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Posts Tagged: Steven Worker

2017 UC ANR Competitive Grants Program/High Risk, High Rewards recipients announced

I am pleased to announce funding decisions for the 2017 UC ANR Competitive Grants Program/High Risk, High Rewards Program. As in past years, the number of requests received exceeds funding available. With 45 competitive grant proposals requesting over $7 million and six high-risk high-reward proposals requesting over another $500,000, we are pleased to be able to support around 25 percent overall.

I want to thank the Strategic Initiative Panels for their work in screening letters of intent and the Technical Review Panels for their efforts reviewing proposals for technical merit, feasibility and extension prior to the review by Program Council. Program Council then reviewed proposals against all the criteria and had the difficult task of making recommendations to me how best to distribute the finite resources available. I commend the principal investigators and their teams for their submissions. While each submission represented important work, not all proposals could be funded.

I am particularly pleased to see that funded proposals represent each of the Strategic Initiatives and have as principal investigators advisors, specialists, academic administrators and AES faculty from each of the AES campuses, our county academics, and our UC ANR statewide programs. The partnering in each of the proposals illustrates one of the principles of our ANR Promise.

The Strategic Initiative Leaders will be sending review comments out to all applicants over the next few weeks.

Congratulations to all of the awardees. The list of funded proposals is below and also posted on the 2017 funding opportunities web page.

Glenda Humiston
Vice President

Title                                                                                  Principal Investigator              Award Amount

Pathways to Your Future: Destination UC                                    Shannon Horrillo                      $200,000

Massive tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada:                               Jodi Axelson                             $200,000
Consequences for forest health

Reducing nitrate leaching to the groundwater by accounting         Daniel Geisseler                       $199,978
for the soils' capacity to supply N through mineralization

Advancing urban irrigation management to enhance water           Amir Haghverdi                        $199,975
use efficiency                                                                          

The California Master Beekeeper Program: Development of a        Elina Nino                               $199,949
continuous train-the-trainer education effort for CA beekeepers                                                                       

Silent straws: understanding water demands from woody             Lenya Quinn-Davidson             $199,937
encroachment in California's oak woodlands                              

Impact of a warmer and drier future on rangeland ecosystems      Jeremy James                         $199,831
and ecosystem services                                                          

Closing the adaptive management loop for sustainable                 Leslie Roche                            $199,502
working rangelands                                                         

Developing a culturally relevant civic science approach to             Steve Worker                           $194,768
improving scientific literacy for Latino youth                  

Creating cyst nematode suppressive soils by managing                James Borneman                      $100,000
indigenous populations of the hyperparasitic fungus
Dactylellaoviparasitica (High-risk/High-reward)                                                

Smart Farming: Monitoring the health of chickens                        Maja Makagon                           $81,293

Recruiting the next generation of extension professionals             Jennifer Heguv                           $11,030

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 8:46 AM

Names in the News

Car Mun Kok
Kok named 4-H advisor in Mendocino and Lake counties

Car Mun Kok joined UC Cooperative Extension on Jan. 11 as an area 4-H Youth Development advisor in Mendocino and Lake counties. Her research focuses on the influence of family on children and youths' development of healthy dietary behaviors. For her dissertation, she explored the role of parental socialization during family mealtimes on youths' attitudes and behaviors regarding food and eating.

Prior to joining UCCE, Kok had been a graduate research and teaching assistant since 2009 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she worked on various research projects with faculty. These included programs for children and youth in Nebraska in various fields of STEM, healthy living, and positive youth development. Her work included the ‘Eat 4-Health' Healthy Living Workshop, the ‘Grow a Beautiful Space' 4-H Youth Development Program, the ‘Seeing i2i' cultural competence curriculum, and the Big Classroom Day at the Nebraska State Fair. Kok, who is fluent in Malay and Cantonese, also studied nutrition education in childcare settings. With other Cooperative Extension professionals, she developed, implemented and evaluated nutrition education programs for children and developed evidence-based resources for childcare providers.

She earned her B.A. in psychology, M.S. in child, youth, and family studies, and Ph.D. in human sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Kok is based in Lakeport and can be reached at (707) 263-6838 and

Steven Worker
Worker named 4-H advisor in Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties

Steven Worker, the California 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) coordinator, will become the UCCE area 4-H advisor in Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties on May 2. 

Since 2009, Worker has coordinated statewide professional development, program planning, evaluation, and curriculum development efforts to increase the science, engineering, and technology literacy of California's youth. His work has focused on strengthening 4-H STEM programs using inquiry-based, experiential education in the context of positive youth development.

Worker joined ANR in 2001 as a state 4-H program representative coordinating adolescent leadership, recognition and technology programs. In 2006, he was honored with an Achievement in Service Award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. He has co-authored 4-H curricula, including Junk Drawer Robotics, There's No New Water! and iThrive 3: Leadership, Science and Me!

Worker is a Ph.D. candidate at the UC Davis School of Education, studying youth learning in design-based projects in informal and out-of-school environments. He earned his M.S. in community development from UC Davis, a B.S. in computer science from California Polytechnic State University, and an A.A. in liberal arts from Allan Hancock College.

He can currently be reached in Davis at (530) 750-1341 and After May 2, Worker will be based in Novato and reachable at the same email address.

NIFA recognizes UC EFNEP

UC ANR's Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program was recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation from USDA NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy for being one of two land grant universities out of 76 that submitted the EFNEP five-year plan (July 2015), EFNEP Budget (Nov 2015) and Annual WebNEERs Data (Nov 2015) on time and all three documents accepted without needing revision. The certificate was presented on March 16 at the EFNEP National Conference in Washington, D.C.

“This is a huge accomplishment for our Statewide EFNEP program, EFNEP State Office staff and especially for our UCCE county advisors and staff who helped make it possible by getting the information that we needed to us in time,” said Katie Panarella, associate director of Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences Program & Policy.

To show how work at every level ensures the continued success of the EFNEP program, Nutrition, Family and Consumer Science advisors and supervisors who oversee EFNEP were acknowledged on March 30 at UC ANR's EFNEP advisors and supervisors meeting in Davis.



Posted on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 11:14 AM
Tags: Car Mun Kok (2), EFNEP (2), March 2016 (13), Steven Worker (3)

4-H links scientific literacy to ANR initiatives

Our Strategic Vision 2025 highlights the importance of accurate, science-based information as a cornerstone in personal decision-making and public policy. The improvement of scientific literacy among the public is a joint, collaborative responsibility shared by multiple ANR initiative groups. The 4-H Youth Development Program has made significant efforts developing and implementing high-quality curricula and programs to address youth scientific literacy, and there are further opportunities to bolster youth learning and involvement by engaging young people across the range of ANR strategic initiatives.

“We would like to expand our work with our colleagues in ANR across the initiatives and statewide programs,” said Martin Smith, UC Cooperative Extension science literacy specialist in Veterinary Medicine Extension and the Department of Human Ecology at UC Davis.

The 4-H Youth Development Program already partners with several strategic initiatives to improve the scientific literacy of youth by giving them authentic opportunities to learn science and do scientific work.

Sustainable Food Systems

Through nutrition and gardening projects, 4-H programs incorporate the Sustainable Food Systems Initiative to improve youth science literacy. The Discovering Healthy Choices curriculum developed through a 2011 ANR Grant is a multi-component, school-based approach to supporting regional agriculture, promoting healthy behaviors, and reducing childhood obesity. Terri Spezzano, UCCE Stanislaus County director and nutrition, family and consumer science advisor, says “Through the Discovering Healthy Choices curriculum, youth learn not only about the nutrition in foods we eat, but also about the connections with agriculture science, native plants and animals available for food; geography; and the variation of fruits and vegetables between countries and cultures. Youth also have the opportunity to grow and eat the produce they learn about. This gives them a well-rounded background in food systems, both local and worldwide.”

Water quality, quantity and security

Efforts are underway to bring water-focused programming to 4-H youth, with opportunities to learn about the water cycle, human interventions in the cycle, the rural-urban interface, and mapping watersheds, and then apply this knowledge through a service-learning project in their community. A variety of resources have been developed, including the There's No New Water! curriculum, to improve youth scientific literacy and at the same time engage youth in real-world issues right at home. Darren Haver, UCCE water quality advisor and director of South Coast REC and Orange County CE, says “The UC ANR Water Quality, Quantity, and Security Initiative Strategic Plan identifies a number of water-related issues facing California. ANR's ability to tackle these issues requires significant investment in research and extension to the citizens of the state. 4-H efforts to improve science literacy in the area of watershed science not only provides youth with the opportunity to engage in a critical local issue, it also expands UC ANR's reach to the youth who will be responsible for developing and implementing water policies in the future.”

Endemic and invasive pests and diseases

ANR has a history of supporting 4-H youth in animal science projects where they care for, breed, grow, show and market their products. A cross-initiative effort is underway to help 4-H youth develop biosecurity practices that will reduce the risk of disease spread. These efforts include publishing the Bio-Security in 4-H Animal Science curriculum, conducting research funded by a 2013 ANR grant (Mitigating Zoonotic and Animal Disease Risks in 4-H Animal Science Projects through Coordinated Education and Research), and planning the inaugural 2015 State Animal Science Symposium.

4-H programs focus on four anchor points that make up scientific literacy: content, scientific reasoning, interest and attitudes, and contributions through applied participation.
ANR provides a unique opportunity to improve scientific literacy. Science is best taught through active participation — where youth are engaged in the process of doing science instead of viewing science as a body of content knowledge to be memorized. Most schools focus on just one anchor point of scientific literacy — content — whereas 4-H programs focus on the four anchor points that make up scientific literacy – content, scientific reasoning, interest and attitudes, and contributions through applied participation (Smith, Worker, Ambrose & Schmitt-McQuitty, in press at California Agriculture). The California 4-H approach engages youth in science by focusing on issues and concerns relevant to California's communities.

To get involved, contact your local 4-H youth development advisor and/or youth, families, and communities advisor or a member of the 4-H SET Leadership Team:

Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015 at 10:58 AM

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