September 13, 2007
Message from the Dean
With the beginning of the new academic year, let me take the opportunity to thank the individuals who have completed their service as chairs and vice chairs of our departments. They are the key leaders of the college, so deserve much more recognition than is normally provided by our campus culture. I would also like to announce the appointments and reappointments of several chairs in our college’s 17 departments.
- In July, Professor Doug Kelt began a three-year appointment as chair of the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. Doug replaces outgoing department chair Professor Dirk Van Vuren. Doug specializes in wildlife ecology, and his research interests include community ecology, biogeography, the ecology of feral animals, and macroecology.
- Senior Lecturer SOE Steve McNiel has been appointed to a three-year term as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture, beginning in July 2007. Steve has been active in preserving the cultural landscape through building a statewide Geographic Information System of historic recreational homes on behalf of the USDA Forest Service. He replaces outgoing department chair, Professor Heath Schenker.
- Professor Zhe Chen has been appointed to a five-year term as chair of the Department of Human and Community Development. Zhe, who specializes in human development and family studies, replaced the outgoing chair, Professor Beth Ober, in July.
- Former CA&ES Dean Charley Hess has accepted a one-year appointment as chair of the Department of Nutrition, replacing interim chair Robert Rucker, who retired in June. Charley’s appointment began in July and could possibly be extended beyond one year.
- Professor of enology Andy Waterhouse, interim chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology, received a one-year extension and will continue to serve as chair through July 2008. Andy is a wine chemist and holder of the John E. Kinsella Chair in Food, Nutrition, and Health.
- In January, Professor Chris van Kessel is slated to be reappointed as chair of the Department of Plant Sciences. Chris is an agronomist and has been chair of the department since its inception in 2005; prior to that, he served as the chair of the Department of Agronomy and Range Science for three years. His agroecosystems lab conducts research that includes studies on effects of climate change, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, fertilizer use efficiency, and water quality.
- Terry Nathan, professor of atmospheric science, has stepped down as vice chair of the Atmospheric Science Program for the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. LAWR at this time has no plans to replace him. Professor Tom Famula has resigned as one of two vice chairs in the Department of Animal Science. The department is not currently seeking a replacement.
I want to again thank both current and former chairs for their leadership and service to the departments and our college. 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
Michael Campbell has been selected as the first executive director of the Seed Biotechnology Center. Campbell has devoted his career to agriculture and higher education. Raised in Clarksburg, California, he was directly involved with the seed industry and associated farming industries. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and a master’s degree from Stanford University.
The Seed Biotechnology Center is a Research and Information Center in the Department of Plant Sciences. Along with academic director Kent Bradford, Campbell will provide leadership in the ongoing development and implementation of building the Seed Biotechnology Center’s research and education program. He will be responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of the SBC’s mission to serve as a link between academic research, education programs, and the commercialization of new agricultural technologies.
Professor Edward DePeters of the Department of Animal Science was awarded the American Dairy Society Association “2007 American Feed Industry Association Award” at the annual meeting held in San Antonio, Texas. The basis for this award is the “best original published work on dairy cattle nutrition during the prior ten calendar years.”
DePeters’ research has provided essential data for development of mechanistic models to describe nutrient digestion, nutrient flow, and milk-component synthesis. He is recognized as a leader in the use of nutritional manipulation to alter milk composition.
UC Davis Arboretum Director Kathleen Socolofsky was awarded the 2007 APGA Professional Citation at the annual meeting of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) in Washington, D.C. in June. One of the highest awards in the field of public horticulture, the APGA Professional Citation recognizes the accomplishments of a mid-career professional who has excelled in one of the disciplines generally associated with public gardens.
The APGA National Award Committee unanimously selected Socolofsky for a Professional Citation in acknowledgment of her leadership at the UC Davis Arboretum and for her successful launch of multiple new initiatives on campus, as well as for the groundbreaking work in methods of exhibit development for informal science museums she developed at the Desert Botanical Garden.
Gurdev Singh Khush, an adjunct professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and consultant to the International Rice Research Institute, has been selected to receive the Golden Sickle Award 2007. The Golden Sickle Award is an international honor presented by Thai royalty to outstanding researchers who have advanced rice research. Khush will be honored at an award ceremony at the International Conference on Rice of the Future to be held in November in Thailand.
Mel George, a rangeland management specialist in Cooperative Extension, has been selected as the recipient of the 2007 James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award. The Meyer Award is one of the most prestigious awards granted by the Academic Federation on the Davis campus. A public dinner reception will be held on Monday, November 5, 2007. (Date corrected from earlier issue.)
Director of California Rangelands, George is an expert in range and pasture improvement, grazing management, rangeland water quality, rangeland management practices, and ranch planning.
Professor Johan Six, Department of Plant Sciences, was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy grant worth $374,991. The three-year grant will fund a project entitled “Physico-Chemical and Bio-Chemical Controls on Soil C Saturation Behavior.”
Maria Ferrua, a doctoral student in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, is the winner of the 2007 Food Engineering Division Graduate Paper Award. She is one of two winners out of 47 submissions. The title of the paper is "Modeling and Non-intrusive Measurement of Airflow in Vented Packages."
R. Paul Singh
Douglas Kelt, professor of wildlife ecology and chair of the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, has been re-elected to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Mammalogists. In June, Kelt began serving a second three-year term, assisting in the directing of the world’s oldest and largest scientific organization devoted to mammals.
Rand Conger received the first Institute for Social and Behavioral Research Recognition Award at Iowa State University. A professor in the Department of Human and Community Development, Conger was founder of the ISBR and served as director from 1989 to 2000, when he came to UC Davis. The ISBR’s mission is to support interdisciplinary social science research that increases our understanding of important social problems and improves the quality of people’s lives.
W. Douglas Gubler, Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology, was elected president of the 721-member Pacific Division of the American Phytopathological Society, beginning his term earlier this summer. Gubler will serve until June of 2008.
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 www.humboldt-foundation.de.
A recent revision of Mineral Nutrition of Plants: Principles and Perspectives by Professor Emeritus Emanuel Epstein, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, and Professor Arnold Bloom, Department of Plant Sciences, has been translated into Portuguese. Bloom’s update of Epstein’s 1971 classic of the same name received rave reviews as an undergraduate textbook that appeals to beginning and more experienced readers alike. The book focuses on plant structure and function, but also takes a larger look at the relationship between plants and their environment. The Portuguese version of the book is entitled: Nutricao Mineral de Plantas Principios e Perspectivas, Segunda Edicao.
In support of the Retirement Readiness Program, the UC Davis benefits office is offering several workshops presented by the campus representative from FITSCo (Fidelity Investments Tax-Exempt Services Company). The workshops are designed for all employees and will be offered at various times and dates in September and October. Topics include:
- Enrolling in Your UC Retirement Savings Program
- Finding the Right Investment Strategy
- Achieving a Sound Retirement
If you wish to attend the workshops in a series, FITSCo recommends following the order listed above. Reservations are required for all workshops. The FITSCo Reservation Line is available Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific Standard Time at (800) 642-7131.
University Outreach and International Programs is seeking proposals for seed grants that will foster new programs and initiatives in outreach (continuing, distance, and lifelong learning, as well as academic engagement with the broader society) and international activities (international research, international education or outreach programs). UC Davis faculty and academic personnel are eligible to apply for funding, which ranges from $1,000 to $20,000 per proposal.
The deadline for proposals is Monday, October 15, 2007, at 5 p.m. The 2007 Call for Proposals guidelines are available at http://uoip.ucdavis.edu/seedgrants.
For more information, visit the arboretum website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
“Location, Location, Location!”;Sunday, September 16, 10 a.m., Gazebo.
Nearly every home landscape offers a range of microclimates with varying amounts of water and sunlight, soil conditions, and effects from neighboring plants and buildings. Different plants will thrive in each microclimate zone. Learn how to find the right place for every plant from docent Taffy Bandman, who will show you how to do a microclimate audit of your garden.
“Folk Music Jam Session”; Friday, September 21, 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.
“How Redwoods Survive in Valley Heat”; Saturday, September 22, 10 a.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
Coastal redwoods are found in a limited range from Southern Oregon to Big Sur, California. Learn how they survive our rainless summers and what they need to thrive in the Central Valley during a free tour of the redwood grove led by docent Lois Crowe.
“Guided Tour: Plant Faire Preview”; Saturday, September 29, 11 a.m., Arboretum Nursery at Orchard Park (Orchard Road at LaRue Road).
Local gardeners will have an opportunity to plan for the fall planting season during a tour of the Arboretum nursery featuring uncommon garden plants from California chosen for their ability to thrive in the hot, dry Central Valley climate. Led by docent Mary Patterson, the tour will feature plants that will be for sale at the 33rd annual Plant Faire on Saturday, October 6.
“Butterflies in and Around the Arboretum”; Saturday, September 29, 1–3 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
Join entomology Professor Arthur Shapiro for an informal talk on local butterflies, followed by a walk through the arboretum to look for butterflies and their habitat. All ages welcome!
The 2007 Plant Sciences Symposium, “Translational Seed Biology: From Model Systems to Crop Improvement Symposium,” will be held September 17–20 at UC Davis. The international symposium will bring together leading scientists across all aspects of seed biology in a format that emphasizes the connections between fundamental discoveries and their applications in agriculture. Crop scientists will be motivated by the progress being made in model systems, and basic scientists will gain an appreciation of the challenges associated with bringing a concept into practice.
For more information go to: http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/seedsymposium2007/index.htm.
The 26th Biennial Groundwater Conference and 16th Groundwater Resources Association Annual Meeting will be held September 18–19 at the Sacramento Convention Center. "California’s Water Future: Expanding the Role of Groundwater" will feature sessions on the Delta, salt water intrusion, investing in infrastructure, and other topics as well. Conference information, including the full program and registration, is available online at: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/WRCA/WRC/GW26th.html.
Conference organizing agencies include the UC Center for Water Resources, the California Department of Water Resources, the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Groundwater Resources Association of California, the Water Education Foundation, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
University of California Center for Water Resources
Organized by the UC Berkeley Center for Forestry, the Woody Biomass and Small Log Workshop will be held from September 19–20 at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California.
The first day will consist of panel presentations in the areas of feedstocks and fiber supply, biomass conversion technologies (products and energy), policy and environmental considerations, and public funding opportunities. The second day will be a field tour that examines how the forest products industry deals with biomass and small-diameter trees.
Visits are planned to small log mills and biomass power plants in northern California and southern Oregon. The optional third day is organized to provide attendees an opportunity to visit “small-scale” biomass users in the Northern California area.
Registration fee is $40 for each day and an additional $20 for the Wednesday dinner. For more information, visit http://forestry.berkeley.edu/biomass.
UC Cooperative Extension
Space is still available in the Weed Science School 2007 to be held September 24–26 at UC Davis. Weed Science School is an intensive course focusing on the mode and mechanism of herbicide activity in plants and the fate of herbicides in the environment. Participants will also tour the UC Davis Center for Plant Diversity. The course is designed for those involved in consulting, research, development, or sales of agricultural chemicals in either the private or public sector.
The course fee is $575, which covers all course materials and lunch each day. A comprehensive handbook of materials is included. Accommodations are not included.
Class size is limited to 60. An online agenda and registration form can be accessed through the Weed Research and Information Center website at http://wric.ucdavis.edu.
The 2007 Fall Convocation will be held on Wednesday, September 26 from 10–11 a.m. in the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Jackson Hall. This year’s theme, and the title of the chancellor’s remarks, is “Finding–and Being–the Inspiration." UC Regent Odessa Johnson will serve as master of ceremonies. A reception for the entire campus community and friends of the university will immediately follow the program on the Mondavi patio north of the ticket office in Courin Courtyard and Sconyers Plaza.
Office of Ceremonies and Special Events
The 33rd annual Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum Plant Faire will be held on Saturday, October 6, in the Arboretum Nursery at Orchard Park (Orchard Road at LaRue Road). The public sale is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but members can get an early start from 7–9 a.m. Join or renew at the door for a 10 percent member discount. New members will also get a “buy one plant, get one free” coupon.
Gardeners throughout northern California look forward to the annual Plant Faire because of its huge selection of outstanding plants. The sale features the Arboretum All-Stars – tough and dependable plants that thrive in hot Central Valley gardens. Many of them are California native plants or support native birds and insects. There will be signs identifying the All-Stars, each with a photo of the plant in bloom, a list of its outstanding features, and information about how to grow it.
More than 800 different kinds of plants will be for sale, including many varieties that are rare or unavailable in nurseries. Arboretum volunteers have planted a beautiful demonstration garden at the nursery to show what the plants look like in the landscape. Sales assistants at the Plant Faire will help you choose the very best plants for your garden conditions.
Shoppers are advised to bring a cart or wagon for their purchases. Proceeds from the sale support the gardens and education programs of the Arboretum and the Botanical Conservatory at UC Davis.
For a map and plant list, visit www.arboretum.ucdavis.edu .
On Friday, October 12, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will bestow the Awards of Distinction at the 19th annual College Celebration at 5:30 p.m. in Freeborn Hall. The event is held each year at harvest time to celebrate the advancement and accomplishments of our college and its impact on agriculture and the environment.
The Award of Distinction is the highest recognition presented by the college to individuals whose contributions and achievements enrich the image and reputation of the college and enhance its ability to provide public service. Mark your calendars for this fun event. For more information, see http://caes.ucdavis.edu/NewsEvents/Events/Celebration/Default.htm.
The 22nd Annual Horse Day will be held in Freeborn Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 13. Pre-registration costs $25. Registration at the door, beginning at 7:15 a.m., will be $40. Sponsored by the Department of Animal Science, first-day events will include lectures on nutrition, shoeing, EHV-1, equine ophthalmology, regulatory issues, trail riding, and horse camping. After the lecture program, the UC Davis intercollegiate polo team will present a polo demonstration at the Animal Science Horse Barn Arena. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited to the first 50 people. Or symposium attendees may choose instead to take a tour of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
A Farrier Workshop will be presented on Sunday, October 14. The cost is $150 for the lecture and wet lab, or $50 for the lecture only.
For more information, visit http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/events/horseday/2007/.
Department of Animal Science
The 2007 National AgrAbility Conference will be held at the Sacramento Doubletree Hotel from October 29 to November 1, 2007. This four-day educational and training workshop is intended to provide technical assistance and resources to professionals providing services to farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers with disabilities.
The educational sessions should be of interest to extension educators, occupational and physical therapists, vocational rehabilitation counselors, rural health care providers, students, medical professionals, as well as farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers with disabilities. The conference will include off-site farm tours. Find out more at http://www.agrabilityproject.org/events/workshop2007/
The Center for Fruit and Vegetable Quality, part of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, will host a strategic symposium called “Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Is It a Matter of Taste?” on Tuesday, November 13. The event will be held in the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center, Alpha Gamma Rho Room, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration details to be announced soon.
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 http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/.
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 http://www.californiafarmconference.com/joomla/.
Contributors: Robin DeRieux, Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser, Viet Tran, Trish Ang, Neal Van Alfen.
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