Volume 9 | Issue 1 | June 2022
Dear Colleagues,
As many of you know, I have recently announced my decision to retire from the University of California, and will be stepping down at the end of June. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to create and deliver science-based solutions to water challenges with the California Institute for Water Resources over the past decade.

I am proud to leave behind a thriving water institute that is helping California meet its water challenges. We have created programs that address issues of water pollution, water allocation, water use efficiency, and climate change. I look forward to turning over the leadership of the Institute to a new director that can bring their own experiences and expertise to bear. The job announcement has recently been posted; please share with qualified candidates.
I want to thank you all for your support, and I look forward to keeping in touch. Doug Parker, Director
New Report on the Water/Wildfire Nexus
It's intuitive that wildfires can affect ecosystems, harm wildlife, and contaminate streams and rivers. But wildfires can also have complex, severe, and direct effects on our water supply and infrastructure—effects that have only become clear in recent years. Scientists and policymakers must integrate insights and experience from many disciplines and sectors to understand and address the consequences.

Last fall, 23 scholars and practitioners with a diversity of water and fire expertise came together to answer a critical question: How can California proactively protect its water supply from fires? Their findings, combined with the insights of the author team, form the basis of a new scoping report, released by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources' California Institute for Water Resources and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.

Read a report summary in English and Spanish, and check out the full report.
Water Talk Podcast Season 3
Mallika Nocco, Faith Kearns, and Sam Sandoval have recently released the third season of their Water Talk podcast. The season featured a wide variety of guests from across California discussing a diverse array of topics. Kicking off the season was a conversation with co-host Faith Kearns about her book Getting to the Heart of Science Communication. Several guests discussed agricultural topics including Mark Battany (UC ANR) on central coast wines, Ellen Bruno (UC Berkeley) and Alyssa DeVincentis (Vitidore) on cover crops, and Michelle Leinfelder-Miles (UC ANR) on ag and the Delta.

In addition, there was a great conversation with Joaquin Esquivel, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, and with two reporters, Ian James of the LA Times, and Erica Gies, author of the new book Water Always Wins. Key episodes focused on equity and justice issues, including conversations with Asmeret Asefaw Berhe (UC Merced) on soil and political ecology, Michael Méndez (UC Irvine) on disaster and climate justice, Beth Rose Middleton Manning (UC Davis) on California Native water rights and stewardship. A conversation with Arturo Ramírez-Valdez of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Universidad Autonoma de Baja California focused on Pacific kelp forests, and we spoke with Marisa Escobar (Stockholm Environmental Institute) and Belize Lane (Utah State) about functional environmental flows.

Season 4 will be released in the spring of 2023. Listen to the first three seasons wherever you get podcasts and at watertalkpodcast.com.
Samuel Sandoval Joins the California Institute for Water Resources as Campus Water Resources Collaborator
Samuel Sandoval is a professor and extension specialist in water resources at UC Davis and UC ANR, and a collaborator with the Institute. He is a scientist interested in improving water resources management for human and environmental needs in California, with a particular focus on the economic, environmental, and social justice aspects. He works with a wide range of people, from farmworkers to water resources managers to decision makers. He is the co-host of the Water Talk podcast with Mallika Nocco and Faith Kearns, and the founding member of the Water Management Lab.

Samuel is currently co-leading the Permanent Forum of Binational Waters, a network of scientist interested in the shared waters between both nations. He earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering, master of science from the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico, and doctoral degree in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Welcome to Rachel Shellabarger and Hope Zabronsky!
Rachel Shellabarger joined the California Institute for Water Resources as an Academic Coordinator II. She is responsible for coordinating our work with the National Institutes for Water Resources, as well as a new Nitrogen and Irrigation Management Program. Rachel comes to us from UC Santa Cruz, where her recent PhD research sought to better understand how California dairy producers engage with environmental initiatives.
Rachel is an environmental scientist who grew up farming, and she is drawn to interdisciplinary work that crosses traditional boundaries. She previously researched conflict among conservation and human rights groups on the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as wetland mitigation efforts in Midwest agricultural landscapes. She also taught undergraduate Natural Sciences coursework for six years and worked with refugee resettlement agencies.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Wartburg College, a master’s degree in Natural Resources from North Carolina State University, and a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Hope Zabronsky joined the California Institute for Water Resources as an Academic Coordinator II with our Climate-Smart Agriculture Program. She is responsible for coordinating the program and working with the team of technical assistance providers. 

Hope comes to us from Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center in San Diego, where she directed educational and research programs focused on sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship, community-based leadership, and technical education. Previously, she managed statewide climate resilience projects at Strategic Energy Innovations, supported agricultural and climate adaptation research at the International Food Policy Research Institute, and studied climate smart agriculture practices in California and Malawi at the University of California, Davis. 

Hope earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, sustainability, and political science from the University of Vermont and master of science in international agricultural development from the University of California, Davis. 
New positions with CIWR and UC ANR
There are several water-related positions available with UC Ag and Natural Resources, as well as with the California Institute for Water Resources. These include:

  • Director, California Institute for Water Resources
  • Project Scientist - Nitrogen and Irrigation Education
  • Water and Community Resilience Area Advisor
  • Community Education Specialist 2 - Climate Smart Agriculture

See our jobs page for more information, and check out all the positions available with UC ANR at ucanr.edu/jobs.
Water Webinar Series
Rosenberg Webinar Series
Join us for the UC ANR Water Webinar series on the third Friday of the month at 3pm PT. Speakers have included John Abatzoglou, UC Merced; Maura Allaire, UC Irvine; and Jay Lund, UC Davis.

This seminar series, organized by the ANR Water Program Team led by Ellen Bruno and Safeeq Khan, provides a virtual platform to get to know water-interested colleagues around the state.

You can catch up on all the talks in the series at ciwr.ucanr.edu/WaterWebinar.
Our Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy has been hosting a series of successful, well-attended webinars on a variety of international water policy issues.

Topics range from groundwater to climate change and extreme weather to earth observing systems and diverse experts from a wide variety of institutions around the world.

To view the talks in the series, visit our website and stay tuned for upcoming events!
Institute updates
Institute Collaborator Samuel Sandoval talks with participants in the Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL) Untapped program.
In May, Institute Director Doug Parker finished his term on the Board for the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR). During his term, NIWR was successful in getting the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) reauthorized by Congress and signed by the President. In addition, NIWR was successful in getting funding for the WRRA Program increased from $6.5 million per year to $14 million per year. In February, Doug welcomed California Congressman Josh Harder to the annual NIWR Directors meeting (held virtually). Congressman Harder has been a big supporter of the WRRA and CIWR and we are thankful for his efforts on our behalf.
Through the spring Doug continued to support the California Department of Food and Agriculture as a subject matter expert to their Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel. In addition, Doug has continued to work with the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment to bring together diverse stakeholder groups to work towards solutions to our agricultural and environmental challenges. With California’s attention drawn to the drought, Doug continues to be a resource to many media outlets.

Faith Kearns, Academic Coordinator, has given dozens of talks and workshops related to her recent book Getting to the Heart of Science Communication (Island Press 2021). In addition, she has recently wrapped up co-hosting and co-producing a third season of the podcast Water Talk with Mallika Nocco and Sam Sandoval of UC Davis. In the wake of drought and wildfires in California, Faith has spoken with journalists from the Washington Post, the LA Times, and more. Along with UCLA colleagues Greg Pierce and Peter Roquemore, she convened a workshop and co-wrote a policy briefing document on the water-wildfire nexus in California. Finally, Faith has recently given talks to many groups, including through local libraries, the UC Master Gardeners program, and many others.

Throughout this year, Institute Collaborator Samuel Sandoval was part of the Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL) Untapped program. This program provides practical training on a method of inquiry, public narrative and fundamental knowledge of water in California to fourteen elected officials in California. Dr. Sandoval was a key resource for technical knowledge and access to water resources experts from different backgrounds. He joined the in-person events in Coachella, the Tehachapis, and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Drought Information
In the midst of drought, California’s academic institutions serve as a tremendous resource on everything from near-term management strategies to long-term research.

Our Water and Drought Information portal provides resources for farmers and ranchers, land managers, and residents. Highlights include:

  • The series bring timely, relevant expertise on water and drought from around the UC system and beyond directly to interested communities. At this time, over 30 talks on topics ranging from drought impacts to natural resources to water management in urban areas are available, with new presentations continuing to be added.

  • To help growers and others make the best use of the water they have available, this drought management science-based, peer-reviewed series was developed by the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources with support from the California Department of Water Resources. 

For up-to-the-minute drought resources and expertise, please visit us at ucanr.edu/drought and follow us on Twitter @ucanrwater.
“A reliable supply of water for drinking, growing food and sustaining our natural resources remains one of California’s greatest challenges. UC’s California Institute for Water Resources is vital to integrating California’s research, extension, and education programs to help mitigate current water-related issues and develop practical long-term solutions.”

Secretary Karen Ross, California Dept. of Food & Agriculture