CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

December 13, 2002

Jun 05, 2014 admin


A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Holiday Themes

Our achievements of the past year, and, even more importantly, the directions our college will take in the years to come, must be considered in the light of the pioneering breakthroughs our scientists continue to make in the agricultural, environmental and human sciences. Our faculty members are among the most productive in their fields. This holiday season, I thank all of our faculty, staff and students for their contributions to the quality of education made possible in CA&ES. The only constant is change. We are in the midst of a facility expansion program that will allow us to upgrade our research and student instruction capabilities well into decades ahead. Our academic programs have set a standard for higher education, and so improving our facilities will make the college more frequently the school of choice for the most talented and committed students and researchers. The year to come will be challenging, due to budgetary constraints, but CA&ES stands ready to meet that challenge. It is critical that as we enter into what appears to be a multi-year cycle of reduced state funding, we initiate a thoughtful strategic planning process that will position the college to reinvest some resources and seize new resources when the state does begin to recover from its current budgetary shortfall. Last week, the Governor’s office released proposed mid-year budget cuts. Though the final details will not be known until the state Legislature approves the final budget, no additional decreases beyond the 10 percent assessed July 1, 2002 are being proposed for the Agricultural Experiment Station this budget year. However, it is proposed that the Agricultural Experiment Station take an additional 10 percent cut in next year's 2003-04 budget. Keep in mind that as the Legislature debates the Governor’s proposal, the final version may include additional cuts to this year's AES budget effective Jan.1, 2003. The Governor’s proposal also calls for reducing Cooperative Extension funding about 30 percent over the next 18 months with the first 5 percent being cut from this year's budget, effective Jan. 1, 2003. I will keep you informed of the budget news as it unfolds. In the meantime, we have much to celebrate in the accomplishments of this institution and its people. Enjoy the holidays with your friends and family.

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

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Carolyn Aldwin, Happy People and Living Longer
In a Toronto Star article, Carolyn Aldwin, professor in the human and community development department, described various research findings on happiness and longevity. Psychologists dispute whether happy people really live longer. Aldwin says emotional stability is what counts. She has reviewed many such studies and examined another group of people who took psychological tests in the 1960s. "You're better off if you are less likely to go to extremes emotionally," Aldwin said, "if you keep on an even keel and don't let yourself get too upset."

Read the articleonline


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Desmond Jolly and Agricultural Adventures
Desmond Jolly, director of the UC Small Farm Center, was quoted in the New York Times about California’s agricultural tourism. He noted that in California, one of 20 states promoting agricultural tourism, direct marketing -- including hay rides, farm stands, income from farmers' markets, and bed-and-breakfasts on farms -- accounts for $75 million a year, a small but increasingly significant part of the state's $20 billion agricultural industry.

Read the articleonline


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Philip Martin on Agrarian Evolutions
Philip Marin, professor in the department of agricultural and resource economics, told the Boston Globe that changes in agricultural economics are inevitable. "We have a state in the United States, New Jersey, that's called the Garden State because it used to be where fruit and vegetables were grown for New York and Philadelphia," said Martin. "Today, they're grown in California and Florida. That's a natural part of economic evolution."

Read the articleonline


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Joy Mench, Animals and Food Production
Joy Mench, professor in the department of animal science, described to Cox News Service how food production in America is changing. For example, most high-rise egg houses pack up to eight chickens to a cage, with each bird allotted a space roughly equal to half a sheet of notebook paper. But Rust said cages are healthier for chickens because farmers can control the birds' diets. "The chicken is a scavenger," he said. "They eat whatever they can find." Under pressure from animal welfare groups, the United Egg Producers in June introduced new standards for the industry, including one that increases the minimum cage space for chickens up to 40 percent by 2008. "That brings us more in line with European regulations," said Mench, a member of UEP's advisory committee.

Read moreonline


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Walter Leal and the Faculty 1000
Walter Leal, associate professor in the entomology department, recently had a paper reviewed by the Faculty 1000. Faculty 1000 is a new online research tool that highlights the most interesting papers in biology, based on the recommendations of over 1,000 leading scientists. Leal’s paper was titled, “NMR Structure Reveals Intramolecular Regulation Mechanism for Pheromone Binding and Release.” Jane Dyson, of the Scripps Research Institute La Jolla, United States, commented, “This paper presents a very interesting hypothesis for the structural basis of the action of pheromones in insects … The authors propose that the formation of the alpha-helix in the low-pH medium close to the membrane surface provides a mechanical trigger for release of the pheromone molecule.”

Faculty 1000 Web site

Walter Leal
Professor
Department of Entomology
[email protected]
(530) 752-7755

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Carl Winter on the CBS Early Show
Carl Winter, professor in the nutrition department, was interviewed on CBS' "The Early Show." He discussed recent findings of the chemical acrylamide in a number of foods. Winter, the director of the FoodSafe Program, says the FDA's data does not prove carcinogen in French fries and potatoes lead to cancer in humans. He says projecting cancer in humans from low doses of carcinogen from high doses in animals is a leap. "We have a saying in toxicology which is, 'The dose makes the poison,'" says Winter. "It's the amount of a chemical -- not its presence or absence --thatdetermines the potential for harm ... What's much less clear is the health significance, if any, of our much lower levels of exposure to acrylamides in foods."

Read moreonline


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Rebuilding Afghanistan Agriculture
In an effort to help rebuild Afghanistan's agricultural industry, the U.S. government has asked UC Davis to lead one of four work groups aimed at renewing this vital enterprise. Nearly 25 years of war and violence have left Afghanistan with a devastated agricultural system in need of restoration. Coordinated by Patrick Brown, professor in the omology department and director of CA&ES' International Programs, the Afghanistan Agricultural Initiative focuses on the rehabilitation of that country's horticultural crops. In July 2002, representatives from the Afghan community living in the U.S., including Afghan scientists, met with UC Davis researchers and representatives from California's horticultural industry to develop a renewal plan for Afghanistan. Brown lso has met with Afghanistan's deputy minister of agriculture and the director of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture rganization (FAO). In Afghanistan, 70 percent of the labor force works in agriculture. Most of these workers have no training in orticultural techniques, pest management or product ackaging and distribution. "As part of more long-term efforts, both UC Davis and UC Davis Extension hope to be involved in agricultural training rograms in Afghanistan," Brown said. "We also hope to take part in rebuilding Kabul University's curriculum on agriculture."

Patrick Brown
Professor
Department of Pomology
[email protected]
(530) 752-8474

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California Horticulture
U.S. farm subsidy programs do not generally benefit horticultural crops, according to UC Davis researchers. The relatively small programs that do exist provide little direct subsidy and have relatively little impact, reports Hyunok Lee, an associate researcher in the department of agricultural and resource economics, in the latest issue of the ARE Update. Her article surveyed the current state of California's horticultural industry and recent developments in relevant international trade and government policies.

Read thearticle online


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IMPACT Sheet on West Nile Virus
CA&ES has produced a new IMPACT sheet on efforts to monitor and control mosquito-borne diseases such as the West Nile virus. CA&ES scientists collaborate with the state government and more than 50 local agencies in the nation’s most comprehensive mosquito control program. Collectively, the UC system has tremendous resources in mosquito management, and involves the expertise of CA&ES researchers like Thomas Scott, director of the Arbovirus Research Unit; John Edman, director of the Center of Vector Borne Diseases; and Gregory Lanzaro, director of the Mosquito Research Program.

IMPACT online


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Student Prizes Available
Howard Walton Clark Award This annual $1,000 prize is given to a senior CA&ES student whose high scholastic achievement, talent for independent research, especially in the area of plant breeding or soil building, shows great promise. * Charles Hess Community Service Award These $1,000 awards are in honor of the former CA&ES Dean Charles Hess and they recognize more students to become involved in public/community service activities. The goal is to raise the status of being a volunteer within the college and university. * Mary Regan Meyer Prize The Mary Regan Meyer Prize goes to an outstanding CA&ES graduate with an outstanding record, demonstrated expertise and an interest in serving humanity, and who intends to embark on post-baccalaureate graduate or professional level education. * Knowles Ryerson Award This $750 prize is awarded to an international undergraduate student in CA&ES, in any curriculum, preferably after completion of the junior year. The award is made on the basis of high scholarship, outstanding character and promise of leadership. Forward all nominations before Jan. 17, 2003, to Jan Hatch, Dean’s Office, CA&ES, 150 Mrak Hall.



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Seed Biotechnology Publications Available
The Seed Biotechnology Center announces the publication of a new plant biotechnology resource, “Biotechnology Provides New Tools for Plant Breeding.” It represents the first of many in a series of publications about agricultural biotechnology in California.

Agricultural Biotechnology in California seriesonline



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Water Education Foundation Leaders Class
The Foundation is now accepting applications for the Bill Gianelli Water Leaders Class, the 7th annual class, which will begin in January 2003. This yearlong program identifies young professionals from diverse backgrounds and educates them about water issues. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30. Criteria for acceptance include a commitment to understanding water issues and an interest in seeking leadership roles on public boards and commissions, or key staff positions. The program is primarily funded by grants, with partial support from tuition fees. Tuition is $1,000. Scholarships are available. The curriculum is based on foundation materials, and foundation board member Jean Auer supervises the program. Class members are expected to attend two of the foundation’s water tours, the “March Executive Briefing” and the July update on “Water Law and Policy” briefing. In addition, each member is assigned a top water policy-maker to shadow and interview for a class-prepared report.

Online application


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New Book on Managing Agricultural Labor
A new book, “Ag Help Wanted: Guidelines for Managing Agricultural Labor” and its companion Web site, is now available for owners and managers at every level of agricultural and horticultural operations. Published by a consortium of land grant university educators, “Ag Help Wanted” is a full-color 242-page handbook divided into six chapters that contain ideas and practical guidelines for planning the division of work; recruiting and selecting employees; supervising, training and motivating employees; appraising and correcting performance; communicating effectively with employees and others. http://danr.ucop.edu//news/July-Dec2002/Aghelpwanted.html

AgHelpWanted

Howard Rosenberg
Specialist
UC Cooperative Extension
[email protected]
(510) 642-7103

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2003 ANR Conference
The 2003 ANR Statewide Conference, "Science and Service: ANR's Role in a Vibrant California," will be held Feb. 19-20, 2003, at the Sacramento Hilton-Arden West Hotel. The conference begins with a noon luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 19. During the conference ANR leaders will present highlights of recent reviews and evaluations including the multi-campus research unit review of the California Agricultural Experiment Station; issues and opportunities in UC Cooperative Extension; and recommendations of the ANR organizational review team. The conference is for Agricultural Experiment Station scientists, Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists, as well as statewide special program and project directors, academic coordinators and administrative staff.

Agenda and registration informationavailable online


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Arboretum Events
On Jan. 8, 2003, take a “Walk with Warren” at the UC Davis Arboretum. Join Superintendent Warren Roberts for a lunchtime stroll. Meet at noon at the Gazebo, on Garrod Drive on campus. On, Jan. 14, 203, learn about Sudden Oak Death at a forum. David Rizzo, associate professor of plant pathology and co-discoverer of the organism that causes Sudden Oak Death, will talk about the cause of the disease, how the pathogen affects more than just oaks, the ecological implications of this disease, and what steps are being taken to manage the disease. The free talk takes place at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Center Club Room, 203 East 14th St., in Davis. On Jan. 22, attend the first in a series of “Writing Workshops on the Americas.” Poet Maria Melendez, writer-in-residence at the arboretum, will teach workshops every Wednesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 22 through March 12. Sessions will be held at Arboretum Headquarters. Registration deadline is Jan. 15.

Arboretum calendar


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Visit CA&ES Currents online at http://caes.ucdavis.edu/NewsEvents/News/Currents/default.aspx

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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]

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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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