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Posts Tagged: UCAN

You can support the future of the University of California

University of California staff are an integral part of a system with a high purpose. Every staff member plays a role in supporting the University's mission: Educating the best and brightest from all backgrounds, ethnicities and incomes, conducting research that touches the lives of people across the globe, and providing critical public service across California in areas such public health, agricultural science, nutrition and youth development.

Our future depends on the support of the elected leaders in the state and our nation's capital. This is an area where you, with your first-hand knowledge of the University's value, can play an important role.

In addition to being a UC staff member, you are a constituent of your government representatives. They want to hear from you. You have a unique perspective of UC ANR and your community. You can share honest communications with these leaders to gain support that is crucial to the future of the University of California. If you would like to add your voice to the voices of many others in support of UC, join the UC Advocacy Network, UCAN. (

UCAN was launched last year to engage staff, faculty, students and alumni who want to advocate for the future of UC. More than 17,000 people have already chosen to get involved, and there is significant room for growth, said Meredith Turner, associate director of Advocacy and Institutional Relations.  

“We have hundreds of thousands of employees, nearly 2 million alumni, and thousands of students,” Turner said. “There is a huge group of people who could join this community.”

When you “opt-in,” you will occasionally receive email alerts about issues vital to UC. The emails provide basic background on the topic. You choose whether to click “take action,” which brings you to a webpage with more information and a form where you can fill in your name, email and home address. The form contains a suggested message for your local government officials, but you can edit the message and personalize it, if you wish.

The UC Advocacy Network was recently engaged in the debate over the federal “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which passed Congress and President Trump signed into law in December 2017. The proposal contained provisions that could have harmed the financial security of UC students and their families and threatened the university's ability to carry out its research, education, health care, and public service missions. The issues in question were a proposal to repeal the Student Loan Interest Deduction and the Qualified Tuition Reductions (Section 117(d)). The latter makes it possible to provide graduate students with a non-taxable tuition reduction while they pursue their degrees and work as research or teaching assistants.

UCAN issued a call to action, asking its network of advocates to tell their representatives in Congress how damaging such provisions would be to higher education in the U.S.

“The issues are so complex, it can be hard to see how it will translate in your life,” Turner said. “We break it down and explain how the law will impact the University's mission directly.”

The final bill preserved both the Student Loan Interest Deduction and the Qualified Tuition Reductions.

Each year, UCAN participants are called to amplify UC's governmental relations staff communication with state senators and assembly members about the state budget.

“We advocate  greater state investment in the University,” Turner said. “This truly affects everyone connected to the University – it impacts staffing levels, the resources staff have to work with, the ability to hire faculty, repair classrooms. This is the perfect opportunity for people to participate in advocacy.”

The UC ANR Staff Assembly encourages all staff to visit the UCAN website and join the movement.

 “Advocacy is most impactful when you're passionate about an issue,” Turner said. “We let people pick what they are most concerned about and have them advocate for it.”

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 10:46 AM

AVP Powers announces 51 proposals invited for competitive and high-reward grants

AVP Wendy Powers announced the letters of intent (LOIs) for which principal investigators have been invited to submit full proposals to ANR's Competitive Grants Program and High-Risk/High-Reward Grants Program. The list of 51 approved projects can be found at

This year ANR received a total of 108 letters of intent — 97 for the Competitive Grants Program and 11 for the High-Risk/High-Reward Grants Program. Strategic Initiative leaders and their respective panels reviewed all letters of intent thoroughly to address the appropriateness of the proposals in addressing the goals and criteria outlined by each funding opportunity.

ANR Competitive Grants Program

The purpose of the ANR competitive grants program is to address high-priority issue areas identified by at least one of the strategic initiatives: Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases (EIPD), Healthy Families and Communities (HFC), Sustainable Food Systems (SFS), Sustainable Natural Ecosystems (SNE), and Water Quality, Quantity and Security (Water).

ANR Competitive Grants Program 2017 Cycle:

  • Full proposals due June 19
  • Technical peer review: mid-June – early September 2017
  • Strategic Initiative review and recommendations: end of September 2017
  • Program Council review and recommendations: October/November 2017
  • Announcement of funded grants: November/December 2017

High-Risk/High-Reward Grants Program

Given the complexity of societal problems, high-risk research is necessary to achieve gains for real progress in addressing present and emerging challenges. This program will provide funds to initiate and complete research and proof-of-concept efforts that serve as the basis for larger funding opportunities. These projects must be of a high-risk/high-reward nature that are best conducted in a controlled, research setting and, if successful, lend themselves to subsequent larger funding opportunities and/or intellectual property development.

Proposed projects must be within the scope of the ANR Strategic Vision. All ANR academics with PI status are eligible to apply. Proposals will be accepted using the same timeline as outlined for the traditional competitive grants program, but reviewed separately due to the nature of the proposal.

For questions about ANR's competitive grants program or high-risk/high-reward grants program, please contact Melanie Caruso at

Nutrition Policy Institute launches Research to Action news brief

The Nutrition Policy Institute has launched a news brief called Research to Action. The publication will provide information on research, policy, news, announcements, events, articles and action items focused on nutrition and healthy communities. 

The first issue looks at the work of the National Drinking Water Alliance (NDWA). NPI is the “hub” for NDWA, which engages in and coordinates evidence-based efforts going on all over the country to improve tap water safety and access, especially for children, and to provide drinking water education and promotion. The NDWA website is a “go-to” resource for information on drinking water. 
Future editions of Research to Action will be sent several times per year. Please sign up for the Research to Action mailing list, and please share Research to Action with colleagues who would be interested in receiving it.

4-H calls alumni and friends to join its new network

If 4-H has touched your life, raise your hand. Visit to voice your support for the California 4-H youth development program, help it win a national competition and connect with a network of 4-H alumni and friends.

You are considered alumni if you were in a 4-H Club, took part in a 4-H after-school program, served as a volunteer leader or taught a project. Friends of 4-H are also invited to raise their hands.

“Having experienced our programs first-hand, our alumni know about the positive impact of 4-H,” said Glenda Humiston, vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and a 4-H alumna.

As part of the new 4-H network being built in the 4-H Raise Your Hand campaign, members will get news about 4-H programs in California and stay in touch with a program that made a difference in their lives.

“I've raised my hand,” said Humiston, who credits 4-H with helping her become the first in her family to attend college. She later served in the Peace Corps, received a federal appointment from President Obama and now leads the statewide research and outreach arm of UC.

The National 4-H program, which currently empowers nearly 6 million youth across the country, aims to extend its reach to 10 million by 2025. It has launched a competition among states to see which ones can add the most alumni and friends to the network by June 30, 2017. A map showing the current front runners is on the registration page.

Posted on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 10:00 AM
  • Author: Jeannette Warnert

Educating policymakers about UC ANR

From left, Pia Van Benthem, outreach program coordinator for UC Davis Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (CSTARS) and the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, Congressman Ami Bera, Hogan and Susan Ustin, CSTARS director.

Hogan visits Capitol Hill

In early April, Sean Hogan, academic coordinator II for Informatics and Geographic Information Systems, presented at the AmericaView Winter Business Meeting, in Reston, Va., as representative of the CaliforniaView section of the consortium of remote sensing scientists. Hogan spoke about some of the ways that UC ANR is using drones to advance environmental and agricultural research. While he was near Washington D.C., Hogan went to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Ami Bera, Congressman Paul Cook and staffers for Senator Diane Feinstein.

Read more in the IGIS blog //

Congressman Jim Costa blends a salad for students at La Vina Elementary School in Madera County as UCCE nutrition educator Angelica Perez observes.

Congressman Costa visits UC CalFresh class in Madera

When United States Congressman Jim Costa learned about the federally funded nutrition education programs being offered in his district, he made plans to visit.

He wanted a first-hand experience with UC CalFresh, in which UC Cooperative Extension educators visit classrooms to share new foods, teach healthy eating strategies and demonstrate physical activity to children and low-income families.

Read more in the Food blog

Posted on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 5:37 PM

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