Earlier this week Vice President Barbara Allen-Diaz wrote to you outlining the follow-up plans for the Work Environment Assessment. The six workshops that she described have now been scheduled, so please SAVE THE DATE now and plan to attend. Invitations will be sent about prior to each event with more information.
Please remember that California is a very large state, and in scheduling workshops, some people are going to have to travel farther than others. We also understand that not everyone will be able to attend, and we will plan to share information with everyone later in the spring. The regional groupings, the location of the workshop, and the date are listed below. See the map on the website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/wesurvey to identify which counties, RECs, campuses and administrative units are in each grouping:
- South, San Diego – Monday, March 2
- Central Valley, Kearney REC – Monday, March 9
- Sacramento Valley, Davis – Wednesday, April 1
- North, Redding – Wednesday, April 15
- Administrative Units, Davis – Wednesday, May 20
- Coast, San Luis Obispo – Wednesday, May 27
Please plan to attend – a positive and welcoming work environment is important to all of us.
The fishers are being monitored by a team of scientists affiliated with the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (SNAMP), a joint effort by the University of California, state and federal agencies and the public to study management of forest lands in the Sierra Nevada.
To learn the animals' habits and habitat, the SNAMP wildlife team has placed radio-tracking collars on about 100 fishers over the years, with around 30 collared at any given time. When animals being monitored die, they are collected to determine the cause. Anti-coagulants were found in the livers of 90 percent of the fishers.
A likely source is rodenticides left behind at illegal marijuana grows in the forest, the article said.
"SNAMP discovered the rodenticide poisoning issue in the fisher population, and we knew we needed to find some money to clean up the raided sites," said Anne Lombardo, SNAMP representative based in Oakhurst, Calif. "That's our contribution to putting science on the ground."
Nov. 5 - 14 about 100 volunteers and agency personnel cleaned up 13 Sierra Nevada marijuana cultivation sites to restore habitat, and remove risks to wildlife. The teams dismantled and remediated sites previously raided or partially cleaned up, and documented and removed all toxicants found.
I want you to know how much I appreciate the time that you took to participate in the Work Environment Assessment in 2012. ANR had a phenomenal 64% response rate! I hosted a virtual town hall with you in April of this year after the results were finally released. Today, I want to provide an update on the steps we are taking to follow up on the Work Environment Assessment. Workshops are being planned for the spring of 2015, and a “Save the Date” message will be coming soon with the date and location of the workshop in each regional grouping.
Goals of the workshop are to:
- share information on what we're learning from the assessment results with data by regional grouping as well as overall statewide totals;
- address instances of exclusionary behavior by engaging in a discussion of Principles of Community; and
- share information about the new ANR Staff Assembly.
ANR is committed to ensuring a safe, supportive, inclusive and welcoming work environment for everyone. While overall results from the ANR climate study show that most ANR employees are comfortable in their work environment, some reported discomfort. There is also variation between groups; for example, academics are more comfortable than either represented or non-represented staff. Some employees have experienced exclusionary behavior such as feeling ignored, left out, intimidated or bullied.
Over the past several months, the UC ANR Work Environment Assessment Committee (see roster below) has been working to identify areas of opportunity for improving the work environment for all ANR employees. The first step will be to engage ANR employees through a series of six workshops. All academics, staff and county-paid staff will be invited to participate to discuss data from the work environment assessment and additional insights from prior listening sessions. The assessment data will be provided by regional grouping, as well as a statewide overview.
Although the assessment data that we have does not include campus-based CE specialists (they received the campus version of the survey), they will be invited to participate in the workshops along with the rest of their ANR colleagues.
We are taking two immediate steps to address the issue of exclusionary behavior. First, the workshops will include a session devoted to developing “Principles of Community” for ANR. Principles of Community provide a foundation for understanding our common values. They define expectations for behavior in the workplace that is professional, welcoming and inclusive. And they provide a framework for addressing issues that may arise in the workplace. After all of the workshops have been completed, the draft Principles will be shared and then finalized.
The second step is to provide a communication mechanism for non-academic staff to voice their issues, concerns and suggestions. ANR academics have the Academic Assembly Council, but there is no similar organization in ANR for staff. Currently all ten campuses, the Berkeley Lab and UCOP have a Staff Assembly organization. There is also a statewide body, called the Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) that has representation from all of the Staff Assemblies. I am committed to forming an ANR Staff Assembly. Accordingly, one of the workshop sessions will focus on understanding what an ANR Staff Assembly would do, and why staff would want to be engaged in this organization.
I want to thank the Work Environment Assessment Committee for all of their work to analyze the data and prepare for these workshops. Our work environment is a top priority for me, and I hope you will plan to attend the workshop in your part of the state.
Work Environment Assessment Committee
Jodi Azulai, Training and Development Coordinator
Bethanie Brown, Human Resources Supervisor, Human Resources—Staff Personnel Unit
Jan Corlett, Chief of Staff to the Vice President
Jeff Dahlberg, Director, Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center
Chris Greer, Vice Provost, Cooperative Extension
Kat Hicklin, Business Officer, South Coast Research & Extension Center and UC Cooperative Extension Orange County
Amy Long, Administrative Assistant, Cooperative Extension, San Diego County
Linda Manton, Executive Director, Human Resources—Staff Personnel Unit; Affirmative Action Contact; Title IX Contact
Robert Martinez, Human Resources Coordinator, Human Resources—Staff Personnel Unit
John Sims, Affirmative Action Compliance Officer, Human Resources—Staff Personnel Unit
Rachel Surls, Cooperative Extension Advisor, Los Angeles County
View or leave comments for ANR Leadership at http://ucanr.edu/sites/ANRUpdate/Comments.
This announcement is also posted and archived on the ANR Update pages.
"The storm will partially replenish water supplies, but there is still a long way to go," commented Dan Flynn of the UC Davis Olive Center.
The lack of rainfall the last few years has left many olive farms with low soil moisture, stressing the trees, said Paul Vossen, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Sonoma and Marin counties.
"Part of that stress influenced the crop load, which was lower than normal, and it also advanced the ripening of fruit," Vossen said. "This autumn harvest was at least two to three weeks early and was finished by Thanksgiving."
The story said the California drought cut U.S. olive oil production by 25 percent.
“The rainfall we are receiving right now is welcome for refilling the soil profiles, so that the olive trees can start off next spring with good growth,” Vossen said. “It is also a relief to see enough rain to start to see a replenishment of our reservoirs, so that irrigation water will once again be plentiful for next summer's needs. Even though we may get some temporary flooding, all in all, this rainfall is a welcome thing.”
The report, prepared by the UC Agricultural Issues Center, calculated economic impacts of production, processing and marketing of the nuts. Almond-related activities generate 104,000 jobs statewide; 97,000 of those are in the Central Valley, the report says.
President of the Almond Board, Richard Waycott, said it is important for legislators, regulators and policyholders to recognize "the economic engine that the almond industry represents."
The article included the following facts about the California almond crop:
- Almonds are California's leading agricultural export
- The amount of land in almonds has nearly doubled in the past 20 years to almost a million acres
- California produces 99 percent of the U.S. almond crop
According to the story, some environmentalists have criticized growers for expanding almond orchards during the drought. At a news conference, Daniel Sumner, director of the Ag Issues Center and lead author of the report, said farmers aren't deliberately planting orchards in regions with unstable water supplies.
“Every day in California agriculture, water is the No. 1 issue on everybody's mind,” Sumner said. “These guys aren't dummies. The first thing they're thinking about before you plant a tree is to have some source of water.”
Additional coverage of the report:
Study: Almond industry contributes $21.5 billion to economy
Tim Hearden, Capital Press