CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

June 21, 2002

Jun 03, 2014 admin

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Invasive Species

Invasive species is an important research area for many of our faculty. Problems caused by non-native plants and animals cost the United States billions of dollars a year, threaten the survival of endangered native species and sometimes endanger human health. In California -- with its diverse habitats and climatic regions, history of human immigration and its status as a hub of international trade -- non-native species such as yellow starthistle, Sudden Oak Death and the glassy-winged sharpshooter are of particular concern. What is an invasive species and how do these invaders affect our environment, political system, society and economy? These types of questions were addressed in a two-day symposium on campus June 18-19. An international group of experts came together to present some of the latest thinking on invasive species and share different perspectives on how to manage invasive species in agricultural and natural systems. Participants discussed the underlying environmental, political, sociological, and economic issues behind invasive species. The conference covered vertebrate and invertebrate pests, as well as weeds, pathogens and insects. The symposium was sponsored by CA&ES, Department of Entomology, Department of Plant Pathology, the Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources, UC IPM Program. Richard M. Bostock, chair of the plant pathology department, and Robert E. Page, chair of the entomology department, led the organizing committee. I extend my thanks to them and all faculty, CE advisors and staff studying invasive species and how to deal with them.

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

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Janet Momsen Wins Graduate Mentoring Award
Janet Momsen, professor in the human and community development department, received the new Academic Senate award honoring her commitment to mentoring graduate students. Graduate Mentoring Award winners were announced at an Academic Senate Representative Assembly meeting in May. A reception honoring the recipients is slated for winter quarter. Momsen is internationally recognized for her scholarship in human geography in the Caribbean region, gender and development, and tourism. She typically advises 12 to 15 students a year in the Geography Graduate Group.

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Terry Nathan Contributes to Nature Photographer
Terry Nathan, professor in the land, air and water resources department, recently had photographs published in the summer issue of Nature Photographer magazine. Nathan notes that the Nature Photographer Web site includes a new section called "Helping the Environment.” Nathan said he is willing to photograph CA&ES research that is having a positive impact on the environment. “If you believe that CA&ES would be interested in having me submit photographs or write-ups that showcase CA&ES environmental research via the Nature Photographer Web site, please let me know,” Nathan said.

More information availableonline

Terry R. Nathan
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
[email protected]
(530) 752-1609

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Becky Westerdahl Scrutinizes Broccoli
Becky Westerdahl, associate professor in the nematology department, is studying the use of broccoli residue for nematode control on nursery fruit and nut tree rootstocks and grapevines. “The state of California has strict guidelines on how soil can be treated before planting, and growers are moving away from chemical usage,” said Westerdahl. Her project is funded with a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Becky B. Westerdahl
Associate Professor
Department of Nematology
[email protected]
(530) 752-1405

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Gyongy Laky’s Smithsonian Exhibition
Gyongy Laky, professor in the environmental design department, will have a number of her works included in "Four to the Fore", The Renwick Invitational, Four Discoveries in Craft. Smithsonian American Art Museum Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Ave., at 17th NW, Washington, DC. The exhibition, including 50 works by four artists, runs from mid-June to mid-September.

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

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Kate Scow on Organic Farming
Kate Scow, professor in the land, air and water resources department, discussed the results of a 20-year organic farming study highlighted in the journal Science. A team of Swiss scientists report that organic farms can be nearly as productive as regular farms for some crops, and they leave soils healthier. Scow notes that the diversity assay looks at an "incredibly narrow" range of ecological niches and that other studies have been contradictory. Her research interests include soil science and soil microbiology ecology.

More information is availableonline

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Roger McDonald Develops Innovative Course
Roger McDonald, professor in the Department of Nutrition, is developing an interactive multimedia CD to be used by students in a new online course to be offered in 2003. This new course will have an innovative format that will include the use of technology such as animation, videoconferencing, and interactive instructional modules to enhance traditional learning.

Roger McDonald
Department of Nutrition
[email protected]
(530) 752-4814

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Honoring Frank Ogasawara
The late Frank Ogasawara will have one of the buildings at the student residential complex, the Colleges at La Rue, named after him this fall. Ogasawara was for decades known to avian sciences students as the flag bearer for their major. He specialized in poultry and avian reproductive physiology courses and was an authority on turkey production, retiring in 1983 after 23 years of service to UC Davis. Ogasawara died June 8 in Davis.

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Serge Doroshov Profiled
Serge Doroshov, professor in the animal science department, was profiled in the San Jose Mercury News as the “father of the sturgeon industry.” Thanks to efforts in California, white sturgeon has made a dramatic comeback. This state now leads the country in the production of farm-raised white sturgeon, which is becoming increasingly popular with chefs and diners.

Check out thefull article

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CA&ES Chosen for Homeland Security Project
The USDA recently awarded CA&ES a $900,000 grant to develop a Core Plant Diagnostic Center and participate in a national network for plant pest and disease detection. College researchers will identify and respond to high-risk biological pathogens in the food and agricultural system. Animal pathogens, such as the foot-and-mouth disease that recently ravaged England, are viewed as the most potent threats. “We need improved and faster detection and diagnostic capabilities,” the USDA noted in its press release. “We need to do a better job of educating states, universities and farmers so they can help detect and respond to pest and disease outbreaks.” Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced in May that the USDA is releasing more than $43 million in state grants and cooperative agreements to bolster food and agricultural homeland security protections. The resources are part of $328 million approved by President Bush and the Congress earlier this year to strengthen USDA’s homeland security preparedness.

View the full articleonline

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Robert Mondavi’s Commencement Speech
On June 16, winemaker Robert Mondavi and his wife, Margrit, were among the guest speakers at CA&ES commencement ceremonies where the college awarded about 1,622 B.S. degrees. The couple donated $35 million to the university, with $25 million to fund the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

The speech is availableonline

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NAADA Award for Robert Mondavi Institute Web Site
Julia Munsch won a first place for web page development on the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science site from the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association (NAADA). Munsch, the Web master in the CA&ES Dean’s Office, launched the site in March. The award in NAADA’s 2002 publications and projects competition was announced at the organization’s annual meeting June 17-19 in Park City, Utah. Munsch also won second place for the student recruitment site. The Dean’s Office Communications Unit won second place for the CA&ES college brochure issued in 2001.

Robert Mondavi Instituite Website
CA&ES Student Recruitment Site

Julia A. Munsch
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
[email protected]
(530) 754-7771

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Nominations for Awards of Distinction
The deadline to receive nominations for the 2002 Awards of Distinction 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 will be presented Oct. 18 at the annual College Celebration. The Award 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

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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Miller Plant Science Award


Applications are now available for the Milton D. and Mary M. Miller Plant Science Award. The award is available to active UC Cooperative Extension employees and students with an interest in extension careers and who are U.S. citizens. Deadline: July 2


Information is availableonline




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Boosting Prune Research


A team of farmers, researchers and agricultural consultants in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys has received funding to continue promoting biologically integrated farming practices in prunes. The Integrated Prune Farming Practices team, which began in 1998, received $80,000 to continue the project from the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP). The Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) model is characterized by a team approach to project management, on-farm demonstrations, monitoring key biological and economic variables, and farmer-to-farmer information flow.


Marco Barzman



ms[email protected]

(530) 754-8548


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Nutrition Web Site Gets Top Rating


The Department of Nutrition’s Web site received a four-star rating from the Tufts University Child and Family WebGuide. By offering research-based discussions on breastfeeding, maternal nutrition, formula feeding and the transition to solid foods, the UC Davis Nutrition Web site has been found to provide a valuable resource to parents and those working in the child development field. Only a small percentage of sites pass Tufts’ screening process. Of these, less than 20 percent receive a four-star award.


Check out theaward-winning site




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Human and Community Development Project


During the past five years, the Department of Human and Community Development, Cooperative Extension, and the Department of Landscape Architecture have teamed up with other campus departments to improve the Grafton Elementary School in Knights Landing and the community it serves. Professor Patsy Eubanks-Owens of the landscape architecture program and her undergraduate class worked with the farm worker community to create multiple visions of a planned new park – Grafton Park. Another project, Intercambio, which means “exchange” in Spanish, seeks to bridge the digital divide by bartering computers and internet capabilities to local farm worker families. Finally, UC Davis students helped design a school mural that was finished in June.


James I. Grieshop

Cooperative Extension Specialist

Department of Human and Community Development

[email protected]

(530) 752-3008


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CA&ES Budget Forums Open to All


All CA&ES faculty and staff are invited to attend budget forums in July and August. Neal Van Alfen, dean of CA&ES, and other members of the Dean’s Office will answer questions and explain the budget process. Friday, July 12, noon-1 p.m., 1065 Engineering II

Friday, July 19, noon-1 p.m., 1065 Engineering II

Friday, July 26, noon-1 p.m., 1065 Engineering II Friday, August 9, noon-1 p.m., 1065 Engineering II

Friday, August 23, noon-1 p.m., 1065 Engineering II

Friday, August 30, noon-1 p.m., 1065 Engineering II



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Water Law and Policy Briefing


The Water Foundation’s “Water Law and Policy Briefing” will be held July 18-19 at the Hyatt Regency Islandia Hotel in San Diego. This briefing is designed for lawyers, water managers, government officials, business executives, public interest groups and others interested in key water issues.


Information is also availableonline




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Controlling Biology


The third annual California Conference on Biological Control will be held Aug. 15-16 at the Buehler Alumni Center. This conference will present the latest information on biological control and application of this technology for pest management in California. Registration is $100, and covers the cost of the conference, one copy of the conference proceedings, two lunches, wine and cheese at the evening poster session, tour of the new contained research facility at UC Davis, and a banquet dinner.


More information availableonline




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Laboratory Professorship Program


The UC Office of Research welcomes pre-proposals for he Laboratory Professorship Program. The goal of the program is to allow UC campuses to utilize the resources of key laboratories such as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Submit 10 copies of the pre-proposals (2 pages, single-sided) for each laboratory to: Joanne Birdsall

UC Office of the President

Office of Research

1111 Franklin Street, 11th floor

Oakland, CA 94607

Deadline: September 30


Pre-proposals in PDF format




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Nutrition Research


All faculty, especially adjunct and clinical faculty, are invited to submit pilot and feasibility proposals for funding by the UC Davis Clinical Nutrition Research Unit. Up to three one-year awards -- each providing up to $20,000 direct costs and eligible for one competitive one-year renewal -- will be granted for studies beginning in January 2003. Deadline: Noon, August 26


Details availableonline



Jeanine S. McElwain

Administrative Assistant

Clinical Nutrition Research Unit

[email protected]

(530) 752-6778


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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?


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.

Some Web links cited in this newsletter may be inaccessible to off-campus sites. If you want to view the full stories on the Web from off campus, you will need to provide a username and password the first time you try to view a story: username: clips password: newz

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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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