UC ANR adds more agricultural, fire and forestry expertise to more communities


By Pam Kan-Rice, UCANR

With increased funding from Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources continues to hire scientists and staff to better serve California communities. The most recent hires for UC Cooperative Extension bring their expertise in the areas of forest fires, orchards, grapes, small farms and youth development.

Satink Wolfson hired as new fire consultant

Barb Satink Wolfson began her role as the UC Cooperative Extension fire advisor for Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties on June 30.

His primary responsibilities include wildfire related research and outreach for the Central Coast region, while building trust, strong partnerships and collaborative relationships within the professional and non-professional communities.

Satink Wolfson received his BS and MS in Forestry from Northern Arizona University and brings to UC ANR more than 20 years of experience in fire research and outreach in Arizona. His favorite job, however, was working as a backcountry ranger in Yosemite National Park during his undergrad years.

In his new role, Satink Wolfson hopes to answer some of the questions behind the use of prescribed burning in various ecosystems (such as coastal grasslands and oak forests) and help all Central Coast communities build their resilience to wildfires so residents can live safely in fire-adapted landscapes.

Satink Wolfson, who will be based at the UCCE office in Hollister beginning August 1, can be reached at bsatinkwolfson@ucanr.edu.

Zuber appointed UCCE tree crop advisor

Cameron Zuber has been appointed as the UC Cooperative Extension Orchard Crop Advisor for Merced and Madera counties. For Merced County, it will cover fruit crops such as stone fruits, walnuts and almonds, excluding pistachios and figs. For Madera County, he will work with nuts.

Zuber joined UC Cooperative Extension in 2016 as a research fellow in Merced County. During his training and professional career, he has worked to understand environmental and agricultural systems and their interactions with people, society and governance. Specifically with orchard crops, he has worked on fumigants and other soil pest controls, rootstocks and scion varieties, cultural practices related to tree spacing, and whole orchard recycling. He has also studied flood irrigation for groundwater recharge, irrigation and water management, and soil-water-air interactions.

He received his BS in Environmental Biology and Management from UC Davis and an MS in Environmental Systems from UC Merced.

Zuber is based out of the UC Cooperative Extension office located at 2145 Wardrobe Ave, Merced, CA 95348 and can be reached at cazuber@ucanr.edu and (209) 385-7403.

Hollingsworth named UCCE Table Grape Advisor

Joy Hollingsworth began work as the new UCCE Table Grape Advisor serving Tulare and Kings Counties on May 16.

Prior to becoming a Table Grape Advisor, Hollingsworth served three years as an UCCE Nutrient Management and Soil Quality Advisor for Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties. In this position, she worked on research and extension projects in a variety of agricultural systems, including work on dairy manure, cover crops and biostimulants in raisins.

Previously, Hollingsworth spent six years working as a research associate for the University of California on agronomic cropping systems, including sugar beets, canola and sorghum.
She earned a master’s degree in plant science from California State University, Fresno, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UC Davis.

Hollingsworth is now based in Tulare and can be reached at (559) 684-3313 or joyhollingsworth@ucanr.edu. Follow her on Twitter @ucce_joy.

Carmignani joins the UCCE as a fire adviser

Luca Carmignani joined UCCE as Fire Advisor for Orange and Los Angeles Counties on May 2. His research interests include image analysis, computer programming and science popularization.
Prior to joining UC ANR, Carmignani was a postdoctoral researcher at the Berkeley Fire Research Lab at UC Berkeley. His research has focused on the applications of fire and combustion, from forest fires to the flammability of materials.

He got his doctorate. in Engineering Science from the joint doctoral program between UC San Diego and San Diego State University after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Pisa in Italy.

Carmignani is based at the South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine and can be reached at carmignani@ucanr.edu and (949) 237-2956. Follow him on Twitter @l_carmignani.

Pearsons Joins UCCE as Small Farm Advisor

Kirsten Pearsons joined UC Cooperative Extension on March 1 as a junior agricultural adviser for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. She develops research and extension programs focused on integrating soil health practices and pest management strategies for smallholder farmers and specialty crops.

Prior to joining UC ANR, Pearsons was a postdoctoral fellow at the nonprofit Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, where she focused on the study and promotion of organic and regenerative agriculture. She worked on the Rodale Farming Systems Long-Term Trial, studying how organic and low-till field crop production affects long-term farm economics, soil health and water quality compared to to conventional practices.

She obtained a doctorate. in entomology from Pennsylvania State University and a BS in environmental toxicology from UC Davis.

Pearsons is based in San Luis Obispo and can be reached at kapearsons@ucanr.edu and (805) 788-9486. She will post event information and resources for small farms in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties on Instagram @ucceslosmallfarms.

Satomi moves to UCCE Sutter-Yuba

Ricky Satomi joined UCCE Sutter-Yuba on March 15 as Regional Forestry and Natural Resources Advisor in the Western Sierra Region (Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Nevada and Placer Counties). He specializes in forest management with a focus on new technologies and wood products.

Prior to joining UCCE Sutter-Yuba, Satomi served as the UCCE Region Forestry Advisor working on forestry and youth education issues for Shasta, Trinity and Siskiyou counties.

Satomi earned a master’s degree in forestry examining the cost-effectiveness of forest chewing treatments, and a BS in forestry and natural resources and society and environment, both from UC Berkeley. He has also worked as a field forester working on various timber inventory and management programs throughout California.

In the coming year, he hopes to offer workshops to forest owners and professionals on new GIS tools, climate-smart forestry practices, best reforestation practices and workforce development opportunities. work.

Satomi is based in Yuba City and can be reached at (530) 822-6213 or rpsatomi@ucanr.edu.

Armstrong joins 4-H in Tuolumne County

Erika Armstrong has joined the UCCE Central Sierra team as the 4-H Youth Development Program Representative for Tuolumne County.

Armstrong, who has spent his career working with nonprofits and managing volunteer programs, has worked with United Way Monterey County and the Alliance on Aging. She also served as a campaign manager for a candidate for the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. Her most recent job was being a stay-at-home mom to her daughters.

She holds a BS in Collaborative Health and Human Communication from California State University Monterey Bay.

Armstrong is based in the Tuolumne office and can be reached at (209) 533-6990 and elarmstrong@ucanr.edu.


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