CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

August 04, 2005

May 29, 2014 admin


MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
A Message from Dean Van Alfen: Research Accomplishments

WHO
New Associate Deans
New Department Chairs
Desmond Jolly Receives National Award

IN THE NEWS
Endowed Chair for Agricultural Sustainability Institute
Center for Vectorborne Diseases: West Nile Virus in Sacramento Area
Bats Spread Disease: Raina Plowright Comments
Tailpipe Smoke Alert: Thomas Cahill Study
Whole Grain White Bread?: Lucia Kaiser Reports

WHAT
Did You Know?... Ants

WHAT
“Terroir” Conference, March 19–22, 2006
Arboretum Events

A Message from Dean Van Alfen: Research Accomplishments
Our college has a tremendous record of research accomplishments. During the 10-year period ending in 2002, our faculty members more than doubled their contracts and grants direct expenditures per faculty member (to $172,790 per instruction and research (I&R), Agricultural Experiment Station (AES), and Cooperative Extension (CE) faculty member in 2001–02). This accomplishment was achieved even during a time when some of the traditional major federal sources of funding for our faculty declined relative to other areas of the federal research and development (R&D) budget (e.g. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture). For instance, in 1976 the research budget of the Environmental Protection Agency represented 1.2 percent of the total federal R&D budget, while today it is only about 0.5 percent. The significant increase in the proportion of biomedical sciences funding in the federal R&D budget in the past 25 years has certainly helped many of our faculty members, but as we plan for the future, I think we can expect to see major increases in the R&D budgets of those agencies that will be addressing our country’s energy, water, global warming, and population growth issues. Our college is one of the leaders in the world in research in these areas, and we need to continue to find ways to augment the programs in our college that address these issues. This fall we will initiate a new planning process to help position our college to continue its tradition of success. As always, I value 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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New Associate Deans
Diane Ullman, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology, was appointed associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, effective October 1, 2005. Ullman has served on numerous college and campus committees, including service as chair of the college’s faculty personnel committee. Her research interests include insect vectors of plant pathogens, vector/pathogen interactions, and management of insect-transmitted pathogens in agricultural and ornamental ecosystems.

According to Neal Van Alfen, Ullman has the vision, leadership skills, and fresh perspective needed to help faculty develop exciting teaching and curricular initiatives. She designed the innovative course “Art, Science and the World of Insects” (ENT 1), which is viewed across campus as being an exceptionally successful class, fusing science and art.

James Hill, agronomist in the Department of Plant Sciences, was appointed associate dean for international programs, effective September 1, 2005. He has served as chair of the college’s former Department of Agronomy and Range Science, which recently merged with three other departments to become the Department of Plant Sciences. Currently, Hill serves as vice chair for outreach and extension in the new department.

Hill is program leader and division head of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. He was a founding member of the Temperate Rice Conference and served as chair of the International Steering Committee. He served on the steering committees of the Global Food and Water Challenge Programs of the Future Harvest Centers and the Mediterranean Rice Working Group. Hill is a fellow in the American Society of Agronomy.

Diane Ullman
(530) 752-3799
[email protected]

Jim Hill
(530) 752-3548
[email protected]




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New Department Chairs
Professor Charles Bamforth, who holds the Anheuser-Busch Professorship in Brewing Sciences, is the new chair of the Department of Food Science and Technology. His research covers issues relevant to maltsters and brewers, primarily focusing on product quality. Bamforth researches flavor stability, foam stability, beer chemistry relationship to perception, composition and breakdown of the cell wall in barley, and the wholesomeness of beer.

Professor Mary Delany, a developmental geneticist, is the new chair of the Department of Animal Science. Delany’s research interests include avian developmental genetics, embryology, cytogenetics, and genomics. She was part of an international research team that sequenced the chicken genome (the first genome of a livestock or bird species ever sequenced). Professors Thomas Famula and Anita Oberbauer are vice chairs of the department.

Professor Steven Nadler was named chair of the Department of Nematology. Nadler’s primary research project is a National Science Foundation Tree-of-Life project on nematode phylogeny. Nadler also has an NSF project involving the evolutionary history of the nematode lungworms. Nadler succeeds Edward Caswell-Chen, who is now Associate Dean for Programs, Graduate Studies.

Professor Thomas Gordon was named chair of the Department of Plant Pathology. Gordon’s expertise includes the ecology and evolution of plant pathogenic fungi, fungal-insect interactions, and disease control. Pitch canker disease on Monterey pine is currently a major focus of his research activity.

Professor Andrew Walker, who holds the Louis P. Martini Endowed Chair in Viticulture, has been named vice chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology. His research program focuses on developing new rootstocks with resistance to fanleaf, dagger and root-knot nematodes, and phylloxera. His lab is also involved in breeding table, raisin, and wine grapes for resistance to Pierce's disease and powdery mildew.


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Desmond Jolly Receives National Award
Desmond Jolly, a specialist in Cooperative Extension in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, has been awarded the 2005 Outstanding Black Agricultural Economist Award by the Committee on the Opportunities and Status of Blacks in Agricultural Economics. The award honors economists who have made exceptional contributions in teaching, research, and other professional endeavors.

Jolly joined the UC Davis faculty in 1971. His research focuses on price, demand, and outlook studies for a variety of specialty crops, consumer demand for organic products, and small-farm performance. He is director of the statewide UC Small Farm Program and Small Farm Center and served as vice chair of the National Commission on Small Farms. He recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Farm Conference for his contributions to the small-farm community.

Desmond A. Jolly
Small Farm Center
[email protected]
(530) 752-8136

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Endowed Chair for Agricultural Sustainability Institute
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation donated $1.5 million to establish an endowed chair in the new Agricultural Sustainability Institute. The foundation will also sponsor an annual symposium on the sustainability of agriculture and food systems.

Neal Van Alfen, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said, "We are pleased that the Kellogg Foundation shares our vision for establishing UC Davis as an international hub for research and training in sustainable agriculture." The institute was established this year. Cal Qualset, professor emeritus in the former agronomy and range science department, is interim director.

Daily Democrat


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Center for Vectorborne Diseases: West Nile Virus in Sacramento Area
The discovery came through routine district testing and was confirmed by analysis conducted in July by the Center for Vectorborne Diseases at UC Davis. KXTV Channel 10 carried the report. In a follow-up article in the Sacramento Bee on how West Nile virus spreads, Tom Scott, professor in the Department of Entomology, is quoted.

KXTV Channel 10 (ABC)
Sacramento Bee

Thomas Scott
Professor
Department of Entomology
[email protected]
(530) 754-4196

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Bats Spread Disease: Raina Plowright Comments
Raina Plowright, a graduate student at UC Davis' Center for Vectorborne Diseases, says that bats known as "red flying foxes" in Australia pose "an incredible concern" for human health and ecosystem health because of their ability to spread deadly viruses. “…We really need to understand what sort of changes are occurring in the ecology of flying foxes and how that can be driving the spill over of diseases into other species,” says Plowright.

Raina Plowright
[email protected]

Australian Broadcasting Corp. Online


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Tailpipe Smoke Alert: Thomas Cahill Study
Thomas Cahill, professor emeritus of physics and atmospheric sciences in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, is the lead scientist on a study released by the American Lung Association that examined particulate pollution from traffic on major thoroughfares in Sacramento. "Smoking cars appear to be getting a free ride, and they are much more important in terms of the material (they emit) and toxicity than are big diesel trucks," said Cahill. “These cars should be controlled." (Sacramento Bee article) KCRA Channel 3 reported on a related study involving Cahill and students from Mira Loma, Luther Burbank, and Davis High schools who examined asthma's link to indoor air quality. Cahill and the students used high-tech filters to trap the tiniest particles from airborne dust, car soot, and other sources. These particles go deep into the lungs where they can cause permanent damage, according to Cahill. The group determined that students track the particles into classrooms from outdoors. They came up with simple, affordable solutions that can be used at home.

Thomas Cahill
(530) 752-4674
[email protected]

Sacramento Bee
KCRA Channel 3


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Whole Grain White Bread?: Lucia Kaiser Reports
Lucia Kaiser, specialist in Cooperative Extension in the Department of Nutrition, analyzed new bread products baked by Sacramento companies that are aimed at consumers who enjoy white bread but want the health benefits of whole grain.

Kaiser commented that the new Sara Lee and Interstate breads “are much more similar to commercial whole wheat bread in their fiber content than white bread." Consumers say that the new whole-grain breads taste like white bread.

Sacramento Bee

Lucia Kaiser
Community Nutrition Specialist
Department of Nutrition
[email protected]
(530) 754-9063

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Did You Know?... Ants
Ever wonder how many ants are in a colony? Danielle DuCharme, specialist and spokeswoman for the Bohart Museum of Entomology, says that usually ant colonies contain several hundred ants, although different species develop colonies that range in size from 10 members to 10 million individual ants. Phil Ward, professor of entomology and an expert on ants, adds that in this area you would see colonies of several hundred ants -- around 500.

Gilroy Dispatch

For more on ants and other insects, visit the Bohart Museum of Entomology page:
http://bohart.ucdavis.edu

The Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program has information on identifying and controlling ants in home, garden, and agricultural situations. Visit the IPM page:
http://ipm.ucdavis.edu


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“Terroir” Conference, March 19–22, 2006
Researchers and wine industry representatives will gather March 19–22, 2006, at UC Davis for an international conference, "Terroir 2006: A Dialogue Between Earth Scientists and Winemakers." The conference will be hosted by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. Keynote speaker for the conference is Jancis Robinson, a wine writer and editor of the Oxford Companion to Wine. Other speakers include winemakers, wine writers, and academics, who will address terroir around the world, geology, soils, nutrients, climate, water, and the impact of global climate change. Field trips to vineyards in the Napa and Sonoma valleys and the Sierra foothills are included in the program, and a reception and dinner will be held at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. Conference program and speaker information:
http://terroir2006.ucdavis.edu/


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Arboretum Events
Tours meet at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center and start at 10:00 a.m.

Sunday, August 14: Get Away to the Redwoods -- in Davis!
Enjoy a fresh, cool, and shady respite from the summer heat.

Sunday, August 21: Redwoods in the Summer Heat
Learn about the adaptations that keep redwoods cool in mid-summer.

Saturday, August 27: Life and Times of a Redwood
Some of the longest-lived organisms on the planet, redwoods can survive drought, fire, pests, and predators.

For information on arboretum events:
(530) 752-4880
http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.htm


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Visit CA&ES Currents online at http://caes.ucdavis.edu/NewsEvents/currents.

CA&ES Currents, the faculty/staff newsletter of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis, is published on the first and third Thursday of each month (in July and August, only on the first Thursday.)

News deadline is noon Monday preceding Thursday publication. Send news items to editor, [email protected].

Issue Editor:
Ann Filmer
(530) 754-6788
[email protected]

Contributors: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser, Rhoda McKnight, Neal Van Alfen, John Weston.

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