New flu vaccination FAQs
To support the health and well-being of UC students, faculty and staff and our communities, the University of California, in consultation with UC Health leadership, issued a systemwide executive order requiring all members of the UC community to receive an influenza immunization before Nov. 1, 2020.
In addition to protecting ourselves, this requirement is designed to avoid a surge of flu cases at health care facilities across the state during the unprecedented public health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
UC ANR has published Answers to frequently asked questions with information about how UC ANR will implement the executive order for our employees and workplaces.
Please take time get the flu vaccination soon.
Travel funds available for UCCE specialists
UC ANR will be making additional travel support available for UC Cooperative Extension specialists to collaborate directly with UCCE advisors or REC directors in fiscal year 2020-21.
With the level of funds available, each specialist may apply for up to $1,800 for FY 2020-21 (travel reports must be submitted within 45 days of travel, and funds must be expended by June 30, 2021). These travel funds must be utilized by the UCCE specialists only and cannot be used for out-of-state travel. Funding is not for the purpose of presenting at or attending meetings.
Completing a short online survey is the only step to apply for these funds. A brief survey form is accessible from your ANR Portal. The direct link is http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=32069.
The survey asks
- Name and title of specialist requesting support
- Project/program name
- Brief project description (one paragraph)
- Collaborating advisors
While there is no deadline for applications for these travel funds, they are first come, first awarded. They also must be expended in fiscal year 2020-21. Any travel completed toward the end of the fiscal year must be submitted and approved within the fiscal year, as no award will be carried forward.
UCCE specialists may apply for funds directly at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=32069.
Starting Sept. 27, Zoom will require all sessions to have either a passcode or a waiting room where guests gather until admitted by the host (a waiting room is the default option). The change is part of Zoom's security improvements. Zoom has posted FAQs at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360045009111.
Congratulations to our colleagues who were honored at the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) Virtual Annual Session!
- Deepa Srivastava and the UCCE Tulare-Kings Nutrition Education team are the second place Western Region winners of the SNAP-ED/EFNEP award
- Mary Blackburn received the NEAFCS Hall of Fame Award
- Mary and her role on the CalFresh Healthy Living, CNAP in Alameda County are the 3rd Place Regional winner of the Community Partnership award. She has served in this role since 2006.
While we all continue to shelter in place, it's a good time to learn more about food safety. Erin DiCaprio, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in Community Food Safety in the UC Davis Food Science and Technology Department, created an 11-module online series of her Food Safety Training for Master Food Preserver Trainees and partnered with colleagues at North Carolina State University to create nine peer-reviewed fact sheets answering COVID-19-related questions about takeout food, food safety, handling groceries and more.
All UC ANR employees must be enrolled in UC ANR's DUO Multi-factor Authentication by Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. This is an additional enrollment specifically for UC ANR, which is separate from UC Davis DUO enrollment that happened few years back.
Increased cybersecurity threats make multi-factor authentication (MFA) essential for securing access to critical UC ANR systems.
Starting Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, MFA DUO will be required, and UC ANR personnel who have failed to enroll will not be able to access any single sign-on application through UC ANR. These applications include the UC ANR Portal and UCPath.
UC ANR personnel should already have received an invitation email from MFA DUO. For more information about enrolling in DUO, visit http://it.ucanr.edu/MFA-DUO/DUO_at_UC_ANR/. If you did not receive an enrollment invitation email from DUO, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who already enrolled and requested physical tokens: Please note ANR IT will start shipping physical tokens this week to be ready for Sept. 21. Please submit a ticket to email@example.com with your home address if you are planning to use a token instead of your cellphone.
Sree Mada, Chief Information Officer
The Multi-factor Authentication Project Team
Three news articles over the last weekend shared comments from UC Agriculture and Natural Resource's experts about forest management practices that can help reduced the catastrophic wildfires being experiences in the West.
Prescribed burns and management change fire behavior
Shaver Lake forest historian Jared Dahl Aldern tweeted that, when the high-intensity Creek Fire arrived at the Shaver Lake forestlands, it turned into a low-intensity “surface fire,” which does not threaten the bigger and older trees. “The fire comes up to @SCE land,” tweeted Aldern, “drops to the ground, and stays out of the tree crowns.”
Whatever happens to Shaver Lake, says University of California Cooperative Extension specialist Rob York, “There are lots of cases in the scientific literature of prescribed burns having changed fire behavior.”
The image below shows a “shaded fuel break,” consisting of selectively-thinned forest surrounded on both sides by dense forest. “The strip of forest may change fire behavior in the treated area,” said York, “but not on either side.
Forbes, Sept. 13, 2010
Millions of dead trees fueling unprecedented firestorms in the Sierra Nevada
“I don't want to be alarmist. But I think the conditions are there,” said Scott Stephens, a UC Berkeley professor of fire science and lead author of a 2018 paper that raised the specter of future mass forest fires as intense as the Dresden, Germany, and Tokyo firebombings.
“As those [trees] continue to fall, the physics of it are unchanged. If you have dead and downed logs … the fires described in warfare are possible.”
A combination of prescribed fire, restoration thinning and making rural communities more fire resistant are needed, Stephens said.
“If we don't come out of this year focused on that and try to move forward, I just don't know if there's much hope,” he said. “I'm always hopeful. But I'm getting tired.”
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 13, 2020
Results of long-time fire suppression
Perhaps the most present term in news articles as one of the main causes for fires getting so big so fast is fire suppression, which has resulted in a lack of fire for more than a century.
In the 1920s, this idea of suppressing wildfires grew even more when the Forest Service decided intentional burning was a bad idea. In 1924 a Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor said the ‘“Brushy Hell' of shrublands must be protected for the benefit of future timberland succession, ‘so leave them alone.'”
“The Forest Service said it ruins forests, it was bad forest management,” said Kocher. “Then in 1924, California followed suit and said it was not legal to burn forests on purpose.”
Kocher says this idea of letting trees grow and not letting forests burn naturally every decade wasn't this malicious idea either.
“They would have thought, ‘Oh, we're doing this great work where we're leaving all these extra trees for people to use for timber moving forward,'” she said. “I don't think those early foresters ever could have foreseen how fire could get away from them.”
Capitol Public Radio, Sept. 12, 2020
Ezra David Romero
Cattle can help reduce wildfire danger by grazing on fine fuels in rangeland and forest landscapes, reported Sierra Dawn McClain in Capital Press. The article also appeared in the Blue Mountain Eagle, the Westerner and the East Oregonian.
The article cited the preliminary results of research by UC Cooperative Extension that show that cattle consumed approximately 12.4 billion pounds of forage across California in 2017. The researchers believe the cattle could do more.
Many grazable acres aren't grazed, said Sheila Barry, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. According to the Capital Press article, Barry said the public doesn't always recognize the benefits of grazing; they see short grass and cow patties. Cattle's role in preventing wildfires is often overlooked.
Devii Rao, UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor for San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties and the study's lead, said ranchers should target grazing around homes, infrastructure, roadsides and at the wildland-urban interface.
“There are so many things we can do better. Cattle grazing is really important to fire safety, and it's time we have more conversations about it,” Rao said.
UC ANR COVID-19 Update: Safety standards updated with new requirements; Hispanic Heritage Month; Town Hall 9/17
UC ANR COVID-19 safety standards updated with new requirements
To ensure that UC ANR's safety standards conform with UC guidance and with the State's guidance for Institutes of Higher Education, the Emergency Response Team (ERT) has prepared the Modified Stage 2 Safety Standards, Addendum #2. The addendum must be attached to each location's site and program-specific safety plan and the updated information must be shared with the employees and volunteers working at your location.
Some of the new information of note that is included in this addendum:
- New stricter guidance regarding face coverings/masks
- Face coverings/masks are required when: a) interacting in-person with any member of the public; b) working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time; c) working in any space where food is prepared or packaged; d) working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, etc.
- Face coverings may be removed when working in a private office or workspace that is inaccessible to the public.
- No indoor meetings (for Counties on State Monitoring List or experiencing widespread disease transmission)
- Enhanced investigation and follow-up protocols on COVID positive employees now required
- Monthly review/update of Location Safety Plans now required
- Discontinue use of drinking fountains – water bottle refill stations may still be used
- Ensure implementation of distancing/access controls – such as signage to mark 6' distances in any waiting areas or barriers to control access at reception desks, etc.
- All visitors must now complete symptom screening when coming onsite
We continue to monitor changes in the state's guidance and will adapt UC ANR's safety standards as necessary.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Register now for ANR's upcoming events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15. News and Information Outreach in Spanish is hosting four virtual events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) which recognizes Hispanics' contributions and vital presence in the United States. All events will be held in English. Learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month.
Events will be on Fridays from 3:00-4:30 PM on the following dates:
Sept. 18: Discussion and Documentary: The Mexican American Deportation
Sept. 25: Meet the HHM 2020 ANR Honorees: Claudia Diaz, Sonia Ríos, Javier Miramontes
Oct. 2: Discussion and Documentary: The Chicano Moratorium and the Zoot Suit Riots
Oct. 9: COVID-19 and Hispanics
Sept. 17 Town Hall
Mark your calendars for the UC ANR Town Hall focusing on Hispanic Heritage Month on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 1:30-2:30 PM. Login info and past recordings are located at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/All_Hands/.
https://ucanr.zoom.us/j/99952515909?pwd=ZEpBSm5jYkFmVTQ1VUxPUWpHR0h5UT09; Password: 559926; Webinar ID: 999 5251 5909
By telephone: US +1 669-900-6833 or +1 253-215-8782 or +1 346-248-7799 or +1 301-715-8592 or +1 312-626-6799 or +1 646-558-8656
International numbers available: https://ucanr.zoom.us/u/aep8C9Dy84
Summer 2020 presented an opportunity to re-imagine activities for 4-H programs throughout California. With in-person events and overnight camps cancelled, 4-H staff and volunteers forged ahead to plan engaging virtual camp experiences. Two examples of their success were the “Our Wild California” and “4-H Grown at Home” virtual summer camps. Each week-long camp engaged more than 100 youth in online learning about anything from fire science to Zentangle. Another success was the 4-H Virtual Code Camp presented by the California 4-H Computer Science Team; more than 60 students learned from teen-led coding activities for varying skill levels. Additionally, more than 70 Latinx youth participated in the first virtual version of the annual California Juntos Academy that included sessions on career exploration and navigating higher education.