Posts Tagged: grants
The UC California Institute for Water Resources (CIWR) has announced the recipients of six grants to address the most critical water issues in the state. For this program, the Institute leverages funds it receives from the Water Resources Research Act of 1964 through the Department of Interior.
CIWR, which is part of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, facilitates collaborative research and outreach on water issues across California's academic institutions and with international, federal, state, regional, nonprofit, and campus communities.
Small grants to support initial work will be dispersed to the following projects (click the headline for more information):
Suitability of alfalfa for winter groundwater recharge
Helen Dahlke, professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis
One proposed solution for recharging overdrawn aquifers is flooding farmland during the rainy season. Optimizing agricultural groundwater banking for specific crops can be challenging. The goal of this project is to better understand how alfalfa, which is grown year-round, responds to winter flooding.
Fish habitat response to streamflow augmentation
Ted Grantham, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management, UC Berkeley
Declining water levels can degrade or eliminate fish habitat during California's summer season. Storing water off-channel during the rainy season can improve flow during the summer. The study is designed to gain a better understanding of the relationship between stream flow and habitat.
Remote sensing of turfgrass response to irrigation
Amir Haghverdi, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, UC Riverside
Turfgrass is common in urban landscapes and provides valuable recreation areas and ecosystem services. This project will help determine the best irrigation strategies for common turfgrass species.
Habitat restoration impacts on water management
Eric Palkovacs, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz
The natural conditions of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have been changed by habitat alteration and non-native predacious fish introduction. This project will examine the interplay between altered habitat and predatory fish, and how they impact native salmon populations.
Evaluating water conservation policy in California
Leah Stokes, professor in the Department of Political Science, UC Santa Barbara
During the recent drought, California required that on-average urban water districts conserve 25 percent of their water. While some districts were successful, others failed to meet their target. This project will examine how variation in policy – pricing, messaging and penalties – and drought severity affected water conservation.
Groundwater dynamics after California drought
Amelia Vankeuren, professor in the Department of Geology, Sacramento State University
As part of California's groundwater management act, some basins were designated as high management priorities. This project will characterize groundwater using age, location and temperature. This information will be valuable for stakeholders creating a groundwater sustainability plan.
Three UC Davis researchers will receive grants from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture for projects to benefit the California specialty-crop industry, according to a UC Davis news release issued yesterday.
The new grants are:
- $2.6 million to study the use of sensors for precision canopy and water management of specialty crops. The lead researcher is professor of biological and agricultural engineering Shrini Upadhyaya, a precision farming expert.
- $2.5 million to develop improved lettuce varieties. The research team, led by Richard Michelmore, director of the UC Davis Genome Center, will explore the genetic basis of horticulturally important traits in lettuce.
- $1.5 million to study the recurrent migration of Verticillium dahliae, a soilborne fungus that causes plant diseases. Researchers will investigate the relationship between international and interstate seed trade and spread of the fungus, as well as the risks of transmitting diseases and causing soil infestations by planting infected spinach and lettuce seed. The lead researcher is plant pathologist and Cooperative Extension specialist Krishna Subbarao. The Salinas Californian ran a story about the project last week.
Photo: Shrini Upadhyaya
The USDA issued a news release on Friday announcing $55 million in block grants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops around the country, with California receiving more than $17 million. Of the 64 California projects, 19 are led by researchers affiliated with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.
"Scientists and researchers with the University of California and industry groups are exploring everything from whether frogs and lizards are potential carriers of E.coli to whether dust from a cattle operation can carry E.coli into a vegetable field," wrote Bee reporter Robert Rodriguez.
The executive director of the Center for Produce Safety, Bonnie Fernandez, told Rodriguez the funding comes at a time of heightened awareness of food safety among consumers and farmers.
"There are simply a lot of unanswered gaps of knowledge on these issues," Fernandez was quoted. "We want to know where the pathogens came from, how it attaches to a product and how we can reduce the risk of that happening."
Management of exotic pests is another issue where USDA provided funding for UC research, according to the listing on USDA's website. For example, grants will support efforts to:
- Release and evaluate four exotic olive fruit fly parasitoids in order to improve sustainable table and oil olive management
- Test the area-wide application of mating disruption of vine mealybug in Napa County
- Evaluate the efficacy of organic pesticides for Asian Citrus Psyllid control so science-based control recommendations can be made to organic citrus growers
- Survey resistance ratios in olive fruit fly populations from California regions not sampled in a previous study
Funds were also made available to expand and improve the online specialty crop production information now available on UC's Fruit & Nut Research and Information Center website and call-in center.
In addition, the new funding will allow UC researchers to work with several school districts and their regional partners to expand their procurement of local seasonal fresh produce, enhance their ability to integrate a specialty crop nutritional curriculum by providing outreach and professional development to school personnel, and assess changes in food preferences and dietary behaviors of children in participating school.
Other UC projects receiving the funding will look into onion seed production, strawberries' ability to restore impaired insulin, steam injection for soil disinfestation, and mealy plum aphid and leaf-curl plum aphid control in prunes./span>
The UC Center for Produce Safety to receive substantial research funds from USDA.
The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service distributed a news release on PR Newsire today that says the agency will fund conservation projects around the nation to the tune of $15 million.
The release featured comments from the California State Conservationist, Ed Burton, who encouraged California farmers and researchers to apply.
"This is a real opportunity for our University of California, California State University and Cooperative Extension offices to help expand our knowledge in key issues facing farmers and ranchers," Burton was quoted in the release.
The competitive Conservation Innovation Grants will fund projects related to:
- Farms and ranches with emerging and traditional ag and natural resource issues
- Market-based approaches to energy conservation
- Methods of tackling climate change
- Solutions to improve water, soil and air quality
- Nutrient management
- Wildlife habitat enhancement
- Pollinator population enhancement
Ten percent of the funding is being set aside for beginning farmers and ranchers, limited resource farmers or ranchers, Indian tribes or community-based organizations that serve these groups, the release said.
Applicants must submit pre-proposals to NRCS national headquarters in Washington, D.C., by April 26.
For details and eligibility requirements, see the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program Web site.
NRCS Web site.