Poster Session Abstracts
Monday, April 27, 2009, 5:45 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom
Berkeley, College of Natural Resources
Davis, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
Riverside, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Cooperative Extension, Central Coast and South Region
Cooperative Extension, Central Valley Region
Cooperative Extension, North Coast and Mountain Region Ag Policy/Pest Management Program
Ag Productivity Program
Human Resources Program
Natural Resources Program
Research and Extension Centers
Blodgett Forest Research
Rob York, Environmental Science Policy & Management, The Center for Forestry
Whitaker’s Forest is the southernmost property managed by the Center for Forestry. It covers 320 acres of mixed conifer forest, nested within the Redwood Mountain grove between Kings Canyon National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument. Its geographical placement, long history of research, and physical infrastructure make it a valuable site for research. Recent activity and interest at Whitaker’s has focused on the restoration of giant sequoia forests. Central to the goal of restoration is the protection and eventual replacement of the 200+ ancient giant sequoia trees present at Whitaker’s.
Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF)
Maggi Kelly, Environmental Science Policy & Management, Ecosystem Sciences
The Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF – http://gif.berkeley.edu) was developed in 2005 at the University of California – Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources. The mission of the GIF is to provide access to training, services, and a community that focus on cutting-edge geospatial technology in support of the environmental sciences, in both natural and social systems. We aim to build geospatial capacity within natural resources science and management, and to offer innovative approaches to solving complex research problems. GIF clientele includes students, faculty, and staff of the College of Natural Resources and the University of California at Berkeley, UC Cooperative Extension, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and the general public.
In support of our mission, the GIF currently provides expertise across a range of geospatial technologies, including: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, Species Distribution Modeling, WebGIS, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and GPS-enabled photography. Through a variety of events and outreach activities, the GIF enables all of UC Berkeley’s geospatial community to forge connections and build success.
The Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program (IHRMP)
Doug McCreary, Environmental Science Policy & Management, IHRMP
Native oaks occur on close to 20 million acres throughout California and provide many amenity values and services including aesthetics, habitat for a wide range of wildlife, watershed protection, recreational opportunities, saleable resources and vital ecological services such as nutrient cycling. But several California oak species have been regenerating poorly and increasing economic pressure for agricultural conversions and residential and commercial development in foothill regions has reduced the total acreage of this critical habitat type. In the mid-1980s, Californians became concerned that oaks were not being managed properly and were being depleted at an alarming rate. UC responded by establishing the Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program (IHRMP), a Program of research and education, rather than regulation. Together, scientists from UC, California Department of Forestry and California Department of Fish and Game studied how woodlands function and developed strategies to promote their long-term conservation. Since it started, the IHRMP has conducted and funded research targeting critical conservation concerns. The information has been shared widely with policymakers, planners and rangeland managers. Recent IHRMP research and education projects include land-use planning, sudden oak death, and the impacts of fire on hardwood rangelands. While not all of the problems surrounding California’s hardwood rangelands have been solved, we have come a long way in the last two decades in understanding the biology of woodlands and developing management recommendations consistent with oak woodland sustainability. We have also educated hardwood rangeland owners and managers, as well as the general public, about the importance of this critical resource and how to conserve it for future generations.
Agricultural Sustainability Institute (UC Davis) and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC ANR)
Ann Filmer, Office of the Dean; Lyra Halprin and Beverly Ransom Agricultural Sustainability Institute, and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
The Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) at UC Davis provides leadership for research, teaching, and engagement and communication on sustainable agriculture and food systems throughout the UC system and with its many partners. UC Davis programs affiliated with ASI are the Student Farm and the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility.
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP), a statewide UC ANR program, addresses sustainable food and agriculture production and marketing systems, and educating rural and urban communities about sustainable food and agricultural systems. Both ASI and SAREP are directed by Professor Tom Tomich, UC Davis.
ASI and SAREP have developed a statewide network of experts to conduct innovative research and to produce practical solutions on a wide range of complex issues. Partners include agricultural and food producers, researchers and educators, regulators and policymakers, consumers, and community organizations.
Current initiatives are addressing climate change, nitrogen management, connecting farms to institutions, climate-smart food systems, investing in children and youth, and developing a new undergraduate major in sustainable agriculture and food systems. Sustainability benchmarks for California’s food system include creating a set of indicators in order to monitor trends and assess risks.
Turning Science into Solutions . . . from Campus to Communities
Ann Filmer, Office of the Dean
The top-ranked College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) at UC Davis is recognized internationally for its excellence in solving real-world problems, educating students to be future leaders, and developing technologies and information that contribute to California’s economic strength, enhance its natural resources, and promote human well-being.
• Reinforces the economic vitality and sustainability of California agriculture and food systems (e.g., food safety, healthy foods, new crops)
• Solves environmental problems and stewards our natural resources (e.g., wildlife protection, water and air quality, invasive species)
• Promotes health and well-being for individuals, families, and communities (e.g., childhood and family nutrition, community development, immigration, employment)
• Provides research-based information for sound planning and policymaking (e.g., water issues, transportation, climate change, regional growth)
The college has 17 academic departments and numerous interdisciplinary centers and institutes that serve as information centers for its many partners and stakeholders.
The Campus to Community Continuum - UC Davis partners include county-based and systemwide UC Cooperative Extension programs, food and agricultural producers, environmental organizations, governmental and nongovernmental agencies, health and education professionals, students and alumni, and the general public.
UC Davis Research Shapes Water Use College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis
John Stumbos and Ann Filmer, Office of the Dean
The future of California is dependent on a reliable supply of good-quality water for cities, farms, and natural systems. A burgeoning population, climate change, and inadequate storage and conveyance facilities have put greater pressure than ever on California’s water resources.
UC Davis is recognized internationally for its research on managing water resources in diverse subject areas including crop irrigation, wetlands and wildlife, watershed protection, hydrology, the mechanics and impact of water distribution over long distances, pollutants in surface and subsurface water, water quality for drinking water, science-based research for policymakers and planners, and methods to optimize water use in rural and urban settings.
Researchers have partnerships throughout California and the world to develop solutions to short- and long-term water issues. Partners include collaborative researchers (UC campuses, UC Cooperative Extension, other universities), governmental and nongovernmental agencies, agricultural producers, environmental groups, and urban and rural water users.
Specific advances have been made in areas such as crop irrigation and management, watershed and habitat restoration, climate change modeling, drought-tolerant horticulture for urban landscapes, and policy recommendations for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The Research and Information Centers (RICs)
Sue DiTomaso, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences
The Research & Information Centers serve as a focal point for interaction between commodity industries and the research and educational resources of the University of California. They collaborate with researchers and facilitate the distribution of associated knowledge for the benefit of agriculture and for the preservation of natural resources. The RICs disseminate information relevant to consumers, growers and processors. For more information, go to: http://rics.ucdavis.edu
Center for Invasive Species Research
Mark Hoddle, Dept. of Entomology
California acquires one new exotic species, on average, every 60 days. At this rate, around six new species establish in California each year. Estimated losses arising from the uncontrolled population growth of these invasive pests amounts to around $3 billion per annum. The problems caused by invasive species in California are likely to worsen as population growth continues and imports from an ever increasing diversity of countries accelerates. California agriculture has suffered immense damage from such exotics as cottony cushion scale, a variety of hard and softscales, mealybugs, whiteflies, aphids, the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Diaprepes root weevil, and light brown apple moth. The most recently established insect pest is Asian citrus psyllid, an extremely serious pest of citrus. The state's urban areas are under assault by Argentine ants, Formosan termites, yellow jacket wasps, and insects that damage and kill eucalyptus, an important urban shade tree. California's unique wilderness areas are not immune to invasion. These vulnerable areas are being degraded by Mediterranean weeds that have established in arid desert areas, invasive trees that are out competing native species for scarce water resources, and exotic vertebrates that destroy fragile soils and reduce survival rates of young native plants. Aquatic environments (marine and freshwater) are under threat from exotic water weeds (floating and submerged), invasive crustaceans, and worms. Freshwater supplies are threatened by invasive mussels (e.g., zebra and quagga mussels). The long-term goal of the Center for Invasive Species Research is to develop a systematic methodology for dealing with such exotic pests in areas of: (a) risk assessment; (b) early detection and invasion pathway analysis; (c) rapid development of control or eradication measures; (d) improved Integrated Pest Management practices through biological, microbial, genetic, and chemical practices; (e) better understanding of patterns and processes facilitating invasion success and failure, and (f), in the longer term, exploring the possibilities of transgenic biological manipulations to control or eradicate invasive species. More information on the Center for Invasive Species and pest species in California can be found at: www.cisr.ucr.edu
Water Science and Policy Center: Connecting science and policy to addressing local, regional and international water scarcity and water quality challenges
Ariel Dinar, Environmental Sciences
Water quality and water scarcity have been limiting factors for local and national economies, as well as to the proper functioning of our ecosystems. These factors, individually and jointly, have multiplier effects that can exceed our current understanding and research capacity; consequently, our ability to manage and allocate water in a manner that serves society's needs to its fullest extent is still challenged. The overarching objective of the Water Science and Policy Center (WSPC) is to create an environment that is conducive to relevant research on critical issues related to the interactions between water policy, water quality and water scarcity. In addition to high quality research output, the WSPC will contribute policy-relevant input to dialogues at the local, regional, national and international levels. The four studies presented in the poster, although conducted prior to the establishment of the new WSPC, are representative of work in planning, and will shape new research directions for the center.
UCR Turfgrass Program
James Baird, Botany and Plant Sciences
Turfgrass is the largest irrigated crop and fourth largest crop in acreage in the U.S. The annual value of the U.S. turfgrass industry as a whole is estimated at $50-60 billion. California represents the largest segment of the turfgrass industry but also faces its major challenges including rapidly declining water resources, increasing salinity, and public concerns about potential deleterious effects to the environment. Together with scientists from the USDA-ARS Salinity Lab, the UCR Turfgrass Team – comprised of 14 Cooperative Extension Specialists, Agricultural Experiment Station faculty, and campus researchers from five departmental units - have joined forces to help meet the challenges facing the California turfgrass industry. Major research focus areas include: pest and nutrient management; breeding and genetics; water quality; water conservation; salinity management; and ecology. Research progress and results are published in various forms from the internet to refereed publications, presented at numerous state-wide meetings and conferences, and at the UCR Turfgrass and Landscape Research Field Day held annually in September. The UCR Turfgrass Research Advisory Committee (TRAC), consisting of 18 industry, university and government organization partners, was established in 1996 to form an industry-wide linkage between UCR and the turfgrass industries in southern California. Every dollar donated to UCRTRAC has helped to generate approximately 1.7 dollars in turf research grants, January 1996 to present. In cooperation with our colleagues in the UC system, our long-term goals are to grow and better serve the turfgrass industry and to strengthen support for turfgrass research in California by expanding UCRTRAC into a state-wide turfgrass association and research foundation.
CA 4-H SET
Lynn Schmitt McQuitty, CE Santa Cruz and Monterey County; Richard Enfield, CE San Luis Obispo County; Darren Haver, CE Orange County; Rachel Taylor, CE Orange County; Keith Nathaniel, CE Los Angeles County
The United States is at a critical juncture relative to science literacy. National and international studies have revealed that science literacy among school-age children in the United States is among the lowest in the developed world and the problem is worsening (Hiraoka, 1998; National Center for Education Statistics, 2000; NSTA, 2005; Zinsmeister, 1998). Factors contributing to this problem include a lack of emphasis on science in schools, the use of traditional teaching methods, and the inadequate preparation of educators (Smith & Trexler, 2006). California 4-H SET will address this challenge by preparing 150,000 new young people to excel in science, engineering, and technology. CA 4-H SET will do this by focusing available resources, both public and private to:
- Support and develop new and existing 4-H clubs, camps, afterschool programs, and other youth program deliveries that deliver high quality 4-H SET experiences.
- Create and disseminate innovative, research-based 4-H SET curricula that support the development of science literacy within the context of non-formal experiential education.
- Provide youth-adult partnerships which effectively engage youth in the learning through adult mentors, coaches, and facilitators.
- Develop and deliver multi-faceted professional and volunteer development training for 15,000 volunteers that will build capacity and assure program sustainability.
Anchored in the University of California, CA 4-H SET brings the cutting-edge research and resources of the land-grant university system to combine with nearly one hundred years of premiere youth development work to address these global competitiveness and leadership issues. Through additional private and public funding, 4-H SET can focus resources and expertise in non-formal education to improve science literacy and increase the number of young adults pursuing careers in science, engineering and literacy fields. 4-H SET experiences are framed in science, engineering, and technology concepts based on National Science Education Standards (1996) and intentionally target the development of SET knowledge, skills, and abilities. Additionally, 4-H SET integrates the core elements of youth development programming as identified by that National Research Council with inquiry-based learning allowing the youth participant to build a deep understanding from these learning experiences.
Natural Resources: Farm Water Quality Planning Project
Mary Bianchi, CE San Luis Obispo; Ben Faber, CE Ventura; Mark Gaskell, CE Santa Barbara; Royce Larsen, CE San Luis Obsipo; Julie Newman, CE Ventura; Laura Tourte, CE Santa Cruz
The University of California's Farm Water Quality Planning Project seeks to improve or protect water quality on California's Central Coast through the promotion of water quality management practices. From January 2001 through September 2007, 33 UC Advisors and Specialists extended 62 Farm Water Quality Planning Short Courses to 2029 irrigated agricultural producers representing more than 375,000 acres of irrigated agriculture on the Central Coast. The purpose of the Short Course was the development of individual farm water quality management plans. University academics worked with 81 local collaborators from governmental and non-governmental agencies from Santa Barbara to San Mateo County. Representing 930 hours of classroom and field education, programs were adapted to participant needs in individual courses, including six Spanish-language, one Chinese language program, and delivery to functionally illiterate producers. End-of-course and follow-up evaluations, as well as mail surveys, show that completion of the education curriculum encouraged producers to complete water quality management plans. Participating growers have voluntarily reported changes in management practices to address potential pollution from their operations as a result of new knowledge gained. Participation in the short courses and development of farm water quality plans have enabled producers to meet the new water quality regulatory requirements, thus reducing individual and regional water conflicts that require court intervention. And producers continue to seek guidance from UCCE for farm water quality improvement practices. Other regional water quality regulatory programs for agricultural have been adapted based on the success of this program. The Farm Water Quality Project is continuing its support of management practice implementation on California's Central Coast through research and educational outreach. Examples of these current efforts include:
- improving nitrogen nutrient management and nitrogen use efficiency in organic and conventional strawberry production;
- reducing water use during strawberry and vegetable transplant establishment through conversion from sprinklers to drip;
- improving irrigation management practices in nurseries;
- implementing management practices that reduce or remove pesticides from runoff;
- identifying risk management strategies that coordinate the management of food safety and water quality in cool season vegetable production.
The efforts of the Farm Water Quality Project are reported through the Farm Water Quality Newsletter, available online to subscribers throughout California, which reports regulatory, technical, and research updates quarterly.
The Farm Water Quality Planning Project team received the 2006 ANR Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Teamwork and the 2008 Western Extension Directors Award for Excellence in Extension.
Food Safety Across the Food Spectrum: Research and Education in the CCSR
Steven Koike, CE Monterey; Shirley Peterson, CE Ventura; and Patti Wooten Swanson, CE San Diego
Food safety of agricultural commodities has always been important. However, the devastating 2006 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to California spinach drastically changed the nature and urgency of this issue for our state. Because Monterey County’s Salinas Valley resides in the Central Coast and South Region, the CCSR has become a hub of research and extension activities involving food safety of vegetable crops. The Salinas Valley is home to the world’s leading industries that grow lettuce, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables. Therefore, a county-based UC Cooperative Extension facility was converted into a food safety research laboratory from which field studies were initiated on the survival and ecology of E. coli in agricultural systems. Campus-based specialists collaborated with county-based advisors in conducting these practical studies that took place in commercial fields. This Advisor-Specialist team rapidly addressed clientele needs by launching an extensive education program. The team informed clientele of study results, presented risk reduction guidelines, and provided data-based insights to dispel misinformation regarding pathogen hazards and control policies.
CCSR personnel incorporated statewide extension programs into county efforts to educate consumers on food safety concerns and precautions. Make it Safe/Keep it Safe, Food Safety for Seniors, FSNEP, EFNEP, Master Gardener, and other programs used food safety materials for clientele and informed consumers about food safety issues and ways to reduce risk. Materials also were prepared and presented in Spanish so that Spanish-speaking clientele could be reached. Other segments of the commercial agriculture industry were kept informed by Farm Advisor meetings held throughout the CCSR region.
Measurements of Biogenic Precursors to Ozone and Particulate Matter in the Central Valley
John Karlik, CE Kern County; Allen Goldstein, UC Berkeley
To answer critical questions regarding the interactions between agricultural crops and air quality, two three-year projects are underway to investigate emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from key crops. VOC and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) can react in the lower atmosphere in the presence of sunlight to form ozone and secondary particulate matter, the principal air pollutants in California airsheds. Ozone is deleterious to human health as well as reducing crop yields, and is a greenhouse gas. Particulate matter can be detrimental to human health and reduce visibility. This work will also provide a better understanding of the role that citrus and other crops play in ozone destruction via surface deposition, stomatal uptake, and reactions in the crop canopy. Results will improve biogenic emission inventories and an understanding of regional VOC levels, and therefore aid the California Air Research Board in improving air quality attainment strategies. For example, results may affect regulatory emphasis on other VOC sources (e.g. pesticides) and NOx controls (e.g. emission controls on engines). Other possible implications regard chemical signaling between insects and plants. This work includes laboratory investigations at UC Berkley and field studies in Tulare and/or Kern counties, and is funded by the California Air Resources Board and by the California Citrus Research Board.
Butte County Student Almond Blossom Tour and Field Day
Susan Donohue, UCCE Butte County
Project Objective: Agriculture is the nation’s largest industry and is a significant part of every person’s life. Whether it's the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the medicines we use, or the homes we live in--agriculture is our "connection to life." Today, nearly 90% of the population is two or three generations removed from direct contact with food and fiber production. As a result, many students know little about agricultural production and where food is produced. The object of the field day is to provide hands-on experiences to enrich personal connections of students participating in FSNEP with the science base in agriculture and nutrition.
Partners/Collaborators: The project involves an interdisciplinary team across UC programs—agriculture (Farm Advisors from Yuba/Sutter and Butte Counties), 4-H youth development and FSNEP staff. Partnerships with FSNEP eligible schools, the Agricultural Commissioner’s office, Far West Heritage Association Patrick Ranch, Butte County Farm Bureau, Las Plumas High School Regional Occupation Program, and Butte County Farm, Home and 4-H Support Group strengthen the effort.
Outcome: Third grade students culminate their FSNEP nutrition education lessons by participating in six learning labs at the historic Patrick Ranch. Learning labs emphasize how farmers use available resources and science to grow nut and rice crops, the history of growing and maintaining an orchard, and have an opportunity to taste local nut crops. This field day is filled with hands-on activities and exploration that leave students, teachers and volunteers talking about local agriculture and the food they eat for months to come!
Implications or impact: Increased knowledge of agriculture and nutrition allows students to make informed choices about the food they eat and their health.
Activities support the development of a positive school wellness environment that recognizes the connection between local food systems, establishment of healthy habits academic achievement and school success.
Healthy Rewards: Goal-Setting for Nutrition and Physical Activity Change
Gloria Barrett, CE Sacramento County.
Objective: The Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program (FSNE) aims to promote healthful food choices and active lifestyles for Food Stamp Program (FSP)-eligible people. The Healthy Rewards program was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of goal-setting activities in promoting behavioral changes in this population.
Design, Setting, and Participants: The study design consisted of 2 intervention and 2 control groups. Intervention groups participated in educational activities and nutrition-related goal-setting. Control groups participated in nutrition activities only. The sites included two African Methodist Episcopal churches, a community health center, and a community resource center.
Intervention: The intervention consisted of five 2-hour nutrition and lifestyle classes, with goal-setting. The first four classes took place over four consecutive weeks and the final session occurred 3-4 weeks later.
Outcome Measures and Analysis: Evaluation consisted of pre- and post-surveys of stages of changes, self-efficacy, barriers, and self-reported food-related behaviors.
Results: Barriers, self-efficacy, stage of change, and behaviors were similar for most of the variables. However, the goal-setting group reported significantly greater behavioral change in using the Nutrition Facts label (p=0.003). Goal-setting was marginally associated with an increase in the variety of vegetables consumed (p=0.06)
Conclusions and Implications: These findings suggest that goal-setting activities can help promote healthy lifestyle behaviors in FSP-eligible individuals.
Intermountain Sub Region
David Lile, CE Lassen County
The Intermountain sub-region is comprised of the seven northeastern counties within the North Coast & Mountain Region. The area is known for its livestock and forage crop production, as well as its unique natural resources, vast open space, and rural character. Several of California’s important watersheds originate in the Intermountain sub-region including the Klamath, Upper Sacramento, Pit, and Feather River systems. This sub-region also includes California’s portion of the Great Basin.
Although geographically distant from campus, the Intermountain farm advisors take pride in developing programs and collaborative projects that link the continuum of academics in the UC system. Our programs focus on priority issues that occur in the sub-region as well the state, including water quality and supply, agricultural production and sustainability, natural resources management, invasive species and pest management, forestry, ag tourism, and wildlife/fisheries conservation. A survey of current projects being conducted by farm advisors in the Intermountain sub-region identified a total of 105 specific projects. Of these, 66 projects involved active participation with cooperative extension specialists, 29 included UC campus faculty, 45 included UC graduate students, and all but one were in collaboration with farmer/rancher cooperators, public agencies, and/or other universities.
Sierra Nevada Foothill Sub Region
Dorothy Smith, CE Amador County
The Sierra Nevada Foothill sub-region consists of Placer, Nevada, El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties. This region represents one of the most geographically and ecologically diverse regions in the state. It spans from a few hundred feet above sea level on the eastern side of the Central Valley to just over 13,000 feet at the crest of the Sierra Nevada.
Agriculture in this region varies widely. The western portion of the region produces livestock on oak woodlands and a wide variety of agricultural operations including orchards, vineyards, and specialty crops. The eastern portion of the region is predominantly timberland and is comprised of both federal and private landholdings. One of the fastest growing aspects of agriculture in this region is agritourism and nature tourism.
Natural Resources in this region are also numerous and extensive. From the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe to the majestic peaks and valleys of Yosemite, this region is the head waters to much of California’s water supply.
The area is booming, as families looking for a better quality of life move to the foothills. Several of this region's counties appear in the "ten fastest growing" list in every decade between 1960 and 2020. A report released by the Sierra Nevada Alliance shows that the population in the Sierra Nevada region will triple by 2040 and nearly a third of the land in the region is at risk of succumbing to sprawl style development.
The preservation of the region’s rural character has been identified as being of primary importance to residents. Finding a balance is one of the key issues facing the area. The county academic staff work closely with local clientele and campus based faculty on a variety of projects that are crucial to finding the balance. A summary of their work is presented.
North Coast Sub Region
John Harper, CE Mendocino County
The North Coast sub-region of the North Coast & Mountain Region is a unique, resource rich area of California. The counties contained include Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Marin and Napa and are known for their agriculture and natural resources. Specific issues include, water quality, quantity and security (e.g. Rangeland Water Quality, Coho Recovery, Russian River Ag. Water Use); invasive & noxious species (e.g. Medusahead) and disease (e.g. Sudden Oak Death, Pear Puffer) detection and control; developing new markets for agricultural products (e.g. Organic, Ag. Tourism, Meat Buyers club); preserving food security (e.g. Direct Marketing via Farmers’ Markets, Meat Harvesting and Processing Feasibility); and minimizing agriculture’s adverse environmental impacts and maximizing environmental benefits from farms and ranches while preserving their economic sustainability (e.g. Targeted Grazing, Vines & Ovines, Carbon Sequestration). Results and impacts of successful programs by Advisors working with Specialists and across the ANR continuum that are addressing these issues are presented and summarized.
Analysis of California Agricultural Issues
Jonathan Barker, Agricultural Issues Center
AIC Mission: The UC Agricultural Issues Center is a forum for the identification and analysis of important issues affecting the agricultural sector.
- The Measure of California Agriculture presents facts and figures about California agriculture
- California’s 2007 agricultural exports reached an all time high of $10.9 billion, a 12 percent increase from the 2006 total.
- Food traceability systems affect the willingness to pay of consumers, the profit of food suppliers and the delivery of safe food products.
- Healthy foods have received increasing attention. This study examines the availability and cost of a market basket of healthier food items.
- Climate change affects the yield and characteristics of winegrapes. Varietal growing regions may change in response.
- California's egg industry was the subject of a recent ballot. Prior to that, the AIC performed a rigorous analysis of the statewide effects of the cage ban on producer costs, consumer prices and employment in the egg iindustry.
- The Economic Effects of Pierce’s Disease in California. A complete economic analysis will estimate the costs and benefits to wine grape, table grape and raisin growers, consumers and taxpayers from changes in the costs of production due to the establishment of the GWSS.
- Land use. AIC believes by creating better agricultural land use information, local and state government officials can create better land use policies to support agriculture. GIS based land use information created by AIC will help Yolo County craft their land use policies to support agricultural industries in specific areas.
- Pollination services. The declines in the populations of both managed and wild pollinators have raised public concern. Our research is aimed at understanding and modeling the economic decisions that underlie both the provision and use of pollination services.
UC Statewide IPM Program: Making Ecosystem-based IPM the Way Californians Manage Pests
Peter B. Goodell, Interim Director and IPM Advisor, UC IPM
UC IPM is in the unique position as a Statewide Program to coordinate and connect the wide variety of resources, expertise, and problem-solving capacity of ANR. UC IPM has the responsibility to address statewide pest management issues by supporting local programs. Acting as a central development and distribution point, UC IPM helps to bring experts together to identify pest management issues and problems, create science-based solutions, and support the development and delivery of IPM programs. Internal and external stakeholders participate in the entire process and provide essential expertise in evaluating, developing, and refining pest management issues and solutions.
As the coordinating program for pest management in ANR, UC IPM plays a critical role in the research and extension continuum between campus and counties, encouraging academic linkages by providing research and delivery opportunities. The program also serves as a primary portal to UC ANR pest management from IPM partners such as California Department of Pesticide Regulation, California Department of Food and Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA CSREES and Agricultural Research Service, and USDA regional IPM centers.
Serving California’s 68,536 Small Farms
Shermain Hardesty, Richard Molinar, Aziz Baameur, Mark Gaskell, Manuel Jimenez, Ramiro Lobo, Brenda Dawson, UC Small Farm Program
The University of California Small Farm Program uses an integrated perspective to provide research-based, scale-appropriate solutions to the state’s large number of small-scale farmers. The program helps small producers improve their profitability, and by doing so, strengthen their local economies and help their communities thrive.
California’s small-scale farmers face marketing and production challenges that do not always match the needs of larger-scale operations. To be profitable, small producers often must find a niche to differentiate their products—via innovations in product, production technique or marketing. While emerging specialty crops and niche products offer potential for high prices, they also require significant research efforts. Small Farm Program academics throughout California routinely seek new niches for their diverse farming clientele. This work requires the cooperation of entrepreneurial growers, partnerships with community organizations, grant funding from USDA agencies, administrative support from the Small Farm Center in Davis, cooperation between Small Farm Program advisors located in key regions, and leadership from a committed core of small farm-focused academics in the Small Farm Workgroup.
The Small Farm Program poster highlights six specific projects that assist California’s diverse limited-resource and small-scale farmers. Projects show the interdisciplinary nature of Small Farm Program academics who work:
- with new crops such as high-value blueberries and drought-tolerant pitahaya;
- with innovative marketing such as determining market demand for niche meats; and most importantly,
- with small farmers of all backgrounds including Hmong farmers who listen to farming tips by radio and ethnic Chinese growers who gather for meetings with the support of community organizations.
With nearly 85 percent of the state’s farms considered “small” by USDA standards, ensuring that small farmers are choosing safe, efficient ways to grow and market food makes a difference in the lives of all Californians.
The Statewide Master Gardener Program in California
Pam Geisel, Statewide Master Gardener Program
The Master Gardener Program in California started in 1980 and it is still a growing program in California with significant contributions of time and expertise to UC. The volunteer hours that master gardeners donate to our communities and UC is equal to 171 full time employees each year and is value is more than $5.5 million annually. Our poster describes the overall program statistics, the value to UC and describe the focus of the outreach projects related to the core ANR issues that Master Gardeners participate in statewide as well as on a county by county basis.
Human Resources Program: Youth, Human, and Community Development
Michael Marzolla, CE Santa Barbara; Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, CE Santa Cruz; Mariane Bird, Gloria Barrett, CE Sacramento; and Sharon Junge, CE Placer-Nevada
Three diverse projects focused on the development of leadership, citizenship and life skills in youth depict how the California 4-H Youth Development Program is reaching new audiences through applied research, and creative activities. These projects have been conducted by teams of county based 4-H youth development advisors and campus based specialists.
- Camp Evaluation demonstrates how county staff have worked to strengthen outdoor education/camping programs statewide. Contact: Marianne Bird, 4-H YD Advisor, Sacramento County
- Migration Through Children's Eyes demonstrates how migrant children see their daily lives through a binational photo documentary. Contact: A. Michael Marzolla, 4-H YD & MG Advisor, Santa Barbara County
- Seaside Community Project demonstrates how a community learned what the needs of their community by looking through the eyes of the children. Contact: Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, 4-H YD Advisor, Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties.
Nutrition, Family, and Consumer Sciences
Karen Varcoe, CNAS; Marilyn Townsend, EFNEP; David Ginsberg, FSNEP; Marisa Neelon, CE Contra Costa; Cathi Lamp, CE Tulare; Margaret Johns, CE Kern; Chutima Ganthavorn, CE Riverside; and Mary Blackburn, CE Alameda
This will give the "big picture" of extension, applied research, and service conducted through statewide, campus and county programs related to the topic. EFNEP, FSNEP, Financial Literacy, Food Security, Food Safety, lifespan nutrition programs (including Older Americans) may all fall under this umbrella.
- Money Talks for Teens – A bilingual financial literacy program for teens that uses an interactive website, colorful teen guides, and easy to follow leader’s guides to reach this vulnerable audience. Videos and games are used to attract teens.
- Healthy Happy Families – This 8-lesson bilingual curriculum targets parents of preschool-aged children and teaches parenting skills around child feeding.
- Eat Fit – A nutrition and physical activity curriculum for 11-14 year olds that includes nine lessons, online assessment tools, and guided goal setting to promote behavior change.
- Making Every Dollar Count – This bilingual life skills program for low-income, low-literacy audiences includes both a print curriculum and an online self-paced independent study tutorial with interactive games.
- Make Food Safe for Seniors – A 10-county multidisciplinary research and education project aimed at: 1) determining the nutrition education and food safety training needs of caregivers serving seniors, 2) updating food safety knowledge, and 3) developing a curriculum for seniors and caregivers/food handlers.
- Eating Smart, Being Active – This dialogue-based curriculum teaches nutrition and physical activity using colorful visuals, handouts and worksheets along with food demonstrations, tasting, and take-home recipes to allow practice of new skills.
Two overall statewide programs which reach out to limited-resources families and individuals are the:
- Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program (FSNEP) – FSNEP delivers both youth and adult nutrition and physical activity programs to over 90,000 low-income Californians. Participants learn about healthy food choices, food budgeting, managing resources, food preparation, food safety, and healthy lifestyles.
- Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) – EFNEP targets low-income youth and families with young children, pilot-testing with youth revealed that 79% of participants increased knowledge of nutrition; 75% increased ability to select low-cost, nutritious foods; and 65% improved practices in food preparation and safety.
The Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project
Kim Rodrigues, CE North Coast & Mountain Region; John Battles, UC Berkeley, CNR, ESPM, The Center for Forestry
The Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project is a unique research effort involving the resource agencies, the public and the University of California Science Team (UCST). The U.S. Forest Service will plan and implement the vegetation management treatments called “strategically placed land area treatments” (or SPLATs). The UC Science Team is independently monitoring baseline conditions and studying treatment effects of the projects on four important categories: wildlife (specifically the Pacific Fisher and Spotted Owl), fire and forest health, water quality and quantity, and public participation.
The public has participated in the entire process, from the design of the UC Science Team workplan to the initial implementation. The Integration Team has emerged as the process to bring scientists, agencies and interested public participants together throughout this process. The SNAMP poster highlights the structure of this complex, interdisciplinary and collaborative project and shares preliminary results.
Water Quality and Human Health: Addressing the Connections
Christine French, Center for Water Resources - Region 9 Water Quality Project
Safe drinking water is just one of many avenues through which the quality of water affects human health. Keeping animal waste out of streams used for recreation, using composting practices to reduce survival of pathogens, and coordinating agricultural management practices for the benefit of both food safety and water quality are a few additional avenues recently addressed by the Southwest States and Pacific Islands Regional Water Program. While we continue to focus efforts on safe drinking water initiatives throughout the region, including rainwater catchment education and the enhancement of a water test interpreter web-tool, the Regional Program has also supported coordinated efforts to address water quality and human health connections related to dry litter animal waste management in the Pacific Islands, research determining whether or not composting is effective in reducing the survival rates of Leptospirosis, and bringing awareness to the current disconnect between food safety and water quality management goals. The ability to address water quality through a variety of avenues and thereby distribute impacts and benefits across communities is one of the strengths of the Regional Program.
Impact Statement: Briefly describe how your project has improved water quality or water resource management (up to 100 words).
The Regional Program continues to support several projects to understand and disseminate information on methods and actions to improve water quality and water resource management. Our efforts have led residents in several Pacific Islands to taking better care to properly maintain their rainwater catchment systems – often their primary source of drinking water; pig farmers across the Pacific Islands embracing dry litter management and reducing the waste directed into local streams – often used by children for recreation; and food safety and water quality experts coming together to identify ways in which conflicting management strategies can be coordinated to achieve common goals.
Examples of Water Related Projects
Bill Frost, Research and Extension Centers
Across the Research and Extension Center System projects addressing critical issues in water use efficiency and water quality are being conducted. The projects illustrate the AES – CE / County – Campus continuum in action solving important local, regional and state wide problems. The Research and Extension Centers provide the facilities and expert support necessary to conduct these projects in controlled environments guaranteed to be maintained over time. In addition, the academic expertise of the 10 Center Directors provide an important contribution to many of the research and education programs. Included are but a few examples of the almost 400 research projects and more than 600 educational events conducted annually across the Research and Extension Center System.
Unlimited Opportunities for Extension and Educational Outreach at the UC Research and Extension Centers
Beth Grafton-Caldwell, Lindcove Research & Extension Center
The poster highlights various special programs that the Research and Extension Centers provide for educating growers and natural resource clientele as well as the general public. The Research and Extension Centers provide opportunities for teaching clientele in remote locations in areas of California where the agriculture and forest systems naturally occur. Education occurs more readily under these conditions. These photos and descriptions highlight a few of the REC programs that that delight and edify both children and adults.