Two staff leaders from the Arboretum and Public Garden were honored on May 14, 2015 for their outstanding achievement in furthering equal opportunity and diversity objectives within the UC Davis community. The Soaring to New Heights Awards celebrate leaders whose work epitomizes the UC Davis Principles of Community.
Cary Avery, Associate Director for our Grounds and Landscape Services division, received a Disability Awareness Award for his efforts to accommodate employees with injuries or disabilities. After working with Cary on multiple occasions, Fredna Karnegas manager from UC Davis Disability Management Services, nominated him for his willingness to make adjustments on behalf of his employees so they could remain in jobs they enjoyed. Cary is a 27-year-long employee at UC Davis who is widely recognized on campus as an exceptional supervisor and mentor.
Elaine Fingerett, Academic Coordinator, received an Individual Award for creating an inclusive, welcoming campus environment through the UC Davis GATEways Initiative’s free public programs. These programs draw thousands of non-traditional learners to campus where they can engage with the rich academic resources of UC Davis while celebrating the nature and culture of Arboretum collections and learning landscapes.
Beyond academic partnerships, Elaine also supervises 12 student interns, the Arboretum Ambassadors, through our Learning by Leading Initiative. She trains students in leadership, multiculturalism, and environmental education, and mentors them to develop team-based projects that celebrate the geographical and cultural diversity of the plant collections. Elaine’s tireless work ethic and passion have resulted in a legacy of unique educational offerings that inspire and invite future generations of learners to connect with UC Davis.
Congratulations to Cary and Elaine on these well-deserved honors!
After nearly a decade, Mia Ingolia, the Curator and GIS Manager at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, has accepted a new position as a biologist/botanist at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The SFPUC manages 63,000 acres of watershed lands and 210-miles of rights-of-way in three Bay Area counties. These diverse landscapes are home to many federally- and state-listed rare plants and animals.
In her new job in the SFPUC Natural Resources Land Division, Mia is reviewing and revising Habitat Conservation Plans, as well overseeing mitigation and monitoring efforts in riparian, oak woodlands, grasslands, chaparral vegetation across Bay Area watersheds. Mia will also have a special role developing a 3-acre garden—a native plant garden featuring bioregional plants of the watershed— at a SFPUC East Bay Watershed Interpretation Center, now under construction: she is currently preparing planting plans, reviewing plant selections, establishing schedules for seed collection, and reviewing garden designs. In addition, Mia is serving as the technical lead for the design and build of a new native plant nursery.
Although we were all sad to see Mia leave “for greener pastures”, it is wonderful to hear about her new work, ranging from large restoration projects—300,000 new plants at San Antonio Creek!— to small pockets of habitat enhancement—planting native willows around a small pond, and new plantings of lupine to support the Mission Blue Butterfly populations. Meanwhile, we are deeply grateful to our amazing curatorial volunteer yeams that Mia recruited and trained, who will be carrying on the curatorial work of the garden until the new curator is hired.
We will miss you, Mia!
About once a month our campus safety services unit recognizes an employee who makes a contribution to improve the culture of safety at UC Davis. Last month that award was bestowed upon our own GATEways Horticulturist Stacey Parker!
Here’s an excerpt from Stacey’s nomination package.
“Stacey is the safety coordinator for the [UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden]. This is a thankless job that requires coordination, dedication, and extreme patience in the pursuit of safety training compliance. Others would cringe at having to rally a group of employees to read safety brochures and participate in staff trainings; Stacey jumps in headfirst and leads our group with a combination of perseverance and enthusiasm. She manages to make the process seem interesting and ultimately valuable. With Stacey at the helm, I look forward to our monthly trainings.”
We are so proud of all the work Stacey does! When you see her, please congratulate and thank her for keeping our our volunteers and our staff safe!