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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

Names in the news

Award-winning IPM team in UCCE Stanislaus County.
Anderson, Duncan win IPM Innovator Award

Kathy Anderson and Roger Duncan, UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisors in Stanislaus County, have won the Integrated Pest Management Innovator Award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. They are one of four groups that DPR honored.

"The 2015 IPM Innovator Awards demonstrate that Californians put a lot of time and effort into pest prevention techniques that can reduce the use of pesticides," said Tom Babb, DPR environmental program manager. "This year's award winners are steering change in urban and agricultural pest management while still protecting valuable crops and wildlife."

Anderson and Duncan were honored for leading the Tree & Vine IPM Breakfast Group. The Stanislaus County group focuses on improving the management of diseases and insect pests using IPM practices. They hold regular hands-on training sessions from March through June for local growers and pest control professionals. For the last 20 years, they have devised ways to respond quickly to new and emerging pests like anthracnose and bacterial spot diseases of almond, and branch wilt and Bot canker diseases in walnuts. They have also helped to develop methods for early detection of pests such as spotted wing drosophila, which attacks several fruits including cherries, raspberries and blueberries.

The awards were presented at a ceremony on Jan. 28 at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento.

Rick Miller, left, presents award to Steve Fennimore. Photo by Todd Fitchette
Fennimore honored by weed society

Steve Fennimore, UC ANR Cooperative Extension weed specialist based in Salinas, was honored by California Weed Science Society. Fennimore was recognized for managing a large group of authors who wrote chapters for “Principles of Weed Control,” Fourth Edition, an electronic and print CWSS publication.

Fennimore “did a great job managing all of the editors, drafts, publication options and inevitable issues” to put together an excellent textbook on weed management, said past CWSS board president Rick Miller, who presented the award.

Fennimore received the award at the society's annual meeting in Sacramento on Jan. 14.

Frank Zalom selected as fellow. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey
Zalom named fellow of Royal Entomological Society

Frank Zalom, UC ANR Cooperative Extension integrated pest management specialist and professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is a newly selected fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, London.

Zalom served as president of the Entomological Foundation in 2015 as it transitioned to a formal affiliation with the Entomological Society of America. He has been heavily involved in research and leadership in integrated pest management activities at the state, national and international levels. He directed the UC Statewide IPM Program for 16 years (1986-2002).

Zalom, who received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, focuses his research on California specialty crops, including tree crops (almonds, olives, prunes, peaches), small fruits (grapes, strawberries, caneberries) and fruiting vegetables (tomatoes), as well as on international IPM programs. 

The IPM strategies and tactics Zalom has developed include monitoring procedures, thresholds, pest development and population models, biological controls and use of less-toxic pesticides that have become standard in practice and that are part of the UC IPM Guidelines for these crops.

The Zalom lab has responded to a number of important pest invasions in the last decade, with research projects on glassy-winged sharpshooter, olive fruit fly, a new biotype of greenhouse whitefly, invasive saltcedar, light brown apple moth and spotted wing drosophila. They are currently working on two pest problems recently discovered in California, grapevine red blotch associated virus and brown marmorated stink bug.

The Royal Entomological Society, founded in 1833, plays a national and international role in disseminating information about insects and improving communication among entomologists. – Kathy Keatley Garvey

 

Posted on Monday, February 1, 2016 at 12:01 PM

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