CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

May 10, 2002

Jun 03, 2014 admin


A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Dean’s Advisory Council

Members of the Dean’s Advisory Council travel to campus twice a year to learn more about the college and to advise us on our research, teaching and outreach efforts. The council represents a valuable opportunity for two-way communications with our constituencies, and we’re always excited to hear their feedback. At the group’s April 17-18 meeting, council members toured new facilities and were briefed on the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, agriculture in California, the West and China, the fresh produce industry, sustainable agriculture, CA&ES communications, and campus building plans. At the end of the session, council members participated in a roundtable discussion on issues important to the college. More than 50 of California's top leaders serve on our Dean’s Advisory Council, providing support in several important ways. As ambassadors, they encourage connections between the college and California's agricultural, environmental, consumer and economic sectors. Council members also act as my key external advisers, sharing ideas and making recommendations. For example, the Dean’s Advisory Council has recommended that we increase our external communications efforts, and we have integrated these ideas. I’d like to thank each council member for his or her insightful and informed participation. We look forward to our next meeting this fall.

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

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Greg Pasternack and Salmon Stream Restoration
Greg Pasternack, assistant professor in the Land, Air and Water Resources department, is using sophisticated computer modeling to help restore California’s salmon habitats in rivers and streams and maybe bring back some of its once healthy salmon runs. “In this study we used computer models to determine where to place gravel beds to promote the movement of clean, well-oxygenated water, which is critical for salmon egg-laying,” said Greg Pasternack, an assistant professor of watershed hydrology in UC Davis’ Land, Air and Water Resources department. Pasternack and colleagues recently received a three-year, $254,000 CalFed grant to demonstrate his computer-aided design on gravel beds on the lower Mokelumne River in San Joaquin County. Mokelumne River is a major stream of California’s Central Valley that was originally good salmon habitat before extensive gravel mining took place and Camanche Dam was built upstream in 1963.

Greg Pasternack
Assistant Professor
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
[email protected]
(530) 754-9243

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George Bruening and Paul Gepts on GMOs
Professors George Bruening of the plant pathology department and Paul Gepts in the agronomy and range science department were quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article on the city’s expanding biotechnology industry. Bruening explained the process of creating genetically-modified crops. Gepts stated that more research needs to be done on whether transgenes break apart easily in the genome.

More information availableonline


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Dan Sehnert to Judge Meaty Competition
Dan Sehnert, animal facilities manager in the animal science department, has been selected to judge the American Cured Meat Championships in Reno, Nevada, July 25-27. The event, held annually in conjunction with the American Convention of Meat Processors, is the only national cured meat competition for meat plant operators. Judges will evaluate a wide range of meats, from smoked hams to summer sausages and beef jerky.

Dan Sehnert
Animal Facilities Manager
Department of Animal Science
[email protected]
(530) 752-1256

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Miguel Marino Receives Warren Hall Medal
Miguel Marino, professor in the land, air and water resources department, has been chosen to receive the 2002 Warren A. Hall Medal from the Universities Council on Water Resources. The medal recognizes Marino's innovative contributions in the field of water resources. Marino is a professor of hydrologic sciences and civil and environmental engineering. The medal will be awarded at the Universities Council’s annual meeting in Traverse City, Michigan, July 23-26.

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

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John Bruhn on Yogurt’s Cold, Hard Facts
John Bruhn, a dairy foods specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, appeared on Sacramento’s KXTV-Channel 10 in a segment investigating the “cleanliness” of yogurt. Bruhn, also the director of the Diary Research and Information Center, described the process of testing for the bacterium Coliform. The segment concluded that testing programs play a useful role in making sure yogurt sellers keep their products clean and safe.

Read moreonline


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Understanding Groundwater Contamination
New research shows that how easily metals such as cobalt, copper and lead travel through the environment depends on the compounds they form in the soil and how these dissolve in water. The study illustrates a simple way to work out the stability and solubility of a whole class of clay-like compounds called hydrotalcites. The finding should help geochemists make much better estimates of soil contamination. By understanding how easily hydrotalcites form from various metals, scientists can predict how much of the metal stays dissolved in groundwater and how fast it can spread. Hydrotalcites are "garbage bags" with a layered structure that can take up many metals, nitrates and other chemicals, said William Casey, a professor of land, air and water resources and one of the authors of the study.

The study was published in theApril 26 issue of the journal Science


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Gender-bending Songbirds
With synthetic hormones leaking into the environment through pesticides and other man-made sources, researchers have wondered how these powerful chemicals would affect wildlife, especially their sexual characteristics. Now, scientists have discovered that estrogen can alter the brain circuitry of female zebra finches enough to make them sing. (Only male zebra finches sing naturally.) More significantly, the birds’ ability to reproduce was severely affected. Finches given oral estrogen produced fewer eggs, more brittle shells, and the hatchling count fell dramatically. “We’ve shown that estrogens can disrupt reproduction,” said Jim Millam, professor in the animal science department. “So there’s a reason to go looking for the effects on wild bird populations.”

The study was published in theMarch issue of the journal Hormones and Behavior


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ANR Tips on Writing News Releases
The Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) has posted a step-by-step guide for advisors, specialists and program staffs who seek assistance in writing news releases to announce upcoming local events. The reference provides tips on style and format for those interested in publicizing an upcoming meeting or field day in local newspapers or trade journals.

Check it outonline

John D. Stumbos
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
[email protected]
(530) 754-9554

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Guidance for Crafting Op-eds
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 an information sheet from the Dean's Office on how to polish and publish those op-eds. Here are a few tips -- "take a stand, keep it short, use everyday language and think about structure."

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

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Wine Grape Study Available
A new cost-of-production study for wine grapes grown in the Sacramento River Delta region is now available from UC Cooperative Extension. The study is based upon a hypothetical farm using viticultural practices common in the region. UC farm advisors, researchers and local growers provided input on the study, which shows current per acre costs to establish and produce wine grapes with an emphasis on chardonnay and merlot varieties.

Download the studyhere


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Peter Gleick and Water in the 21st Century
Peter Gleick, president and co-founder of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, spoke on the role that water plays in human society at a May 9 seminar on campus. Gleick’s presentation, “Water Challenges for the New Century: Meeting Basic Human and Ecological Needs,” was the second of the seminar 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 Integrated Watershed Science and Management.

Jan W. Hopmans
Professor
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
[email protected]
(530) 752-3060

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Invasive Species Symposium
What is an invasive species and how do these invaders affect our environment, political system, society and economy? These types of questions will be addressed in a two-day symposium at UC Davis on June 18-19. An international group of experts will come 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 will discuss the underlying environmental, political, sociological, and economic issues behind invasive species. The conference will cover vertebrate and invertebrate pests, as well as weeds, pathogens and insects. To take advantage of lower registration fees, please register by May 15. The symposium is sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UCD; UC Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources; UC IPM program; Department of Entomology, UCD; Department of Plant Pathology, UCD; Gamma Sigma Delta.

Registration information can be foundonline

Robert E. Page
Department of Entomology
[email protected]
(530) 752-5455

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Academic Senate and Federation Spring Meeting
The spring meeting of the Academic Senate and the Academic Federation of CA&ES and ANR will be held June 4 from 4-6 p.m. in the AGR Room, Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.

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

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Pesticide Workshop
Educators with the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program will conduct a "train-the-trainer" workshop June 12 in Winters to qualify growers, farm supervisors, labor contractors and others to train pesticide handlers and agricultural fieldworkers. Under federal regulations, people who train pesticide handlers or fieldworkers in production agriculture, commercial greenhouses or nurseries must be qualified trainers. The eight-hour workshop covers label comprehension, environmental protection, health issues, laws and regulations, handling procedures and fieldworker safety. Participants receive hands-on training in the use of equipment and protective clothing.

Diane Clarke
IPM Education and Publications
[email protected]
(530) 752-5273

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The Bay-Delta Water Tour
The Water Foundation’s Bay-Delta Tour June 19-21 includes stops at the Harvey O. Banks Delta Pumping Plant Visitor’s Center, Los Vaqueros Reservoir, the Bay-Delta Model in Sausalito and Suisun Marsh. Speakers from a wide variety of viewpoints address everything from project operations to endangered species to drinking water quality to CALFED. All roads in California water policy lead to the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, source of two-thirds of the state’s water and home to a rich ecosystem of fish and wildlife, including many endangered species.



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Arboretum Events
On May 19, the UC Davis Arboretum will host a “sampler” tour of the world’s oaks. Meet at 2 p.m. in the gazebo. On May 21, enjoy an all-day trip to Russian River country to see the Armstrong redwoods and Western Hills Nursery. Plan to spend from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. touring old-growth redwood forests and acres of gardens. On May 26, meet at 11 a.m. at the Arboretum Terrace for the tour “The Color of Late Spring at the Terrace Garden.” On May 26, join the “Herbs in the California Garden” tour that starts at 2 p.m. in the Putah Creek Lodge.

Arboretum calendar


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Master of Fine Arts Exhibition
An exhibition by Kelly Steinauer, Mary Testa, and Rui-Xiang Zhang, students of Textile Arts and Costume Design, will be on display in the Design Museum June 13-28. The opening reception June 13 is from 3-5 p.m. Hours of the exhibition will be Monday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m. All three of these students have been recognized for their outstanding work in design. Kelly Steinauer explores fear, safety and protection in her work, which is influenced by European armor, insect exoskeletons and human anatomy. Steinauer works primarily with leather, which she treats to have the appearance of aged metal or human skin. She then incorporates found objects, metal trim and organic materials with the molded leather. These sculptures mimic the human form from the inside out, implying internal organs, body silhouettes, and protective clothing. Steinauer was a recipient of the 2001 Ellen Hansen Memorial Prize for "Body of Armor: Sticks and Stones."

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

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Pacific Marine Wildlife
Researchers seeking funding for work in Pacific marine wildlife and ecosystem health can submit a pre-proposal to the Wildlife Health Center. This year, the program encourages proposals investigating the “efficacy and design of marine protected areas as tools for the conservation and enhancement of marine wildlife and ecosystem health.” The reviewers will select promising proposals and request those researchers to submit full proposals by Sept. 30.
Deadline: June 14

Kirsten V. Gilardi
Wildlife Veterinarian
Wildlife Health Center
[email protected]
(530) 752-4167

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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 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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