CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

December 01, 2005

Jun 03, 2014 admin


MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Graduate Student Support

WHO
Jim Hill, Paul Gepts: Fellows, Crop Science Society of America
Jeff Loux: Cal/EPA Award

IN THE NEWS
Honey Bees and Mites: Eric Mussen Reports
Low-Income Diets: Marilyn Townsend Discusses
Domestic Caviar from Sturgeon: Joel Van Eenennaam and Fred Conte’s Expertise
Animal Behavioral Syndromes: Andy Sih’s Research

WHAT
Artisanal Women Farmers; December 8, 2005
Arboretum Events: December

WHAT
Pesticide Illness: New Tools and Technological Advances; December 5, 2005
Alfalfa and Forage Symposium; December 12–14, 2005
Newsletters: Electronic, Print, or Both?; January 4, 2006

A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Graduate Student Support
Graduate student education is one of the most important roles of the faculty in any major research university. Not only do we need to train our successors, but in a knowledge-driven economy, graduate education is increasingly important to the economic vitality of our state and nation.

The health of graduate education at the University of California is a current topic of discussion and concern, so it is wise for our college to assess our current status. Over the past three years (2001–2004) we have experienced a 14 percent growth in numbers of graduate students mentored by our faculty and a 12.5 percent growth in student credit hours taught in graduate courses by our faculty. This growth has occurred during a period when we have been challenged by the difficulties our international students are experiencing in obtaining visas.

Our growth in graduate education obviously reflects a commitment by our faculty to recruit graduate students and by the college in our continued investment in graduate student education. Our college is fortunate to have endowments that provide significant support for our graduate students: the Dean's Office invests about $1.7 million each year in direct support of graduate students and the administration of graduate groups and programs. This support comes through a combination of endowment and college-appropriated funds, and does not include those funds provided by endowments held by individual departments.

Although this is a significant investment, it is not enough. The upcoming comprehensive campaign will have graduate student support as a top priority in our fundraising efforts. We will provide more information as the planning process continues.

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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Jim Hill, Paul Gepts: Fellows, Crop Science Society of America
Jim Hill and Paul Gepts have been selected as fellows of the Crop Science Society of America for 2005. They were nominated by colleagues in two professional societies. Jim Hill is a specialist in Cooperative Extension in the plant sciences department and associate dean for International Programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. His research and extension programs focus on rice production in California. He collaborated with the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation in the statewide evaluation and subsequent registration of 18 short-stature rice varieties and germplasm releases. He also conducts research and education programs on weed, water, and fertility management of rice. Paul Gepts is a professor and geneticist in the plant sciences department. His research focuses on plant germplasm diversity and utilization. He elucidated the domestication pattern, gene flow, and diversity in several Phaseolus (bean) species. Gepts also teaches a course on the evolution of crop plants. James Hill
(530) 752-3458
[email protected] Paul Gepts
(530) 752-7743
[email protected]


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Jeff Loux: Cal/EPA Award
Jeff Loux, adjunct professor in landscape architecture and director of the Land Use and Natural Resources Program in UC Davis Extension, led a team of educators that recently received a California Environmental Protection Agency award for its education and training program. Loux directed the interdisciplinary team of Laura Kaplan, Sharon Huntsman, and Jodie Monaghan from the Center for Collaborative Policy (California State University, Sacramento) and Lou Hexter from MIG, Inc. The team developed an education and training program for the public on the water quality programs and decisions of the state water boards and the nine regional water boards. The team is completing a published version of the training which will be used by water board staff throughout California. Jeff Loux
(530) 757-8577
[email protected]


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Honey Bees and Mites: Eric Mussen Reports
Tracheal and varroa mites are back with a vengeance, and once again destroying the honey bee populations needed for pollination of almonds and many other crops. Eric Mussen, a specialist in Cooperative Extension in the entomology department, reports in two news articles that beekeepers are low on “magic bullets” to control the destructive mites. It is estimated that 40 percent of commercial bees in the U.S. were killed by the mites last year. Some individual beekeepers have lost most of their bee colonies. Tracheal and varroa mites caused significant bee losses a decade ago, but in much lower numbers than are being reported now. The mites are seemingly resistant to commercial control methods. Mussen is researching alternatives for mite control. The Daily Democrat
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/in_the_news/full_text/view_clip.lasso?id=13248 The San Francisco Chronicle
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/in_the_news/full_text/view_clip.lasso?id=13375 Eric Mussen
(530) 752-0472
[email protected]


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Low-Income Diets: Marilyn Townsend Discusses
Socioeconomic levels affect obesity levels for many Americans. Marilyn Townsend, a specialist in Cooperative Extension in the nutrition department, noted in a CNN interview that “people living in low-income communities are far more likely to be overweight than people living in middle-income communities.” She notes that there are many factors involved, including exercise levels and food selection choices. CNN
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/in_the_news/full_text/view_clip.lasso?id=13383 Marilyn Townsend
(530) 754-9222
[email protected]


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Domestic Caviar from Sturgeon: Joel Van Eenennaam and Fred Conte’s Expertise
“A recent U.S. ban on beluga caviar [from a threatened species] from the Caspian and Black seas has sparked a boom for U.S. fish farms, which are stepping in to provide gourmet stores and high-end restaurants the much-loved salted eggs, or roe, from sturgeon,” according to an article in the Washington Post. Joel Van Eenennaam, a researcher in the animal science department, noted in the article that “the source of caviar in the future will be fish farms.” Fred Conte, an aquaculture specialist in the animal science department, noted in the Boston Herald, that “California is the caviar capital of America.” Conte has compiled statistics on the growth of the domestic white sturgeon caviar industry. Two companies in California are reported to be producing caviar. The Washington Post
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/in_the_news/full_text/view_clip.lasso?id=13373 The Boston Herald
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/in_the_news/full_text/view_clip.lasso?id=13291 Joel Van Eenennaam
(530) 752-2058
[email protected] Fred Conte
(530) 752-7689
[email protected]


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Animal Behavioral Syndromes: Andy Sih’s Research
“A growing number of researchers are rejecting the decades-old notion that nonhuman creatures are instinctive automatons devoid of feelings,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Where even some skeptical scientists were comfortable acknowledging that dogs, dolphins, and chimpanzees show signs of personality, this new field sees a spectrum of temperament and emotions among almost all animals . . . even fruit flies.” Andy Sih, professor and chair of environmental science and policy, notes in the article that he and his colleagues take a holistic view. “Some scientists study bird songs, or prey behavior, or mating behavior. We are saying they are all related. . . . It makes things a lot more complicated, but if that is the reality, you have to account for that,” Sih said. Other UC Davis researchers cited in the article include Judith Stamps, Rick Grosberg, and Peter Marler. The Los Angeles Times
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/in_the_news/full_text/view_clip.lasso?id=13367 Andy Sih
(530) 754-7243
[email protected]


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Artisanal Women Farmers; December 8, 2005
To celebrate the Small Farm Center’s new book, “Outstanding in Their Fields: California’s Women Farmers,” 10 of the women interviewed in the book will be present at a reception at the Recreation Pool Lodge, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. on December 8. The event is free, and the book will be available for sale.

The women attending the event – beekeepers, mead producers, winemakers, cheesemakers, farmers, and ranchers – will speak about their agricultural experiences and will display and share some of their products. The book interviews 17 farmers and ranchers, and offers a wealth of information about California women in agriculture. Many of the women profiled entered their agricultural profession as a career change.

Kira O’Donnell
Small Farm Center
(530) 752-5351
[email protected]


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Arboretum Events: December
The following guided tours are free and open to the public. For additional information, contact the UC Davis Arboretum at http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/.

“Words in the Garden”
Sunday, December 4, 2:00 p.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center
Writers use plants as metaphors, to set a mood, or create a sense of place. Arboretum docent Jeannette Robertson and professor of English David Robertson will lead visitors through the California native plant collections and read works by local writers who have been inspired by the arboretum or Putah Creek.

“Walk with Warren”
Wednesday, December 14, 12:00 noon, Mrak Hall, south entrance
Join arboretum superintendent Warren Roberts for a lunchtime stroll in the arboretum. Enjoy the crisp fall weather, learn about the arboretum’s collections, and get a little exercise.


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Pesticide Illness: New Tools and Technological Advances; December 5, 2005
Robert Schlag, chief of the Pesticide Epidemiology Unit, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Cal/EPA, will speak on “Pesticide Illness: New Tools and Technological Advances.” The seminar will be held Monday, December 5, 4 to 5 p.m. in Hart Hall, Room 3201.

The seminar is sponsored by the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, the Masters of Public Health Program, the Small Farm Center, and the Center for Environmental Health Sciences.

Contact:
Stephen McCurdy
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
(530) 752-8051
[email protected]


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Alfalfa and Forage Symposium; December 12–14, 2005
The 35th annual Alfalfa and Forage Symposium will be held in Visalia on December 12–14. The focus will be on alfalfa, the state's leading acreage crop. It will also feature other harvested forages and the linkage of forage production with dairy production in Tulare County – California’s dairy center.

A pre-symposium day-long tour of the lower San Joaquin Valley will visit a Friesian horse ranch, a heritage museum, a dairy farm, and alfalfa and winter forage production sites. The symposium will cover industry trends, environmental issues, pest management, producing forages for dairy systems, and strategies for optimizing forage quality, including the impacts of genetic engineering.

The symposium is sponsored by the UC Alfalfa Workgroup, UC Cooperative Extension, ANR, and the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences. For further information, visit the symposium site:
http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/+symposium/current/index.html.

Janice Corner
(530) 752-7091
[email protected]


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Newsletters: Electronic, Print, or Both?; January 4, 2006
Ann Filmer, editor of “CA&ES Currents” and senior writer for the Dean’s Office, will present “Newsletters: Electronic, Print, or Both?” as part of the CA&ES Communications Series on Wednesday, January 4, 2006, 10–11 a.m., in Mrak Hall, Room 203. The session will cover topics to consider before starting a newsletter, including audience and message identification, content, production considerations, and distribution. There is no cost for CA&ES personnel to attend, but pre-registration is requested. Contact:
Karen Scott
(530) 754-8578
[email protected]


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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.

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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