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Youngsters learn cooking from 4-H teens in Imperial County

Two UC Cooperative Extension programs - 4-H Youth Development and UC CalFresh nutrition education - collaborate to give Imperial County elementary school students an introduction to the culinary arts, reported Vincent Osuna in the Imperial Valley Press.

The 4-H Teens-As-Teachers Cooking Academy runs seven sessions in which the high school students use evidence-based curriculum from 4-H to teach the elementary school students how to cook.

"I think this is a really good experience for the kids because it shows them the pathways that are here at the high school that could lead them into their future," said a Calexico High School senior Nelly Rodriguez, who serves as an academy teacher. "It gets them a start way ahead of what we got, because we started in ninth grade, and they get to start young in elementary."

A 4-H mini-grant funded equipment, aprons, skillets and other materials; UC CalFresh provides the food ingredients.

"It's to basically teach kids how to cook, but also just to empower them to help them feel like they have a little more control over their food," said Chris Wong, UCCE Imperal County community education specialist. "At the same time, it serves purpose to the high school culinary class because it professionally develops them for their food demos and their competitions at the end of the year."

4-H teen teacher Julio Ramirez said the young students were nervous at first, but by the fourth session, "They're anxious to do it. It's just a good thing to see."

Elementary school students learn from 4-H teens how to cook healthy meals. (Photo used with permission.)
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 9:04 AM
Tags: 4-H (62), Chris Wong (1), UC CalFresh (6)
Focus Area Tags: 4-H Food

Don't Miss This: Maggot Art at the Bohart

This maggot art is the work of entomologist-artist Diane Ullman, professor of entomology at UC Davis and former chair of the department. She served as the co-founding director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Maggot art at the Bohart! That rhymes. And that's what's planned as the family craft activity when the Bohart Museum of Entomology hosts an open...

This maggot art is the work of entomologist-artist Diane Ullman, professor of entomology at UC Davis and former chair of the department. She served as the co-founding director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This maggot art is the work of entomologist-artist Diane Ullman, professor of entomology at UC Davis and former chair of the department. She served as the co-founding director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This maggot art is the work of entomologist-artist Diane Ullman, professor of entomology at UC Davis and former chair of the department. She served as the co-founding director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The UC Department of Entomology and Nematology offers maggot art at Briggs Hall during the annual UC Davis Picnic Day. This year's Picnic Day is set April 13. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The UC Department of Entomology and Nematology offers maggot art at Briggs Hall during the annual UC Davis Picnic Day. This year's Picnic Day is set April 13. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The UC Department of Entomology and Nematology offers maggot art at Briggs Hall during the annual UC Davis Picnic Day. This year's Picnic Day is set April 13. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bigcone Douglas-firs are suffering the effects of wildfires and droughts

Bigcone Douglas-fir is an evergreen conifer native to the mountains of Southern California. Repeated wildfires and drought are threatening the species' existence in its native range, reported Bettina Boxall in the Los Angeles Times.

The reporter visited a Santa Barbara County site peppered with tall, dead trees where UC Cooperative Extension fire specialist Max Moritz is studying the species' fate. 

"You don't see anything," he said. "It has a fairly depressing quality to it, given the mortality and no regeneration."

The area was burned by the Zaca Fire 11 years ago, something the fire-resistant conifer can generally withstand. Moritz and research assistant Ryan Salladay found evidence that the trees survived the fire, but then died sometime later. They are trying to determine what did them in by recording the aspect of the slope, collecting tree core samples, measuring the water stress in living trees, looking for wildfire impacts, and checking for seedlings.

“The drought-following-fire issue is a total reshuffling of what might come back or survive,” Moritz said.

Bigcone Douglas-fir occurs from the San Rafael Mountains in central Santa Barbara County and the Tehachapi Mountains of southwestern Kern County, south through the Transverse Ranges, to the Cuyamaca Mountains in San Diego County. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2019 at 2:11 PM
Tags: climate change (78), drought (162), Max Moritz (26), wildfire (120)
Focus Area Tags: Environment

Meet Forensic Entomologist Danielle Wishon at the Bohart Museum Open House Jan. 12

Danielle Wishon, shown here in 2011 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, will be back at the Bohart on Saturday, Jan. 12 to participate in an open house. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

When you attend the open house on Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology (you know you want to!), be sure to meet forensic entomologist...

Danielle Wishon, shown here in 2011 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, will be back at the Bohart on Saturday, Jan. 12 to participate in an open house. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Danielle Wishon, shown here in 2011 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, will be back at the Bohart on Saturday, Jan. 12 to participate in an open house. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Danielle Wishon, shown here in 2011 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, will be back at the Bohart on Saturday, Jan. 12 to participate in an open house. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

U.S. President's threat to cut FEMA funding to California chided

U.S President Donald Trump criticized forest management in California and threatened to cut off federal emergency funding this week, eliciting confusion and condemnation, reported Ryan Bort in Rolling Stone.

The International Association of Fire Fighters released a statement calling Trump's move "disgraceful." "While our president is tweeting on the sidelines in DC, our fellow Americans 3,000 miles to the west are mourning loved ones, entire communities have been wiped off the map and thousands of people are still trying to figure out where they are going to call home."

The reporter wrote that the president is fixated on the state's role in causing forest fires, but the federal government owns the majority of forested land in California. Moreover, the devastating Camp and Woolsey fires of 2018 were not forest fires; they were wildland-urban interface fires, according to UC Cooperative Extension wildfire specialist Max Moritz.

"In these environments, as we've seen, it can be the homes themselves that are burning and spreading fire to other nearby homes. Managing vegetation can thus have relatively little effect on fire spread," Moritz said. 

A Paradise resident surveys his home destroyed by the Camp Fire in Butte County. (Photo: 25th Air Force 25af.af.mil)

The federal government shutdown itself is having a major impact on wildfire prevention, reported Ezra David Romero on Capital Public Radio.

Typically, forest managers analyze their budgets and plan for the next fire season during the winter. But the government shutdown has suspended these efforts because the U.S. Forest Service - which has been furloughed since Dec. 22 - plays a big role.

Crews in Redwood National Park are “just sitting on their hands,” according to UC Cooperative Extension fire advisor Lenya Quinn-Davidson in Humboldt County, because they can't work on federal land during the shutdown. She said that workers were “excited to do more” on the heels of the state's worst fire season in history. “This is just taking the wind out of their sails."

The shutdown is also causing challenges for UCCE forestry specialist Bill Stewart. He's working on collaboration between the UC system and the Forest Service to streamline the cost of preventing wildfires. But the shutdown is making the five-year project, which has end-of-January deadlines, difficult to accomplish.

“Everything has come to a total stop,” Stewart said. “They are not even allowed to answer their emails. If this continues it may be hard to restart for this next season.”

Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 1:25 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment

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