CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

December 07, 2001

Jun 05, 2014 admin

A Message from Dean Van Alfen: the CA&ES Budget

As many of you know, the University of California is facing future financial challenges. In the year ahead, CA&ES will clearly face budget cuts, and it may take several years to recover to our current budgetary levels. It is difficult to plan when it isn't yet known how large of a cut we will need to take, but we are working closely with the provost's office in our planning for next year, and should know soon the extent of the cuts we will need to absorb. DANR has taken the proactive step of freezing CE hiring because of the high proportion of that budget that is in salaries. I want to reassure faculty and staff that as a college we've gone through these difficulties before and have maintained our leadership and our excellence. As we face this challenge we will work to seek opportunities to focus on our highest priorities in the academic mission. At this time, it appears that these reductions will not be as drastic as those in the early 1990s. However, we will need to pause certain activities, including some hiring, and exercise wise discretion in spending. While this presents a challenge to our commitment to enhance faculty and staff numbers and to support our programs, we will continue to plan strategically for the inevitable increases in our budgets. My office recently organized a retreat with CA&ES department chairpersons and MSOs where we developed principles for implementing budget cuts. The conclusion of these discussions was that any cuts should not be across the board, but be based on academic priorities such as our research initiatives and student instruction. As we move ahead, we are committed to a process of open communication and candid dialogue with the CA&ES community. We'll keep an open door, and listen to your concerns. The good news -- we know the state's current budget predicament eventually will recover. We will plan now, as we take cuts, as to how we will be positioned to grow again when our budgets are restored.

More detailed information on our current knowledge of UC budget cuts can be found at

Neal K. Van Alfen
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
[email protected]

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Decanter Magazine Features Women of Wine
The British wine magazine Decanter recently profiled 10 of the most important women in California wine. They included professors Carole Meredith and Ann Noble, Department of Viticulture and Enology, and three CA&ES alumnae - Zelma Long, Heidi Peterson Barrett and Meredith Edwards. The publication noted, "These are women who have had a major impact on California wine. As makers, growers, company presidents, researchers and teachers they've been successful as individuals while collectively clearing the way for other women to enter the field."

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Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr Wins Curriculum Award
Stephen Russell, 4-H youth development specialist, Department of Human and Community Development, was quoted in USA Today on his studies of gay teens. He pointed out that past research "missed lots of these kids who are functioning just fine, but some do have serious problems."

USA Today article

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Christine Bruhn on Mail Irradiation
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution included remarks on mail irradiation and food safety by Christine Bruhn, a consumer food-marketing specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology. While zapping the mail with irradiation can kill anthrax, she noted, higher doses oxidize fats, giving food a rancid taste and affecting texture.

Atlanta-Journal Constitution article

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Emmy Werner Honored for Research
Professor emerita Emmy Werner, Department of Human and Community Development, received the Arnold-Gesell award from the Ludwig-Maximilians University at a ceremony in Munich, Germany this November. The honor recognized her career achievements on how children cope with adversity. Werner is donating the $10,000 award gift to UNICEF and the Children's Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. A child developmental psychologist, Werner has spent a lifetime studying how young people confront difficulties. Since her retirement in 1994, Werner continues to teach undergraduates and supervise graduate students.

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Kent Bradford and Engineered Mexican Corn
Kent Bradford, professor in the Department of Vegetable Crops and director of the Seed Biotechnology Center, discussed the discovery of genetically engineered corn in Mexico in a Sacramento Bee article. He said the presence of foreign genetic material in the Mexican corn isn't by itself evidence of damage to the native crop. Commercial hybrid strains of corn probably have been sharing genes with native corns for years, and the native varieties apparently have survived well. "The concern about the plants overwhelming the native plants and driving out diversity has not been demonstrated yet," Bradford said.

UC Davis news item

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Albert Fischer Pictured on California Farmer Cover
Albert Fischer, assistant professor in the Department of Vegetable Crops, was featured on the November front cover of California Farmer -- wearing his UC Davis Weed Science cap. He was quoted in an article, "Herbicide Hammers," which described how promising new chemical products are helping rice producers improve weed control measures. Fischer's research has focused on rice, weed resistance, herbicides, and alternative weed control methods.

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Philip Martin Explains Migrant Worker Dilemma
Professor Philip Martin, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, says Napa Valley migrant workers are returning to Mexico sooner than expected because of September 11, as reported in the Los Angeles Times. "What they're telling others is 'just wait.' There's been a sharp job reduction. No one knows what's going to happen," Martin said.

LA Times article

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Dolph Gotelli Consults on Stamp Design
Professor Dolph Gotelli, Department of Environmental Design, served as a consultant to the United States Postal Service two years ago on a set of Santa stamps just released for this year's holiday season. Gotelli explained the finer details of chromolithographed, die-cut paper collectibles to the researchers creating the stamps.

Dolph E. Gotelli
Department of Environmental Design
[email protected]
(530) 752-2589

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Joint Graduate Program with Cal Poly
UC Davis and California Polytechnic State University have reached an agreement to offer a graduate program that allows graduate students to combine advanced agricultural studies at Cal Poly and UC Davis. The McOmie Graduate Education Program will give students the opportunity to start their master's studies in Cal Poly's College of Agriculture and complete their Ph.D. studies in CA&ES. The program is based on the vision of the McOmie Trust Fund. In 1975, Lorenzo and Judith McOmie established a $5 million charitable remainder trust at UC Davis and Cal Poly. Today, the trust is valued at nearly $20 million, and UC Davis' share of nearly $10 million is the second largest gift ever to CA&ES.

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

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The Art of the Insect World
Diane Ullman, professor and vice chair of the Department of Entomology, held an exhibition - "What's Bugging You" -- of student artwork from her Entomology 1 class, "Art, Science and the World of Insects." As class projects, students created art works of bugs using graphics, ceramics and textiles in a new way to understand insects. Channel 3 from Sacramento aired a segment on the class.

Course website

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New Food Biotechnology Committee
Professors Kent Bradford, Department of Vegetable Crops, Christine Bruhn, Department of Food Science and Technology, Barbara Schneeman, Department of Nutrition, and Sharon Shoemaker, program director for the California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research, are among the members of the state's newly formed Food Biotechnology Advisory Committee. The committee is charged with providing advice to the state of California on emerging food biotechnology issues.

Press Release

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Wine Program Cited in New York Times
A wine column in The New York Times featured a California vintner who cites "extensive research" at UC Davis on the red wine "Petite Syrah." The article describes the debate over the origins of the variety and how wine drinkers perceive red wine.

NY Times article

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Cow Cloning Highlighted in News & Review
The Animal Sciences Department was featured in a front-page story on UC Davis' cow cloning program in the Sacramento News & Review. The article described the science behind the process and how it is aimed at creating better meat, milk products and healthier cows.

News & Review article

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Pest Control Course on Internet
Grape growers and pest control advisers will now have an additional source of pest control information - on the Internet. David Chaney, education coordinator for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, was one of the developers of the Ecological Pest Management Grapes course. With stricter government regulations on older pesticides, more ecological pest control mechanisms are required of growers. For a $40 fee, students will gain access to a Web Site and a CD-ROM.

David E. Chaney
Education Coordinator
[email protected]
(530) 754-8551

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Online Tips for Educational Farm Visits
Practical help about the sources of food and the farmers who produce is available from a free online guide, A Farmers' Guide to Hosting Farm Visits for Children. Funded by the UC Davis-based Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP), the guide provides specific activities for elementary school students and serves as a resource for teachers.

Link to Guide

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Upcoming Arboretum Events
The Arboretum's events for December include: "A Holiday Wreath-making Workshop" on Saturday, December 8, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. The $40 workshop will be held at the Environmental Horticulture Workshop Building on campus. To register, call 530/752-4880. "Free Garden Advice From Arboretum Experts" on Tuesday, December 11 from noon until 1 p.m. The home demonstration garden is located next to Borders Books in the Davis Commons center on First Street.

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KVIE Documentary on Central Valley Music
KVIE Channel 6 will run a documentary produced by a CA&ES ecology graduate student on January 3 at 8 p.m. Steve Arounsack's "The Rhythm of Elder Treasures" features the sounds and perspectives of Southeast Asian elder musicians in California's Central Valley. It highlights the lives of many Lao, Hmong and Cambodian musicians, and depicts their efforts to pass on their musical heritages to new generations.

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International Agricultural Trade Seminar
On December 9-10, trade experts from government, industry and academia will discuss international trade issues that affect agriculture during "The WTO and International Trade Prospects." The event is the annual Executive Seminar on Agricultural Issues, coordinated by the UC Agricultural Issues Center, headquartered at UC Davis. The meeting begins with a Sunday reception and dinner, featuring David Hegwood, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's special counsel on international trade. It will conclude with a Monday reception and dinner featuring Rep. Cal Dooley, a leading member of the House Committee on Agriculture. The seminar will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Sacramento.

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Second Annual Wine Executive Program
The Graduate School of Management and the Department of Viticulture and Enology will present the second annual Wine Executive Program to industry managers from February 3-6, 2002, in Sacramento. Faculty from both departments have crafted a rigorous curriculum that covers topics such as marketing, accounting and financial management, wine production variables, vineyard design, and the latest in grape and vineyard research.

Wine Executive Program

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Tougher Aquaculture Controls Suggested
Aquaculture is a growing industry that should take better measures against the spreading of invasive species, a study concludes. Research by three scientists appearing in the November 23, 2001, issue of Science indicates that exotic species of seaweed, fish and mollusks frequently escape from aquaculture facilities to wreak biological turmoil on native ecosystems.

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Plant Biotechnology Thriving in China
Plant biotechnology research and development is prospering in China, which now accounts for half of the developing world's spending on plant biotechnology, according to a study. In the past decade, China has accelerated its biotechnology research and achieved breakthroughs on commodities overlooked in the developed world.

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CA&ES Currents, the faculty/staff newsletter of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis, is distributed every other Friday. News deadline is noon Monday preceding Friday publication. Send inquiries to Ann Filmer, [email protected]



Issue Editor:


Clifton Parker

(530) 752-6556

[email protected]



Contributors: Donna Gutierrez, Thomas Kaiser, Susan Kancir, Rhoda McKnight, Neal Van Alfen, John Weston.


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