Posts Tagged: UC Cooperative Extension
Public comment on UCCE positions closes July 21
UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources leaders strongly encourage commodity groups, cooperating programs, agency partners, community groups and others to share their opinions on priority needs for UCCE positions.
“We want to hear from our stakeholders,” said Barbara Allen-Diaz, UC vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Which Cooperative Extension positions do you think are most critical for UC to fill with the resources we have to invest?”
Members of the public are invited to review proposed positions and leave comments at http://ucanr.edu/2014CallforPositions.
To comment on a proposal, visit http://ucanr.edu/2014CallforPositions and find the position at the bottom of the page. Above the list there is a search tool. Click the proposal title link and write in the “comments” text box. If desired, commenters may include their title and the name of their organization.
Comments are not being counted as votes. One collective set of thoughtful comments from an organization or group that explain why a position is important will carry more weight than an overwhelming number of comments that simply state support. The comments are publicly accessible and will be read by the review teams, UC ANR Program Council and Allen-Diaz.
For the Be a Scientist project, school children, families, community groups and individuals went online to answer three questions: Where is food grown in your community? How are you conserving water? How many pollinators do you see?
People as far north as Del Norte County and as far south as Imperial County participated:
- 10,697 people counted pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds and even a few bats. (These numbers cannot be added to determine total participants because people could answer more than one question.)
- 9,989 people posted on the map where food is grown in their community – from backyard fruit trees to school gardens to farms
- 8,314 people told how they are conserving water – such as taking shorter showers or letting their lawns turn brown
“It's encouraging to see so many Californians interested in pollinators because they play a vital role in producing food,” said Barbara Allen-Diaz, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “People are conserving water in many different ways, which is important because water is a limited resource even in non-drought years. And, surprisingly, almost half of the people participating in our survey said they grow food.”
Preliminary results show that people counted 37,961 pollinators in a three-minute period. Flies were by far the most abundant, accounting for 79 percent of the pollinators counted.
While most Californians get their food from a store, 45 percent of those responding to the UC survey said they grow their own food too. One-third of the people responding said they get their food only from a store.
To save water, 62 percent of the participants are watering less.
Many people uploaded photos of gardens, pollinators and themselves along with their observations on the map. For details about the survey, visit http://beascientist.ucanr.edu to view the maps and reports.
The statewide science project was part of UC Cooperative Extension's 100-year anniversary celebration. On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation creating the system to connect scientific advances in agriculture, nutrition and natural resources from public land-grant universities and communities in each state.
“We will continue to celebrate a century of UC Cooperative Extension and its benefits to Californians with events around the state throughout the year,” said Allen-Diaz.
For more information about the UC Cooperative Extension centennial, visit http://ucanr.edu/100.
The two UCCE specialists, from the UC Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources, will help further connect campus research with local farmers and residents.
One of the positions, which will be housed in the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, will help farmers and ranchers adjust to the problems created by climate change and participate in statewide efforts, which include state and federal agencies in addition to UC, address climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The other position, housed in the Health Sciences Research Institute, will focus on nutrition research and education and food security, aiming to improve the lives of local residents. The UCCE nutrition specialist will connect with a larger team of nutrition researchers and educators throughout the UC system addressing issues related to healthy food and human health.
UC Merced Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Tom Peterson said even though the campus doesn't have an agriculture school, current areas of faculty research can and do benefit San Joaquin Valley citizens and farmers. For example, research on unmanned aerial vehicles offers more efficient means to monitor soil and crop conditions. UC Merced scientists are also conducting research into factors that affect the flow of water out of the Sierra Nevada and into the San Joaquin Valley.
“These positions come with a focus on interacting with the community, conducting applied research, and translating UC research to help the agricultural economy and local residents,” he said. “This is a recognition that we're making important contributions to the agricultural industry and that we have research and outreach important to it.”
Both positions require applicants with Ph.D.s who are ready to start projects that will work toward solving pressing problems.
The climate change specialist could potentially study precision technologies that help better manage agricultural systems or increase the quality and scale of information.
The nutrition specialist will work with experts in the field to understand regional and state research needs and outreach priorities. The specialist will also have an emphasis on nutrition and disease prevention.
“We're an ideal lab for these kinds of research experiments,” Peterson said.
“Serving California agriculture with UC science-based solutions is what we do on an everyday basis. California agriculture is a world-recognized marvel, and we'd like to think the university, through its Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is a big reason why,” said Barbara Allen-Diaz, Vice President of ANR. “This collaboration with UC Merced will only strengthen UC efforts.”
ANR focuses on agriculture, nutrition, natural resources and youth development. UC Cooperative Extension, which is part of ANR, conducts research on campuses, at research and extension centers and in counties.
UCCE advisors and educators work directly with people in their communities to conduct and apply this science-based research on the farm and field and in classrooms and homes. UCCE's 20,000 Master Gardener Program and 4-H Youth Development Program volunteers help extend UC's information even further into communities around the state.
Public comments will be accepted until July 21.
“Filling critical academic positions is a top priority for UC ANR,” said Barbara Allen-Diaz, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “We encourage our stakeholders – including commodity groups, cooperating programs, agency partners, community groups and others – to let us know what they see as priority needs for positions.”
To view the list of academic positions and to post a comment, visit http://ucanr.edu/callforpositions.
You're famished. The potato chips look good. The glazed doughnuts look even better. And that chocolate candy bar? To die for.
Bring ‘em on!
No, wait a minute. Let's get real, let's get green and let's get healthy. And let's save some money.
Nutritionist Amy Block Joy, Cooperative Extension specialist emeritus, teaches a University of California, Davis, freshman class on “Eating Green” and we asked her for the 10 best ways to save money and eat healthier.
Joy, who holds a doctorate in nutritional sciences from UC Berkeley, specializes in nutrition and health disparities of diverse populations and nutritional ecology, as well as workplace ethics.
Her advice needs to be posted on every refrigerator in the country. (Along with that shopping list!)
- Shop with a list: Using a list will keep you focused on meal planning and reduce the temptation to buy unneeded items.
- Don't shop when you're hungry: Temptation is high when you're hungry. Eat first and you'll be less inclined to spend extra dollars on those food items placed near the check-out stand that are high in calories and fat and low in nutrition. That would be snacks! Try shopping after a meal and you will find yourself less tempted by those chocolate-covered pretzels!
- Read the nutrition facts label: When shopping for the healthiest foods, you should read the nutrition fact labels to check out fat, calories, fiber, carbohydrates and sodium. Aim for low-fat, high-fiber foods that have essential vitamins and minerals. For example, if you want the best source of fiber - buy fresh oranges and eat them raw rather than selecting orange juice. However, if you want juice, be sure that you are getting real juice. And, some juices are now fortified with calcium - a big plus for increasing your calcium intake if you are not drinking milk.
- Read the ingredient lists: The ingredient list will provide important clues on products that you'll want to include in your diet. One of them is to look for whole grains. The information on the product may make you think the product is "natural" but what does that really mean? Not much because the phrase you want to look for is the "USDA organic" label. With so many choices of breads these days, you'll want to find ones that have whole grains and fiber. Find the information by reading the label (compare fiber amounts) and ingredients (look for "whole" grains).
- Compare prices: Supermarkets provide price-comparison information located by their products. You can compare the "unit" costs so that you'll be able to determine the lowest cost of the product. Two words of caution: products "on sale" may not be the best bargains.
- Shop the perimeter of the store: Marketing experts have placed the healthiest foods at the farthest corners of the store so that the shopper has to stroll through the other items before finding fruits and vegetables, protein sources (poultry, meats), dairy products and cereal products.
- Think protein: Buy meat and poultry on sale and use these foods to make stews, soups and chili. This way you can stretch these more expensive food sources. Beans are a great source of protein and are low fat and high in fiber.
- Plan meals ahead: The best way to save money is to plan your meals in advance. Buying unprocessed foods will improve your health and also save money. It costs to add preservatives, food additives and packaging of products that you, the consumer, are paying for. It's much cheaper to buy rice in bulk rather than already prepared rice products. Brown rice contains more fiber than white rice.
- Cook! Your grandmother was right. Food prepared from scratch will taste better, be healthier and save money. Research has shown that cooking not only saves money but improves nutrition.
- Enjoy! Food is meant to be a pleasant happy experience. Don't forget to enjoy it!
So, the next time you're racing out the door on your way to the supermarket, be sure to eat first so you're not tempted by foods that you know aren't good for you.
And that shopping list? You can also key that in on your cell phone so neither the list, nor your phone, will get left behind.
Meanwhile, we all ought to follow Amy Block Joy's great advice on saving money, eating green, and being healthier.
As I wrote on one of my college essays, "We have a choice in the matter and it matters that we have a choice."
The produce aisle is a good place to "go green and eat healthier." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Grocery stores usually place fruits and vegetables around the perimeter. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Broccoli--a food everyone should love. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)