Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
University of California
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Kearney News Updates

Dr. Themis Michailides receives Lifetime Achievement Award from American Phytopathological Society, Pacific Division.

The Pacific Division of the American Phytopathological Society recently awarded Dr. Themis Michailides their Lifetime Achievement Award.

Here are some excerpts from the presentation of the award:

Michailides is a leading authority in fungal fruit tree pathology and is nationally and internationally recognized for his innovative ecological, epidemiological, and disease management studies of devastating diseases of fruit and nut crops.

After intensive and multifaceted research on the panicle and shoot blight of pistachio caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea, a major disease that became an epidemic in 1995 to 1998 and frightened the pistachio industry, he developed tools for successfully controlling the disease. For this outstanding research, the California pistachio industry awarded him an engraved plaque entitled “Honoring 20 years of research excellence.”

Michailides has been doing pioneering research in understanding and managing aflatoxin contamination of pistachio and almond.

Michailides has published more than 235 refereed articles.

He has been very active in The American Phytopathological Society (APS), serving as a member and/or chair of various APS committees. He has also served as associate editor (1991—1993) and senior editor (1995—1997) of Plant Disease and senior editor (2006—2008) of Phytopathology. He has established cooperation with international scientists in more than 10 countries.

2011 APS Fellow

APS Pacific Division President 2012—2013

Themis has worked from Kearney for 31years now. He and his co-workers expanded the research from what they learned from the Bot of pistachio over the years to Bot (or band) canker of almond and the Botryosphaeria/Phomopsis canker dieback and blight of walnut. Themis and co-workers care about the success of the growers he serves and he is always eager in finding solutions to their disease problems.

Dr. Themis Michailides.


Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 12:16 PM

Kearney shares summer mornings with high school students from Reedley College Upward Bound Math and Science program.

The last two weeks of June were filled with the activity of high school students brought from Reedley College for experiential learning about math and science in agriculture. Kearney has played a part in Upward Bound for several years, hosting a portion of the student workshops for two weeks each June. The program is described on the Reedley College Upward Bound website:

The Reedley College Upward Bound Programs are highly successful, precollege programs for predominately low-income and first generation college bound high school students. …The general purpose of Upward Bound is to generate excitement and increase the rates of college enrollment among high school students.

Partnering with Upward Bound is an important part of the strong Outreach Program at Kearney. Please enjoy the following pictures of some of the 2019 summer learning and fun.

Dr.Peter Ako Larbi guides a student in measuring nozzle output volume per time, as affected by pressure.

Cayci Allison, Staff Research Associate, hands out specimens of pinned ants in the workshop by Dr. Kristen Tollerup.

After laboratory work, Kris took the ant students outside to study ant behavior and ecology.

UC Davis PhD. Candidate Leslie Holland points out the virtues and vices of plant pathogens to her interested (and somewhat grossed-out) students.
Dr.Paulo Lichtemberg adjusts a dish of microorganisms under the projection camera as his students watch.
"See, you guys? Wash your hands!" The projected image of Paulo's petri dishes of ubiquitous germs had many of the students reaching for hand sanitizer. Perfect!



Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 11:33 AM

Kearney friends gathered to celebrate four new retirees and their 113 years of dedicated service.

On the last Wednesday of June, the Nectarine Room was filled with friends, great food, laughter, and a few tears as Kearney bid farewell and happy retirement to four long time employees stationed here. Everyone from recent hires to Kearney alumni shared in the joy of the accomplishment: 113 years of service, and four happy retirees. 


It's all smiles as Director Jeff Dahlberg congratulates David Grantz on his retirement after 29 years.
Rudy Gonzales, being thanked for his 29 years of service by Dale Pattigan (Dale not shown).
Dan Mulligan shares a work memory with Jeff Dahlberg and the crowd. Dan celebrated 31 years of service.
Cindy Inouye is praised and thanked by Cherie McDougald for Cindy's 24 years of service.

Posted on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 2:40 PM

UC IPM online courses: New Fuller rose beetle course and early-bird pricing.

Summer is here, and we're halfway through 2019 already! Why not get jump on finishing up your continuing education units by taking online courses from the UC Statewide IPM Program (UC IPM). If you are a license or certificate holder from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), and your last name begins with the letters M through Z, you should be receiving your renewal packet in August.

We're excited to announce some changes.

  • In January, we switched all of our online courses to a new learning system located at This new system has extensive technical support, is easier to navigate, and is more stable than the old one. Note that the extension platform offers courses from all across the country, including several providers from California. Look for the UC IPM logo to be sure you are taking one of our courses.
  • We are pleased to announce that a brand-new online course on the Fuller rose beetle was added to our citrus integrated pest management IPM series. Dr. Beth Grafton-Cardwell, a citrus IPM specialist and research entomologist, and Dr. Joseph Morse, emeritus professor of entomology, developed the course. The course describes the life cycle, natural enemies, and management of Fuller rose beetle and explains why it is important for countries that export citrus. Fuller Rose Beetle has been approved by (DPR) for 1 hour of credit in the Other category and by Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) for 0.5 hour of IPM credit.
  • Many of our courses are now credited not only by DPR for continuing education hours, but also by the California Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB), Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA), and also by Arizona Department of Agriculture.

DPR encourages license and certificate holders to avoid the end-of-the-year rush and submit renewal applications by November 1 to ensure license renewal by January 1, 2020. Submitting your renewal early avoids late fees and gives you time to address any issues that may arise such as not having enough hours to successfully renew.

Another incentive to get a jump on completing your needed continuing education units (CEUs) with UC IPM's online courses is that we are offering an early-bird price for four of our most wanted courses until November 1st.

  • Proper Pesticide Use to Avoid Illegal Residues (2 hours Laws and Regulations; early bird price $40, full price $80)
  • Proper Selection, Use, and Removal of Personal Protective Equipment (1.5 hours Laws and Regulations; early bird price $30, full price $60)
  • Pesticide Resistance (2 hours Other; early bird price $20, full price $40)
  • Pesticide Application Equipment and Calibration (1.5 hours Other; early bird price $15, full price $30)

You can find all of our twenty-one courses listed on the UC IPM website at


Fuller rose beetle on leaf.



Posted on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 12:49 PM

Kearney participates in UC Walks

Twenty Kearney staff and academics took part in the systemwide UC Walks program May 1. UC Walks promotes wellness and an active lifestyle by encouraging employees to take time out of their day to walk. The event also builds community and campus spirit throughout the UC system. 

At Kearney, UC Walks was coordinated by Emily Melton Casado, financial services manager for the UC ANR Business Operation Center located at Kearney. Casado serves as the the center's Staff Assembly Ambassador. Each ANR location across the state has an ambassador who serves as a liaison with the Staff Assembly Council and coordinates activities at local sites.

The Kearney walking team poses for a picture before setting out for a lunchtime walk on the center grounds.
UC Walks takes place across the state at UC ANR facilities, the 10 UC campuses, laboratories, medical centers and other sites.
The Kearney team jumped halfway through the walk to see if we will register on the nearby earthquake monitoring equipment.
After walking about a mile and a half, the team cooled off in the shade.
Everyone at Kearney - lab assistants, groundskeepers, agricultural staff, staff research associates, Cooperative Extension specialists, visiting scientists, etc. - are welcome to take part in the annual UC Walks event. Look for an announcement next year, receive a free t-shirt and join UC Walks.
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 9:37 AM

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