CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

June 04, 2002

Jun 03, 2014 admin

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Budget Update

The state budget shortfall of $24 billion will impact California in many ways, including in the UC system. Since a significant cut in the Agricultural Experiment Station budget is in both the Governor’s and Legislature’s budgets, our college is forced to make some extremely difficult decisions. Unfortunately, we must immediately suspend all faculty searches for positions that involve an Agricultural Experiment Station component. The Governor’s budget proposal for 2002-03 includes a proposed 10 percent reduction in state-funded research. This will disproportionately affect the college, particularly our Agricultural Experiment Station budget. To put this into perspective, our college accounts for about 55 percent of the state research funding at UC Davis. Within our college, the Agricultural Experiment Station represents 55 percent of our college total state funded budget. As a result, when state-funded research is reduced, we feel the pain more than anywhere else on campus. On top of this, the college, like all other campus units, will be assessed a 1.7 percent budget reduction to help offset increases in energy costs. While we will not know the exact extent of the research reductions until the state Legislature agrees to the final version of the budget, it appears the instruction and research (I&R) and Cooperative Extension budgets are not currently targeted for any additional reductions. Down the road, we expect additional decreases in the state’s 2003-04 budget. Thus, i’s important for everyone to exercise extreme caution before committing resources until this current budget quandary is over. Throughout this budget process, we are committed to a process of open communication and candid dialogue. I encourage you to keep abreast of the situation through the campus budget site. Keep in mind that the budget predicament will fade one day. We will continue to develop quality programs and position ourselves for smooth sailing once we have navigated these budgetary straits.

Check out the Budget Updateonline

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

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Gyongy Laky Exhibits Art in France
Gyongy Laky, professor in the environmental design department, will have art work exhibited in the 5th International Festival of Tapestry and Fiber Art in Beauvais, France. She created her piece, titled "TiMe," in 2001. It is one of her language art series works composed of prunings from California orchards and has been previously exhibited in both Spain and New York. Laky is one of 13 American artists among 79 artists from 27 countries selected to participate. The festival runs through summer 2002.

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

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The Professor of Ice: Robert E. Feeney
Robert E. Feeney, professor emeritus in the food science and technology department, was the subject of a recent symposium on campus. Titled “Robert E. Feeney, One of the Last of the Great Protein Chemists,” the program explored Feeney’s contributions to the field of antifreeze proteins. Known as the “Professor on the Ice,” Feeney made six trips to the Antarctic during the 1960s and an equal number to northern climates to study antifreeze proteins in fish blood and penguin eggs. Antifreeze proteins continue to be an active area of research for Feeney.

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Charles Goldman Wins Graduate Mentoring Award
Charles Goldman, professor in the environmental science and policy department, received the new Academic Senate award honoring his commitment to mentoring graduate students. Graduate Mentoring Award winners were announced at an Academic Senate Representative Assembly meeting in early May. A reception honoring the recipients is slated for winter quarter. Goldman has been a faculty member at UC Davis since 1958, mentoring 90 graduate students and 30 post-doctoral researchers during that span. Goldman is one of three UC Davis professors to receive the award.

Charles R. Goldman
Tahoe Research Group
[email protected]
(530) 752-1557

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Anita Oberbauer Honored with Distinguished Teaching Award
Anita Oberbauer, professor in the animal science department, was selected as recipient of the Academic Senate's 2002 Distinguished Teaching Award. The award will be formally announced at the June 5 meeting of the Representative Assembly of the Academic Senate. Oberbauer is being recognized for her strong contributions to undergraduate and graduate teaching at UC Davis. Several years ago, she redirected her teaching to develop a core of courses in companion animal biology. Since then enrollment in these courses has skyrocketed.

Anita M. Oberbauer
Department of Animal Science
[email protected]
(530) 752-4997

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Andrea Romero Chosen for Diversity Award
Andrea Romero, management services officer in the environmental design department, was presented with the Deanna Falge Award, which honors the former campus affirmative action compliance officer. The award recognizes an ongoing and long-standing – five or more years – promotion of UC Davis’ equal opportunity and diversity objectives. Romero has promoted a bias-free workplace and mentored a diverse group of employees over the years. The diversity and affirmative action committee co-chair was one of the founders of the Soaring to New Heights celebration.

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Carlos Quiros on the Virtues of Broccoli
Carlos Quiros, professor in the vegetable crops department, told the Wall Street Journal he agreed with Johns Hopkins researchers who say broccoli can kill cancer-causing bacteria. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain a chemical that kills the bacteria responsible for most stomach cancer, say researchers, confirming the dietary advice that moms have been handing out for years. Quiros’ research interests include the Brassica genomes; genetics and evolution of autopolyploids and their ancestral diploid species; celery breeding and genetics.

Read moreonline

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Tom Cahill and Dirty Air in Hawaii
Thomas Cahill, professor emeritus in the land, air and water resources department and director of the campus's DELTA group, explained to the Associated Press that air quality in Hawaii is as bad as that found in suburbs of Beijing. When industrial pollution first showed up in Hawaii a few years ago, scientists were baffled. But recent research shows that pollution in the world's largest cities affects the whole Earth. "It turns out Hawaii is more like a suburb of Beijing," Cahill noted.

More information availableonline

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Mary Louise Flint on Ladybug Illusions
Mary Louise Flint, director of integrated pest management, was quoted in a Los Angeles Times story on gardening and insect predators. According to Flint, the popular “ladybug houses” designed to attract the insects to aphid-crowded gardens are fanciful creations. “They're selling you a bill of goods," she said. It turns out that these boxes are mostly decorative and do not encourage ladybugs to settle down.

Get the detailshere

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Cherry Seasons, Steve Southwick and Elizabeth Mitcham
In a Los Angeles Times article, farm advisor Steve Southwick explained the difficulty of growing cherries and post-harvest physiologist Elizabeth Mitcham said that cherry flavor peaks at harvest time and not thereafter. "With cherries the best quality is going to be there at the time of harvest. They don't continue sweetening after harvest,” Mitcham said. Southwick and Mitcham are in the pomology department.

Read thefull article

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The Attack of Killer Garlic and Colin Carter
Colin Carter, professor in the agricultural and resource economics department, stated in the San Francisco Chronicle that California garlic growers must adapt to the new realities of global trade. "They're all for trade as long as it means exports, not imports," said Carter. "As with any trade liberalization, there are winners and losers. If we always caved in to the losers, our economy would go downhill right away."

Read moreonline

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David Block Selected for Teaching Award
Dave Block, assistant professor in the viticulture and enology department, received the Chemical Engineering Professor of the Year Award for 2001-02. The Davis student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers gives the award "in recognition of outstanding dedication and service to students.” Selection is based on a poll of the chemical engineering students. Block teaches a biotech manufacturing course to senior level biochemical engineering students in the winter quarter.

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Amazonian Agriculture
Agriculture is driving much of the deforestation in the Amazon and labor scarcity is turning much of the cleared land into pastures, a new study shows. Research by Stephen Vosti, an assistant adjunct professor in the agricultural and resource economics department, and colleagues indicates that deforestation can be slowed and alternatives to pastures can be developed. While this is more expensive and time-consuming, it would prove more environmentally beneficial.

Read thefull update

Stephen Vosti
Assistant Adjunct Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
[email protected]
(530) 752-8097

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On the Wild Side, 4-H Style
In early June, nearly 200 fourth- and fifth-graders from low-income areas in Sacramento will canoe across Lake Vera, hunt for frogs in the forest, gaze at the Milky Way and fall asleep to the sound of crickets. They are students in the Sacramento START after-school care program who will travel 60 miles outside of Sacramento for a 4-H camping experience called "On the Wild Side." A two- or three-day environmental education summer camp, "On the Wild Side" was developed by 4-H Youth Development advisor Marianne Bird two years ago. "Most of these children are from urban settings," Bird said. "They just love being at camp, finding fish, insects and plant life. It is a world of discovery for them." In addition, the camps meet the 4-H objectives of engaging kids in fun, hands-on learning experiences, she added.

Marianne Bird
Assistant Cooperative Extension Advisor
ANR Central Valley Region
[email protected]
(916) 875-6811

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Nominations for Awards of Distinction
The deadline to receive nominations for the 2002 Awards of Distinctions is June 30. The designation is the highest presented by the college to individuals whose contributions and achievements enrich the image and reputation of the college and enhance its ability to provide public service. The Awards of Distinction program has been expanded this year to include new categories. Nominations may be made in these areas:

  • General (alumni, family, friend of the college)
  • Young alumni (less than 15 years since last degree)
  • Outstanding faculty/extension specialist
  • Outstanding staff

The awards will be presented Oct. 18 at the annual College Celebration. Deadline: June 30


Sharon E. Lynch

Assistant Director for Relations

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

[email protected]

(530) 752-1602


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Adventures in Aquaculture


Scientists in the Genomic Variation Laboratory are employing the latest molecular genetic techniques to better understand how to conserve wildlife and improve aquaculture. Bernie May, adjunct professor in the animal science department, leads a team of 11 graduate students, one post-doctoral researcher, six undergraduates and two full-time staff employees. Researchers in the Genomic Variation Laboratory have conducted extensive studies on the golden trout, blue whale and white sturgeon.


Genomic Variation Laboratory website



Bernie May

Adjunct Professor

Department of Animal Science

[email protected]

Department of Animal Science (530) 754-8123


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Atomic Water Seminar


Leslie Smith, a professor from the University of British Columbia, will deliver a presentation at the 2002 International Seminar Series on campus June 13. Smith’s subject involves surface water, sediment and groundwater issues on the Borschi watershed near Chernobyl, Ukraine. The lecture is from 11 a.m to 12 noon in the East Room of the Memorial Union. The lecture is one of 13 in the series, "Scientific Challenges in Watershed Hydology," that will run through December. The seminars are sponsored by UC Davis' Department of Land, Air and Water Resources (LAWR), the Division of Environmental Sciences, the Hydrological Sciences Graduate Group and the Center for Integrateed Watershed Science and Management.


Jan W. Hopmans


Department of Land, Air and Water Resources

[email protected]

(530) 752-3060


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Aquatic Weed School


The Aquatic Weed School will hold an intensive two-day course Oct. 22-23 that focuses on developing weed management strategies in a variety of aquatic ecosystems. Learn about the biology, ecology, and management of important aquatic weeds and algae. The discussion will focus on aquatic weed management, including mechanical, biological, cultural, and chemical methods.


For more informationclick here




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Specialty Crops Research


The UC Specialty Crops Research Program, in coordination with the UC Statewide IPM Program and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, is soliciting proposals for research on "specialty crops" for the period of September 2002 to March 2005. A specialty crop is defined as any agricultural crop except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts and tobacco. The goals of the Specialty Crops Research Program are to support research and outreach that will provide clear benefits to California's specialty crop industries and to complement other programs of the "Buy California" initiative. Deadline: Aug. 1


Access the RFPonline




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We Value Your Feedback


We value your feedback and contributions on CA&ES Currents. Do you have suggestions for improvement? News and announcements? Or other information to share with us? We look forward to hearing from you.


Clifton Parker

Senior Writer

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

[email protected]

(530) 752-2120


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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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The University of California does not discriminate in any of its policies, procedures or practices. The university is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.


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