The Cooperative Extension Service was established in 1914 in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture and the land-grant universities. UC Berkeley was the first land-grant institution in California and currently has about two dozen Cooperative Extension Specialists in three departments in the Rausser College of Natural Resources. Specialists conduct applied research and coordinate public outreach activities to address the needs of Californians related to water management, forests and wildfire, biodiversity conservation, pest and disease control, agriculture, climate change, community health, and nutrition. They are problem-solvers, catalysts, collaborators, and educators who work with communities and decision-makers to foster land stewardship.
Peggy Lemaux is PMBs cooperative extension specialist whose research interests involve developing and using genetic technologies to improve nutritional quality and abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. Her outreach efforts focus on reaching out to the media, the public, and legislators about how modern genetics is used to improve food and agriculture, and training students in science communication through the CLEAR project.