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Her named SRA in Los Angeles County

Calvin Her

Calvin Her joined UC Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County as a staff research assistant in February. 

Her graduated with a BS in biology from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota and one day hopes to pursue a master's degree in Entomology. He has worked with both the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. With the CDFA, Her worked within the invasive insect program to control the Mediterranean fruit fly and the Asian citrus psyllid. With the MDA, Her worked within the plant protection division to monitor the detection of invasive insect species in Minnesota such as the Velvet Longhorn Beetle, Brown Marmorated Stinkbug, Swede Midge and many others.   

Working with Siavash Taravati, area IPM advisor, Her will be researching drywood and subterranean termites, pest ant monitoring and control, California pesticide licensing and doing literature reviews.

In his free time, Her raises Monarch butterflies and documents his efforts in hopes to inspire at-home conservation. Her can be reached at cvher@ucanr.edu.

Berry named SRA at South Coast REC

Kaitlyn Berry

Kaitlyn Berry joined UC ANR as a staff research associate I in February. She will be assisting with the UC Landscape Plant Irrigation Trials at the UCANR South Coast Research and Extension Center. 

Berry earned a BS in biological science with a concentration in marine biology and a minor in chemistry from California State University, Fullerton. She is currently completing her masters in biological science at CSU Fullerton and is a member of the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Laboratory. Her thesis research focuses on the effects of artificial light pollution on the activity and foraging behavior of the Pacific kangaroo rat (Dipodomys agilis). 

She has been a volunteer at the CSU Fullerton Biology Greenhouse Complex for five years.  Her informal education in planting, propagating, and general maintenance of the teaching collection will allow her to effectively assist with the UC Landscape Plant Irrigation Trials. 

Berry has enjoyed getting to meet and work with the SCREC staff. She is excited to be a part of UCANR and learn more about plant maintenance and research. Berry can be reached at kaiberry@ucanr.edu.

Thaoxaochay joins small farm program in Fresno County

Lilian Thaoxaochay

C. Lilian Thaoxaochay joined UC Cooperative Extension's Small Farms and Specialty Crops Program in Fresno County as a COVID19 education specialist and research assistant in February. She is a first-generation Hmong American born and raised in Fresno. Her family has farmed in the Central Valley for over 30 years.

Thaoxaochay completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford University where she studied Anthropology and Asian American Studies. She was a Cota-Robles fellow at UC Santa Cruz where she received her MA in anthropology. Her previous research experience includes racial/ethnic health disparities and cultural competency in medical education. Her current research interests include the history of agriculture in Southeast Asia, refugee farming in California, and the future of small-scale growers in the Central Valley.

She can be reached at lilthaox@ucanr.edu.

Yabuki joins IT as digital communications specialist

Tetsuto Yabuki

Tetsuto Yabuki joined UC ANR Information Technology as a digital communications specialist on Feb. 26.

He brings over 20 years of web development experience, most recently serving as a solutions architect at Breyta in Davis. For the past three years, Yabuki worked as a contractor on the CropManage web application. He will continue to focus on CropManage at UC ANR.

Yabuki earned a Bachelor of Arts in computer science at Columbia University.

He will be based in the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at tyabuki@ucanr.edu. His Twitter handle is @TetsutoYabuki.

Lile honored for outstanding achievement in land stewardship

David Lile

For his tremendous contributions to the science and management of rangeland ecosystems, David F. Lile received the Society for Range Management's Outstanding Achievement in Land Stewardship Award.

Over the past three decades, Lile has served the rangeland dependent communities of northeastern California as a UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor. Throughout his career, he has assiduously provided critical leadership to solve rangeland sustainability challenges facing these communities using science-based, solution-oriented approaches. His efforts have aided and facilitated improved policies, strategies and practices to implement partnership-based conservation programs to improve millions of acres of rangelands in the region. Stakeholders place high value on his technical expertise, his friendship and his ability to establish trust and confidence with a diverse community on topics ranging from sage grouse to water quality. He has worked tirelessly to build consensus around contentious topics and create collaborative, science-based solutions to enhance natural resources and sustain productive agricultural enterprises. Lile, who is based in Lassen County, has spent his career pursuing sustainable rangeland management, and this award recognizes that commitment to land stewardship.

Lile was presented the award at the SRM Annual Meeting held virtually in February.

Oberholster honored by ASEV for extension

Anita Oberholster

The American Society for Enology and Viticulture announced Anita Oberholster, UC Cooperative Extension enology specialist, will receive its 2021 ASEV Extension Distinction Award.

Oberholster will receive the award and present “The Challenges of Modern Extension Programs” at the 72nd ASEV National Conference, to be held virtually June 21-24, 2021.

Oberholster completed her doctorate in wine sciences at the University of Adelaide, Australia, in 2008 and worked at the Department of Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University until 2011, when she became a UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. As a UCCE specialist, her research focuses on current issues in the grape and wine industry and she provides research-based information to grape growers and members of the wine industry. Her research includes the impact of climate on grape ripening and phenolic development, grapevine red blotch disease and smoke exposure in the vineyard. Another major focus for Oberholster is the impact of different winemaking techniques on wine composition and quality.

“I love science, agriculture and wine. My job is the perfect blend,” said Oberholster. “Working with the grape and wine industry has been extremely rewarding and I am especially grateful to the ASEV for this high honor and recognition.”

Oberholster has been a member of ASEV since 2011 and served as board director from 2014 to 2020. She served on the ASEV Best Paper Committee and was an American Journal of Enology and Viticulture reviewer and a National Conference moderator and speaker. She continues to serve on the ASEV Technical Program Committee. 

She is also a member of several other organizations, including the American Chemical Society, Groupe Polyphenols, West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force, UC Davis Chemical and Laboratory Safety Committee, Viticulture & Enology and Food Science and Technology Graduate Group Executive Committees, Robert Mondavi Institute Executive Committee and is chair of the UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Extension Coordination Committee. She reviews for 25 peer-reviewed journals and different funding proposals.

Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 9:25 PM

Krkich named Executive Director of Development Services

Lorna Krkich
Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that we will be joined by a new colleague, Lorna Krkich, who has accepted the position of UC ANR Executive Director of Development Services. She will begin the position on Dec. 29.

Lorna brings a wealth of experience in income development, relationship building and strategic planning for future growth and sustainability. She has deep roots in California and is an alumna of UC Santa Cruz.

Working with The Salvation Army, Lorna developed funding opportunities, and trained and managed major gift officers across four states. Her program, in which she achieved well over annual goals and initiated a lapsed-donor process, resulted in 60 percent growth across the territory. During her time with the American Lung Association, she worked with staff and volunteers to build community presence and implement new fundraising initiatives in mid-level and major giving, increasing corporate donations by 900 percent in three years.

We are very excited to have Lorna working with us to grow our UC ANR programs, rebuild our academic footprint and improve our research infrastructure. Please join me in congratulating and supporting Lorna in her new appointment.

Glenda Humiston
Vice President

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 4:53 PM

Names in the News

Emma Fete
Fete joins 4-H as advisor for San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties

Emma Fete joined UCCE as an area 4-H youth development advisor for San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties on Dec. 4, 2017.

For five years prior to joining UCCE, Fete taught and developed various courses including online and hybrid variants as an instructor for the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. As a part of an interdepartmental team, she evaluated general education requirements for undergraduates. Fete also served on the Diversity Committee, analyzing and recommending departmental policies, hiring and recruiting strategies, and implementing training programs to best represent and serve diverse populations.  From 2010 to 2012, she worked as an assistant language teacher for the Hiroshima Board of Education in Japan, where she taught and developed coursework in three prefectural high schools and a special needs school. From 2007 to 2010, Fete worked at WOSU Public Media, where she helped manage WOSU radio programming, fundraising and development efforts, and the station's community activities. She also has experience in local and state government as well as child-focused local non-profits. Fete is a dedicated horsewoman who was an enthusiastic 4-Her in her youth and continues to coach 4-H participants today.

Fete earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in communication at The Ohio State University and a B.A. in broadcasting from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

Fete is based in Stockton and can be reached at (209) 953-6118 and emfete@ucanr.edu.

Kate Wilkin
Wilkin named area forestry/fire science and natural resources advisor 

Katherine “Kate” Wilkin joined UCCE on Sept. 18, 2017, as an area forestry/fire science and natural resources advisor in Sutter, Yuba, Butte and Nevada counties.

Prior to joining UCCE, Wilkin was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley where she developed techniques for the California Air Resources Board to better estimate wildfire emissions and collaborated on an ecosystem services project, including water and carbon, of restored fire regimes. From 2011 to 2016, she was a graduate student researcher at UC Berkeley, and at Cal Poly from 2007 to 2009. Wilkin also worked at Yosemite National Park, National Park Service's Inventory and Monitoring Program, California State Parks, and The Nature Conservancy on complex environmental issues including forest health, wetland restoration, fire management, visitor-use, and mine reclamation. She has been a member of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council since 2011.

Wilkin completed a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in biology from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and a B.S. with a double major in biology and interdisciplinary studies (environmental science) from The College of William and Mary.

Wilkin is based in Yuba City and can be reached at (530) 822-7515 and kwilkin@ucanr.edu.

Oguns joins ANR as financial analyst

Tayo Oguns

Tayo Oguns has joined Resource Planning and Management Office as a financial analyst.

He serves a critical role in strategic planning for future UC ANR staffing and personnel initiatives.

Prior to joining ANR, Oguns was a financial analyst at UC Berkeley.

He earned a bachelor's degree in finance at University of Massachusetts – Amherst and an MS in business analytics at Saint Mary's College of California.

Oguns is based at UCOP and can be reached at (510) 987-9028 and Tayo.Oguns@ucop.edu.

Pete Goodell
UC IPM members win international awards

Three of the twelve awards announced for the upcoming International IPM Symposium will be given to UC Integrated Pest Management Program members.  

Peter Goodell, UC IPM advisor emeritus, and Frank Zalom, professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and former Statewide IPM Program director, were selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The European Grapevine Moth Team was selected for an IPM Team Award for achieving the eradication of European grapevine moth only six years after its discovery in 2009. Team members helped growers in infested counties to monitor the pest and apply control measures on a timely basis. The team's research and extension efforts helped growers avoid losses to the pest every year until it was finally eradicated in 2016.

Frank Zalom
The European Grapevine Moth Team includes Lucia Varela, UC IPM advisor for the North Coast; Monica Cooper, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor in Napa County; Walter Bentley, UC IPM entomologist emeritus; Larry Bettiga, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Monterey County; Kent Daane, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management; Rhonda Smith, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sonoma County; Robert Van Steenwyk,  UC Cooperative Extension specialist in UC Berkeley ESPM; Joyce Strand, UC IPM academic coordinator emeritus; and Zalom.

Goodell started his IPM career in 1981 as an area IPM specialist during a time when farmers sprayed their fields based on a calendar date. Determined to reduce the use of broad-spectrum pesticides being used while still increasing yields, Goodell worked with growers, other IPM experts and organizations including the Natural Resource Conservation Service to promote the use of scouting for pests and the reliance on thresholds and degree-day models to determine when to treat.­­­

Zalom, extension entomologist at UC Davis, also has an impressive record of furthering IPM. Zalom began in 1980 as the IPM Coordinator in California. Although he was responsible for advancing IPM in the state, Zalom championed the idea of promoting IPM on a regional and even national level. For 16 years, he co-chaired the American Public Land-grant University National IPM Committee, leading to the development of the Regional IPM Centers. Zalom believes that the science and implementation of IPM will reduce the impact of pests and pest management on agriculture and the environment.

One of Zalom's most successful projects was IPM implementation in almonds. Because of his research on navel armyworm, damage from the pest fell from 8.8 percent in 1978 to less than 1.5 percent in 1990, with a 40 percent reduction in insecticides.

The winners will receive their awards and recognition at the 9th International IPM Symposium March 19-22, 2018, in Baltimore, Md. 

From left, Bob Van Steenwyk, Lucia Varela, Rhonda Smith and Frank Zalom of the European Grapevine Moth team show in 2016 accepting a UC ANR Distinguished Service Team Award.

CAL FIRE honors Quinn-Davidson

Lenya Quinn-Davidson

Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UCCE fire advisor in Humboldt County, has been selected to receive a CAL FIRE Partnership Award.

“As one of the team members helping work towards the statewide goals for using prescribed fire, your work with CAL FIRE, local cooperators and other stakeholders has created invaluable partnerships and expanded the training opportunities that many agencies were previously unable to access,” Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director, wrote to Quinn-Davidson. “It is important to CAL FIRE to work collaboratively with our partners to achieve our common goals. In this instance, your cooperative approach produced results which exceeded the normal expectations. I thank you for your efforts to further the mission of CAL FIRE.”

Yana Valachovic, UCCE director and forest advisor in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, said, “This is an incredible achievement for someone early in their career and it is strong evidence of her leadership skills and all around excellence!”

Quinn-Davidson will receive the award on Jan. 8 at a ceremony at the California Highway Patrol Academy in Sacramento.  

California Grown Rice Endowed Chair open for applications

Applications are being accepted through Jan. 31, 2018, from individuals who wish to be considered for the UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for California Grown Rice.

Through a funding partnership between the California Rice Research Board and the UC Presidential Endowment program, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources has established a $1 million UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for California Grown Rice. The endowed chair will provide a UCCE scientist a dedicated source of funds to support scholarly activities focused on improvement of California rice production and quality. The chair will be awarded by UC ANR to a distinguished UC Cooperative Extension specialist or advisor currently working in the area of California-grown rice research.

Through a competitive selection process, a chair will be selected to hold a five-year term. 

Application and selection details, including timeline and submission guidelines, are available at http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/275834.pdf.

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 11:25 AM

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
(High-risk/High-reward)

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

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