CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

September 01, 2005

May 29, 2014 admin

A Message from Dean Van Alfen: West Nile Virus

Jean VanderGheynst: Engineering Educator Award
Zeb Hogan Garners Award
New Management Service Officers (MSOs)
Brenna Aegerter, New Farm Advisor, San Joaquin County

Rand Conger Studies Mexican American Families
“Good Bugs” Clean Up MTBE: Kate Scow’s Research

CA&ES Communications Series
Media Training

Arboretum Event, September 10, 2005
Fresh-Cut Products: Maintaining Quality and Safety, September 13–15, 2005
Plant Sciences in the 21st Century, September 27, 2005
Pistachio Production Short Course, November 8–10, 2005

A Message from Dean Van Alfen: West Nile Virus
West Nile virus has presented extraordinary challenges to our local communities this summer. Many members of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the School of Medicine, and the School of Veterinary Medicine have served as invaluable sources of technical information for the media, health providers, community governments and organizations, and the general public.

As our regional communities continue to grapple with West Nile virus and the sometimes heated decisions about mosquito control, experts in our college will undoubtedly continue to be called upon to provide sound, scientific-based information to a variety of groups.

I thank everyone in our college who has contributed to researching and providing information about West Nile virus. Some of the many names associated with our college that have appeared recently in the news include Walter Boyce, Art Craigmill, Bruce Hammock, Michael Parrella, Bill Reisen, Rick Roush, Tom Scott, Ron Tjeerdema, Tom Zaortink, and the Center for Vectorborne Diseases.

I thank these individuals, others working on West Nile virus, and our colleagues in the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Meanwhile, our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones to the virus, and to those who have been made ill by the virus.

As always, I value your feedback. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail me.

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

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Jean VanderGheynst: Engineering Educator Award
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has named Jean VanderGheynst, professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, the 2005 winner of the A.W. Farrall Young Educator Award. The award was presented at the society's annual meeting in Florida.

The ASABE stated that her “enthusiasm, energy, knowledge, and commitment has made her a role model and guide for numerous university students.” VanderGheynst is a recognized leader in biological engineering, particularly in integrating molecular biology with engineering. She is an executive board member of the California Organics Recycling Council and the California Compost Quality Council, and an editorial board member of Compost Science and Utilization.

ASABE Web site, with link to press release under “Awards / 2005 Major Award Recipients”

Jean VanderGheynst
(530) 752-0989
[email protected]

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Zeb Hogan Garners Award
Zeb Hogan won the UNEP/CMS Thesis Award on Migratory Species Conservation. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) is an intergovernmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), concerned with the conservation of global wildlife and habitats. Hogan’s thesis on the endangered Mekong giant catfish made a significant contribution to improve the fish’s conservation status under the convention. Hogan finished his Ph.D. dissertation last winter under Peter Moyle, professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, and Bernie May, adjunct professor in the Department of Animal Science. Hogan is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin, working on giant freshwater fishes of the world.

Photo and story

Zeb Hogan
(530) 752-6351
[email protected]

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New Management Service Officers (MSOs)
Three new management service officers have joined the college. We welcome them. Karen Gurley joined the Department of Food Science and Technology as the new MSO in August. For the last ten years, Gurley worked in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and was the department MSO for three years. Karen Gurley has also worked in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and in the School of Medicine. Carol Guthrie is the new MSO, starting in September, in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Previously she was MSO of NEAT-ORU (Nanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture, and Technology Organized Research Unit). Prior to working on campus, Carol spent 8 years working overseas with the Department of Defense. Judy Howard joined the Division of Textiles and Clothing as the management services officer. For the last twelve years, Howard has worked in the FoodSafe Program at UC Davis where she oversaw many of the business operations. Prior to the FoodSafe Program, she provided administrative support in the Division of Textiles and Clothing, including five months as the acting MSO. Karen Gurley
(530) 752-8079
[email protected]

Carol Guthrie
(530) 752-1518
[email protected]

Judy Howard
(530) 752-2647
[email protected]

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Brenna Aegerter, New Farm Advisor, San Joaquin County
Brenna Aegerter is the new UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for vegetable crops in San Joaquin County. Aegerter earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology at UC Davis. She has been working as a postdoctoral researcher with Professor Thomas Gordon. San Joaquin County is one of the leading vegetable producing counties in California. Production agriculture and water quality issues will be a focus of this position. Aegerter will begin her new appointment on October 1, 2005. Brenna Aegerter
[email protected]

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Rand Conger Studies Mexican American Families
Rand Conger, professor in the Department of Human and Community Development, is principal investigator for a $5.4 million study of Mexican American families in Sacramento. He says that family values, traditions, and how relatives communicate are among the areas to be explored. "What is it that happens in the families of Mexican American children who are successful, compared with those who end up dropping out of school, who may end up having trouble with the police and so on?" said Conger. “Once we have the answers, we can use that information to create programs that will help families raise children who are more successful."

Sacramento Bee

Rand Conger
(530) 754-7357
[email protected]

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“Good Bugs” Clean Up MTBE: Kate Scow’s Research
Tesoro Corporation in southern California sought the help of Kate Scow, professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, when faced with the cleanup of a thick layer of gasoline floating on the groundwater that leaked from a former filling station. The groundwater had MTBE levels up to 100,000 parts per billion (ppb); the acceptable limit for drinking water is 5 ppb. Scientists in Scow’s lab discovered a microbe strain that feeds on MTBE.

San Bernardino County Sun

Kate Scow
(530) 752-4632
[email protected]

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CA&ES Communications Series
A new training series has been developed for those in the college involved in communications, relations, and fundraising. The twelve one-hour sessions are offered at no cost, starting on September 14. Participants can enroll in some or all sessions. The schedule:


  1. Our fundraising campaign: Where do I start?
    Sept. 14, 2005, 2-3 p.m.
    Christine Schmidt
    Director of Major Gifts, CA&ES Dean's Office
  2. Plan? We don't have a plan!
    Sept. 29, 2005, 10-11 a.m.
    Lisa Lapin
    Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Communications
  3. How do I get the publicity I want?
    Oct. 13, 2005, 10-11 a.m.
    Pat Bailey
    Science Writer, UC Davis News Service
  4. The party begins when???
    Oct. 19, 2005, 10-11 a.m.
    Claudette Oriol
    Event Coordinator, CA&ES Dean's Office
  5. Connecting with alumni: Orchestrating a win-win
    Nov. 16, 2005, 10-11 a.m.
    Rich Engel
    Director of College Relations, CA&ES Dean's Office
  6. The Web: Balancing content, creativity, compliance
    Nov. 30, 2005, 10-11 a.m.
    John Weston
    Webmaster, CA&ES Dean's Office
  7. Newsletters: Electronic, print, or both?
    Jan. 4, 2006, 10-11 a.m.
    Ann King Filmer
    Senior Writer, CA&ES Dean's Office
  8. Writing right!
    Jan. 18, 2006, 10-11 a.m.
    Rhoda McKnight
    Director of Communications, CA&ES Dean's Office
  9. … Worth more than a thousand words (effective photography)
    Feb. 1, 2006, 10-11 a.m.
    Margarita Camarena
    Senior Artist, CA&ES Dean's Office
  10. Design as visual and functional expression
    Feb. 15, 2006, 10-11 a.m.
    Laurie Lewis
    Design Manager, University Communications
  11. Less is more (creating effective presentations)
    March 1, 2006, 10-11 a.m.
    Margarita Camarena, Senior Artist, CA&ES Dean's Office
    Ann King Filmer, Senior Writer, CA&ES Dean's Office
  12. On time and within budget …
    March 15, 2006, 10-11 a.m.
    Rhoda McKnight
    Director of Communications, CA&ES Dean's Office

Please register for sessions by contacting:

Karen Scott
CA&ES Dean's Office
(530) 754-8578
[email protected]

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Media Training
University Communications is offering full-day media training workshops for scientists, faculty, staff, and students of UC Davis. The workshops cover the benefits and risks of working with the news media, including strategies for accommodating print and broadcast journalists. Participants learn what to do when a reporter calls, how to prepare for successful interviews, and how to develop media messages and talking points. Workshop dates:
September 23, 2005
October 24, 2005
November 21, 2005
December 5, 2005
January 19, 2006
March 9, 2006
April 13, 2006
May 18, 2006

The cost for the full-day program is $25, which includes lunch and materials. To register, contact: Paul Pfotenhauer
UC Davis News Service
(530) 752-6397
[email protected]

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Arboretum Event, September 10, 2005
Ecology of the Redwood Forest
10:00 a.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center
In this tour, learn about the complex interconnections between redwoods and the soil, climate, other plants, and animals in the forest.

For information on arboretum events:
(530) 752-4880

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Fresh-Cut Products: Maintaining Quality and Safety, September 13–15, 2005
This annual three-day workshop is designed for individuals from the fresh and processed fruit and vegetable industries, particularly food scientists, food engineers, quality assurance personnel, and new product development staff. The course also is valuable to representatives from research institutions, the restaurant and institutional food industries, and packaging and ingredient suppliers.

Fresh-cut products — minimally processed refrigerated fruits and vegetables — are a rapidly expanding food segment of interest to the produce industry, food manufacturers, retail food outlets, restaurants, and institutional food establishments. With this increased interest in fresh-cut products, manufacturers want to meet consumer demand with quality packaging that is safe, maintains freshness, and extends shelf life.

The workshop will be held at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center on campus.

For technical content information, contact:
Marita Cantwell
(530) 752-7305
[email protected]

For registration information, contact:
Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center
[email protected]

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Plant Sciences in the 21st Century, September 27, 2005
The UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences will host a symposium on September 27, 2005, in Freeborn Hall. The purpose of the symposium is twofold: 1) Provide an overview of current trends and future outlook of agricultural sustainability, biodiversity and conservation, plant genetics, and international agricultural development in the plant sciences, and 2) Showcase the breadth and depth of current research, teaching, and extension/outreach activities in the plant sciences at UC Davis and in collaboration with Cooperative Extension advisors. Distinguished speakers have been invited from outside the university to address these areas; and eight speakers from within the Department of Plant Sciences will present their research/views on the same issues. A poster session will reflect research programs in plant sciences. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Department of Plant Sciences, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the Storer Life Sciences Endowment. There is no fee for the symposium, and lunch will be provided for those that preregister. For a complete agenda and registration information, see: Contact:
Kitty Schlosser
(530) 752-9104
[email protected]

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Pistachio Production Short Course, November 8–10, 2005
The 2005 Pistachio Production Short Course is designed to deliver the latest research-based production practices that enable pistachio growers, production managers, and pest control consultants to better achieve their pistachio growing goals. The course covers the economics of establishment and production, orchard site selection and development, cultivars and rootstocks, production practices, pest management, and postharvest handling. The course is held every five years; this 2005 program will be held in Fresno. For more information on the program and how to register, see: Contact:
Donna Seaver
Department of Plant Sciences
(530) 754-9708
[email protected]

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Visit CA&ES Currents online at

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

To be added to or deleted from this electronic newsletter list, please write to [email protected].

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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