the environmental stewardship module coordinator for the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP), part of the California Dairy Research Foundation.

Meyer has provided technical advice and comments in developing the North Coast Regional Water Board's dairy program. She provides technical expertise at CDQAP workshops to help dairy operators comply with the requirements of the Regional Water Board's dairy permit. Meyer also served on the Technical Advisory Committee for the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Alternative Manure Management Program. Meyer is currently working with Regional Water Board staff on a contract to test manure and soil on 30 North Coast pasture-based dairies to assist dairy operators in developing a nutrient budget for Nutrient Management Plans.

The Executive Officer's Water Quality Stewardship Award is an annual award given to an individual or group whose exceptional work contributes to the preservation and enhancement of surface water and groundwater quality in the North Coast Region. 

4-H Camping Advisory Committee receives national research award

From left, Jennifer Henkens, 4-H program representative; Marianne Bird and Connie Coutellier, director of Camp Wyandot.

The American Camp Association recognized the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee with its 2020 Eleanor P. Eells Excellence in Research in Practice Award. Marianne Bird, 4-H youth development advisor in Sacramento County and chair of the 4-H Camping Advisory Committee, accepted the award on behalf of the team on Feb. 12 At its national conference in San Diego.

The Eells Award recognizes programs that apply innovative, quality research or evaluation findings to improve program practice, and share their findings with others.

Since its inception in 2004, program evaluation and improvement has been a focus of the California 4-H Camping Advisory Committee. However, engaging the 25 or more local, volunteer-run camps in program assessment proved challenging.

To engage camps in data and the program improvement process, the committee embraced the use of “data parties” to share results and encourage dialogue with the camps participating in the current study. A data party gathers stakeholders to analyze or interpret collected data.  The committee invited camps to bring a team of three to six people (4-H teen leaders, adult volunteers and professional staff) to explore statewide findings, as well as data from their own camp. Teams then created an action plan for improving their programs.

The event encouraged buy-in and a sense of ownership to the data.  Participants reported new insights and greater understanding of the data, and cited changes they had made to their programs as a result. Since initiating the data party format four years ago, participation in the statewide evaluation has grown from nine to 22 camps.

“When those engaged in programming understand and embrace data, then is an evaluation truly useful,” said Bird. “These are the people who can make change happen. For California 4-H, the camp data party has been the key to opening dialogue and improving our programs."

ANR launches third annual Giving Tuesday Nov. 28

In the #GivingTuesday toolkit, there are several images that can be downloaded for use on social media and print materials.

On Nov. 28, ANR will again participate in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving, powered by our social networks. 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. As a result of the ongoing effects of the drought, recent wildfires and persistent pockets of poverty, California's 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 helped rescue livestock in Sonoma County as people evacuated. The UC Master Gardener Program connected volunteers throughout the state who wanted to provide relief to the 17 UC Master Gardener volunteers who lost their homes in Solano County.

“UC Master Gardener volunteers are true to their generous nature and have offered tremendous support to fellow volunteers who have lost homes in the fires. With compassionate hearts, they have offered lodging, supplies and words of support,” said Missy Gable, UC Master Gardener Program director. “In the future, we will look to replant what was lost and find healing in the care and establishment of new landscapes and wild spaces.”

See the #GivingTuesday toolkit for graphics showing facts about ANR and specific programs.

“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, Giving Tuesday 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 $64,000 was raised on Giving Tuesday to support UC ANR programs including the 4-H Youth Development Program and UC Master Gardener Program.

“Last year, the 4-H Foundation recorded a 430 percent increase in donations over the previous fiscal year, raising over $30,000 in one day from 37 counties!” said Mary Ciricillo, director of annual giving for UC ANR. This was due in large part to a match challenge from an anonymous donor.

“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 Ciricillo.

A website is being created 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.

As of Nov. 1, the website will contain a toolkit for county offices and programs to participate. It will include:

  • A customizable letter to send to stakeholders
  • Templates for “unselfies.” Donors may take photos of themselves holding an unselfie sign and share on social media how they are giving.
  • Sample tweets and social media posts
  • Sample thank you note

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. Last year, 4-H programs in 17 California counties participated. 

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 $60,000 for 4-H and UC ANR from 300 or more donors on Giving Tuesday. Last year UC ANR and 4-H received 224 gifts.

“The #GivingTuesday campaign is a fun way for people in all ANR programs to supplement their funding with private donations,” said Andrea Ambrose, acting director, UC ANR Development Services. 

 

Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 11:29 AM

Grateful for the feedback on condition changes

Wendy Powers
Thanks so much to all of the Program Team Leaders and members, the Statewide Program Directors and the Strategic Initiative Leaders for the hard work they completed to review and improve upon our divisionwide condition changes. The timeline was short; it's never long enough, the timing was poor; end of summer is not a good time to pull people together, and the work was a challenge; something new for UC ANR to do this at a division level, but they did a tremendous job and really stuck it out despite the challenges!

These groups have submitted their ideas for condition changes to be coded into Project Board. Katherine Webb-Martinez, Mark Bell and I have reviewed the recommendations and compared the proposed variations for the original 19 that were proposed by multiple groups as well as new condition changes that were recommended. The recommended changes were not drastically different from the original, but changes were proposed and adopted with the final list is now a bit longer, but still manageable. The next step is for a group of 12 self-identified Program Team Leaders, SI Leaders, Statewide Program and Institute Directors to work together and, using this new list plus the 2025 Strategic Vision, revise the Public Values Statements drafted back in May. I so appreciate those that have stepped up to continue this work process – not surprising given the commitment and leadership ingrained in so many across UC ANR!

I suspect this iterative process of drafting and revising is a bit frustrating for many but, as we use this information to convey the importance of your work to those who don't know us and we seek to find increased support for your work, it is important to put forth compelling Public Value Statements and be able to ‘bucket' our impacts so that the stories behind the condition changes are readily available to share with decision-makers, prospective funders, and each other. These benefits are above and beyond that which comes from aligning our work with the 2025 Strategic Vision in order to position ourselves to achieve the Vision and support our achievement with stories of how we have made a difference, even to those who don't know us. So THANK YOU to all for the commitment to the process and the enthusiasm you've demonstrated for continuing excellence in UC ANR!

Along the lines of “identify the performance objectives and then determine the design” that I have talked about previously, I've been thinking about the upcoming 2018 Position Call. Program Council has discussed the process a few times and soon we will need to have that nailed down. Below are what I believe to be the key attributes of the ideal process:

  • Considers needs/gaps across the state and across program areas
  • Engages clientele/stakeholders in the need identification process
  • Seeks input from all UC ANR academics
  • Builds recognition of needs across program areas through a collaborative process
  • Results in decisions that reflect ‘hearing' academics, partners, stakeholders
  • Makes it easy for Program Council to recognize high priority positions

 What am I missing? Thanks in advance for your feedback!

[This article was originally published Oct. 24 in the ANR Adventures blog at //ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=25473.]

Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 9:45 AM
  • Author: Wendy Powers

Nov. 6 deadline to apply for SI leader positions

Nov. 6 is the last day for ANR academics to apply for one of the open Strategic Initiative leader positions.

Three SI leader positions are scheduled to rotate off, opening up opportunities for other ANR academics to take the lead for Endemic and Invasive Pests and DiseasesSustainable Food Systems and Sustainable Natural Resources.

The SI leaders play key roles in advocating, convening and communicating to strengthen UC ANR's research and outreach agenda. Given the evolving role of the UC ANR Strategic Initiatives (SI), the current SI leaders have agreed that it would be beneficial to conduct an open search for the next set of SI leaders from across the breadth of expertise of the division.

Strategic Initiative leader positions are appointed by the vice president on a rotating basis for three years, with a possibility of extension. The positions are open to all ANR academics, including Agricultural Experiment Station faculty and Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists.

Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases is currently led by Cheryl WilenDavid Doll leads Sustainable Food Systems, and John Harper leads Sustainable Natural Resources. Doug Parker, who leads Water Quality, Quantity and Security, and Keith Nathaniel, who leads Healthy Families and Communities will continue to serve in those SI leader positions.

To apply for one of the SI leader positions, complete the form at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=21548. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 6.

Applicants will be contacted for interviews in late November or early December. The new leaders are anticipated to start on Jan. 2, 2018.

For information regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Strategic Initiative leader position, see the Terms of Reference for Strategic Initiative Leaders. If you have questions, contact Mark Bell, vice provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs.

 

 

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 10:12 AM

UCCE spared by October wildfires

Kaan Kurtural evacuated 15 staff members from the Oakville viticultural research station as fire approached in Napa County.

California will be dealing with the effects of the October 2017 wildfires for years to come. The Northern California wildfires that ignited Oct. 8 grew into urban conflagrations and burned for days, killing 43 people and destroying at least 8,400 structures.

In Southern California, Niamh Quinn, UC Cooperative Extension human-wildlife advisor, tweeted a photo after outrunning the Canyon Fire 2, which burned over 9,000 acres and destroyed 25 structures.

Brian Oatman, director of Risk & Safety Services, contacted UC Cooperative Extension employees in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Mendocino, Lake, Butte, Sutter, Yuba and Orange counties and at the Hopland, Sierra Foothill and South Coast research and extension centers.

On Oct. 10, Oatman sent an email to the ANR community giving a status report on the UC ANR offices in the fire zones, saying, “We have heard that all employees are safe.” He added, “In many counties, staff know of 4-H or Master Gardener families who have lost homes or suffered damage.”

In Solano County, 17 UC Master Gardener volunteers, maybe more, lost their homes in the fires. The UC Master Gardener Program quickly set up an online form to connect Master Gardener volunteers throughout the state who wanted to offer lodging, supplies and words of support to fellow volunteers impacted by the fires.

In Sonoma County, UC Cooperative Extension staff and 4-H members helped rescue livestock.

While most news media attention was focused on Northern California fires, Niamh Quinn, who tweets as SoCal Urban Wildlife, had to flee wildfire in Orange County.

ANR suffered no significant property damage, but some offices closed due to local evacuation orders.

Kaan Kurtural, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist based in Oakville, said the viticulture research station went without electricity for 16 days. They brought in generators from UC Davis. 

To help evacuated Californians who returned to their homes recover from fires, Strategic Communications created a story map with links to UCCE county resources.

News reporters sought out several UC ANR experts to explain why the wildfires spread so quickly and burned so intensely and how the fires would affect agriculture. See the ANR News blog for the monthly news roundup for October.

If you would like volunteer or donate to fire recovery efforts, check with local food banks or organizations such as Sonoma County Recovers to find out what is needed. If you would like to contribute to UC Master Gardener volunteers who are in need, you can fill out a survey that was created to connect resources with the affected volunteers: ucanr.edu/mgrelief.

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 8:10 AM
 
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