CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

May 13, 2003

Jun 03, 2014 admin

MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Contained Research Facility

WHO
Joe Cech Named Director of CABA
FireWise is a Big Hit
Kirk Klasing to Chair National Academy of Sciences Committee
Edward Taylor, Outstanding Faculty Advisor
Rob Thayer’s ‘LifePlace’
The Return of James Wolpert

IN THE NEWS
Ted Grosholz, Oysterman
Hand Weeding Headaches -- And Solutions
Judith Stern and Peter Havel on the Business of Obesity

WHAT
Call for Nominations: Consortium for Women and Research Outstanding Mentor Awards

WHAT
‘By the People’ Public Forums
Agricultural Experiment Station Faculty Town Hall Meeting
Thank Goodness for Staff Picnic, Wednesday, May 14
Arboretum Events

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Contained Research Facility
Emerging and invasive pests are just as much a threat to agriculture and our natural resources as are emerging diseases, such as SARS, to human and animal health. Our college will soon be opening a new facility that will allow our scientists to work on these threatening plant diseases and pests before they become established in California. This new contained research facility houses greenhouse and laboratory systems for biological research on exotic plant pests and disease organisms. The facility is designed to assure total containment. The lack of a secure research facility within the University of California has made it difficult to obtain state and federal authorization to study these exotic pests and diseases -- a handicap that puts California’s natural plant environment and agriculture at risk. The 1980-82 biological invasion of the Mediterranean fruit fly affected over 250 crops, and eradication costs totaled $100 million. Outbreaks re-occur at somewhat regular intervals. Similar invasions of other pests have followed, most recently, the Glassy-winged sharpshooter, which transmits Pierce’s disease. Based on a 5 percent continuous vine infestation, the projected costs for vine replacement, pest eradication and resulting reduced yield will be in excess of $600 million annually. We are also facing losses due to Sudden Oak Death, Plum Pox Virus, the Olive Fruit Fly and Imported Fire Ants, to name but a few. Like the proposed level 4 biosafety lab, the level 3 agricultural containment facility will have many safety features: Air moving into and out of labs and greenhouses will be filtered to provide a pathogen-free workspace. Liquid waste will be heated to 200 degrees F for 24 hours before release to the campus sanitary system. Greenhouses will be hermetically sealed with laminated, dual-paned glass. Interior finishes will be impenetrable. Solid waste entering and leaving the facility will be sterilized first. Mechanical systems will have redundant backup equipment and will be dedicated specifically to each greenhouse and laboratory. The agricultural facility’s air and waste handling systems are the same as a level-4 lab; the primary difference being that it is not necessary to protect workers from infection in the agricultural facility. Workers will be required to shower before entering and exiting secure research areas. Every research project will be reviewed individually to determine whether protective clothing or additional precautions are needed. Operations will be directed by a faculty director, a quarantine officer and support staff. The agricultural containment facility will be a useful teaching and research tool for all departments in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Division of Biological Sciences, as well as to related biomedical science units. Knowledge of emerging and invasive pests is our best protection, and level-3 and –4 biosafety containment facilities are key to doing the necessary research to gain knowledge while protecting local plant, animal and human populations. 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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Joe Cech Named Director of CABA
Wildlife, fish and conservation biology professor Joe Cech was recently named director for the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture (CABA). CABA was established to provide leadership, focus and support to UC Davis researchers addressing problems associated with California’s wild and cultured aquatic biological resources. The center is hoping to improve its experimental and rearing facilities, expand international opportunities to CABA-associated faculty and enhance graduate student funding for research on cold-water fishes. Visit the center at 1074 Academic Surge, open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


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FireWise is a Big Hit
The Center for Urban Forest Research’s new ecoSmart Design Software FireWise Tool allows users to test various firewise techniques. EcoSmart is a Web-based software program designed to evaluate trade-offs between different landscape practices on residential parcels and assess the threat of fire. EcoSmart’s other components include WaterWise and EnergyWise. The FireWise software is still in the beta-test stage, and could be used to train those conducting residential fire risk evaluations in conjunction with work by local FireWise councils. Field testing will begin this spring in various locations in the West.

More informationon the Web


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Kirk Klasing to Chair National Academy of Sciences Committee
Kirk Klasing of the Department of Animal Science was appointed to serve as chair of the National Academy of Sciences, NRC, committee on "Toxic Nutrients in Diets and Water for Animals." This committee will recommend levels of nutrients, especially minerals, that can be tolerated by animals without impinging on their health. Additionally, the committee will identify dietary elements that cause potential human health concerns due to build up in edible products. The published report will guide regulatory activities of the FDA and EPA.


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Edward Taylor, Outstanding Faculty Advisor
Congratulations to Professor J. Edward Taylor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and staff member Joanne Espitallier, Department of Human and Community Development, who won, respectively, the two campus-wide Outstanding Faculty and Staff Advisor Awards for 2003-03. In place for over two decades, this student-initiated project, coordinated by the Student Coordinator of the Academic Peer Advising Program in Advising Services, recognizes the advising contributions of faculty and staff. The award reception on Tuesday, May 13, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., International House. Vice Chancellor Judy Sakaki will present the awards.


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Rob Thayer’s ‘LifePlace’
In a new book, "LifePlace," Rob Thayer, professor emeritus of Landscape Architecture Program in the Department of Environmental Design, explains the concepts and promises of the growing bioregional movement, and gives a portrait of his own bioregion, the Sacramento Valley’s Putah-Cache watershed. A book signing and reception will be held at 4 p.m. on May 14 under the big oak tree west of Walker Hall.

More informationonline


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The Return of James Wolpert
For the second time during his tenure at UC Davis, James Wolpert has been named chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology. He takes over from interim chair Andy Waterhouse. Says CA&ES dean Neal Van Alfen, “We all welcome Jim back with open arms and look forward to his leadership as we complete plans and fundraising efforts for the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science."


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Ted Grosholz, Oysterman
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Edwin "Ted" Grosholz, a Cooperative Extension associate specialist in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, is part of a team of scientists from several environmental groups, fisheries programs and commercial oyster growers studying oyster restoration in the San Francisco Bay Area. Oysters, which can filter up to 30 liters of water a day each, may be one of the key components in restoring marine ecosystem health.

Get the whole storyonline


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Hand Weeding Headaches -- And Solutions
The Sacramento Bee ran a story on how advocates are renewing the fight to limit hand weeding in agricultural fields because of its health effects on farm workers. Steve Fennimore, a Cooperative Extension weed scientist with the Department of Vegetable Crops working in the Salinas Valley, says a ban on hand weeding would be disastrous for certain crops for which there is no effective herbicide available as an alternative. Tom Lanini, Department of Vegetable crops weed ecologist and member of the subcommittee studying the issue for the Division of Occupational Health and Safety, says he understands the concerns on both sides of the issue and is hopeful that a compromise can be reached. In a related article, Lanini, along with Ken Giles, David Slaughter, and Daniel Downey of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, are testing a video-guided, GPS-enhanced weed eater for farmers that may save the backs of weeding crews working in agricultural fields. A $500,000 USDA grant is helping fund the research.

Hand weeding article
Weed eater article


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Judith Stern and Peter Havel on the Business of Obesity
The Sacramento Business Journal featured nutrition professor and founder of the American Obesity Association Judith Stern as the lead source for a story on the impact of the obesity epidemic on business. Said Stern, "Business should care because obesity is increasing. Medical costs are higher, time lost from work can be higher and recovery from operations takes longer.” This article was part of series on how companies are profiting from the overweight. The series also featured Peter Havel, Department of Nutrition.

Read moreon the Web


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Call for Nominations: Consortium for Women and Research Outstanding Mentor Awards
The Consortium for Women and Research is calling for nominations for its eighth annual Outstanding Mentor Awards. Awards of $1,000 toward support of research or creative work honor Academic Senate and Academic Federation members for mentoring women scholars, both students and colleagues. Prior mentor award recipients are ineligible. Nomination deadline is noon, Thursday, May 29, 2003.

Information and nomination forms


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‘By the People’ Public Forums
Public television station KVIE Channel 6 will host a series of community forums as part of a new MacNeil/Lehrer Productions’ national initiative called “By the People: America in the World.” KVIE is one of only 15 public television stations from around the country selected to receive a grant to create local programming and host community events, in conjunction with a nationally broadcast forum. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is one of KVIE’s local partners in this venture. The forum series, “By The People: America’s Role in Feeding the World – A Conversation About Hearts, Minds & Hunger,” seeks to demonstrate the connection between local and global concerns. Two community forums will be held in Davis: Monday, May 19, 7 – 9 p.m., at International House; and Tuesday, May 20, 12 noon – 3 p.m., Memorial Union, MEE Room. To participate in one of the public forums, call (916) 641-3508 and indicate which forum you anticipate attending, the name of each attendee, a contact phone number.

KVIE program
National program


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Agricultural Experiment Station Faculty Town Hall Meeting
The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is holding an Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) faculty town hall meeting on Monday, June 9, 10 a.m. – 12 noon, in 3001 PES. Discussion will focus on the mission of the AES and how it relates to faculty appointments, the AES term appointment process and opportunities for AES outreach. A final agenda is being prepared and will be distributed prior to the meeting.

DeeDee M. Kitterman
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
[email protected]
(530) 752-9484

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Thank Goodness for Staff Picnic, Wednesday, May 14
A reminder: the annual TGFS picnic will be held on Wednesday, May 14, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., in Shields Grove. This year’s theme: ‘Holding UCD Together.’

More informationonline


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Arboretum Events
May 14, 12 noon. Tour: Walk with Arboretum Superintendent Warren Roberts. Meet on the south steps of Mrak Hall. May 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Spring Plant Sale. Open to the public. 10percent discount for members. Arboretum Nursery at Orchard Park May 17, 11 a.m. Tour: Insights from the Terrace Garden. Meet at the Terrace Garden. May 18, 2 p.m. Tour: Spring in the White Flower Garden. Meet at the Gazebo

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.

 

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