CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

February 14, 2003

Jun 03, 2014 admin


MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: AES Review

WHO
Richard Bostock Named Head of Western Regional Plant Disease Network
Kent Bradford Receives Seed Science Award
David Gilchrist Named AAAS Fellow
Charles Goldman: Nevada Medal Winner
Clarence Kado Waves White House Flag, Awards

IN THE NEWS
Folklore As Forecaster
Killer Seaweed, Dude
Marker Assisted Selection: Big Boost to Traditional Plant Breeding
Today’s Girls More Assertive

WHAT
Update: Plant Sciences Strategic Planning Committee
Agricultural Resources PPAC Critical Issues Survey
California AgrAbility Project Launch
Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research
Hansen Trust Research Grants
Solano County Ag Scholarships
New NSF Cost-Sharing Policy

WHAT
Town Hall Meeting: Plant Sciences Strategic Planning Committee
Tractor Safety Workshop
Colloquium: Water and the Taj Mahal
NIH Seminar on Program Funding and Grants
Arboretum Events

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: AES Review
Since 1996, the college has made split appointments between I&R (instructional and research) and the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES), a portion of which is for fiscal year term (FYT) appointments. These FYT appointments have included a permanently budgeted, tenure-track nine-month academic year term appointment, with a term-limited 11-month or fiscal year appointment and salary for the number of years specified in a memorandum of understanding signed by the appointee. When a new faculty member was hired, those appointments were generally made for a period of five years with the understanding that the college would then review a candidate’s contributions to the AES and decide whether to renew those appointments. However, the problem was that no formal process existed for AES performance review and renewal. As a result, blanket short-term extensions have been granted while the AES worked on developing an appropriate review process. The good news is that we now have in place both a committee and procedures for conducting these reviews and renewal decisions. We will begin this new process of reviewing all appointees with term appointments (original or extended) ending June 30, 2003. CA&ES departments and Division of Biological Sciences sections already received a listing of individuals with FYT appointments and the guidelines to follow for the review process. We attempted to make this process as clear and simple as possible. Our goal is to combine the FYT review process with the normal merit review process when appropriate. Keep in mind that renewals of fiscal year term appointments are personnel actions that are separate and distinct from the question of academic advancement up the professorial ladder. Renewal of the fiscal-year term position will be based on research and outreach programs that advance the missions of AES. Renewals normally will be for a period of six years, but a lesser duration may be recommended. The criteria for renewal include: (1) publication of original research addressing issues relevant to the AES mission; (2) maintaining current, active and approved AES projects; (3) evidence of involvement in outreach; and (4) normative academic progress achieved through the campus's academic merit and promotion process. The AES funds are aimed at supporting mission-oriented research and outreach. An effective review mechanism will help us meet our responsibilities to these goals. As this is a new process, we welcome your feedback. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail me.

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

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Richard Bostock Named Head of Western Regional Plant Disease Network
Richard Bostock, chair of the Department of Plant Pathology, was appointed director of the newly formed Western Regional Center for Plant Disease and Pest Diagnostics, headquartered at UC Davis and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with federal appropriations for homeland security. The western center is one of five national centers that form a network designed to enhance and coordinate the detection of and diagnostics for plant pathogens and pests that are intentionally or accidentally introduced in the U.S. and that pose a particular threat to agriculture. Network members include plant and pest experts from land-grant universities, state departments of agriculture, Cooperative Extension and the USDA.


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Kent Bradford Receives Seed Science Award
Vegetable crops professor Kent Bradford recently received the Seed Science Award, presented at the 2002 Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). Founder and director of the Seed Biotechnology Center, his research spans diverse areas of seed science from seed enhancement and stand establishment to mathematical modeling and molecular biology.


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David Gilchrist Named AAAS Fellow
David Gilchrist, professor of plant pathology, recently was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his research on programmed cell death in plants and his contributions to science and the organization.


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Charles Goldman: Nevada Medal Winner
The Desert Research Institute announced that this year’s Nevada Medal award was presented to Charles Goldman, professor of environmental science and policy, in recognition of his long career studying water clarity and quality at Lake Tahoe and many other places around the globe. This is the first time a UC Davis scientist has won this award, which is the institute’s most prestigious and includes a $10,000 prize and an eight-ounce minted medallion of pure Nevada silver. At ceremonies held in Las Vegas and Reno, he will present a lecture, “Moving beyond the conflicts: Lessons from the role of science in the management of Lake Tahoe.”

Read moreonline


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Clarence Kado Waves White House Flag, Awards
Clarence Kado, professor of plant pathology, was honored as a recipient of a national award for service as a Presidential Advisor on National Security. As part of the award he was given a presentation case containing a U.S. flag flown at the White House. In addition, he was selected to present the Noel Keen Memorial Lectureship at the 3rd Annual American Society of Microbiology and TIGR Microbial Genomes Conference in New Orleans. His talk was titled "Mining Plant Bacterial Genomes for Regulators and Effectors of Virulence and Pathogenesis." Noel Keen was a distinguished plant pathologist and professor at UC Riverside and member of the National Academy of Sciences who passed away this past year.


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Folklore As Forecaster
A recent issue of New Scientist reported on the work of ethnoclimatologist and professor of environmental science and policy Benjamin Orlove. His research focuses on weather prediction by Andean potato farmers. For example, the farmers say that the clarity of the Pleiades star cluster in June predicts the timing of the rainy season. If the stars are bright, the farmers look forward to a normal rainy season; if dim, a late, sparse one.

Get the whole storyonline


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Killer Seaweed, Dude
Susan Williams, director of UC Davis' Bodega Marine Laboratory, was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding Caulerpa taxifolia, a tropical Pacific seaweed which has mutated in captivity and has been released accidentally in Europe and Australia. This superplant already is decimating sea-floor ecosystems and is toxic to most marine animals. Scientists fear what will happen if it shows up in San Francisco Bay.

Read the entire storyonline


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Marker Assisted Selection: Big Boost to Traditional Plant Breeding
Jorge Dubcovsky, molecular geneticist and associate professor of agronomy and range science, was featured in the Feb. 6 issue of Nature. He is leading a consortium of 12 public wheat breeding programs using Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) to accelerate the incorporation of useful traits into commercial wheat varieties. MAS relies on identified DNA sequences located close to the traits of interest, and then uses those chromosome landmarks to transfer the useful traits into adapted varieties. This consortium, funded by the USDA, created a Web site that places this research in the public domain and makes the information freely available across the globe. The Nature article called the effort of this public consortium a "beacon of hope" for the survival of public breeding programs and for the transfer of this technology to poor countries that hope to improve their seed stocks easily and inexpensively while avoiding the legal entanglements of patented GMOs. Paul Gepts, professor of agronomy and range science, also is quoted in the article, as is Kent McKenzie of the California Rice Experiment Station.

Get the complete story at theNature Website
Visit theMASwheat Web site


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Today’s Girls More Assertive
The Sacramento Bee recently reported on how girls, especially adolescents, are becoming more and more assertive. In the story, Kathi Conger, assistant professor in the Department of Human and Community Development, says that’s good news.

Read the complete articleonline


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Update: Plant Sciences Strategic Planning Committee
Planning is underway for future organization of the college's plant sciences departments. Dean Van Alfen appointed a Plant Sciences Strategic Planning Committee (PSSPC) that includes members from the departments of agronomy and range science, environmental horticulture, pomology, and vegetable crops. Faculty members from outside these departments who are interested in the planning committee's deliberations are also encouraged to participate. The PSSPC set up a Web site as a forum for input and discussion and established an e-mail distribution list. To be included on the e-mail list, send a message to [email protected] The body of the message should consist of a single line formatted as follows: sub [email protected] <first name> <last name>. Two PSSPC town hall meetings are scheduled: Feb. 26, 4 – 6 p.m., 3001 PES. Apr. 1, 4 – 6 p.m., 3001 PES

PSSPC Web site

Vito Polito
Professor
Department of Pomology
[email protected]
(530) 752-0927

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Agricultural Resources PPAC Critical Issues Survey
The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is in the process of identifying critical issues where the division's research and education programs will provide information and research to help our clientele solve their critical problems. The Agricultural Resources Program Planning Advisory Committee (AR PPAC) circulated a request in the fall for advice from organizations representing our external clientele, and has summarized the responses in a survey. In order to assess the relative importance of these many critical issues, PPAC is seeking your opinion. Check the 10 most important critical issues on the list from your perspective or the perspective of your clientele. If there are critical issues that you feel are missing, please add them to the appropriate section. If you have questions, please contact Jim Thompson, chair of the Agricultural Resources PPAC.

Take the survey



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California AgrAbility Project Launch
The California AgrAbility Project (CalAgrAbility) is a new USDA-funded program providing vital education, assistance and support to farmers and workers with disabilities. Services are provided through the UC Davis Cooperative Extension Farm Safety Program and Easter Seals Superior California. The program helps farmers and workers overcome disability barriers by identifying and linking them to services.

Martha Stiles
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
[email protected]
(530) 752-2606

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Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research
The search is on for candidates for the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. As in the past, one award goes to a faculty member who has been effective in supporting undergraduate research projects; the other, to a senior who has done outstanding research in any academic subject while at UC Davis. These awards, which include a special plaque and $500, will be announced at June commencement. Information has been distributed via e-mail to all college faculty.

Annie King
Associate Dean
Undergraduate Academic Programs
[email protected]
(530) 752-7150

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Hansen Trust Research Grants
The Hansen Trust is pleased to announce that the Request for Proposals for the trust’s FY2003-04 Agricultural Research Competitive Grants Program is now available. Projects need not be conducted in Ventura County, but must demonstrate relevance to that county’s agriculture. High priority is given to proposals that target water quality, exotic pests, farm labor housing, and the impacts of cultural practices associated with changing crop patterns. The deadline for proposals is April 10, 2003, with funding commencing July 2003.

Sheri Klittich
Program Administrator
Hansen Trust
[email protected]
(805) 525-9293, x205

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Solano County Ag Scholarships
Agricultural students from Solano County can compete for $12,000 in scholarships to be awarded by The Friends of the Dixon May Fair and The Friends of the Solano County Fair. The two groups are joining together to award eight scholarships to college-bound or college-enrolled agricultural students from Solano County. The deadline is 5 p.m., April 15.

Application packets are available on theFriends of the Fair Web site


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New NSF Cost-Sharing Policy
The National Science Foundation announced new cost-sharing policies/requirements. The new guidelines take effect April 1, 2003.

For more information, scroll down to “New" on theNSF Web site


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Town Hall Meeting: Plant Sciences Strategic Planning Committee
Feb. 26, 4 – 6 p.m., 3001 PES. For more information on the committee, see the Currents article above.

Vito Polito
Professor
Department of Pomology
[email protected]
(530) 752-0927

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Tractor Safety Workshop
The Cal Poly Ag Safety Institute and Ag Safe will conduct a "Tractor Safety Workshop" for foremen and supervisors at UC Kearney Ag Center in Parlier, on Friday, Feb. 28, 2003. One half-day session is in English and the second half-day session will be in Spanish. For fee and registration information, call the Ag Safety Institute at (805) 756-2384.


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Colloquium: Water and the Taj Mahal
On Mar. 11 the Water Resources Center Archives at UC Berkeley presents “Water in Landscape Heritage Conservation and Design: Lessons from the Taj Mahal,” a public lecture by James Wescoat Jr., professor of landscape architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. Reception: 4:45 – 5:30 p.m., 410 O’Brien Hall. Lecture: 5:30 – 7 p.m., 105 North Gate Hall.


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NIH Seminar on Program Funding and Grants
The NIH and Stanford University Office of Research Administration are hosting the Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration in Palo Alto, on April 24 – 25. The seminar serves the NIH mission of providing education and training for the next generation of biomedical and behavioral scientists. NIH faculty and staff will provide a broad array of expertise to help demystify the proposal process, clarify regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern.

To learn more or register, visitStanford's ORA Web site


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Arboretum Events
Feb. 16, 11 a.m. How to Encourage Wildlife in the Garden. Meet at the Arboretum Terrace Garden, located next to Border’s Books on First Street. Feb. 16, 2 p.m. Herbs for the Central Valley Gardener. Putah Creek Lodge. Feb. 23, 11 a.m. Preparing your Garden for Spring Planting. Meet at the Arboretum Terrace Garden, located next to Border’s Books on First Street. Feb. 23, 2 p.m. Special Places: Microclimates in your Garden. Meet at Arboretum headquarters on LaRue Road. Free parking across the street. Mar. 1, 9 a.m. Workshop: Plant Propagation for the Home Gardener. Fee, limited enrollment. Call the Arboretum to enroll.

Arboretum calendar


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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:

 

Bob Debarge

 

[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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