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WFP-UC-water-diversions.jpg UC Cooperative Extension
Landowners attend a University of California Cooperative Extension workshop at the Shasta Livestock Auction Yard in Cottonwood, Calif., in 2018.

UC webinars, field days fill June calendar

Invasive species, food safety, drones among discussion topics.

Workshops and webinars hosted by the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources in June will cover such wide-ranging topics as invasive species, wildfire research, food safety and drone use for mapping and research.

Lunchtime webinars

When insects, animals, weeds and disease-causing microbes make their way into California from other parts of the nation or the world, the economic and environmental impacts can be catastrophic.

A recent UN report that details the world's biodiversity crisis assigns part of the blame to the proliferation of invasive alien species. “The numbers,” the report says, “have risen by about 70%, across the 21 countries with detailed records” since the 1970s.

“It's time to better understand how invasive species affect California's biodiversity, as well as our water supply, fire regimes, recreation and agriculture,” said Sabrina Drill, UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Drill worked with the California Invasive Plant Council and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to offer five free 40-minute mid-day webinars on invasive species as part of the multi-agency sponsored California Invasive Species Action Week.

During the first part of the week the series cover a range of organisms, from killer algae and incestuous beetles to rodents of unusual size. Later in the week, it's Weeds-A-Palooza, with talks focusing on invasive plants.

The webinars will be offered using Zoom Video Communications from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m June 3-7. All details are available online at https://ucanr.edu/sites/invasivelunch/invasivelunch2019/. Links to the Zoom meeting space will be posted on that webpage before the webinars begin.

Camp Fire research

Researchers who have been investigating the impacts of the Camp Fire and other urban fires in Northern California will gather June 4 in Chico to share what they have learned. Members of the public are invited to attend the Camp Fire Water Resources Monitoring and Research Symposium, which will be held at the California State University, Chico Farm located at 311 Nicholas C Shouten Lane, Chico, CA 95928.

“The recent urban fires across California have raised questions about the fire impacts on watershed health, food safety and groundwater,” said Tracy Schohr, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for Butte, Plumas and Sierra counties, who is organizing the symposium.

Symposium speakers will discuss their research conducted on waterways, gardens, working landscapes and the urban environment following the devastating wildfires in Butte, Shasta and Sonoma counties. The featured presentations will cover research design, preliminary outcomes and future research needs. 

For more information and to register, visit https://ucanr.edu/sites/Rangelands. The event is $50 to attend and includes program materials, morning refreshments and lunch. Parking is free at the Chico State Farm.  

Food safety

Livestock operations and fresh produce growers in California are among the most highly regulated in the country, but confusion often exists about what each community does to keep our food safe. The California Good Agriculture Neighbors Workshop: The Produce-Livestock Interface Workshop aims to clarify those roles.

Fruit and vegetable growers, livestock owners and others interested in assuring the safety of fresh produce grown in the vicinity of livestock and wildlife are invited to explore collaborative methods that advance food safety.

At locations in the Central Valley and Imperial Valley, food safety scientists, regulators, growers and ranchers will share what they know about the produce-livestock interface and discuss how we can make food even safer.

“Produce and livestock farmers in Southern California won't want to miss this seminar on food safety June 11 at Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville,” says Jose Luis Aguiar, UC Cooperative Extension vegetable crops advisor for Riverside County. “Come and hear directly from scientists and regulators about the latest research and regulatory news. The agricultural industry is doing its part to be a good neighbor and work collaboratively to make food safer.”

Participants will gain a better understanding of how co-management of neighboring farms can further enhance food safety, reduce potential for fresh produce outbreaks, and limit liability for both growers and ranchers.

In the morning, speakers will cover laws, regulations and practices that already exist to protect food and environmental safety. In the afternoon, participants will break out into groups to examine how these practices can be leveraged. 

There will be time for discussion with Ag Innovations facilitating the meeting. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and to ask produce safety questions.

The free workshop, subsidized by a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is being offered in Holtville and Stockton. Lunch will be provided. For more information and to register, visit www.wifss.ucdavis.edu/good-ag-neighbors.

June 11, 2019
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Desert Research & Extension Center
1004 East Holton Rd
Holtville, CA 92250

June 13, 2019
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Robert J Cabral Agricultural Center
2101 E. Earhart Ave
Stockton, CA 95206

The produce safety-livestock interface workshops are sponsored by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Western Center for Food Safety at UC Davis, Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at UC Davis and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources using cooperative funding from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Western Growers and California Beef Council are sponsoring the lunches.

Drone workshop

People who are interested in using drones for real-world mapping are invited to attend a three-day intensive drone workshop in the Monterey Bay Area. The third annual DroneCamp will be offered June 18-20 by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Informatics and GIS Program. No experience with drone technology is needed to participate.

Drone mapping involves taking high-resolution photos with drones and stitching them together with software to make extremely accurate, orthorectified maps. More difficult than videography, it is widely used in agriculture, construction, archeology, surveying, facilities management and other fields. DroneCamp will cover all the topics someone needs to make maps with drones, including:

  • Technology - the different types of drone and sensor hardware, costs and applications
  • Drone science - principles of photogrammetry and remote sensing
  • Safety and regulations - learn to fly safely and legally, including tips on getting your FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate
  • Mission planning - flight planning tools and principles for specific mission objectives
  • Flight operations - hands-on practice with both manual and programmed flights
  • Data processing - processing drone data into orthomosaics and 3D digital surface models; assessing quality control
  • Data analysis - techniques for analyzing drone data in GIS and remote sensing software
  • Visualization - create 3D models of your data
  • Latest trends - hear about new and upcoming developments in drone technology, data processing, and regulations

On the first day, DroneCamp instructors will discuss drone platforms, sensor technologies and regulations. On the following two days, participants will receive hands-on instruction on flying safely, using automated flight software, emergency procedures, managing data, and turning images into maps using Pix4D mapper and ArcGIS Pro.

Registration is $900 for the general public and $500 for University of California students and employees. Registration includes instruction, materials, flight practice and lunches. Scholarships are available.

This year DroneCamp is being held in conjunction with the Monterey Bay DART (Drones Automation & Robotics Technology), which is holding an industry symposium on Friday, June 21. DroneCamp participants get a $50 discount to attend the symposium.

For more information and to register for DroneCamp, please complete the registration form at http://igis.ucanr.edu/dronecamp. Registration fees are due by June 1, 2019.

Source: University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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