CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

August 23, 2002

Jun 05, 2014 admin

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: RMI Campaign

The Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science was established with a gift last fall of $25 million from Robert Mondavi. This gift and the vision provided by the RMI organizing committee and founding departments have launched the institute. To fully maximize that vision, however, we need to raise additional support. Recently we embarked on a campaign to solicit the necessary charitable gifts and naming opportunities. The first fruit of this campaign was the recently announced gift from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, which pledged $5 million in matching funds to support construction of a new 16,000-square-foot brewing and food science laboratory building. It will be named the Anheuser-Busch Brewing and Food Science Laboratory. This generous pledge is a cornerstone in the development of the Robert Mondavi Institute. It will allow our campus to take its teaching and research programs in the food sciences to the next level of excellence. The gift is largely a reflection of the long and fruitful relationship between UC Davis and Anheuser-Busch; a large percentage of their brewers are graduates of UC Davis. Donors, alumni, parents, supporters and friends of CA&ES are being asked to help us make this institute a reality. At the institute, we plan to build a winery, brewery, food science laboratory, research labs, faculty labs and offices, sensory labs, classrooms, culinary center, dairy foods research lab, incubator and teaching/outreach room. It will be the finest facility of its kind in the world. We have a challenge before us -- to realize the maximum potential of the Robert Mondavi Institute. We’re raising the bar of expectations and setting high standards for the institute. The Robert Mondavi Institute represents a fundamental change in how our college must develop new programs and facilities in the future. State funding alone cannot meet the facility and operating needs of our college -- we must aggressively seek gifts and donations to build our future programs. In addition to the RMI we are currently fund raising for animal science facilities and starting to plan a major campaign for a biodiversity center. As with the recent Anheuser-Busch gift, the success of these efforts will be a reflection of the esteem of our faculty, staff and students.

Jerry K. Uyemoto
Research Plant Pathologist
USDA Crops Pathology and Genetics
[email protected]
(530) 752-0309

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Heath Schenker is the New Chair of Landscape Architecture
Heath Schenker, associate professor of landscape architecture, has replaced Professor Dean MacCannell as chair of the landscape architecture program. Her term runs from Aug. 15, 2002, to June 30, 2005. Schenker recently returned from a sabbatical year in Mexico where she was doing research on the history of public parks in Mexico City. Schenker edited the book, “Picturing California's Other Landscape,” which examines the portrayal of the Central Valley over the last 150 years.

Heath Schenker
Associate Professor
Landscape Architecture Program
[email protected]
(530) 752-7681

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Susan Kaiser on the Return of the Suit
Susan Kaiser, professor and chair of the textiles and clothing division, commented in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the return of the business suit. After years of "casual" dressing in the workplace, men are being told that the suit is the way to shore up their bottom lines. The type of suit popular these days is not the same style of the high-flying '80s. "The suit is now serious, not slick," Kaiser said.

More information is availableonline

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Judith Stern Comments on the Overeating Urge
Judith Stern, professor in the nutrition department, discussed in the San Francisco Chronicle a study on a hormone that may reduce the urge to overeat. According to a recent report in the journal Nature, the first human test of hormone peptide PYY3-36, which occurs naturally in the gut, took place in front of an all-you-can-eat buffet of steaming Indian curry. Those given the hormone ate one-third less than they probably would have without it. "It's just another bit of evidence to say that this particular hormone is probably active in the food intake process, and long-term studies need to be done," said Stern. "For you and for me and the average person, we are not closer to curing obesity."

Read the full articlehere

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Scott Rozelle and China’s GM Crops
Scott Rozelle, assistant professor in the agricultural and resource economics department, told the London-based Guardian that Chinese scientists have 15 genetically modified crops either commercialized or in trials. They range from wheat and maize to papaya, peanuts and petunias. The article raised the issue of whether organic farming will solve the world’s food production problems.

Read more

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Holly George Discusses Agricultural Tourism
Holly George, a Cooperative Extension advisor, was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News on the increase in California’s farm tourism. She explained that many urban families have had ancestors who lived or worked on farms, and that people want to experience different types of vacation adventures. The article reports that several hundred farming and ranching families are tapping into the $75 billion California tourism industry. Farm visits, which have been a large draw in Europe, aren't new here. But they have only been legal since January 2000, when the state Legislature agreed to allow farm owners to house and feed guests. Before, farmers were required to have full-scale restaurants and kitchen facilities.

For more information,click here

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Ann Noble and the Wine Aroma Wheel
Ann Noble, professor in the viticulture and enology department, explained in the New Yorker how to distinguish wine by taste and smell. Calvin Trillin, a food humorist, noted that Noble reminds us that as children we are taught to label colors but not smells. In an effort to correct that oversight, she not only conducted in her courses what she calls "a kindergarten of the nose" but also invented the Wine Aroma Wheel, which permits someone to describe the aroma of a wine in specific terms and to identify varietals by their smell.

Ann Noble
Department of Viticulture and Enology
[email protected]
(530) 752-0387

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Susan Williams Battles Killer Seaweed
Susan Williams, director of the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, discussed the invasive seaweed Caulerpa, which is now emerging as a serious problem in the United States. Researchers have traced the source of the problem to public and private aquarium tanks in Europe, Southern California, and Japan, where merchants sell the problem seaweed as tank greenery. Her comments appear in the Chronicle of Higher Education "People have it in their aquariums and are dumping it into natural waterways," said Williams. "We're going to see it show up again in the U.S., and on the East Coast and the Gulf Coast as well as California."

Read moreonline

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James Murray and Joy Mench on Bioengineered Animals
James Murray and Joy Mench, professors of animal science, were quoted in the Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Chronicle about a National Academy of Sciences report that expressed concern about genetically engineered fish and insects escaping into the wild to cause ecological havoc. Murray is raising transgenic goats to alter the properties of goat milk. Mench was one of the 12 scientists on the panel that produced the report.

More information is availableonline
Further reading

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Miguel Marino Elected President of Hydrology Institute
Miguel Marino, professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, has been elected president-elect of the American Institute of Hydrology (AIH). As the only nationwide organization to offer certification to professionals in all fields of hydrology, the purpose of the AIH is to enhance and strengthen the standing of hydrology as a science and a profession. Marino will serve as president-elect for two years and as president for two additional years. He will begin his service in October 2002 at the AIH annual conference in Portland, Oregon.

Miguel Marino
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
[email protected]
(530) 752-0684

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Controlling Tomato Viruses
Researchers helped re-establish the Dominican Republic tomato processing industry after a deadly tomato virus wiped it out in the 1990s. The hope is that a similar strategy could be successfully employed in the United States. With origins in the Old World, the tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is spreading throughout the Southeastern U.S. and one day could threaten California agriculture. The insect that spreads the virus -- the silverleaf whitefly -- is well established in the state. "Our research addressed a number of issues, including invasive species, application of biotechnology to solving an important practical problem and the preservation of an important industry for low-income small farmers in a less-developed country," said Robert Gilbertson, a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology. The researchers used biotechnology and our knowledge of the genetic sequence of the virus to develop a polymerase chain reaction that would indicate whether the whiteflies were carrying the virus. “We wanted to know if the amount of virus carried by whiteflies decreased during the host-free period -- and it did," Gilbertson added.

Read moreonline

Robert Gilbertson
Department of Plant Pathology
[email protected]
(530) 752-3163

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USDA Breaks Ground on Nutrition Research Center
On Aug. 22, the campus held a public groundbreaking ceremony for a new $25.3 million building that will house the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service's Western Human Nutrition Research Center. The facility will be constructed in the health sciences district of the UC Davis campus. The USDA Agricultural Research Service's Western Human Nutrition Research Center is one of six human nutrition research centers operated by ARS throughout the nation. Center researchers also hold adjunct faculty appointments at UC Davis. Center scientists focus on two areas of research, studying the role of diet in preventing obesity and the role that diet plays in the body's immune function and risk of disease, such as cancer and heart disease.

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CA&ES Budget Forums Postponed
Due to no new information regarding the state budget, the CA&ES budget forums have been postponed. Once a final state budget is adopted, Dean Neal Van Alfen and other members of the Dean's Office will re-schedule the forums.

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California Water Colloquium
The California Colloquium on Water continues this fall at UC Berkeley. All lectures will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 3 Leconte Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. On Sept. 10, Philip Pister, executive secretary of the Desert Fishes Council, will lecture on, "Desert Fishes: Reflections on Reality, Desirability, and Conscience." On Oct. 8, Ron Robie, associate justice for the Court of Appeal in the Third Appellate District, will discuss, "California's Water: Perspectives from the Bench." On Nov. 12, J. David Rogers, geological engineering professor at the University of Missouri-Rolla, will speak on “Dams and Disasters: A Brief Overview of Dam Building in California." On Dec. 10, Tom Graff, California regional director for the Environmental Defense group, will talk about, "Environmental Advocacy: A Practitioner's Historical Perspective."

University of Berkeley library

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Northern California Water and Fisheries Tour
This Oct. 2-4 tour travels the length of the Sacramento Valley and includes visits to Oroville Dam, the beginning of the State Water Project, and Shasta Dam, keystone of the federal Central Valley Project. Other highlights include visits to the Feather River Fish Hatchery, Red Bluff Diversion Dam, Spring Creek Debris Dam, and various ecosystem restoration projects and farms.

Water Education Foundation online

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Sierra Watersheds Tour
Water quality, flood control, environmental protection, salmon restoration and watershed management issues are the focal points of this tour on Sept. 11-13. The trip begins and ends at the Sacramento International Airport and travels through the American, Truckee and Yuba river watersheds.

Water Education Foundation online

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Western Alfalfa and Forage Conference
more about the region's multi-billion dollar alfalfa crop and about increasingly popular alternative forages. Between 600 and 900 participants are expected to attend the 2002 Western Alfalfa and Forage Conference. Topics will include industry trends, economics, water politics, pest control, varieties, irrigation, big bales, alfalfa marketing, and forage testing and quality.

Conference website

Nikki D. Picanco
Department of Agronomy and Range Science
[email protected]
(530) 752-0700

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Arboretum September Events
The Fall Garden
Docent Taffy Bandman will discuss fall gardening during a guided tour of the UC Davis Arboretum Terrace Garden on Sept. 8. The tour will meet at 10 a.m. at the garden, next to Borders Books on First Street in Davis. COPIA Tour
Join the Friends of the Davis Arboretum for a guided tour of COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts in Napa, on Sept. 18. The bus will leave from the UC Davis Arboretum at 8:30 a.m. Central Valley Gardens
Docent Dagny Huillade will discuss plants for Central Valley gardens on a guided tour of the Arboretum Terrace Garden on Sept. 22. The tour will meet at 10 a.m. at the garden, next to Borders Books on First Street in Davis.

Arboretum calendar

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Pew Scholars
The campus has been invited to nominate one candidate for support from the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. The Pew Scholars Program supports young investigators of outstanding promise in basic and clinical sciences relevant to the advancement of human health. Each scholar will receive $60,000 in support each year for four years. The program expects to issue awards to 20 scholars. The application must be received by Pew Scholars Program by November 1, 2002. Interested candidates must submit a pre-proposal (original and seven copies) to 118 Everson Hall by 5 p.m. Sept. 6, 2002.

The scholarship description is availableonline
The pre-proposal guidelines are alsoavailable

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OECD Fellowships
The Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development (OECD) is once again sponsoring travel fellowships between member countries. Fellowships are awarded under the “Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems” program. A list of approved fellowship topics for 2002 can be viewed on the Web site. OECD sponsors travel fellowships for Ph.D. scientists between 26 member countries.

Click on "about" at this site fordetails

Jim Schepers
Supervisory Soil Scientist
[email protected]
(402) 472-1513

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Nanotechnology Workshop
A two-day planning workshop is planned to bring together the leading nanotechnology researchers in the land-grant universities with program directors of the other Washington DC-based federal agencies, administrators and leaders of USDA/CSREES. The workshop will be conducted in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 18-19, 2002.

Norman Scott
Cornell University, Biological and Environmental Engineering
[email protected]

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Visit CA&ES Currents online at



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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