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Posts Tagged: retirement

Of Termites, Bed Bugs and Cockroaches

UC ANR urban entomologist Vernard Lewis stands by his Villa Termiti, built just for termite research. (UC ANR Photo)

We're all going to miss him. The termites, bed bugs and cockroaches--not so much. "Him" is Vernard Lewis, who terminated termites, bugged bed bugs,...

UC ANR urban entomologist Vernard Lewis stands by his Villa Termiti, built just for termite research. (UC ANR Photo)
UC ANR urban entomologist Vernard Lewis stands by his Villa Termiti, built just for termite research. (UC ANR Photo)

UC ANR urban entomologist Vernard Lewis stands by his Villa Termiti, built just for termite research. (UC ANR Photo)

Madagascar hissing cockroaches at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Madagascar hissing cockroaches at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Madagascar hissing cockroaches at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 2:43 PM

End of an Era for Eric Mussen

Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen in front of the apiary at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's the end of an era for Eric Mussen. The Extension apiculturist, aka "honey bee guru," officially retired at the end of June after a 38-year...

Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen in front of the apiary at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen in front of the apiary at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen in front of the apiary at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Eric Mussen with his outstanding service award from UC ANR. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Eric Mussen with his outstanding service award from UC ANR. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Eric Mussen with his outstanding service award from UC ANR. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Newspapers cover retiring advisors

Bill Coates
An article in the Hollister Freelance heralded the retirement of UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Bill Coates, who reporter Adam Breen called a "human repository of local agricultural knowledge." Coates ended a 35-year-career with UCCE on Wednesday.

The Imperial Valley Press ran a feature on 4-H advisor Mary Harmon, who retired after 16 years in that position on two separate occasions (1978-1990, 2007-2011). Harmon has been involved in 4-H throughout her life as a participant, advisor and volunteer.

Setting a melancholy tone for the Hollister Freelance article, Breen noted that long-time UCCE advisors are retiring around California, where the number of county-based advisors has dropped from 400 in the 1980s to about 180 today.

Wednesday was the last day for 12 UC Cooperative Extension 4-H, farm, and nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisors. Some advisors will be replaced. In April, Dan Dooley, vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, announced that five academic positions were approved for recruitment. The positions are:

  • Delta crops resource management advisor - San Joaquin, Sacramento, Solano, Yolo and Contra Costa counties
  • Livestock, range and natural resources advisor - Kern, Tulare and Kings counties
  • 4-H youth development advisor – Central Sierra Multi-county Partnership - El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties
  • Urban integrated pest management advisor - Bay Area  - Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties
  • Youth, families and communities advisor - Humboldt, Del Norte, Lake  and Mendocino counties

Mary Harmon
Harmon told the Imperial Valley Press that she found she could do the most good as a 4-H advisor by working with adults in leadership development.

“I really strongly believe that adults have the responsibility to give back to their community and they can do it through 4-H and heading (its various) programs,” Harmon was quoted.

The Hollister Freelance article said Coates was the expert farmers from around the Central Coast would call with questions about the walnut husk fly or black line disease in walnuts. His research has ranged from methods to reduce the amount of pesticides to ways to control pests that can devastate crops.

Coates, like many of his retired UCCE advisor colleagues, won't turn his back on his life's work during retirement. He plans to update a publication on home fruit gardening in San Benito County, write a report on the county's climate and continue three major research projects – spotted wing drosophila, walnut husk fly and blackline-resistant walnut varieties.

“I would like to continue to develop new research and assist local growers as my time allows," Coates said.

Harmon also won't leave 4-H behind. She plans to volunteer in leadership development during her retirement.

“(4-H) really is part of how I define myself. It’s been a great job,” Harmon was quoted.

Posted on Friday, July 1, 2011 at 8:26 AM
Tags: Bill Coates (2), Mary Harmon (1), retirement (8)

Visalia Times-Delta features retiring advisor

In a feature story printed on her last day at work before retiring, UC Cooperative Extension 4-H advisor for Tulare County Carla Sousa said it wasn't until her retirement party last Saturday that she could pinpoint the greatest achievement of her 33-year 4-H career.

Sousa told Visalia Times-Delta reporter Victor Garcia that many current and former 4-H members approached her at the party to say what a positive impression she'd made on their lives.

"For them to thank [me] for what [I] did for them, that would be my greatest accomplishment," Sousa was quoted.

According to the article, Sousa said her attitude about 4-H has changed over the years along with the organization. She values most the "life skills" — including communication and teamwork — that participants come away with.

"At first I thought the subject matter was [most] important, but realized that it's the life skills they get out of it that's important," Sousa was quoted.

Read more about Sousa's career in a retirement release on the UC ANR news website.

Sousamug
Sousamug

Posted on Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 10:32 AM
Tags: 4-H (65), Carla Sousa (1), retirement (8)

Fred Swanson's retirement covered on ABC 30 news

Nearly 200 people gathered at the UC Kearney Research and Extension Center yesterday to send off retiring director Fred Swanson. The event was covered by ABC 30 Action News, the No. 1 broadcast news outlet in Fresno.

Reporter Dale Yurong interviewed Swanson in front of the center's two-story office, laboratory and meeting room complex, one of many expansions at the center that Swanson oversaw during his 26-year tenure at the helm.

"The idea was to put Kearney on the map and really develop this research center into a world-class facility," Swanson said on camera.

Somehow, Yurong was able to add video of a young Swanson to his two-minute report. It looks to me the man in the black-rimmed glasses in the same clip is Kearney-based entomologist Charlie Summers, though Yurong mentioned the name of retired UC viticulture academic Pete Christensen during his brief appearance. (It may be Christensen in the next clip walking a vineyard with Swanson.)

Swanson and Christensen were viticulture farm advisors in the Fresno County UC Cooperative Extension office in the 1970s.

"That was the heyday of the grape boom. Many of these growers had never grown grapes and not really been exposed to viticulture and so it was a challenging period of time, but it was an exciting period of time," Swanson said.

Attending the luncheon yesterday were many of Swanson's colleagues, area farmers, dignitaries from the cities of Reedley and Parlier, representatives of state and federal legislators, a member of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and the Fresno County sherriff, Margaret Mims.

When Sheriff Mims was introduced, UC IPM advisor Walt Bentley wondered aloud, "Is she looking for Fred?"

Fred Swanson.
Fred Swanson.

Posted on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 9:04 AM
Tags: retirement (8)

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