CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

December 15, 2000

Jun 05, 2014 admin


Randal Southard Appointed Associate Dean for Division of the Environment

Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef announces the appointment of Professor Randal Southard as associate dean of the college's Division of the Environment. The appointment was effective in October. "I am very pleased that Dr. Southard agreed to serve as associate dean for environmental sciences," said Dean Neal Van Alfen. "During this past year while serving in an interim capacity, he has been a very effective and articulate spokesperson for environmental sciences within the college. With his leadership, we anticipate significant momentum in the advancement of our environmental sciences programs." Southard's research interests include soil genesis, morphology and classification; soil-geomorphic relations; and soil mineralogy. He served as interim associate dean during the past year.

Randal J. Southard
Associate Dean
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
[email protected]
(530) 752-7041

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Agricultural Database Available
A new searchable database is now available to help farmers, ranchers and community groups craft low-input solutions to many of the operational questions they're wrestling with today. It offers information on topics such as alternative pest control methods, soil-management techniques and community strategies for strengthening connections with local agriculture. It's located at

Check out thedatabase



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James Hill Elected ASA Fellow
Extension specialist James Hill, former chair of the Department of Agronomy and Range Science, was elected a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy. The designation is the highest bestowed upon members by the society. Hill is recognized nationally and internationally for work that led to the rapid adoption of newer, higher-yielding rice varieties and innovative weed control practices in California. He also contributed to the solution of perplexing environmental problems related to rice production and developed farming practices to prevent herbicide runoff in rice field tailwater, allowing rice growers to reduce pollution by 98 percent.


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Illness Prevention
It is estimated that there are more than 76 million cases of food-borne illness each year in the U.S., and many of those cases are preventable, according to Cooperative Extension specialist Linda Harris, Department of Food Science and Technology. To prevent the spread of harmful bacteria in the kitchen, always wash hands, as well as utensils and cutting boards, before working with foods and when moving from one food item to the next.



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Linda Bisson and Sharon Shoemaker Articles in "Gastronome"
The 184-page millennium edition of "Gastronome," published by Chaîne des Rôtísseurs, featured articles by Department of Viticulture and Enology professor Linda Bisson and Sharon Shoemaker, Department of Food Science and Technology. Bisson, the Maynard A. Amerine Professorship chair, highlighted trends in viticulture and enology. She wrote that scientists at UC Davis and on other campuses are battling major pests, such as Pierce's Disease, that threaten the California grape industry. She described how researchers in the Department of Viticulture and Enology and across campus have developed an internationally recognized research program in the area of wine and health. "We were the first to suggest that the 'French Paradox' - the low incidence of coronary artery disease in the French population in spite of a relatively high consumption of dietary fat - could be explained by the antioxidants found in wine," Bisson wrote. In writing about trends in food science and technology, Shoemaker, director of the California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research, said that the return to "natural" and an emphasis on low-fat diets and healthy foods have prompted new programs to examine the nutritional benefits of foodstuffs. "At UC Davis," Shoemaker wrote, "prune fiber pectin has been found to lower blood cholesterol levels. Studies suggest that for the control of obesity, dietary fiber prolongs the presence of fat in the small intestine and depresses hunger."


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Healthy Eating for the Holidays
Tis the season to feast, and health-conscious individuals can enjoy holiday foods without fear of weight gain. Lecturer Liz Applegate, Department of Nutrition, suggests: "Eat often, use a small plate, savor the food and choose your favorites."

Liz A. Applegate
Lecturer
Department of Nutrition
[email protected]
(530) 752-6682

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Joseph Cech Recognized by American Fisheries Society
Professor Joseph Cech, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, recently received an award of excellence from the California-Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to fishery conservation and the fishery profession. The society's Equal Opportunities Section also presented Cech with its Mentoring-for-Professional-Diversity Award. Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef recently announced the appointment of Cech as acting chair of the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. Cech's appointment begins January 1, 2001; he will serve through June 30. Cech was inducted into the internationally recognized Congressional Legion of Honor of the Biology of Fish as its annual congress. He served as co-organizer of the congress symposium on fish migration and passage. Cech's research interests include physiological adaptations and adjustments of fishes to their environments.


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Judith Stern Receives Charles A. Black Award
Professor Judith Stern, Department of Nutrition, was selected recipient of the 2001 Charles A. Black Award by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). The award recognizes her work in translating science to the media. She will be honored at a reception and banquet in Alexandria, Virginia, in March. Stern is also a professor in the UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine/Division of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, director of the UC Davis Food Intake Laboratory Group and co-director of a NIH-funded Alternative Medicine Center for Research in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. An expert on diet and nutrition, she has published extensively on nutrition, the effect of exercise on appetite and metabolism and obesity. CAST assembles, interprets and communicates science-based information on food, fiber, agricultural, natural resource and related societal and environmental issues to legislators, regulators, policymakers, media, the private sector and the public.


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James Wolpert Named First Marvin Sands Endowed Chair
Professor James Wolpert, Department of Viticulture and Enology, is the first recipient of the new Marvin Sands Endowed Department Chair, created with a $466,000 donation from members of the wine-grape community. The endowed chair was established in memory of Marvin Sands, the late chair of Constellation Brands, formerly known as Canandaigua Brands. This is the department's fourth endowed chair. "I am honored to be named recipient of the Marvin Sands Endowed Department Chair," said Wolpert. "This is an enormous personal honor, and the endowed chair provides valuable resources to enhance our teaching programs. In order for us to achieve and sustain excellence in teaching the next generation of America's winemakers, we must look to the private sector for support. Marvin Sands well understood the importance of education, and we believe this is a fitting tribute to a true statesman of the wine industry." Wolpert, a Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist, focuses his research on statewide programs for rootstock and winegrape clonal evaluations, field-testing of viroid-free grapevines and winegrape production in Northern California - organizing and teaching Extension courses and programs.


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Heiner Lieth Presented Research Award
Professor Heiner Lieth, Department of Environmental Horticulture, is the recipient of the 2000 Henry E. Heiner Award from the Joseph H. Hill Memorial Foundation, an affiliate of the International Cut Flower Growers Association. The award was presented during the group's annual meeting in Santa Barbara in October. Lieth was recognized for "outstanding research in support of the fresh cut rose industry." He was honored for research on modeling of rose productivity, participation in educational programs and work as an adviser to several association committees. Lieth's area of research is crop ecology of greenhouse and nursery crops; greenhouse environment control automation; modeling of ornamental crops; and automated irrigation.


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Judy Jernstedt Heads Botanical Society of America
Professor Judy Jernstedt, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, was selected to head the Botanical Society of America, a professional society with over 2,500 members in the United States and 50 other countries. In a process that began last summer, Jernstedt was elected president-elect and secretary at the group's annual meeting in Portland. She will serve on the society's executive committee for one year, serve as a member of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents for three years, present the banquet address at the 2001 annual meeting in Albuquerque and then assume the role of president. "This is an exciting time to be involved in the Botanical Society of America," Jernstedt said, "and in all scientific societies. Electronic communication is resulting in a more active society and a more involved membership. Electronic publication and archiving of scientific journals, for example, the entire American Journal of Botany from volume 1, issue 1 from the early 1900s, is making our science more available to more people around the world and revolutionizing access to the literature of plant biology. This definitely is good for increasing scientific literacy and research collaborations." Jernstedt also is president of the Davis Botanical Society and served as the group's treasurer from 1992 through 1998. Her area of interest is plant morphology and evolution; her lab conducts research in crop structure and development, studying seed and fiber development in cotton, as well as meristem development and determination in non-seed plants.


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Warren Johnston Interviewed on NPR's 'City Visions'
Professor emeritus Warren Johnston, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, recently was interviewed on KALW-91.7 in San Francisco on the program "City Visions." The National Public Radio program discussed California farming and how to ensure its sustainability in the future. Program host Rose Levinson interviewed Johnston and Jason McKenna, organic farmer and co-founder of Purisima Greens. Listeners called into the show with questions and comments. Johnston told CA&ES Currents that the first question asked was 'How important is California agriculture to the California economy?' "Most of the program focused on that question," he said. "We talked a lot about the changing structure of California agriculture." Johnston's research interests include economic and resource structures of agricultural systems; commercial agriculture; land and water resources economics; agricultural and natural resources policy; aquacultural systems; and economic reforms in market economies.


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Emmy Werner and Harry Walker Honored
Professor emeritus Emmy Werner, Department of Human and Community Development, and lecturer emeritus Harry Walker, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, were among five retired UC Davis faculty and staff members honored at a ceremony marking the completion of The Colleges at LaRue, the newest student residential complex on campus. The 450-bedroom complex houses more than 600 students in five thematic "pods." Each pod is named for faculty or staff who have contributed to the undergraduate life of UC Davis students. Werner, an internationally recognized developmental psychologist, has spent a lifetime studying how children cope when confronted with adversity. She has served as a role model to generations of students through her research and teaching. She has published books on children of the western migration, the Civil War and World War II. Since her retirement in 1994, she continues to teach undergraduates and supervise graduate students. Walker headed the Exploratory Program in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, created to assist students with career decisions and major courses of study. He was active in the summer advising program that welcomed new students and prepared them for their first year at Davis. He developed numerous courses that alerted students to the relationship between natural resources and well being. Walker retired in 1990. The other honorees are Ruth Anderson, who served as dean of women for 20 years and helped found the original Women's Center on campus in 1968 and the Network for Graduate and Faculty Women; Robert Matthews, who helped establish an environmental geology program within the UC Davis Department of Geology; and Marya Welch, the first woman hired in the physical education department at UC Davis. Welch played a key role in establishing intramural and extramural sports programs for women, served as dean of women for two years and organized the Prytanean Honor Society.


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Stephen Russell Receives Placek Award
Stephen Russell, 4-H youth development specialist, Department of Human and Community Development, was presented the Wayne F. Placek Award by the American Psychological Foundation. The intent of the award is "to encourage scientific research to increase the general public's understanding of homosexuality and to alleviate the stress that gay men and lesbians experience in this and future civilizations." This award comes with $16,000, which will support a research project titled "Adolescent sexual orientation, risk and resilience." According to Russell, social research during the past two decades has established clearly that gay and lesbian adolescents are at higher risk than their heterosexual peers for contemplating or attempting suicide and for using and abusing drugs and alcohol. "At the same time," he said, "we know that many gay and lesbian youth grow up to be healthy, productive adults. While much research effort has been devoted to documenting risk in the lives of gay and lesbian youth, very little is known about the factors associated with resilience among youth with same-sex attractions or relationships." Russell's research is in the area of adolescent development and sexuality. He focuses on the long-term effectiveness of sexuality education, risk factors for early parenthood and pregnancy, and adolescent sexual orientation and the health and well being of sexual minority youth.

Stephen T. Russell
4-H Youth Development Specialist
Department of Human and Community Development
[email protected]
(530) 219-3438

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Paul Singh Elected to Two Societies
Food engineering professor Paul Singh, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, was elected as fellow to two professional societies, the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. Both groups recognized Singh for his talents as an educator and a researcher. Singh's research focuses on studying heat and mass transfer in foods during processing, investigating the role of different rates of heat/mass transfer in modifying structural and functional properties of foods. Singh has developed predictive models of the frying process that provide new insights on how heat transfers from oil into an immersed food. Singh also addresses food safety issues in cooking hamburger patties. The non-uniform nature of hamburger meat complicates the problem of predicting heat transfer. Through studies measuring various properties of hamburger meat and rates of heat transfer when patties are cooked on a commercial grill, he is developing predictive models of heat transfer to improve the design of industrial grills and is developing cooking processes that assure a safe product without overcooking.


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Michael Caputo, Catherine Morrison-Paul, Scott Rozelle Ranked Worldwide
A recent study places UC Davis among the most productive universities in the world in the field of economics. The study by Tom Coupé of the Université Libre de Bruxelles ranks 55,000 economists and their departments on the basis of publications and citations for the five years 1994-98. The study reexamines 11 previously used methodologies, taking into account as many as 650 journals, depending on the methodology. The average ranking placed economics at UC Davis at twenty-first among all universities in the U.S. and ninth among U.S. public universities. Individually, three faculty members from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics were ranked among the top 2 percent of world economists based on publications and citations during the review period: professor Michael Caputo, professor Catherine Morrison-Paul and associate professor Scott Rozelle. Caputo's research includes static and dynamic microeconomic theory, resource economics and environmental economics. Morrison-Paul's work focuses on the interaction of technological or cost and market structure in food processing industries, such as the stimulus for increased concentration resulting from various types of cost economies in the meat products industries. She also is studying changes in consumer demands for food products and their implications for U.S. agricultural product prices. Rozelle's research agenda, mostly focused on China, has three priority areas: supply, demand and trade of agricultural commodities; analysis of the transition - emergence of markets, evolution of institutions, and implications for efficiency and equity outcomes; and economics of poverty and inequality.



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Gamma Sigma Delta Elects Officers
The UC Davis chapter of the honorary society for agriculture - Gamma Sigma Delta - was installed in November and officers were elected. Richard Bostock, chair of the Department of Plant Pathology, was named president-elect; Michael Singer, professor, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, was named secretary; and Linda Whent, student affairs officer with School/University Partnerships, was named treasurer. Tom Rost, associate dean of the Division of Biological Sciences, was named president. Twenty-six new members were initiated, including CA&ES dean Neal Van Alfen, executive associate dean James MacDonald and associate deans Tu Jarvis, Michael Parrella and Randy Southard. Other new members from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are: Arnold Bloom, professor, Department of Vegetable Crops; Randy Dahlgren, professor, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources; Richard Engel, director of student recruitment and outreach, Dean's Office; Kevin Gibson, postgraduate researcher, Department of Agronomy and Range Science; Mark Grismer, professor, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources; William Horwath, assistant professor, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources; Annie J. King, associate dean of undergraduate academic programs and professor, Department of Animal Science; Andre Lauchi, professor, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, and associate vice chancellor of research, Office of the Vice Chancellor - Research; Stuart Pettygrove, soils specialist, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources; and Ken Tanji, professor emeritus, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. Although undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for membership, the group decided to concentrate on senior representatives the first year in order to establish a base of people who will continue the organization. In the future, students, alumni and people working in agriculture will be nominated. "I appreciate the initiative shown by UC Davis faculty interested in agriculture to open a chapter of the agriculture honor society Gamma Sigma Delta," commented Van Alfen. "I am honored to have been chosen for membership in this highly respected society." Gamma Sigma Delta, established in 1905, sponsors seminars and other activities related to agricultural research, maintains a scholarship program for students at all levels and recognizes excellence in alumni service. Chapters include nearly all land grant agriculture


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Toy Exhibition at Sacramento's Central Library
Winterfest - A World of Toys: An International Exhibition" runs through January 7, 2001, at the Sacramento Central Library, 828 I Street. It features dolls and toys of many shapes and sizes, children's games and a unique collection of Santa Claus figures from many cultures. The items are on loan from the private collection of Sacramento collector Dolph Gotelli, design professor, Department of Environmental Design. "What makes this exhibition special is that these contemporary toys are hand-crafted from common materials," Gotelli explained. "The display celebrates the art of toy making from Africa, Europe, Australia, Central and South America and India."


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ANR Video Teaches Pruning Basics
A new video now available from UC Publications teaches the basics of pruning young trees. "Training Young Trees for Structure and Form" (#V99A) was shot over a four-year period. The 38-minute video emphasizes three primary reasons to train young trees: improve structural strength, reduce maintenance costs and increase longevity

Order the videoonline


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Small Grants Program: The Gifford Center
The Gifford Center is sponsoring a Small Grants Program to provide seed money for research that links the issues of population growth, food production and consumption, environmental impact and human health, with an emphasis on developing countries. The program's goal is to foster interdisciplinary efforts that directly address at least two of these four issues simultaneously. All UC Davis faculty, affiliated researchers and graduate students are eligible to apply. Graduate students should work jointly with a faculty member to prepare the application. Notification of intent to apply deadline: February 15, 2001 Application deadline: March 1, 2001



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RFP: Alfalfa Seed Production
The California Alfalfa Seed Production Research Board invites you to submit research project proposals for 2001. There are several important problems affecting seed production that the industry regards as high priorities for research: pest management, dodder control and short-season management strategies. However, proposals are not limited to these priorities. Deadline: February 1, 2001



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RFP: American Vineyard Foundation
The American Vineyard Foundation is soliciting research proposals for 2001-02. Four committees made up of industry representatives and members of the scientific community have been asked to review and evaluate proposals. They are enology; breeding, genetics and germplasm evaluation; cultural practices; and pest and disease management.

Details are availableonline


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Marine Pollution
Did you know that Professor Ron Tjeerdema, Department of Environmental Toxicology, has a research program in marine pollution? You'll find him at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, investigating the effects of anthropogenic pollutants that may threaten to disrupt fragile marine and freshwater ecosystems.

Ron Tjeerdema
Professor
Department of Environmental Toxicology
[email protected]
(530) 754-5192

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Predators and Prey
To survive, a successful predator needs to be good at catching its prey; but, if it becomes too efficient, will it eat itself out of prey and starve? Read the commentary written by Professor Alan Hastings, mathematical ecologist in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, in the current issue of the journal Science.

Alan M. Hastings
Professor
Department of Environmental Science and Policy
[email protected]
(530) 752-8116

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Ducks and Rice
Have you read that letting ducks forage on flooded rice fields is an effective way to break down rice straw and a viable alternative to burning? Associate professor John Eadie, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, explains: "The ducks are as effective or more effective than alternative methods such as chopping, disking or wet-rolling."

John M. Eadie
Associate Professor
Deptartment of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology
[email protected]
(530) 754-9024

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Plants vs. Insects
Were you aware that some wild plants appear to boost their defenses against marauding insects when they receive a warning signal from a damaged neighboring plant? "These results provide the strongest evidence to date that plants in the wild truly communicate with each other," said Professor Richard Karban, Department of Entomology.

Richard Karban
Professor
Department of Entomology
[email protected]
(530) 752-3800

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Pain is a Flavor?
"Pain may be a part of food flavor, alongside taste and smell," said Professor Michael O'Mahony, Department of Food Science and Technology. Chili peppers, carbonated drinks and nicotine deliver painful sensations to the brain, and his lab studies how the brain interprets flavor.

Michael O'Mahony
Professor
Department of Food Science and Technology
[email protected]
(530) 752-6389

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Pierce's Disease Conference
More than 150 scientists from around the world gathered at UC Davis this week to compare research findings and plot strategies for the control of Pierce's disease, an insect-transmitted bacterial disease that threatens California's $2.8 billion wine, tablegrape and raisin industries.

More information availableonline


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Beef Industry on the Up
After a period of slim profit margins for ranchers, it appears that the beef industry is experiencing a cyclical recovery, bringing higher prices to ranchers, according to farm finance management specialist Steven Blank, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. "It is certain that the cattle cycle will continue to raise and lower prices over time," he said. "However, it is uncertain whether the 'good years' will outweigh the 'bad years' in this era of increasing global competition."

Steven C. Blank
Farm Finance Management Specialist
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
[email protected]
(530) 752-4827

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