CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

March 14, 2003

Jun 03, 2014 admin


MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Diversity in the Sciences

WHO
Alex McCalla Honored by Inter-American Institute
Paul Singh and Diane Barrett Awarded NASA Contract
Mondavi Institute Chooses Architect

IN THE NEWS
Advancing Afghan Agricultural Academics
Fantastic Flavonoids Findings
Conventional Crop Conversions Calculated
Tahoe Turbidity Turnabout Touted
California West Nile Outbreak Feared

WHAT
First in the World Grape DNA Testing Service
Kinsella Memorial Prize for Ph.D. Dissertations
Graduate Student Fellowships in Soil Carbon
RFP: Faculty Research Grant Program and Junior Faculty Research Fellowships

WHAT
UCTV Master Gardener Series
Arboretum Events

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Diversity in the Sciences
Historically, one of the most challenging tasks for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has been that of securing diversity in the ranks of its faculty. For some time now it has been the goal of UC Davis and the college to increase diversity in hiring and admissions, while aggressively recruiting the best and brightest teachers and students. For instance, women comprise just under 25 percent of the university’s ladder faculty and 21.6 percent of CA&ES’s. For people of color, the figures are 16.6 percent university-wide and 13 percent for CA&ES. We want to lead the university in diversity, not bring down the average. In many scientific disciplines women and people of color continue to be under-represented, a distortion that begins early in the education process. The college has been working very hard to address this issue -- and we’ve made some progress. As of last fall, 67 percent of CA&ES undergraduates are women. In the last five years, enrollment of African Americans, Native Americans, and Chicanos/Latinos has declined somewhat, while enrollment of Asian Americans has increased moderately. White enrollment has remained steady. CA&ES percentages are on par with those of UC Davis undergraduates as a whole. To a great degree, young women attending our college owe their increasing numbers to the women scientists who have come before them. For example, this week Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science, spoke to a group of over 200 women high school students about the field of biotechnology. Still, there is a shortage of scientists from underrepresented groups. Competition is fierce among public and private universities, state, local, and national government and private sector industry for the best and brightest scientists from underrepresented groups. Add to this the fact that women are often under great pressure to make a choice between family and career, and the competition becomes even more heated. The university’s emphasis on programs and policies such as Stop the Clock and the Partnership Opportunity Program should help alleviate some of these pressures and at the same time broaden the candidate pool. Our numbers are improving and we will continue to do whatever we can to insure that our faculty represent the population we serve. As always, 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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Alex McCalla Honored by Inter-American Institute
Alex McCalla, professor emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, was honored by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) at its recent 60th anniversary celebration held in Washington, D.C. The institute named 60 honorees from government, academia, and the private sector, recognizing their contributions to rural prosperity and food security in the Americas during the last 60 years.


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Paul Singh and Diane Barrett Awarded NASA Contract
Paul Singh of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and co-PI Diane Barrett, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, were recently awarded a $500,000 NASA contract. Paul will be designing a food processing apparatus for use in manned missions in deep space exploration, including NASA's manned mission to Mars. This project is aimed at developing a fruit and vegetable processing system that complements NASA's studies on growing various food crops in space. The challenging aspects of this project are the design constraints that include near zero discharge of water and other vapors, low or zero gravity conditions, low noise level, low weight and high energy use efficiencies. It is hoped that this three-year project will also help improve food processing systems on Earth. Barrett will study quality parameters of raw materials and processed products.

Paul Singh
Professor
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
[email protected]
(530) 752-0811

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Mondavi Institute Chooses Architect
The university has selected the Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership (ZGF) of Portland as architect for the new Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. Design partner Robert Frasca will collaborate with Laurie Olin of the Olin Partnership on the landscape design. ZGF was chosen from among six finalists to design the $78 million complex. ZGF has designed academic and research facilities for seven UC campuses, as well as Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University and Northwestern University. The Olin Partnership has been involved in several wineries in the Napa Valley such as Beringer Winery and Chateau St. Jean, as well as The J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles, Stanford University and the American Academy in Rome

Read all about itonline


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Advancing Afghan Agricultural Academics
With the cooperation of the Afghan government, Patrick Brown, professor of pomology and director of International Programs, is involved in rebuilding Afghanistan’s agriculture by helping re-establish agricultural education in that country -- from planting to post-harvest. Other campus researchers involved with the Afghanistan Agricultural Initiative include pomology professor Adel Kader; Paul Marcotte, sociology lecturer and associate director of International Programs; Frank Zalom, Cooperative Extension entomologist; Michael Reid, environmental horticulture professor; Chris van Kessel, agronomy and range science professor; Roberta Cook, Cooperative Extension specialist in agricultural economics; research assistant Ayesha Nibbe and crop consultant Farbod Youssefi. Many media outlets have covered the story recently -- the BBC, National Public Radio, and Capitol Press, among them.

Read more about the initiative and listen to the interviewson the Web

Patrick Brown
Professor
Department of Pomology
[email protected]
(530) 752-8474

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Fantastic Flavonoids Findings
The Sacramento Bee reported on assistant professor of food science and technology Alyson Mitchell’s new study which shows much higher levels of antioxidant flavonoids in fruits and corn grown using organic or “sustainable” farming systems as compared to conventionally grown foods. Also quoted in the story but not taking part in the study was food science professor Carl Winter, director of the FoodSafe program.

Read moreonline


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Conventional Crop Conversions Calculated
The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Karen Klonsky, CE farm management specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, on how growth in organic agriculture in the Central Valley is spurred by increasing market demand and the effects of tighter regulations and foreign competition on conventional farmers.

Read all about iton the Web


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Tahoe Turbidity Turnabout Touted
In an environmental good news story widely reported both in California and nationally, researchers with the UC Davis Tahoe Research Group, led by Charles Goldman of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, reported that in 2002, Lake Tahoe was the clearest it had been in 10 years. Though it is too soon to tell, the new finding could mean that science-based recovery projects in the region are making a difference. Dr. Goldman also was recently featured on Capitol Public Radio’s Insight program and lauded in a Reno Gazette-Journal editorial.

Los Angeles Times story
Reno Gazette-Journal editorial


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California West Nile Outbreak Feared
In a page A-1 article from the San Francisco Chronicle, UC Davis entomology professor Thomas Scott, who last year helped confirm California's first human case of West Nile virus, says major growth in the West Nile epidemic last year occurred in states where the Culex tarsalis mosquito is abundant. A California outbreak is likely in late summer or early fall.

Get the complete storyonline


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First in the World Grape DNA Testing Service
Beginning this month, UC Davis will offer a DNA profiling service for grapevine identification to grape growers, wineries, nursery managers, industry representatives and the public. No other such service -- public or private -- currently exists. The world’s most extensive database of grape DNA profiles, which was created by researchers in UC Davis’ Department of Viticulture and Enology, will be utilized for making identifications. The service is offered through Foundation Plant Materials Service (FPMS) and is managed by staff researcher Gerald Dangl in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, with years of grape DNA typing experience.

Gerald Dangl
Staff Researcher
Department of Viticulture and Enology
[email protected]
(530) 752-7540

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Kinsella Memorial Prize for Ph.D. Dissertations
The Kinsella Memorial Prize was established in honor of Professor John E. Kinsella. The annual award -- recently increased to $2,000 -- is presented to one or more outstanding students who submit a Ph.D. dissertation during the spring, fall or winter quarters immediately preceding the due date for the nomination. Nominations must include a one-page abstract of the dissertation and a three-page letter that elaborates on the quality and originality of the work; the multidisciplinary impact of the research; and the importance of the research to the college’s mission to serve agriculture, the environment and human health and development. Send nominations to Richard Engel, director of student services and outreach, CA&ES Dean’s Office, 150 Mrak Hall, by April 4, 2003. The Graduate Education Subcommittee will make selections; the winner(s) will be announced during commencement.


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Graduate Student Fellowships in Soil Carbon
The Kearney Foundation of Soil Science has funds to support a small number of competitive two-year graduate student fellowships -- stipend, resident fees and benefits are included. Fellowships can be requested to support currently enrolled graduate students conducting research concerning soil carbon relevant to the Kearney mission. Applications are due April 15, 2003.

Information and applications


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RFP: Faculty Research Grant Program and Junior Faculty Research Fellowships
The Committee on Research is now accepting applications from members of the Academic Senate for the Faculty Research Grant (FRG) Program as well as for the Junior Faculty Research Fellowships (JFRF). The application deadline for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Division of Biological Sciences is 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, April 15.

Application guidelines and more information


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UCTV Master Gardener Series
A veritable army of UC Davis luminaries is taking part in Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Series on UCTV. Episodes airing in March include Home Vineyard, Weed Management and Understanding Pesticides. UCTV is available on Dish Network channel 9412, as well as Davis and Sacramento cable stations. Among those taking part in the series are: Robert Norris, Tom Lanini, Joseph DiTomaso and Clyde Elmore of vegetable crops; Mary Louise Flint and Patrick O’Connor-Marer of the Statewide IPM Program; and Terrell Salmon of the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology.

Details and program schedules


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Arboretum Events
Mar. 16, 2 p.m. Tour: Greentime in the Arboretum. Meet at the Gazebo on Garrod Drive. Mar. 19, 7:45 a.m. – 5 p.m. Field trip: San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. Fee. Contact the Arboretum for details. Mar. 23, 11:00 a.m. Tour: Designing for Microclimates in your Garden. Meet at the Arboretum Terrace Garden, located next to Border’s Books on First Street. Mar. 23, 2:00 p.m. Tour: Campus Trees for your Landscape. Meet at Arboretum headquarters on LaRue Road. Free parking across the street. Mar. 30, 11:00 a.m. Tour: Wildlife Gardening. Meet at the Arboretum Terrace Garden, located next to Border’s Books on First Street. Mar. 30, 2:00 p.m. Tour: Getting Ready to Smell the Roses. Meet at the Gazebo on Garrod Drive.

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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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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