CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

November 8, 2007

May 27, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean








A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: College Budget Process

Each year at this time my office prepares information about the college’s budget to share with the faculty. I consider the administration of the college’s resources to be one of my most important responsibilities as dean. I also feel it is important to have a transparent budgeting process vetted by the faculty.

The process that the college uses to fund departments is unique in that it is not based on historic allotments. Rather, each department’s budget is determined anew every year based on a set of formulaic drivers that include work-load and incentive drivers. Zero-based budgeting allows us to respond to new conditions and needs as they arise.

Recently, in my annual financial report to our chairs and the College Executive Committee, I shared all budget categories and amounts, including all sources of funding available to my office for regular budgetary items, start-up of faculty, and building projects. I present this annual report to ensure that our funding priorities are consistent with those of the faculty.

There is not enough space here to give a complete report, so let me summarize by saying that under Tom Kaiser’s careful watch, our college is doing very well financially, even though we endured major cuts in our budget about five years ago. We have the flexibility to fund start-ups for new faculty and to launch some new initiatives in the college. We also increased the funding of specific work-load drivers of the department budgets this year. Please let me know if you would like to receive a copy of the budget report materials that I shared with faculty.

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]

Back to top ^


Peter Richerson: AAAS Fellow

Professor Peter Richerson of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy was one of five UC Davis faculty elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this year, a highly regarded distinction in the field of science. Richerson was elected "for distinguished contributions to the newly emerging field of evolutionary social science, particularly for the development and application of cultural evolutionary theory."

Richerson's pioneering work, almost all in collaboration with Professor Robert Boyd at UCLA, applies concepts and methods of evolutionary biology to the phenomena of cultural change in humans. Recently, he and UC Davis colleagues Richard McElreath, associate professor of anthropology, and Mark Lubell, associate professor of environmental science and policy, have developed laboratory investigations of culture transmission and cultural evolution.

AAAS fellows are chosen by their peers in recognition of their efforts to advance science and its applications in a wide variety of fields. This year, 471 members were elected as association fellows. The new fellows will be honored in a ceremony during the AAAS annual meeting in Boston next February.

Peter Richerson
(530) 752-2781
[email protected]

Back to top ^


Thomas Scott: AAAS Fellow 

Professor Thomas Scott, vice chair of the Department of Entomology and director of the UC Mosquito Research Laboratory, was one of five UC Davis faculty elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this year, a highly regarded distinction in the field of science. Scott was elected for his "distinguished contributions to the biology and ecology of mosquitoes and his leadership in developing strategic concepts for preventing dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases."

Scott's current research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of dengue, a disease commonly found in the tropics, and the ecology of the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, that transmits the virus that causes the disease. Scott maintains dengue field research projects in Khamphaeng Phet, Thailand; Iquitos, Peru; and Tapachula, Mexico. He also researches West Nile virus, transmitted by Culex mosquitoes.

AAAS fellows are chosen by their peers in recognition of their efforts to advance science and its applications in a wide variety of fields. This year, 471 members were elected as association fellows. The new fellows will be honored in a ceremony during the AAAS annual meeting in Boston next February.

Thomas Scott
(530) 754-4196
[email protected]

Back to top ^


Christine Bruhn: FDA Risk Communication Advisory Committee

Christine Bruhn, food science and technology extension specialist, has been selected as one of 15 voting members of the Food and Drug Administration’s new Risk Communication Advisory Committee. Bruhn’s research focuses on consumer issues in food safety and quality. She investigates consumer food handling practices, quantifies food safety concerns, explores consumer information needs, and identifies preferred sources of information. On the FDA committee, she will serve as an expert in food safety communication and risk perception.

Christine Bruhn
(530) 752-2774
[email protected]

Back to top ^

Zalom Leads Entomology Exchange

Entomology professor Frank Zalom, an integrated pest management (IPM) specialist with Cooperative Extension, recently led a team of five U.S. university scientists to China on a two-week scientific exchange. The exchange was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.

The exchange program, launched in 1978, aims to improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture between the two agricultural superpowers. The United States leads the world in the economic value of agricultural products, while China leads the world in agricultural volume.

During his visit, Zalom visited IPM research and extension centers in the Beijing, Sichuan, Fujian, and Shanghai regions. He participated in seminars on “Research, Education and Extension of IPM in China and the United States” at the China Agricultural University, Beijing, and at the Fujian Provincial Academy of Agricultural Science, Fuzhou. In addition, Zalom conferred with Chinese scientists on quarantine and invasive pest control issues. He also toured the National Quarantine Research Institute and viewed IPM projects in all four regions, including the Beijing IPM Extension Station.

Frank Zalom
(530) 752-3687
[email protected]  

Back to top ^


Top-Ranked Conservation Biology Program

Conservation Biology, the top research journal in the field, ranked UC Davis researchers first in the nation in scholarly productivity in the field of conservation biology. Conservation biology is the development of the scientific and technical means for the protection, maintenance, and restoration of life on Earth – its species and habitats, and associated ecological and evolutionary processes.

The study, "Academic Institutions in the United States and Canada Ranked According to Research Productivity in the Field of Conservation Biology," appears in the October, 2007, issue of the journal. The new report is the first comprehensive ranking of U.S. and Canadian academic institutions based on their relative contribution to the field, according to the report's authors (none of whom are at the University of California).

The authors ranked the scholarly productivity of 315 universities and colleges from 2000 to 2005 according to total number of publications in the field.

The top 10 were:

  1. University of California, Davis
  2. Oregon State University
  3. University of Washington, Seattle
  4. Colorado State University
  5. University of Wisconsin, Madison
  6. University of California, Berkeley
  7. University of Florida, Gainesville
  8. University of California, Santa Barbara
  9. Duke University
  10.  University of Montana, Missoula

For additional information, contact Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology at or the Graduate Group in Ecology at
Sylvia Wright
(530) 752-7704
[email protected] 

Back to top ^


WCAHS Monthly Seminar Series

The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety will host monthly seminars on topics related to agricultural health. The presentations will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. in 3201 Hart Hall. Refreshments will be provided.

Dates and topics for future seminars are as follows:

  • December 3, 2007: “Extending the Worker Occupational Safety, Health Training and Education Program into Agriculture.”
  • January 7, 2008: "Infectious Diseases in Agriculture: Concerns Grow, Numbers of Veterinarians Shrink."
  • February 4, 2008: “Regulatory Impacts on Southeast Asian Small Farms in Fresno: Pesticide, Labor, OSHA, and Water.”
  • March 3, 2008: “Pesticides in the Homes of Farmworkers: Latino Mothers’ Perceptions of Risk to their Children’s Health.”

Angela Hue
(530) 752-4050
[email protected]

Back to top ^


Chancellor's Achievement Awards: Call for Nominations

The Chancellor's Achievement Awards for Diversity and Community were established to honor achievements that contribute in substantial ways to the development and well-being of our diverse and evolving community. Nominations are requested to help identify individuals deserving special recognition.

Six awards are available, one to a member of each of the following constituencies: Academic Senate, Academic Federation, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, and members of the local community. The awards include a monetary prize, and recipients will be honored at a special reception at the chancellor’s residence. Nominations are due to the Office of Campus Community Relations, 412 Mrak Hall, by November 16, 2007.

Vickie Gomez
(530) 752-2158
[email protected] 

Back to top ^


Chancellor's Teaching Fellowship Program: Call for Applications

Applications are being accepted for the Chancellor's Teaching Fellowship Program. The program enhances the preparation of potential future faculty by providing graduate students with opportunities to participate in closely supervised teaching apprenticeships with faculty members.

This fellowship program is open to graduate students in all disciplines and carries a stipend for one quarter of the 2008-09 academic year, as well as a fee remission for the quarter in which the course is taught. The deadline for the submission of applications is Monday, January 7, 2008.

A description of the program, application, and selection procedure is available at: An informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 13, at 12:10 p.m. in 25 Wellman Hall to help graduate students and their faculty mentors better understand how to approach this teaching opportunity.

Teaching Resources Center
(530) 752-6050
[email protected]

Back to top ^


Miller Plant Science Award: Call for Applications

Applications are due December 1, 2007, for the 2007 Milton D. and Mary M. Miller Plant Science Award. Eligible to apply are Cooperative Extension staff, as well as graduate and undergraduate students with an interest in Cooperative Extension careers. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
More information and applications are available online at:

Theresa Costa
(530) 752-1715
[email protected]

Back to top ^


Open Enrollment Presentations

The campus Benefits Office will offer presentations during November that give an overview of Open Enrollment. Topics include: the discontinuation of PacifiCare and transition to another medical plan; how the new CIGNA HRA/PPO medical plan works; the Health Care and Dependent Care Reimbursement tax-advantaged plans; general information about other health and welfare benefits. Informational sessions will be held:

•    Tuesday, November 13, 1–2:30 p.m., Memorial Union, Mee Room.
•    Thursday, November 15, 9–10:30 a.m., Memorial Union, Mee Room.
•    Monday, November 19, 10–11:30 a.m., Memorial Union, Garrison Room.
•    Wednesday, November 21, 10:30 a.m.–noon, Memorial Union, Mee Room.
•    Monday, November 26, 2–3:30 p.m., Memorial Union, Mee Room.

Reservations are not required for any of the above presentations, though space may be limited.

The deadline this year for making Open Enrollment changes is midnight on Tuesday, November 27, 2007. All Open Enrollment changes become effective on January 1, 2008.

Bill Brooks
(530) 754-5875
[email protected] 

Back to top ^


Recruitment Seminar Series

As part of the Global Environmental Change and Conservation Biology Initiative, a series of recruitment seminars will be presented by candidates for an assistant professor position, “Global Change Informatics Scientist.”

All seminars meet at 12:10 p.m. in 3001 PES.

  • Wednesday, November 7: Jim Graham, Colorado State University
  • Tuesday, November 13: Quinn Hart, UC Davis
  • Thursday, November 15: Jianting Zhang, UC Davis
  • Monday, November 19: David Lobell, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Monday, November 26: Tamlin Pavelsky, UCLA
  • Thursday, November 29: Robert Hijmans, International Rice Research Institute

Teri Wolcott
(530) 754-0629
[email protected]

Back to top ^


Wildlife Habitat Policy Research Program: Request for Proposals

The Wildlife Habitat Policy Research Program (WHPRP) is soliciting letters of intent, due December 3, 2007, for a competitive awards program. The WHPRP will fund six specific projects in 2008 related to the implementation of State Wildlife Action Plans and wildlife habitat conservation in the United States. 

Based on the letters of intent, three candidates for each project will be invited to submit full proposals for external review. Awards are expected by mid-April 2008 and will range from $100,000 to $150,000 each, depending on the project. Further information, full project descriptions, and instructions for letters of intent are available at:        

Cheryl Horton
Center for Science Solutions
National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE)
(202) 207-0007
[email protected]

Back to top ^


Sofja Kovalevskaja Award

Young scientists and scholars can apply for the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award offers up to 1.65 million Euros ($2.26 million at current exchange rates) over five years to exceptionally distinguished young researchers to pursue a team-based project in Germany. A selection committee will identify eight winners among those who apply by January 4, 2008.

Highly acclaimed scholars from all fields, sub-disciplines, and nationalities are eligible to apply. They must have completed their doctoral degrees with distinction within the past six years and have published in prestigious international journals or scholarly presses. The funds enable recipients to conduct independent research and build a team at an institution of their choice in Germany. For more information, visit the Humboldt Foundation’s website at

Humboldt Foundation
Washington, D.C.
(202) 783-1907

Back to top ^


Request for Water Resources Research Proposals

The UC Center for Water Resources invites submission of research proposals for consideration of funding. Three separate areas of interest will be considered: water resources, salinity/drainage, and irrigation management. Projects are awarded on the basis of technical merits, relevance to issues in California, and availability of funds. Submission deadline is December 3, 2007. The full request for proposals with submission and eligibility details can be found at

UC Center for Water Resources
(951) 827-4327

Back to top ^


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

“Changing Seasons in the Arboretum”; Saturday, November 10, 11 a.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
Visitors can enjoy beautiful fall weather and learn about seasonal changes in the garden during a free guided tour with docent Dorothy Brandon.

“Walk with Warren”; Wednesday, November 14, noon, Arboretum Headquarters.
Join superintendent Warren Roberts for a lunchtime stroll in the arboretum. Learn about the arboretum’s collections and get a little exercise.

“Folk Music Jam Session”; Fridays, November 16 and November 30, noon to 1 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
The arboretum's folk music jams are held outside on the Wyatt Deck next to the redwood grove. Campus and community folk musicians are invited to play together informally during this acoustic jam session. Bring your fiddles, guitars, mandolins, penny whistles, pipes, flutes, and squeezeboxes, and join fellow musicians for bluegrass, old-time, blues, Celtic, klezmer, and world music. Listeners and musicians of all skill levels welcome.

“Valley Gardening the Right Way”; Saturday, November 17, 11 a.m., Arboretum Terrace Garden, Davis Commons retail center, First Street.
Local gardeners can learn how to have a beautiful home landscape during a free public tour of the Terrace Garden, which demonstrates the principles of sustainable gardening for the Central Valley. Docent Ann Johnson will discuss garden structure, irrigation, and choosing the right plants for Valley gardens.

Back to top ^


Community Blood Drive: November 13 and November 15, 2007

You can donate blood during the blood and marrow donor drive on Tuesday, November 13 or Thursday, November 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Freeborn Hall. As a special thank you, everyone who participates in the drive will receive a free t-shirt.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a marrow donor, please visit

Departmental release time is appropriate for staff wishing to donate blood. To help alleviate waiting times, there will be a special section for faculty and staff.

To donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more, and be in generally good health. Do not donate blood if you have had cold or flu symptoms within 48 hours prior to donating. Please eat and drink plenty of fluids before donating blood, and bring picture identification for registration purposes.

Vanessa Richter
Blood Source
(800) 955-4420, ext. 11042
[email protected]


Back to top ^


Laky Textile Architecture: November 15–December 22, 2007

Professor emeritus Gyöngy Laky, textiles and clothing, will show her recent artwork “Intersections” at the Braunstein/Quay Gallery in San Francisco from November 15 – December 22. Gyöngy Laky's work employs materials from nature, with the occasional inclusion of recycled elements. Her sculptural constructions, referred to as textile architecture, hang on the wall or are free-standing.

Gyöngy Laky
[email protected]
(530) 752-6650


Back to top ^


Open Enrollment Medical Options: November 16, 2007

Presentations providing an overview of the university’s medical insurance options will be offered for campus employees on November 16 at 10 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. in Room MU II of the Memorial Union. The medical plan choices include Blue Cross PLUS; Blue Cross PPO; CIGNA Choice Fund (new for 2008); Health Net HMO; Kaiser Permanente HMO; and Western Health Advantage HMO.

Lasting about 90 minutes, the overview will compare and contrast the medical various plans. Behavioral health and new wellness benefits will also be discussed. Reservations are not required, but seating is limited. The same sessions will be presented later in November at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

Open Enrollment will be held from November 1 through November 27 this year. To make a change during Open Enrollment, and for more information, visit At Your Service:

Guerren Solbach
(530) 752-4264
[email protected]


Back to top ^


Raptor Center Open House: November 17, 2007

The public is invited to a free open house at the California Raptor Center, an educational and research facility dedicated to the rehabilitation of birds of prey. The Hawk Walk, a one-hour bird watching excursion, will leave at 8 a.m. from the center's gate. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with special presentations at 10 a.m. and noon. Visitors will be able to see the birds up close, "on the fist," and in cages.

To reach the center, take the UC Davis/Old Davis Road exit from Interstate 80 and turn south onto Old Davis Road. After crossing the train tracks, turn left and follow the paved levee road one block. Turn diagonally left and continue down to the center parking lot. Parking is free.

Lynn Narlesky
(530) 752-5257
[email protected]

Back to top ^


RMI Fall Lectureship: November 19, 2007

The Fall 2007 Lectureship Series, sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, will be held on Monday, November 19, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Studio Theatre in the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

The health implications and history of beer, wine, and other fermented beverages will be discussed by two distinguished scientists. The first speaker is Arthur Klatsky, a physician and senior consultant in cardiology, as well as an adjunct investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program. In addition, attendees will hear from Professor Solomon Katz of the anthropology department at the University of Pennsylvania, who is editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Dean Neal Van Alfen will give the university greeting. An afternoon reception will follow the presentations.

Registration is required by November 9, 2007, and limited to the first 200 attendees. The talks are free and open to the public. Contact Patricia Glass to register. For more information, visit

Patricia Glass
(530) 754-6349
[email protected]

Back to top ^


Delta Vision Workshop: December 5, 2007

A free one-day workshop on the future of the Delta will be held at the San Jose Convention Center on December 5. Sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and the California Resources Agency, the workshop will offer an opportunity to provide input to key decision makers. There are multiple Delta Vision initiatives underway, and a decision on the future of the Delta will be made in the next two years.

Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Online registration is available at

Water Education Foundation
(916) 444-6240
[email protected] 

Back to top ^


Alfalfa and Forage Symposium: December 17–19, 2007

Mark your calendars for the 37th annual Alfalfa and Forage Symposium to be held December 17–19 at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey Bay. The trade show, haygrowers’ auction, and exhibitor social will be in the adjacent Monterey Convention Center. In conjunction with the theme, “Alfalfa – Back to the Basics,” the program will feature up-to-date information about alfalfa production and utilization.

For registration and more information, visit

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

Back to top ^


Rice Technical Working Group Meeting: February 18–21, 2008

Mark your calendars for the 32nd Rice Technical Working Group meeting, hosted by UC Davis, to be held February 18–21 at the Westin San Diego. The Rice Technical Working Group brings together those involved in rice production – scientists, extension personnel, government and industry representatives, and growers – to share information and coordinate research.

The meeting will feature a half-day symposium, six technical sessions, a poster session, and committee meetings. For registration and more information, visit

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


Back to top ^


California Small Farm Conference: February 24–26, 2008

Mark your calendars for the next California Small Farm Conference, “Growing Opportunities,” to be held February 24–26 in Visalia, California. The three-day educational conference will cover new techniques for production, marketing, business management, farmers markets, and more. For more information, visit

Back to top ^


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Visit CA&ES Currents online at

CA&ES Currents, the faculty/staff newsletter of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis, is published the second Thursday of each month.

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

Editor: Robin DeRieux
Writing: Robin DeRieux, Neal Van Alfen
Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser

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 send an e-mail 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.

Student News

Helping hands

Apr 16, 2018 Student volunteers serve the community in Monterey County

Student News - More Student News…
Research News

UC Davis Receives Unique, $1.5 Million Gift from Aggie Couple

Jul 07, 2016 Michael and Joelle Hurlston have pledged $1.5 million to endow a first-of-its-kind chair position.

Research News - More Research News…
Outreach News

Summer Internships

Jul 28, 2015 CA&ES students and Salinas Valley employers find common ground.

Outreach News - More Outreach News…