CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

February 15, 2002

Jun 03, 2014 admin


A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen

Our academic plan two years ago identified water and watersheds as one of our priority areas. Toward this goal we established the Water and Watersheds Committee last September to evaluate the status of the initiative and to identify areas that need attention. Joe Cech of the wildlife, fish and conservation biology department chaired the committee that included professors Jan Hopmans of the land, air and water resources department, Richard Howitt, agricultural and resource economics department, Jeff Mount, geology department, Paul Sabatier, environmental science and policy department, Ken Tate, agronomy and range science department, Barbara McDonnell, California Department of Water Resources, Sam Luoma from CALFED, and Scott Patton, a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. The committee’s final report highlighted the strengths of our college's activities in this area as well as those of other units of the campus. It also recommended that the college: * work to integrate our activities with other programs across the campus * support the UC Davis Center for Integrated Watershed Science and Management * reinforce the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture * encourage a “watershed ecology” area of emphasis in the Graduate Group in Ecology * start a seed money summer grants program on water and watershed issues * enhance communications between UC Davis and the California Natural Resources Agency fellowship program * improve coordination between undergraduate and graduate programs related to water * present the committee’s report to the charter members of the Bay-Delta Science Consortium The committee observed that, “many resources in these areas need strengthening and, most importantly, integration to effectively address these needs.” I plan to meet soon with the committee to discuss its findings. Already, in preliminary discussions, the Dean’s Council has expressed general support for the recommendations of the committee. Its recommendations have also been shared with our department chairs and, based on what they heard, they were supportive. While we may not currently have financial resources to do everything proposed, I am optimistic that working together we can significantly enhance our progress in meeting the water and watersheds initiative goals. Advisory activities, such as those of this committee, are critical to the success of our college, so I want to thank all of the faculty who serve on committees. It is a time-consuming activity, but one that is important and appreciated

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

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Gyongy Laky Chosen for FDA Design Project
Professor Gyongy Laky, Department of Environmental Design, has been chosen to help develop a comprehensive Art Master Plan for the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) campus. The project involves the FDA’s planned 130-acre office and lab facility in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Federal General Services Administration Art in Architecture Program has given Laky and several other designers the task of drafting an art overlay for the new site. An important emphasis for the FDA facility planning will be sustainable design principles, an area of Laky's expertise. Laky's sculptural forms of recycled agricultural and park prunings are exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States, including shows in Connecticut, New York, Arizona, Spain, France, Sweden, Italy, England, France and Canada.

Gyongy S. Laky
Professor
Department of Environmental Design
[email protected]
(530) 752-5480

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Alexandra Navrotsky Wins Earth Sciences Award
Alexandra Navrotsky, director of the cross-disciplinary nanoscience initiative at the University of California, Davis, has been awarded a prestigious Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth Sciences for her work on the thermochemistry of minerals, high-pressure materials, and nanomaterials. This year's Franklin medals will be presented April 25 in a ceremony at the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in Philadelphia. Navrotsky holds the Edward Roessler Chair in Mathematical and Physical Sciences and has partial appointments in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and the chemistry, chemical engineering and materials science, and geology departments. She heads the UC Davis initiative on Nanophases in the Environment, Agriculture and Technology (NEAT), which currently includes four CA&ES faculty members


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Ross MacDonald Explores the Anthrax Crisis
Ross MacDonald, director of the Science and Society program, examined last year’s anthrax crisis in his fall 2001 Science and Society class, "Critical Inquiry into Contemporary Issues." Along with lecturer Ralph Brave, MacDonald facilitated classroom discussions with several bioterrorism experts, including Mark Wheelis, a UC Davis microbiologist, Ben Sun, a California Department of Health Services epidemiologist, Stuart Cohen, a UC Davis Medical Group epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist, Tom DuHain, a Sacramento TV reporter, and Adam Sutkus, a director in California’s Office of Emergency Services. For the final, students imagined themselves writing a newspaper article on anthrax – drawing upon what they had learned. MacDonald noted, "One of the goals of the Science and Society class is to help students understand how any issue is being framed by a person's or institution's values and stakes, and where conflicts arise or consensus might emerge when these different standpoints come into conversation with each other.


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Christine Bruhn Speaks Out on Food Irradiation
Christine Bruhn, a consumer food-marketing specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, discussed the benefits of irradiated food in a Sacramento News and Review article, noting that irradiation protects food safe from bacteria such as E. coli. Bruhn is the director of UC Davis’ Center for Consumer Research, which focuses on consumer attitudes toward food safety and quality.

For more information,click here


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Greg McPherson and Big City Trees
Greg McPherson, director of UC Davis’ Center for Urban Forest Research, discussed the role of think tanks in public policy in a Baltimore Sun article. The center is one of three U.S. Forest Service research units in the country. “Some people say, ‘What’s the Forest Service doing in the city?’” McPherson said. “There’s 75 billion trees in metro areas in the United States.” The center is exploring issues in regard to carbon dioxide reduction, air quality and parking lot shade, urban watersheds and ecosystems.

For more information,click here


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Carl Keen Presents at AAAS
Professor Carl Keen, chair of the Department of Nutrition, presented a paper on the health benefits of chocolate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting on Feb. 15. Titled “Food as Medicine: The Potential Aspirin-like Heart Health Benefits of Flavonoids,” Keen's paper described how flavonoids in cocoa and chocolate work much like low-dose aspirin in preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Carl L. Keen
Professor
Department of Nutrition
[email protected]
(530) 752-6331

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Tom Cahill Examines Ground Zero Air
Tom Cahill, a professor emeritus of physics and atmospheric sciences in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, headed the UC Davis DELTA group (Detection and Evaluation of Long-range Transport of Aerosols), a collaborative association of aerosol scientists at several universities and national laboratories. The DELTA group recently released a study on the air surrounding the World Trade Center site. "No one has ever reported a situation like the one we see in the World Trade Center samples," said Cahill. "The air from Ground Zero was laden with extremely high amounts of very small particles, probably associated with high temperatures in the underground debris pile. Normally, in New York City and in most of the world, situations like this just don't exist." Following a U.S. Department of Energy request, the Manhattan air samples were collected from Oct. 2 through mid-December 2001. The DELTA group located a monitor on a rooftop at 201 Varick St., one mile north-northeast of the trade center complex


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Executive Committee Election
The Division of Agricultural Sciences is seeking representatives for the Academic Senate and Academic Federation. Elected members serve a three-year term. For copies of the election notice and nomination forms, contact Sharon Berg. Mail nominations to Hoy Carman, c/o CA&ES Dean's Office. Nominations are due March 22, 2002.

Sharon A. Berg
Administrative Specialist
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
[email protected]
(530) 752-3483

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Invasion of Biology
In October 2001, UC Davis introduced its “Biological Invasions” IGERT (Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program). It is the only program of its kind in the United States offering a multidisciplinary approach to understanding and managing bioinvasions in all its aspects -- biological, ethical, economic, social and legal. Since last fall 15 graduate students have been studying on short-term fellowships. The first graduate students will be accepted into the program in fall 2002. To date, 33 students have applied for the estimated five to seven slots in the inaugural class. The IGERT, made possible by a National Science Foundation five-year grant of $2.56 million, emphasizes graduate training and also provides support for undergraduates and postdoctoral fellows.

For more information,click here


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Walnut Studies Published
A new cost-of-production study for walnuts grown in the Sacramento Valley is now available from University of California Cooperative Extension. The study is based on current costs and includes a description of the costs for individual field operations, material inputs, and cash and non-cash overhead.

“Sample Costs to Establish a Walnut Orchard and Produce Walnuts” is available from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis at theirwebsite


Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
(530) 752-1515

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Eggceptional Update
In the late 1980s, egg industry leaders in California began requesting some type of program to assure production of safe eggs and to address concerns about egg safety. Poultry specialist Ralph Ernst, Department of Animal Science, represented the University of California on that first industry/ agency committee. Since 1995, when the first plans were developed and approved, hundreds of people have completed the California Egg Quality Assurance Program. The egg quality program was a recent co-recipient with California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory of a $218,000 FDA grant to conduct a three-year study for salmonella enteritidis in eggs. The program also completed a 16-month field study that included 91 percent of all the known egg layer ranches in the state. Finally, UC Davis is participating in two FDA committees to develop and implement the “Egg Safety Action Plan,” the first federal program regulating food-borne pathogens at the farm level

Ralph A. Ernst
Poultry Specialist
Department of Animal Science
[email protected]
(530) 752-3513

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New Agricultural Web Site
The Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources has introduced a new Web site featuring content and links on crop production, pest management, gardening, 4-H, nutrition among other topics. The new site includes information provided by the university's statewide programs, county Cooperative Extension offices and the Davis, Berkeley and Riverside campuses. A master calendar provides information on county activities throughout the state. Through this site, the public can also obtain pamphlets, handbooks and production manuals on a variety of subjects.

Visit the site online athttp://www.ucanr.org


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Op-ed Service Available
Faculty members often like to share their knowledge on a broad range of public issues in the form of opinion articles. Newspapers and magazines routinely seek short, well-argued, highly readable op-eds written by individuals with academic credentials. Now there's help from the Dean's Office in polishing and publishing those op-eds. Clifton Parker, senior writer in the Dean's Office, works with op-ed authors to sharpen arguments, edit to an appropriate length and identify possible publications. Here are a few tips -- "take a stand, keep it short, use everyday language, and think about structure." Contact Parker for editing assistance and a two-page tip sheet on writing op-eds

Clifton Parker
Senior Writer
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
[email protected]
(530) 752-2120

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Trends in Tomatoes
The emerging hothouse tomato industry poses challenges for California’s fresh tomato industry, according to research from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Hothouse tomato production has risen in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and now accounts for 12 percent of the U.S. fresh tomato consumption – and an even higher share of retail purchases. This is affecting the traditional mature green tomato industry and changing market dynamics within the tomato industry.

Roberta Cook
Cooperative Extension specialist
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
[email protected]
(530) 752-1531

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Fertilizers of the Future
As global warming results from a greater amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, plants are experiencing difficulty processing certain forms of nitrogen. This could shift the way fertilizers are used and transform flora worldwide as well, according to research from the University of California, Davis. Professor Arnold Bloom, vegetable crops department, and colleagues reported these findings in the Feb. 5 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. "It's been known for some time that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere initially boost carbon intake and growth in plants but eventually the accelerated carbon assimilation declines,” Bloom said. “The results from our study indicate that carbon dioxide inhibition of nitrate assimilation contributes to this phenomenon and suggest two physiological mechanisms that may be responsible.

For more information,click here
Or, visitthis site


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Protecting Farmland
The use of conservation easements to protect farmland has grown in California in recent years, but much of the agriculturally rich Central Valley still does not have access to active easement programs, according to a report in the most recent issue of California Agriculture. In the first extensive review of its kind, UC scientists, including Alvin Sokolow, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Human and Community Development, examined 34 organizations that are currently pursuing farmland easements in California. By mid-2000, these organizations had protected about 84,000 acres of farmland using conservation easements.

For more information,click here


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Ride the Lower Colorado River
The Water Education Foundation is hosting a tour of lower Colorado River from March 20-22, 2002, that includes a private tour of historic Hoover Dam, a boat ride on Lake Mead, a visit to the Salton Sea, and visits to southern California agricultural and urban regions. This portion of the Colorado River is the lifeline of the southwest, supplying water to almost 25 million people in Arizona, California and Nevada. The tour starts March 20 at 7:30 a.m. at the Emerald Springs Holiday Inn in Las Vegas and ends March 22 at the Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California.

More information is availableonline



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Show Me the Water
A special briefing by the Water Education Foundation will discuss California’s new water and growth laws. “Show Me the Water: Making Sense of New Water and Growth Laws” will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza in downtown Sacramento. The briefing will focus on three new legislative measures involving water management and use.

For more information,click here



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Something About Chardonnay
On March 19-20, UC Davis faculty and California winemakers will join for a two-day series of lectures and tastings on the American wine Chardonnay. The lectures will be held at Freeborn Hall, North Quad, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Topics will include the heritage of Chardonnay, expression of its clones and regional winemaking styles, consumer perception and the future of varietal wine around the world. Christian Butzke, an enology specialist with Cooperative Extension and Department of Viticulture and Enology, will lead the discussions.

Christian E. Butzke
Cooperative Extension specialist
Department of Viticulture and Enology
[email protected]
(530) 752-9312

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Discover the Art of Language
On Feb. 26, Janet Koplos, senior editor of the New York City-based magazine Art in America, will present a slide lecture, "Language Art," on the use of language as information or image in visual arts. The free event will be held at 4 p.m. at the University Club Conference Center on Old Davis Road. A reception will follow in the ceramic studio in Temporary Building 9, at the corner of A Street and Hutchison Drive. Also on Feb. 26, UC Davis graduate students are invited to attend a seminar by Koplos from noon to 2 p.m. in 135 Walker Hall. The topic will be "Issues and Dilemmas in the Art Press," a discussion of the operations of three New York art magazines. This seminar requires pre-registration by Feb. 21.

Rhonda R. O'Brien
Program Representative
Department of Environmental Design
[email protected]
(530) 752-6223

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Direct Your Marketing
Farmers' market managers, business developers, UC farm advisors and other professionals will learn strategies to create local identities and sell agricultural products directly to consumers, restaurants and schools at a UC Davis workshop March 1. Keynote speakers include Gus Schumacher, former undersecretary for agriculture for farm and foreign agricultural services at USDA, and Sibella Kraus, a leader in supporting regional food systems and director of the Sustainable Agriculture Education Network. The conference fee is $60.

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

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Design California Style
Helge B. Olsen, Sr., a senior lecturer in the Department of Environmental Design, designed a play structure that has been selected for the juried exhibition, California Design 2002. The structure, designed for children two to five years of age, is intended for use in indoor waiting areas in medical clinics, hospitals and child-care centers, and residences. Bob Morgan, the supervisor of the design program’s furniture studio, built Olsen’s structure using maple veneered fiberboard. Sponsored by the California Contemporary Craft Association, California Design 2002 features furniture designed by California artists and runs from May 3-30, 2002, at 600 Townsend Street in San Francisco.

For more information,click here


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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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