CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

October 04, 2002

Jun 05, 2014 admin

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Budget Update

As many of you know, the state recently adopted its final budget for 2002-03. It includes a 10 percent reduction in funds for the Agricultural Experiment Station, which accounts for about 55 percent of the general funds coming into the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES). The campus will also be enacting a 1.7 percent cut across all units to address energy costs. Meanwhile, the spending plan for the state adopted by the legislature allows for the governor to make mid-year budget reductions, so our budget must include some contingency plans. We are working with the campus administration to find ways to meet our academic mission within the context of these new fiscal realities. Provost Virginia Hinshaw has generously agreed to waive the campus-mandated 1.7 percent reduction of the Agricultural Experiment Station budget. She has also recognized the heavy teaching workload of faculty in our college and allocated five new growth Instruction and Research (I&R) full-time-equivalent (FTE) faculty to the college this year. These positions are in addition to those previously planned for the college. Between the 1990-91 and 2001-02 academic years our college increased its numbers of student FTEs by 32.7 percent. The new faculty growth FTE allocations by Provost Hinshaw are the beginning of an effort to address the workload imbalance that this growth caused. Despite the efforts of Provost Hinshaw to increase resources available to our college, the 10 percent cut in the Agricultural Experiment Station funds will necessitate significant changes in our AES programs. We have not recovered from the AES cuts of the early 1990s, so the only way that we will be able to absorb the permanent reduction in our budget will be to reduce the number of faculty FTE supported by the AES. We estimate that we will need to permanently downsize the AES by 25-30 faculty-level FTE. This will be done largely by attrition. Since these retirements will occur randomly, we need to develop plans to fill a proportion of the faculty positions opened by retirements. We do not want such random cuts of programs to affect those of high priority for the college. In June 2002 an advisory committee was set up to develop principles that would guide our budget planning process. The committee consisted of department chairs Gary Anderson, Pat Harrison, Susan Kaiser, Carl Keen, Heiner Lieth, Marion Miller, Andy Sih, Michael Singer, Chris Van Kessel, and John Yoder. Jim MacDonald, executive associate dean in CA&ES, chaired the committee and Tu Jarvis, associate dean for the human sciences, DeeDee Kitterman, executive director of research and outreach, Michael Parrella, associate dean for the agricultural sciences, and Randy Southard, associate dean for the environmental sciences, were ex officio members. Their final report was recently submitted to me, and it included a set of “budget principles” to guide us through the next few years. We will let you know once those principles are up on the CA&ES Web site. The committee was clear in recommending that research and teaching programs that are essential for California, or possessing a demonstrated or clear potential for international distinction, should be high priorities for support.

Budget principles can be viewedonline

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

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Jo Ann Stabb’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Jo Ann Stabb, senior lecturer emerita in the environmental design department, was recently selected for the 2002 Robert Hillestad Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Design and Aesthetics. She received her award at the annual conference of the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) in New York City, August 2002. The award recognizes Stabb’s contributions over the past 34 years, documenting the contemporary wearable art movement, its beginnings in the 1960's, and its growth and evolution. Her article "The Wearable Art Movement: A Critical Look at the State of the Art" was published in the Surface Design Journal in 1988. She has maintained an active exhibition record, showing her own textile and wearable artwork in numerous museums and galleries since the late 1960's. Her video series, "Wearable Art from California" was distributed through the American Craft Museum of New York and adopted by the United States Information Agency for distribution throughout Europe.

Jo Ann Stabb
Senior Lecturer Emerita
Department of Environmental Design
[email protected]
(925) 933-8190

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Gyongy Laky’s Art in Britain
Professor Gyöngy Laky, Department of Environmental Design, will have one of her art works featured in the permanent art collection of England. The Contemporary Art Society (CAS) in London has purchased the work titled "Henry," one of Laky's plum pruning vessels created in 1999. It will be exhibited in Britain as part of a significant national permanent visual art collection. In 1999 the work was exhibited in Italy and New York City, and in 2000 on the UC Davis campus in conjunction with "Soil Food and People," international conference on food and soil sustainability. It was published in the Evening Standard of London and in the international graphics magazine Baseline. This piece and several other Laky works toured throughout the UK in the recently concluded international invitational exhibition, "Crossover.”

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Tom Scott and the West Nile Virus Horse Threat
Tom Scott, a professor in the entomology department and director of the Davis Arbovirus Research Unit, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle about the West Nile Virus’ impact on horses. He noted the strain of mosquitoes most common in California is also the most efficient at spreading West Nile virus. With more than 100 human deaths attributed this year to the West Nile virus, the mosquito-borne scourge is taking an unprecedented toll on horses. Scott and his unit recently confirmed the first human case in California of West Nile virus.

Read the full articleonline

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Colin Carter and GMOs
Colin Carter, professor in the agricultural and resource economics department, explains the differences among countries in labeling of food deemed as “genetically modified organisms” or GMOs. “There are a number of possible explanations. The EU (European Union) and Japan have experienced domestic food scares in recent years. So consumers in these countries do not believe scientists who say GM food is safe. Political pressure from environmental groups plays on this fear and raises concerns about GM safety. Labeling is also a convenient trade barrier.” Carter’s published report appeared in the ARE Update, the department’s newsletter.

Check out theARE Update

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Ben Orlove’s Lake Titicaca
Ben Orlove, professor in the environmental science and policy department, has published a book on his research into the cultural communities and landscapes of Lake Titicaca in the Peruvian Andes. “Lines in the Water: Nature and Culture at Lake Titicaca” was released in June 2002 by the University of California Press. The book highlights the fishermen, reed cutters, boat builders, and families of this isolated region, and describes the role that Lake Titicaca has played in their culture amid the intrusions of modern technology and economic demands in the region. Orlove concludes that people there have found ways to maintain their cultural autonomy and to protect their fragile mountain environment.

Benjamin Orlove
Department of Environmental Science and Policy
[email protected]
(530) 754-6114

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Neal Van Alfen on Food Security
Neal Van Alfen, dean of CA&ES, was quoted in a Sacramento Bee article on the potential of terror attacks on agriculture and the food system. He believes the threat of "agroterrorism" is not that great -- and that fears and reactions to the threat pose their own dangers. "We provide information very freely -- that's what we're all about," he said. "We don't want that to change. It's a real challenge for us to remain true to those principles and to avoid overreaction to perceived threats."

More information is availableonline

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Peter Moyle on Klamath Salmon Deaths
Peter Moyle, professor in the wildlife, fish and conservation biology department, says the federal government should have done more to protect the Chinook salmon when it released water from the Klamath River to farmers last year. Months ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service said the Bush administration's plan to shift water from fish to farmers in the Klamath Basin would harm salmon downstream in the Klamath River. Now the adult fish are dying by the thousands. "When you make a decision based on just one endangered species, you may be sacrificing everything else in the system," Moyle noted.

Read moreonline

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Charles Bamforth Elected to European Academy of Sciences
Charlie Bamforth, professor in the food science and technology department, has been elected as a member of the European Academy of Sciences. The citation reads, "elected for an outstanding and lasting contribution to food sciences and technology and fundamental developments in the field of malting and brewing.” Bamforth is also the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences. The European Academy of Sciences is a non-profit organization of distinguished scholars.

Charles W. Bamforth
Department of Food Science and Technology
[email protected]
(530) 752-1467

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New Study of Ground Zero Air
A new UC Davis study shows that if they are properly cleaned, apartments and offices near the site of the collapsed World Trade Center towers are safe for living and working. The study also found that the concentration of diesel pollution in lower Manhattan is quite high, which could cause breathing problems in some people. The study was conducted by UC Davis professor Thomas Cahill in conjunction with the American Lung Association of the City of New York. Cahill found little evidence that very fine particles persist in indoor spaces near Ground Zero once the areas have been cleaned according to U.S. EPA guidelines.

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Caution on Rural Roads During Harvest
Harvest time in California and across the nation brings a bustle of activity to rural roads and highways. With harvest also comes particular concern about vehicle and equipment accidents related to agricultural work, highlighted by National Farm Safety and Health Week during the week of Sept. 15-21. "Vehicles and equipment account for most fatal injuries associated with agricultural work," said James Meyers, a UC Cooperative Extension state farm-safety specialist. "In California, more than 40 worker deaths per year are associated with farm vehicles and equipment. And these figures don't count the other drivers, vacationing families and local workers also involved in fatal incidents with agricultural vehicles each year." Rural areas in California are among the state's fastest-growing communities. This means there is more traffic on county roads and two-lane state highways that cut through agricultural areas, increasing the risk for crashes and serious injuries involving agricultural vehicles.

James Meyers
Extension Specialist
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
[email protected]
(530) 752-0102

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Study on Polluted Streams
Downstream from mining sites, a suffocating gel forms in the water of creeks and rivers. A new study by an international team of researchers details the chemical processes that make that gel and should advance our understanding of the damaging effects of mine drainage and acid rain. According to the team's report in the Sept. 27 issue of the journal Science, the gel results when runoff made acidic by mining or acid rain collects aluminum from local soils and then mixes with stream water that is less acidic. In subsequent chemical reactions, aluminum molecules link together to form polymer gel. Scientists call the gel "floc" and say its influence is widespread: Mining disrupts about 240,000 square kilometers of the Earth's surface (about 93,000 square miles, an area roughly the size of Oregon). The gelatinous floc is bad enough by itself; it gums up the gills of fish and suffocates them, and is equally deadly to other aquatic animals and plants. But it also possesses another dangerous quality: It binds to toxic metals, including mercury, lead and cadmium, and transports them far downstream. "This combination of floc and metals pollutes streams," said William Casey, a professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and one author of the new report. "Bad things adsorb into this gel and then it travels forever."

Bill Casey
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
[email protected]
(530) 752-3211

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Field Safety Web Page
The CA&ES Web site has been expanded to provide resources related to field safety.

Check out thebroad field research safety guidelines
You can also view thesummary of departmental field safety information

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2002 Award of Distinction Recipients
CA&ES is proud to announce its 2002 Award of Distinction recipients: Patricia J. Bailey Davis Science/agriculture writer UC Davis News Service Willard G. Clark Hanford B.S., ‘53, Animal Science Ann Marie Kennedy Sacramento M.S., ‘99, International Agricultural Development; ’00, Vocational Education Credential in Agriculture Robert C. Laben Davis Professor Emeritus Department of Animal Science, UC Davis Paul E. Martin Petaluma B.S., ‘65, Agricultural Economics Timothy H. Metcalf Woodland M.S., ‘80, Horticulture Warren G. Roberts Davis B.S., ‘64, Individual Major; M.S., ‘69, Horticulture Joseph E. Sabol San Luis Obispo M.Ed., ‘65, Agricultural Education Charles J. Soderquist Sacramento M.S., ‘73; Ph.D., ‘75, Agricultural Chemistry The Award of Distinction is the highest honor presented by the college to individuals whose contributions enrich the image and reputation of the college and enhance its ability to provide public service. Award recipients will be recognized at College Celebration 2002: “Tradition Meets Innovation” on Friday, Oct 18, at 5:30 p.m. in Freeborn Hall on the UC Davis campus. Please join us for the Award of Distinction Ceremony followed by a Taste-of-California Reception and our traditional Farmer’s Market. Reservations are required.

Sharon E. Lynch
Assistant Director for Relations
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
[email protected]
(530) 752-1602

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Conservation Tillage Workshops
The program for Conservation Tillage 2002 (CT2002) focused on the tradition of annual field days at San Joaquin and Sacramento Valley locations aimed at providing state-of-the-art information on reduced tillage production alternatives. One workshop was held Sept. 17 in Davis and the other on Sept. 19 in Five Points. Conservation tillage, in addition to saving money, may conserve water, reduce dust, suppress weeds, improve soil quality, reduce fertilizer application rates and even cut down the farm’s release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. In research conducted at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center, at UC Davis and on commercial ranches, scientists are finding that conservation tillage may have a future in California. CT2002 gathered recent research findings and provided opportunities for conference participants to visit both research and farm sites at which CT systems are being studied. Farm tour visits were held as part of both the Davis and the Five Points Conferences.

Jeff Mitchell
Extension Specialist
Department of Vegetable Crops
[email protected]
(559) 646-6565

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CA&ES Budget Forum
All CA&ES faculty and staff are invited to attend budget forums. Neal Van Alfen, dean of CA&ES, and other members of the Dean's Office will answer questions and explain the budget process. The next one will be held Thursday, Oct. 10, noon to 1 p.m., in room 2005 of the Plant Environmental Sciences (PES) Building. HUNGRY FARMERS SATELLITE CONFERENCE On Oct.16 -- World Food Day – a satellite conference titled, “Hungry Farmers: A National Security Issue for All,” will provide an overview of hunger and poverty in rural areas and why this threatens peace and security in the world. The satellite program will feature Michael Lipton, an international authority on the plight of the rural poor. Lipton founded and serves as the head of the Sussex University Poverty Research Unit, and was the lead scholar for the “2001 Rural Poverty.” The satellite conference will be in the Plum room, ANR Regional Office Bldg., Hopkins Road, on the UC Davis campus. The program is from 9 a.m. to noon, with an hour in the middle for local discussion. Seating is limited, so reservations are advised.

Karen L. Berke
ANR Communication Services
[email protected]
(530) 754-9550

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D.R. Wagner Retrospective
The exhibition, “The Master: A Thirty-Year Retrospective of D.R. Wagner,” will be held from Oct. 13 to Nov. 15 at the Design Museum in 145 Walker Hall. Wagner is a lecturer in the environmental design department. A curator lecture will take place Oct. 13 from noon to 2 p.m. in 135 Walker Hall followed by a curator lecture from 2 to 4 p.m. in 145 Walker Hall.

View Design Museum informationonline

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

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Arboretum Events
The UC Davis Arboretum will hold several events and tours in October:


    • Oct. 5, “Unusual Garden Plants at Arboretum Sale”
    • Oct. 6, “Good Plants to Combine with Roses in Your Garden”
    • Oct. 8, “Cultivating Botanical Predators: Carnivorous Plants in Your Garden”
    • Oct. 9, “Lunchtime Walk in the UC Davis Arboretum”
    • Oct. 13, “Beautiful Fall Plants for Containers”
    • Oct. 13, “History in the Davis Arboretum”
    • Oct. 16-Dec. 4, “Volunteer Training Class”
    • Oct. 18, “Fall in the Foothills: Independence Trail And You Bet Farms”
    • Oct. 20, “Guided Tour: Early Uses of Native Plants and Trees in the Desert”
    • Oct. 27, “Guided Tour: Color and Texture in the Fall Garden”

Arboretum calendar

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Agricultural Literacy and Issues Grants

      The Hansen Trust welcomes requests for proposals (RFPs) for the Agricultural Literacy and Issues Competitive Grants program. The trust will consider funding projects that increase the public understanding and support of agriculture, its economy and issues related to public policy. Deadline: Oct. 25, 2002

      Sheri Klittich


      Program Administrator


      Hansen Trust



      (805) 525-9293, x205

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Mildred Mathias Grants

      Applications are being accepted for the 2002-03 Natural Reserve System Mildred Mathias Graduate Student Research Grants. These are designed for graduate student research on natural reserve system sites. Deadline: Oct. 24, 2002

      Information is available


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Sun Microsystems Matching Grant Program

      Sun Microsystems has a long history of working closely with higher education institutions. Sun is offering a unique opportunity for collaboration to educational institutions in the United States. Sun is prepared to make a significant investment in academic and research lab environments used by students. This investment will be in the form of matching grants of new or upgrades to existing desktop equipment for use in student academic and research laboratory environments. This matching grant period is from Aug. 1 to Oct. 25, 2002. However, supplies are limited and grants will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

      Guidelines are available

Sun Microsystems website

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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

To be added to or deleted from this electronic newsletter list, please write to [email protected].

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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