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Posts Tagged: Yu Meng

Names in the News

Chen named woody biomass and wood products advisor 

Cindy Chen

Cindy Chen joined UC Cooperative Extension Sept. 6 as a woody biomass and wood products advisor for the Central Sierra and Alpine and Mariposa counties.

After receiving her bachelor's in social ecology and master's in demography from UC Irvine, Chen completed her Ph.D. in environmental and forest sciences from the University of Washington, specializing in wood products processing and marketing. Chen has worked and lived in all three West Coast states over the past 20 years and she is familiar with the natural environment in the western U.S. 

Her multidisciplinary expertise allows her to work on a wide range of projects covering topics such as population forecasting, environmental assessment, woody biomass transportation logistics, the end-of-life treatment of wood products and mass timber production optimization.

Chen has worked with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, research scientists, and local stakeholders to investigate the environmental and economic benefits of wood utilization in the construction and energy industries. Her work in evaluating the environmental impacts of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) production helped prepare for the opening of North America's largest mass timber manufacturing facility in the State of Washington. 

In addition to her work in the U.S., Chen also has collaborated extensively with international partners in research projects that explored the global market potential for wood products and bioenergy.

About this position, Chen says, “As the woody biomass and forest products advisor at UC ANR, my goal is to work with the Central Sierra communities in exploring innovative ways to better utilize California's forest resources and biomass, developing biomass processing programs that are appropriate for the region and contributing to local economic development.”

Chen is based in Tuolumne and can be reached at cxnchen@ucanr.edu.

Low brings fire expertise to communities statewide 

Katie Low

Katie Low, who began as the University of California Cooperative Extension statewide fire coordinator on Sept. 1, will fulfill two important functions for UC ANR's team of fire experts.

First, she will coordinate and partner with UCCE fire advisors throughout California to develop and deliver wildfire-related science and outreach materials for a wide range of communities across the state. Low said encouraging diversity in the network of fire experts and engaged communities will be crucial.

“One of my goals is to help build and maintain a diverse and inclusive community of fire and natural resource professionals,” she said. 

Second, based at the UCCE office in Auburn, Low will collaborate with local natural resource professionals and residents in Nevada and Placer counties on projects that bolster community and ecosystem resilience to wildfire and climate change.

“I look forward to working with community groups, land managers and scientists to implement viable fire-resilient management strategies for ecosystems in the region and statewide,” Low said.

Equipped with bachelor's degrees in geography and ecosystems management and forestry, as well as a master's in forestry, all from UC Berkeley, Low brings to UC ANR a wealth of knowledge and a variety of experience.

As a fire and forest ecologist, she studied the impacts of fuels-reduction and forest-restoration treatments on Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests. Low also worked as operations coordinator for the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition, and as a forestry aide for California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Forest Biometrics Program. 

Low can be reached at (530) 889-7385 and katlow@ucanr.edu; follow her on Twitter @lowseverityfire.

Deak named fire advisor for Mariposa, Fresno and Madera counties 

Alison Deak

Alison Deak joined UC Cooperative Extension on Aug. 22 as a fire advisor for Mariposa, Fresno and Madera counties. Since she began work, Deak has been focused on conducting a needs assessment and building rapport with community leaders.

Her role as fire advisor will include promoting the use of prescribed fire to help restore fire adapted landscapes. She will also prioritize community education, applied research and partnership building efforts that are based on scientifically informed ways to help communities mitigate, prepare for, and recover from wildfire.

Originally from northeast Ohio where there are no wildfires according to Deak, it was not until she moved to Colorado for college that she learned of their impact.

When the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire occurred, Deak felt like her playground was burning down so she acted. She began volunteering with the wildfire recovery effort and her career into fire science took off from there.

Deak earned a bachelors in geography and environmental studies from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and master's degrees in geography and nonprofit management from the University of Oregon. 

Before moving to California and joining UC ANR, Deak worked as a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.  

When asked what she is looking forward to most, Deak shared that she is passionate about increasing diversity in the fire science field and, particularly, empowering more women to join. She is eager to help community members prepare for wildfire and mitigate fire risk in a safe and competent manner. 

Deak is located at the UC Cooperative Extension office in Mariposa County and can be reached at aldeak@ucanr.edu.  

Henry joins UC ANR as food systems advisor for capitol region 

Olivia Henry

Olivia Henry joined UC ANR on Aug. 15 as regional food systems area advisor for Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, Placer and Nevada counties. Henry will focus on issues related to marketing, resilient supply chains, distribution infrastructure, processing infrastructure, financing models and food waste.  

Prior to joining UC ANR, Henry worked in various newsrooms – including CapRadio, the Mendocino Voice, KALW Public Radio, San Francisco Public Press and Mother Jones – in community engagement, membership and communications roles. She also worked with Internews, a media development organization, to conduct information needs assessments in the San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire regions. Henry is still involved with community media, and currently serves as the assistant editor of a bimonthly, English and Spanish-language newspaper, “The Ivanhoe Sol,” in rural Tulare County. 

She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Western Washington University and master's degree in community development from UC Davis. While at Davis, Henry studied models of community- and employee-owned news enterprises, with a focus on how stakeholder ownership can protect journalism as a public good. She also earned a graduate certificate in extension outreach and communication. 

Henry said she is excited to be a part of UC ANR, which she has benefitted from as a certified California Naturalist and candidate California Master Beekeeper. She has previously worked at local farms, including a diversified orchard and targeted grazing operation.  

Henry is based in Fairfield and can be reached at omhenry@ucanr.edu and (707) 389-0723.

Neas named 4-H advisor for San Mateo, San Francisco counties 

Sally Neas

Sally Neas began working as the 4-H youth development program advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in San Mateo and San Francisco counties on Aug. 1.

In her role, Neas incorporates environmental education into youth programs at Elkus Ranch and 4-H community clubs. She is also responsible for conducting research and developing new programs.

Neas has worked in youth development and environmental education for several years. When she first moved to California 12 years ago, she worked for Veggielution Community Farm in San Jose and helped launch their first youth development program. 

Since then, she has worked in after-school programming focused on gardening and nutrition in Santa Cruz and has dedicated her time and energy to engaging youth in conversations about climate change.

“I'm interested in building conversations around climate change that focus on culturally relevant and personally meaningful approaches. Not a deficit approach that asks what we're going to give up, but what can we do as a collective,” said Neas. 

Neas earned a doctorate in environmental education at UC Davis and a bachelor's in environmental studies from the University of the South in Tennessee.

Neas centered her dissertation on how young people understand and define climate change. Her research relied on oral histories collected from “youth that, historically, are not represented in the climate change space” such as youth of color and queer youth. To capture their stories, Neas initiated a digital storytelling project, drawing on the collaboration between art and science. 

“I really felt bothered by not hearing educators adequately address climate change. It felt like a looming elephant in the room, where we either didn't talk about it at all or what we were saying wasn't helpful,” she said. 

According to Neas, youth have a moral compass that, unlike in adults, has not been so degraded. Their creativity, compassion and drive inspire Neas to preserve these parts of herself. Moving forward, she is eager to create programs that are inclusive and representative of all youth that she serves. 

Neas is based in Half Moon Bay and can be reached at seneas@ucanr.edu.

Ireland joins UC ANR as senior videographer 

Ethan Ireland

Ethan Ireland joined Strategic Communications as the new senior videographer on Aug. 31.

Ireland is an experienced science communicator and visual storyteller, well-versed in translating and simplifying complex ideas for general audiences. He brings 20 years of experience working in television and feature films as well as running his own videography business.

His role is not only to create engaging videos to promote the impact and value of UC ANR, but also to train and support academics in using video in their research and extension work.

Ireland is based at the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at eireland@ucanr.edu.

Meng, CFHL, Farm Smart win NEAFCS awards

From left, Yu Meng, Stacey Amparano, Stephanie Collins, Chris Wong, Vincent (contract gardener), Paul Tabarez, Rigo Ponce and Martha Lopez. The CalFresh Healthy Living, UC and Farm Smart teams delivered garden kits to preschools.

Yu Meng, UC Cooperative Extension youth, family and community advisor for Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino counties, received two awards from the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences on Sept. 13 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Meng accepted the Communications Television/Video Award and Family Health & Wellness Award on behalf of the CalFresh Healthy Living, UC and Farm Smart teams.

In addition to Meng, the teams included Stacey Amparano, Farm Smart manager; Stephanie Collins, Farm Smart outreach assistant; Chris Gomez Wong, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC community education supervisor; Paul Tabarez, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC community education supervisor; Rigo Ponce, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC community education specialist; and Martha Lopez, CalFresh Healthy Living, UC community education specialist.

The Communications Television/Video Award honored their garden video project “Grow Healthy Foods, Harvest Healthy Families” (“Cultiva Alimentos Saludables, Cosecha Familias Saludables”). 

“The instructional garden video presented a great opportunity to connect with our targeted audience for distance program delivery during the pandemic,” Meng said.

They developed a series of English and Spanish videos, teaching low-income Hispanic families how to grow edible plants with resources accessible through UC ANR's Master Gardener Program and CalFresh Healthy Living, UC.

The videos give step-by-step instructions from seed germination to harvesting and food preservation and engage audiences with healthy recipes, climate adaptive strategies and fun activities in the garden for all ages.  

The Family Health & Wellness Award honored the Farm-to-Preschool Festival project, which was developed by the Farm Smart Program staff and UC Cooperative Extension CalFresh Healthy Living staff. They provided families with instructional videos and garden kits during pandemic. In 2019, they invited families with children 0-5 years old to participate in a day on the farm with educational activities, field trips and community organization family resource booths at UC Desert Research and Extension Center. About 700 to 800 people participated.

During the pandemic, the team made and delivered 344 festival bags to preschool sites. Migrant Head Start Program Preschool provided places to distribute festival bags to families with children 0-5 years old. QR codes and email links led to activities including Green Thumb Planting and Storytime (garden videos for adults), MyPlate activity, Music on the Farm, Lets Get Active, Scrub a Dub handwashing activity, and Let's Craft. All materials were in both English and Spanish because over 80% of residents are Hispanic.

Gable wins national early career award 

Missy Gable

Missy Gable, statewide director of the UC Master Gardener Program, received the 2022 Extension Master Gardener National Coordinator Award for Distinguished Early Career at the organization's annual conference on Sept. 20.

Throughout her nine years with the program, Gable has worked diligently to ensure the program makes an impact and follows its mission to support gardeners and sustainable gardening across the state.

Through her leadership, Gable has provided a clear vision for the future of the program while advocating and supporting county-based programs with 6,216 volunteers across 53 counties in California. Gable's impact on the UC Master Gardener Program, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and its national and local partners has been transformational. 

In announcing Gable's award, the organization said, “Her passion for the UC Master Gardener Program's mission is evident in her tireless advocacy for support and continued recognition of its volunteers.”

Nationally, Gable served as the Southwest Regional Representative for the Extension Master Gardener National Committee in 2016. This role grew to include an appointment as Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Chair. Since 2018, Gable has served on the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) Executive Committee, on the inaugural Board of Directors, and the NICH Farm Bill Committee. In her national leadership roles, Gable has been involved in strategic planning efforts, collaborating with colleagues to provide vision and future direction.

Wang named one of Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 

Zheng Wang

Zheng Wang, UC Cooperative Extension vegetable crops and irrigation advisor in Stanislaus County, has been recognized by Vegetable Grower News as one of Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40. 

The Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Awards honor 40 outstanding individuals under age 40 employed in the fruit and vegetable industry who demonstrate leadership qualities and propel the industry forward.

Wang, who joined UCCE in 2018, focuses his research and extension on innovative production practices to enhance vegetable productivity, water use efficiency and crop health through multidisciplinary collaborations with local producers and various industry and commodity organizations. Using vegetable grafting, precision irrigation tools and managing insects and diseases, he has generated measurable benefits for the vegetable industry.

In one of Wang's projects, growers reported that their successfully grafted watermelon plants produced 15% to 25% more watermelons than non-grafted fields per acre, while using 30% fewer plants and the same amount of water and fertilizers. 

The 40 young professionals represent the best in the industry, according to Vegetable Grower News. The Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 will be honored at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO in December in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and recognized in the October 2022 issues of Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News.

 

Posted on Friday, September 30, 2022 at 1:47 PM

Names in the News

Syrett joins ANR's front desk in Davis

Selena Syrett

Selena Syrett joined the ANR team as the receptionist for the ANR building in Davis in November. She had been working as a temporary employee at the front desk since September.

Syrett comes to UC ANR from the retail world of Nordstrom Rack, where she held jobs as a cashier and stockroom employee for four years. Prior to that, she taught high school students virtually over the summer and worked as an administrative assistant at Mare Island Home Health in Vallejo. She earned a B.A. in linguistics from UC Davis. 

Syrett is located at the front desk of the UC ANR building in Davis and can be reached at smsyrett@ucanr.edu and (530) 750-1200. 

Beck joins Hopland and Sierra Foothill RECs

Jackie Beck
Jacalyn “Jackie” Beck joined UC ANR as an academic program management officer for Hopland and Sierra Foothill research and extension centers on Oct. 25. She is charged with developing and managing the research programs at both Hopland REC and Sierra Foothill REC.

“My personal background is in interdisciplinary wildlife science and I am looking forward to expanding research and education at Hopland and Sierra Foothill in new and unique ways,” Beck said. “We will definitely continue to focus on our historic strengths (e.g., oak management and livestock research), but I will also be looking to bring on more integrated studies, creative pursuits, and social science programs.”

Beck will help the REC directors manage existing projects, recruit new researchers, assist with finding and winning funding, and develop collaborations, both among researchers at each REC and between the two RECs.

“My goal is to create a more unified vision for academic programs at the two sites and to facilitate projects that utilize the amazing resources at both,” Beck said.

She earned a Ph.D. in fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State University and a B.S. in wildlife and fisheries science at Pennsylvania State University. As a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow prior to joining UC ANR, Beck studied African lion and domestic cattle interactions, collecting data within Tanzanian national parks and non-protected areas. While working as a research coordinator for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources from 2014 to 2016, she implemented bat conservation efforts.

John Bailey, Hopland REC director, would like her to meet many members of the ANR community. “I'm hoping that the introduction will lead to people contacting her and remembering that our two RECs are great places to work,” he said.

Beck is based at Sierra Foothill REC and can be reached at jacbeck@ucanr.edu.

Eissa joins Environmental Health and Safety

Essam Eissa

Essam Eissa joined UC ANR as an environmental health and safety specialist in July.

From 2016 to 2020, Eissa served as an inspector with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  He worked from 2001 to 2016 in the California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Criminal Investigation as a senior environmental engineer. 

In 2002, he received a certification of professional negotiation skills from the California State Department. In 1993, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services recognized Eissa with a Certificate of Achievement for Incident Commander/Scene Manager.

Eissa earned bachelor's degrees in agriculture engineering and environmental/safety engineering from West Los Angeles College. He also earned a bachelor's degree in international law and criminal justice from Solano College. He was designated as a chief environmental engineer by the United Nations in Brindisi, Italy, in 2012.

Eissa is based in the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1364 and eeissa@ucanr.edu.

Capitol Corridor small farms team expands

From left, Pang Kue, Asia Saechao, Fam Lee and Yurytzy Sanchez have joined Margaret Lloyd's small farms team.

Margaret Lloyd, UCCE Capitol Corridor advisor, has expanded her small farms team to include Hmong, Mien and Spanish-speaking community educators. 

Pang Kue took trainings from The Interpreter Advantage and Bridging the Gap (UC Davis) and is certified as a Superior Hmong Speaker. She has been a Hmong linguist for over 10 years, providing professional language services for clients including UC Davis Medical Center, leading Hmong language study groups, teaching cultural etiquette, and volunteering in her community. Kue can be reached at pykue@ucanr.edu

Asia Saechao is a queer, nonbinary descendent of Indigenous Khmu and Iu Mien refugees of the Secret War in Laos who settled in Richmond - homeland and ancestral lands of the Huchiun band of Ohlone.

Before joining UC ANR, Saechao worked with an environmental nonprofit to develop culturally relevant environmental education for youth of color in Oregon's greater Portland area. They now work to reimagine tools for Iu Mien and Khmu learning, storytelling and archiving. In addition to serving Mien and Hmong farmers with UC ANR, Saechao serves as senior program coordinator for Iu Mien Community Services. Saechao can be reached at asisaechao@ucanr.edu.

Fam Fin Lee was a strawberry grower for six years in Elk Grove and got to know Lloyd through farm visits and annual meetings. Her parents, who are lu-Mien, were farmers in Laos and in Thailand.

Born in Laos, Lee moved to the U.S. in 1979. Initially living with her family in an apartment with three Chinese families, Lee learned to speak Cantonese before learning English. Lee can be reached at fllee@ucanr.edu.

Yurytzy Sanchez grew up on a peach farm and raised goats, sheep, chickens and cattle in the Central Valley. The first-generation college graduate did an internship in Washington D.C. while earning her bachelor's degree in international relations from UC Davis. She also volunteered, then interned at the UC Davis Student Farm. After graduation, Sanchez took a farming position at The Cloverleaf Farm, where she co-owned and managed an eight-acre organic vegetable and stone fruit farm. Sanchez can be reached at ygsanchez@ucdavis.edu.

The small farms team is based at the UCCE office in Woodland. To read more about them, visit https://ccsmallfarms.ucanr.edu/About.

ESA recognizes Dara, Sutherland, Perring 

Surendra Dara

Three UC ANR entomologists were recently honored by the Entomological Society of America.

Surendra Dara, UCCE entomology and biologicals advisor for San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, received the Plant-Insect Ecosystems Section award for Outstanding Contributions to Agricultural Entomology.

Andrew Sutherland, UCCE urban integrated pest management advisor for the Bay Area, was honored for exceptional service to the society's Certification Corporation Board. He has been actively involved in developing ESA certification programs that are designed to help pest management professionals demonstrate their knowledge and skills to advance their careers.

Andrew Sutherland receives ESA award for exceptional service to the society's Certification Corporation Board.

Thomas Perring
This year, the ESA launched the Certified Integrated Pest Management Technician credential. "The new CIT credential gives pest management professionals who are relatively new to the field a way to get a leg up in their career and gain a competitive edge," Sutherland said.

As reported previously, Thomas Perring, a professor in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside, received the ESA Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management.

The awards were presented Nov. 2 during ESA's annual meeting in Denver.

Pourreza elected to Club of Bologna

Alireza Pourreza
Alireza Pourreza, UC Davis assistant professor of Cooperative Extension in biological and agricultural engineering, was elected to the prestigious Club of Bologna in October.

The Club of Bologna is a world task force on agricultural mechanization. The Italy-based club is comprised of 96 members from 28 countries, representing research, industry and international organizations around the world. Pourreza is one of four new members this year and the only full member from California.

“It's a great honor for me to represent U.S. and California in the Club of Bologna,” he said. “Becoming a full member has been my dream since I first joined the club as a temporary member in 2016. I'm eager to get involved with club activities and pursue California's priorities and needs in mechanization and smart farming.”

Pourreza runs the Digital Agriculture Lab at UC Davis, which uses novel sensing and mechanization technology to help California growers get the most out of their crops and resources.

His lab has developed a virtual orchard that can simulate any orchard down to the tree level using aerial sensing data collected with drones. It allows growers to examine their crops in virtual reality and run experiments to determine how much sunlight each plant is getting, as well as how to optimize resources. This prevents overuse of resources that can waste water and have detrimental long-term effects on the plants.

His team has also developed a mechanical spray backstop to catch spray pesticide particles that would otherwise be released into the air when being applied to trees.

Noah Pflueger-Peters' full story is at https://caes.ucdavis.edu/news/alireza-pourreza-elected-club-bologna.

Meng and CalFresh team win innovation award

From left, Martha Lopez, Chris Wong,Yu Meng, Paul Tabarez and Rigo Ponce of UCCE Imperial County's nutrition team. Shown in 2019.

Yu Meng, UCCE youth family and community advisor, and the CalFresh Healthy Living, UC team in Imperial County were honored by the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences West Region with the Innovative Youth Development Program Award for Team Project.

Their “Engaging Underserved Youth in Nutrition Education and Community Development through Youth-led Participatory Action Research Program” was designed to engage youth to address nutrition, healthy behaviors, and other public health issues based on social justice principles.

With their guidance, students conducted video interviews capturing classmates' comments about cafeteria food and preferred snacks. Based on what they learned, the students recruited new members to deliver gardening and cooking lessons as well as advocate for a farm-to-school program and more garden space to benefit the whole school.

At another school, students audited food waste in their cafeteria. To reduce food waste, the students asked administrators to create a “Share Table” where students can leave unopened and untouched food for other students to pick up and eat. Meng anticipates the change will benefit more than 400 low-income youth at the school.

They partnered with Career Technical Education teachers, which boosted youth participation from dozens to hundreds. The collaboration has led to youths creating physical activity videos and developing a survey to find out how active their peers have been during the pandemic. 

During the past three years, the Imperial County team worked with three school districts and 300 youth, indirectly benefiting 7,100 students through policy and environmental changes that schools made. Pre- and post-program surveys show that students reported their willingness to suggest solutions or recommendations for making their school/community a healthier place rose from 29% to 93%.

Koundinya honored for evaluation training

Vikram Koundinya

Vikram Koundinya, UCCE evaluation specialist at UC Davis, received the American Evaluation Association's Excellence in Extension Evaluation Training Award.

The award recognizes his efforts in conducting extension evaluation training of outstanding quality for UC Cooperative Extension professionals. His extension evaluation-capacity building program includes statewide trainings, trainings to specific project teams of extension advisors, and one-on-one consultations with extension advisors, UCCE specialists, academic staff and students.

The award was presented to Koundinya Nov. 9 during the association's 35th annual conference, which was held virtually.

 

Posted on Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 4:42 PM

Names in the News

El-Kereamy named UCCE citrus specialist
Ashraf El-Kereamy

Ashraf El-Kereamy was appointed UC Cooperative Extension citrus horticultural specialist in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside on Feb. 1, 2019.

He had been working as a UCCE area viticulture advisor serving Kern, Tulare and Kings counties since 2014.

Prior to joining UCCE, El-Kereamy worked as a post-doc research associate at University of Guelph, studying plant drought and heat stress tolerance in plants from 2013 to 2014, and studying the genotypes variation in nitrogen use efficiency and plant heat stress tolerance from 2008 to 2012. From 2012 to 2013, he was assistant/associate professor in the Department of Horticulture, Ain Shams University, Egypt, where he taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses for horticultural science and served as the principal investigator for a U.S.-Egypt joint collaborative research project between University of Wyoming and Ain Shams University on improving grapevine tolerance to drought and heat stress. As a post-doctoral scientist at the University of Guelph, Vineland, El-Kereamy studied the pathogenesis-related proteins during plum fruit ripening. As a University of Manitoba post-doc, he studied the physiological role of abscisic acid in plants.

He earned his Ph.D. in agriculture with an emphasis in grape physiology and molecular biology from INP-ENSAT, Toulouse University, Toulouse, France, and a M.Sc. in pomology and B.Sc. in horticulture, both from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.

El-Kereamy is based at Lindcove Research and Extension Center in Exeter, and can be reached at (559) 592-2408, Cell: (661) 703-4678 and aelkereamy@ucanr.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ashrafelkereamy.

Galdi joins UCCE in Siskiyou County

Giuliano Galdi

Giuliano C. Galdi joined UCCE on Jan. 2, 2019, as a UC Cooperative Extension agronomy advisor in Siskiyou County.

Prior to joining UCCE, Galdi was a junior specialist at UC Davis (May 2017 – December 2018), where he worked on a variety of field trials, mainly alfalfa and forage crops, with the objective to improve sustainability of water use and hay quality. Tasks included irrigation scheduling, planting/harvesting trials, and data handling and analysis. As a master's student and student research assistant at Fresno State (2014-2017), Galdi evaluated salinity tolerance in different alfalfa varieties, attended conferences, and presented research in the form of posters and talks. He speaks Portuguese fluently.

Galdi completed a M.S. in plant sciences from Fresno State and a B.S. in agronomy engineering from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Galdi is based in Yreka and can be reached at (530) 842-2711 and gcgaldi@ucanr.edu.

Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @uccesiskiyou.

Grettenberger joins UCCE as field and vegetable crops specialist

Ian Grettenberger

Ian Grettenberger joined UCCE on Jan. 2, 2019, as a field and vegetable crops assistant specialist in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis. Grettenberger is interested in advancing integrated pest management in field and vegetable crops, plant-insect interactions, and applied insect ecology.

Grettenberger earned a Ph.D. in entomology from Penn State University and a BS in biology from Western Washington University.

Prior to joining UCCE, Grettenberger was a postdoctoral research scholar at UC Davis, working first with Larry Godfrey and then with Frank Zalom.

Grettenberger is based at UC Davis in Briggs Hall and can be reached at (530) 752-0473 and imgrettenberger@ucdavis.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @IGrett.

Meng joins UCCE in Imperial County

Yu Meng

Yu Meng joined UCCE on Jan. 2, 2019, as the youth, families and communities advisor serving Imperial County, UC Desert Research and Extension Center and communities near the U.S.-Mexico border. Her responsibilities will focus on providing community development programs in the area of youth, families, and communities, with major outreach to the Latino youth and families.

Prior to joining UCCE, Meng worked for a USDA-funded project known as "the WAVE~Ripples for change" in collaboration with Oregon State University professionals, extension, community partners, high school soccer coaches, and school districts, and other dedicated volunteers. The program was designed to prevent unhealthy weight gain among 15- to 19-year-old soccer players. Most of the youth she worked with were Latinos and from low-income families. During this time, Meng helped develop and test the first sports nutrition, physical activity, family and consumer sciences curriculum for active youth. Her work resulted in positive developments in youth, reducing added sugar intake, maintaining fruit and vegetable intake over time, and improving the awareness of sports nutrition. Participating youth also applied additional skills they learned from gardening and cooking workshops at their homes and shared the lessons and practical applications with their respective families.

Meng is fluent in Chinese and originally from China, where she worked for food industries and started to notice the nutrition issues with processed foods and their effects on children's health. With that in mind, she came to the U.S. and earned a master's degree and Ph.D.

She completed a Ph.D. in nutrition science from Oregon State University, a M.S. in food science and nutrition from Utah State University, and a B.S. in Food Science and Engineering from Southern China University of Technology, China.

Meng is based in Holtville and can be reached at (442) 265-7700 and ucmeng@ucanr.edu.

York joins UCCE as silviculture and forest specialist

Rob York

Robert York joined UC ANR on Jan. 2, 2019, as a UC Cooperative Extension silviculture and applied forest ecology assistant specialist and adjunct associate professor of forestry in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. He directs research and management activity on the Berkeley Forests, a network of five research forests covering the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest from Shasta to Tulare counties.

York is a Registered Professional Forester in California. He earned a Ph.D. in forest ecology and silviculture, a M.S. in forest community ecology and a B.S. in forest management, all from UC Berkeley.

Prior to joining UCCE, York has been the research station manager at Blodgett Forest Research Station with UC Berkeley.

York is based in Georgetown and can be reached at (530) 333-4475 and ryork@berkeley.edu.

Forbes named Strategic Communications director

Linda Forbes

Linda Forbes joined UC ANR as Strategic Communications director on Feb. 19.

Forbes brings over 15 years of communications experience as a marketing and branding leader in the private sector and most recently at UC Davis. Since 2012, she served as associate director of marketing at UC Davis, leading initiatives such as the award-winning monthly Aggie Tip Sheet and major advertising campaigns, as well as collaborating with campus colleagues to promote the impact and value of UC Davis on a variety of digital platforms. Travelers who fly out of the Sacramento airport may have seen ads from the last campaign she led, which included the “You sip, we solve” ad showcasing UC Davis advances in protecting the water supply.

Before coming to UC, Forbes led marketing for a statewide accounting firm and managed an automotive aftermarket brand. But Forbes, whose father was a USDA veterinarian, had a desire to contribute her skills to an organization that solves agricultural and environmental issues.

“We look forward to having Linda lead our efforts to transform ANR from the university's ‘best kept secret' to a well-known, valued service,” said Wendy Powers, associate vice president

Forbes is located in room 175 in the ANR building in Davis. She can be reached at (530) 750-1204 and lforbes@ucanr.edu.

Scott joins ANR as payroll manager

Anne Marie Scott

Anne Marie Scott joined ANR's Business Operations Center as ANR payroll manager on Feb. 7, 2019. 

Scott brings strong payroll management and UCPath expertise with 19 years of UC experience in payroll, employment tax and accounts payable management. Most recently, she served as the payroll manager for the UC Office of the President working in the new UCPath system for the past year and a half. Prior to UCOP, she worked for UC Davis for 17 years as a payroll accountant, accounts payable division manager and also as the payroll manager for one of UCD's new shared service centers. She is also a Certified Payroll Professional.

Her experience working in the UCPath system at UCOP will uniquely enhance ANR's transition of payroll services to the new UCPath system. Scott will lead the ANR BOC payroll team providing time reporting and payroll services to all ANR units statewide. She will also work closely with the ANR Human Resources team to ensure efficient coordination between HR actions and payroll services. 

Scott is based at the ANR Building in Davis and can be contacted at ascott@ucanr.edu and (530) 750-1273.

Zilberman awarded Wolf Prize

David Zilberman

David Zilberman, a UC Cooperative Extension specialist and professor of agricultural and resources economics at UC Berkeley, has been awarded the 2019 Wolf Prize in Agriculture in recognition of his work developing economic models for fundamental problems in agriculture, economics and policy.

The Wolf Prize is an international award granted by the Wolf Foundation in six categories: agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, physics and the arts. The prize in the agriculture category is often referred to as the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in agriculture.

The award citation names Zilberman as “a leading protagonist in debates over water policy, environmental and resource policy in agriculture and the bioeconomy,” and highlights his career as “a unique mixture of theoretical work, applied research and extension.”

"I am deeply honored to have been selected,” said Zilberman, who holds the Robinson Chair in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. “This prize is a recognition of my entire community: my family, my collaborators, my teachers in Israel and Berkeley, the College of Natural Resources, and the uniquely supportive and inspiring Berkeley campus."

Read more about Zilberman's career achievements at https://nature.berkeley.edu/news/2019/01/david-zilberman-awarded-wolf-prize-agriculture.

Davy, Mashiri, James and Kyser win award for weed paper

From left, Josh Davy, Fadzayi Mashiri,Guy Kyser and Jeremy James.

The Weed Science Society of America honored four ANR members with its Outstanding Paper Award, Invasive Plant Science and Management. 

Medusahead grass at Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center.
Josh Davy, UC Cooperative Extension livestock, range and natural resources advisor for Tehama, Colusa and Glenn counties; Fadzayi Mashiri, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor for Mariposa and Merced counties; Jeremy James, UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center director, and Guy Kyser, UCCE specialist in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, co-authored “Timing Aminopyralid to Prevent Seed Production Controls Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) and Increases Forage Grasses.”

Their co-authors were Matthew J. Rinella, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service; Susan E. Bellows, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, and Vanelle F. Peterson, Dow AgroSciences. 

The award was presented Feb. 11 during the organization's annual meeting in New Orleans.

Humiston honored by California Legislature

From left, Assemblymember Jose Medina, Paul Granillo and Glenda Humiston.

The California Legislature recognized Vice President Glenda Humiston and Paul Granillo, president of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, as recipients of the California Economic Summit's 2018 Steward Leader Awards on Feb. 4.

Humiston received the California Steward Leader Award, which recognizes statewide contributions, and Granillo received the Regional Steward Leader Award, which recognizes regional contributions. The awards were presented at last year's California Economic Summit.

Senator Anna Caballero and Assemblymember Jose Medina issued joint resolutions to Humiston and Granillo commending their exemplary records of civic leadership, both have served on the California Economic Summit Steering Committee since its inception in 2011. 

Caballero read a resolution recognizing VP Glenda Humiston as recipient of the 2018 California Steward Leader Award.

Read more about Humiston's award at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=28665.  

Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 6:04 PM

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