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Posts Tagged: Surendra Dara

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Soule named assistant vice provost for CE

Katherine Soule

Katherine Soule will serve as ANR's new Assistant Vice Provost for Cooperative Extension. She will start her new duties on July 1, 2020, and continue to serve as UCCE director for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and as UCCE youth, families and communities advisor. The role was previously held by Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty until she assumed the role of Statewide 4-H Youth Development Program director.

“We are excited to have Katherine on the Cooperative Extension administrative team! She brings a breadth of Cooperative Extension experiences and leadership skills,” said Mark Lagrimini, vice provost for research and extension. “Katherine is known for her innovative, collaborative, and strengths-based leadership. She cares deeply about improving lives and working environments for her unit, her community and ANR.”

Soule earned her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, Athens in 2013 and became the UCCE youth, families and communities advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. In 2017, she accepted an additional appointment as UCCE director for these counties. She was elected as UC ANR's Academic Assembly Council president for a two-year term ending in June 2020.

"As the assistant vice provost of Cooperative Extension, I look forward to supporting the development and successes of new and existing county directors,” Soule said. “I hope to promote collaborative, cross-county communication, while focusing on identifying and meeting the needs of county directors across the division. We are all most effective when we learn from and support one another, so I look forward to connecting with academics, county directors, ANR leadership and other UC ANR personnel in this new role."

Choe, Dara and IPM team honored by Pacific Branch of ESA

Dong-Hwan Choe
UC ANR scientists Dong-Hwan Choe, Surendra Dara, David Haviland and Jhalendra Rijal received awards for their exemplary work from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America. The PBESA presented its annual awards on April 20, at a virtual ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Choe, UCCE specialist in the UC Riverside Department of Entomology, won the Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Award.

“Since joining the faculty at UC Riverside in 2011, [Choe] has developed an outstanding research and extension program dealing with the major urban structural pests and related issues in the western United States,” wrote Mike Rust, UC Riverside entomology professor, in his nomination letter.

His research includes exploiting the role of semiochemicals and behavior to control social insects and developing novel ant baits.

“Dr. Choe has been at the forefront of developing hydrogels as carriers of baits to control ants and yellowjackets. Developing cost-effective and environmentally safe delivery strategies has always been a major problem facing the use of ant baits in agriculture and urban setting. His pioneering biodegradable alginate beads promise to be a major advancement,” Rust wrote.

Surendra Dara
Choe also participates in workshops for agricultural pest control advisers, UC Master Gardeners and urban pest control operators.

Dara, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and biologicals advisor for San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, won the Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management.

This annual award recognizes individuals who made outstanding contributions in research and outreach in the area of IPM. Dara's new IPM model has been well-received and its impact has been documented in a UC Delivers story. Dara is the first UC ANR scientist to receive this award and fourth from UC since the Pacific Branch began offering awards in this category in 2009.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team won the Entomology Team Work Award. The team consists of UC IPM advisors David Haviland and Jhalendra Rijal, former UCCE advisor Emily Symmes, UCCE Kern County staff research associate Stephanie Rill, 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. Based on a survey of pest control advisers and growers conducted in the early 2019, the anticipated use of navel orangeworm mating disruption for the 2019 season in San Joaquin Valley was 32%, as opposed to the 7% adoption in 2017. Kern County data showed a 26% countywide increase in the adoption of mating disruption from 2017-2018.

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.

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 nine demonstration orchards across the San Joaquin Valley as part of CDPR Pest Management Alliance and Almond Board of California grants.

The UC IPM Almond Pest Management Alliance Team received an award in February from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Environmental Protection Agency

Three UC Davis faculty members were also selected for prestigious awards: Lynn Kimsey, Walter Leal and Robert Kimsey.

The Pacific Branch covers provinces/states in Canada, U.S. and Mexico on the Pacific Coast. 

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 12:47 PM

Names in the News

Ingram named forest stewardship education academic coordinator

Kim Ingram
Kim Ingram is now an academic coordinator for forest stewardship education as of Nov. 18, 2019. She is also a trainer for UC ANR's Collaborative Facilitation Skills workshop and is involved with diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Prior to working with UCCE advisor Susie Kocher in forest stewardship education, Ingram had been an academic human resources business partner in UC ANR's Human Resources, leading academic recruitments, analyzing data and managing the academic merit and promotion process since 2015. From 2008 to 2015, Ingram was a community education specialist for the UC Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project and Sierra Nevada Watershed Ecosystem Enhancement Project. She planned, managed and implemented collaborations between UC, agencies, local communities and stakeholders, developed training curriculum and facilitated meetings, workshops and events related to forestry and fire issues in the Sierra Nevada. She was also an instructor of record for the California Naturalist Program and published a “Natural History of the Sierra Nevada” for use in California Naturalist Program trainings.

Ingram earned a master's degree in education, adult education and training from Colorado State University. She also holds a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in environmental ethics from Humboldt State University.

Ingram is based in Davis and can be reached at kcingram@ucanr.edu.

Tomich elected AAAS fellow

Tom Tomich
Thomas Tomich has been named as a fellow of the American Association for theAdvancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.

Tomich, director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis and UC ANR's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP), is among 443 new AAAS fellows elected this year.

Tomich is being recognized for "extraordinary contributions to generating sustainable solutions to global food system security through environmental science, effective policy, and collaborative research partnerships with underdeveloped economies globally."

His research spans agriculture and farming systems, economic development, food policy, and natural resource management. His publications include Transforming Agrarian Economies: Opportunities Seized, Opportunities Missed (1995); Environmental Services and Land Use Change: Bridging the Gap between Policy and Research in Southeast Asia (2004); Ecosystems and Human Wellbeing: A Manual for Assessment Practitioners (2010); The California Nitrogen Assessment: Challenges and Solutions for People, Agriculture, and the Environment (2016), and Agricultural Research for Rural Prosperity: Rethinking the Pathways, a special issue of the journal Agricultural Systems (2019).

The new fellows will be formally recognized on Feb. 15, 2020, at the AAAS annual meeting in Seattle.  

ESA honors Dara for extension work

Surendra Dara (on right)
Surendra Dara, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and biologicals advisor for San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, has received the 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award for Extension from the Entomological Society of America.

Dara addresses pest and disease issues of small fruits and vegetables with conventional and biological options, and finds alternative uses for entomopathogenic fungi as biofungicides and biostimulants. His research and extension program develops innovative solutions for sustainable crop production and protection, and he reaches out to the agricultural community locally, regionally and internationally.

As a volunteer, Dara has provided training in integrated pest management and crop production to farmers in Bangladesh, Haiti, Kosovo, Moldova, Mozambique, and Myanmar, and to visitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Colombia.

Dara earned a Ph.D. in entomology from Virginia Tech and a postgraduate diploma in applied information technology from Information Technology Institute, Canada. He has nearly 25 years of experience in IPM and microbial control, working on 17 species of invasive pests and diseases and several endemic species throughout his career. He has authored or co-authored 350 scientific and extension articles, which include three co-edited books, one co-edited special issue of a journal, 13 book chapters and 50 peer-reviewed journal articles.

He serves on various committees at the University of California, the Society for Invertebrate Pathology, the Entomological Society of America, and the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists. He also publishes two e-journals and is a subject editor for the Journal of Economic Entomology. Dara was recently featured as a Western Innovator by Capital Press for his work in biologicals.

ESA presented him with the award at Entomology 2019 Nov. 19 in St. Louis, Mo.

 

 

Posted on Friday, November 29, 2019 at 4:19 PM

ANR meets the public at World Ag Expo

Surendra Dara explains how fungi kill insects.

People from across California and around the world got to taste new crops, see research demonstrations and learn about several UC ANR activities at the World Ag Expo Feb. 12-14. Despite the cold rainy weather, the world's largest agricultural exposition attracted 102,878 people representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and 65 countries to Tulare.

At an outdoor tent, Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, Greg Douhan, UCCE citrus advisor, and other researchers, handed visitors fresh Tango citrus grown at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center and told them about their citrus variety research.

Sal Barcenes, Lindcove staff research assistant, and Greg Douhan show citrus varieties.

Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UCCE small farms advisor, and Michael Yang, small farms and specialty crops agricultural assistant, encouraged visitors to taste moringa tea. Surendra Dara, UCCE entomology and biologicals advisor, described how Bagrada bugs and other pests under the microscopes can be controlled by microbes. Roger Baldwin, UCCE wildlife specialist, and Niamh Quinn, UCCE urban wildlife conflict advisor, took turns showing taxidermy vertebrate pests and describing their management research.

Michael Yang and Lorena Ramos, staff research and marketing associate for the UCCE small farms and specialty crops program in Fresno and Tulare counties, offered visitors hot moringa tea.

Jeff Mitchell, UCCE specialist, and Jeff Dahlberg, Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center director, gave demonstrations to show the superior health of soils managed with conservation techniques.  

Demonstrating the use of high-tech in agriculture, Sean Hogan, Informatics and Geographic Information System academic coordinator, Andy Lyons, IGIS program coordinator, and Jacob Flanagan, IGIS programmer, showed how they use drones and cameras in agricultural research.

A PBS news crew interviews Andy Lyons and Jacob Flanagan.

Inside Pavilion A, Teresa Rios-Spicer, UCCE nutrition program manager, andYeseniaMedrano, UCCE community education specialist, both from Tulare County, challenged visitors to test their nutrition knowledge by playing Jeopardy! Visitors could spin the UC Master Gardeners prize wheel to answer gardening questions and win seeds. 4-H members invited youth to peer into virtual reality goggles to give them an idea about the fun activities that can be part of joining 4-H.

Teresa Rios-Spicer, left, and Yesenia Medrano challenged visitors to test their nutrition knowledge at Healthy Jeopardy!

Frank Mitloehner, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, gave a seminar explaining confusion in the media about the amount of greenhouse gas livestock emit in California and globally. He reviewed the innovations in livestock production that are leading the way to a "greener future" for California and U.S. agriculture.

Niamh Quinn describes how the spotted skunk stands on its hands and shakes its tail.

Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension citrus entomology specialist, and Victoria Hornbaker of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, gave an update on regulatory protocols relating to Asian citrus psyllid and HLB quarantines and the proper transportation of bulk citrus to prevent the spread of the pest and disease.

The California and Dutch AgFoodTech innovation partners reunited in Tulare for a networking luncheon to share their action plan with invited guests and scope the projects.

UCCE advisor Dan Munk, left, greets West Side farmer Joe Del Bosque and VP Glenda Humiston.
Jeff Mitchell, center, talks about soil health with Scott Brayton of Development Services, left, and Mark Bell, vice provost of of strategic initiatives and statewide programs.
UC Master Gardener volunteer Priscilla Girard answered questions about gardening.
From left, Liz Sizensky of UC Nutrition Policy Institute, and Julie Sievert, assistant KARE program and facility coordinator, assist 4-H members with virtual reality goggles.

UC ANR researchers and staff engage farmers, other stakeholders at World Ag Expo 2018

World Ag Expo visitors discuss conservation tillage at Jeff Mitchell's exhibit at the UC ANR tent.

UC ANR had a major presence at World Ag Expo Feb. 13-15 in Tulare. In addition to exhibits inside the Pavilion, this year, UC ANR hosted a series of well-attended researcher demonstrations of citrus varieties, soil quality and other subjects in a tent outside. UC ANR scientists also gave presentations on “hot topics” ranging from the use of drones and other electronic technology in production agriculture to animal health to human nutrition.

UCCE advisors Surendra Dara, left, and Brenna Aergerter were among the scientists available to answer grower questions.

“Between our tent and our Pavilion space, there's been a lot of very good engagement and discussions with the primary stakeholder audience,” said Mike Janes, Strategic Communications director.

Jeff Dahlberg, Kearney Ag Research and Extension Center director, discussed his research on sorghum. The drought-tolerant crop can be used in food, feed and bioenergy products.

On the opening day of the expo, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue held a town hall to hear from members of California's agriculture industry concerns about the upcoming Farm Bill. VP Glenda Humiston was among those present for the discussion, which attracted considerable media attention.

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue was interviewed by California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson at World Ag Expo.

Western Farm Press wrote: “While trade, labor and regulatory issues may top the list of agricultural policy issues Perdue faces in Washington D.C., Glenda Humiston, Vice President of the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division of the state's Land Grant university, stressed the importance of adequate research funding and federal definitions of rural versus urban, which she said is having detrimental impacts across California on important program funding.”

“If a county has one town that has 50,000 population in it, the entire county is labeled metropolitan for purposes of allocating funding,” Humiston said in the Hanford Sentinel

Rob Johnson, left, looks on as Sean Hogan, IGIS academic coordinator, describes the use of drones in agricultural research.

“Humiston said that while UCANR has a ‘proud tradition of research in California,' the university is plagued by reduced budgets at the same time the state is plagued by a new invasive pest every several weeks. She said for the university to stay ahead of these issues and to help growers in these and many other areas, additional funding is vital,” Farm Press reporter Todd Fitchette wrote.

In private communication, Fitchette said that widespread applause broke out from the audience in response to Humiston's comments.

 

Posted on Monday, February 26, 2018 at 10:47 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

UC ANR introduces Market-based Adjustment Plan for staff salaries

Attracting and retaining highly qualified employees is a top priority for UC ANR. To be more competitive among many diverse employment markets, UC ANR leadership has developed a plan to address the competitiveness of our staff salaries. 

As part of UC ANR's overall compensation strategy, VP Humiston approved a four-year Market-based Adjustment Plan for non-represented staff to ensure salaries of existing staff are better aligned with the labor market. All non-represented staff are eligible to participate in this plan, regardless of their position's funding source. For some whose compensation has fallen behind market rates, the Division is making a significant effort to address this issue, as long as it is fiscally viable and prudent to do so.

Using UC Career Tracks, UC ANR Human Resources will be able to identify, review and address the salaries of non-represented staff members whose pay is not in the targeted competitive zone. This strategy will be implemented over four years, which will allow us to better manage the fiscal impact of the salary adjustments.

Eligible employees will be notified individually within the next few weeks. These market-based adjustments are separate and distinct from any merit program approved centrally by President Napolitano.

For more information, please read the FAQs at http://ucanr.edu/sites/ANRSPU/Supervisor_Resources/Compensation/Equity_

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 1:03 PM
 
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