December 11, 2008
- Call for Nominations: Student Prizes and Awards
- Distinguished Teaching Award: Call for Nominations
- Academic Federation Teaching Award: Call for Nominations
- Academic Federation Research Award: Call for Nominations
- Charles P. Nash Prize: Call for Nominations
- Environmental Speaker Series
- WCAHS Monthly Seminar Series
- Retirement Readiness
- Arboretum Volunteers
- Arboretum Events
As fall quarter and the calendar year come to an end, we approach the holiday season. Many of us will use the time off to try and catch up on all of the projects that have been displaced by more pressing items. But don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Please take time to relax, reflect, and celebrate.
The past year has brought us a seemingly constant stream of bad news about the economy, and few have escaped the difficult financial challenges that such times bring. It can be easy to get mired in doom and gloom. But there is also much to celebrate. In addition to our personal celebrations, the entire CA&ES community can share in celebrating the amazing first 100 years of our college. During the last century, we progressed from a modest teaching farm to a research and teaching university with an international reputation for quality. And we continue to innovate and improve so we can fulfill our great expectations for the future. I celebrate being an Aggie!
Have a great holiday season. 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
Professor Emeritus Carole Meredith has been named to the 2009 Vintners Hall of Fame by the Culinary Institute of America. Meredith is known for her groundbreaking work on grape genetics. Meredith and her research group in the Department of Viticulture and Enology used DNA typing methods to discover the origins of several wine varieties, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Meredith and six additional wine industry leaders will be honored at a ceremony in March at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena. The Vintners Hall of Fame was established in 2007.
Meredith retired from UC Davis in 2003. She and her husband, Stephen Lagier, own the Lagier-Meredith winery in Napa. They produce Syrah from grapes they grow themselves.
Rice geneticist Pamela Ronald and two other scientists received the National Research Initiative Discovery Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in recognition of their work on developing new rice varieties that can withstand flooding. The Discovery Award, one of the highest research awards from the USDA, recognizes outstanding researchers who address key agricultural problems. The award was presented earlier this month in a ceremony held at UC Riverside to plant pathology professor Ronald, UC Riverside genetics professor Julia Bailey-Serres, and David Mackill, a researcher formerly of UC Davis and now at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.
Ronald's group isolated the rice genomic region that carries the submergence tolerance trait and demonstrated that one of the 13 genes in the region, called Sub1a, confers submergence tolerance. Mackill's team used this information to precisely transfer Sub1a into popular high-yielding rice varieties of countries in South and Southeast Asia. The new rice varieties recently passed field tests in Bangladesh and India, and will be made available within two years to smallholder farmers in flood-prone areas whose crop yields are often destroyed by seasonal rains.
Nominations are being accepted by the CA&ES Dean’s Office for the Charles Hess Community Service Awards and the Mary Regan Meyer Prize. Eligible to be nominated are outstanding graduating seniors from the September ’08, December ’08, March ’09, and June ’09 degree lists. The deadline for nominations is January 20, 2009.
The Charles Hess Community Service Awards are intended to recognize and encourage more students to become involved in public/community service activities while in college. Nomination criteria include 1) a graduating senior with the most noteworthy record of public/community service while at UC Davis, 2) demonstrated expertise and an interest in serving humanity, and 3) volunteering in the university and/or community. A plaque and $2,500 will be awarded to an outstanding male and female recipient.
The Mary Regan Meyer Prize goes to an outstanding graduate in the college who best meets the following criteria: 1) a graduating senior with an outstanding record, 2) demonstrated expertise and an interest in serving humanity, 3) interest and intention to embark on post-baccalaureate graduate or professional level education, and 4) broad intellectual interest as indicated in both course work and activities. One to three awards of $1,000 to $1,500 will be presented.
To nominate an outstanding student for any of these awards, please send your nominee’s full name, name of major, and student identification number to Lorraine Bowlin. All nominees will be contacted by the CA&ES Dean’s Office and asked to provide a biographical statement and two letters of recommendation.
CA&ES Dean’s Office
Nominations are being accepted for the 2008–09 Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award. All nominations must be submitted electronically to the Academic Senate office by 5 p.m., Friday, January 16, 2009. There are two separate categories:
- Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching
- Distinguished Teaching Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching
Nominations must clearly designate the appropriate category and are sought from any member of the academic community: students, faculty, staff, alumni. Successful nominations provide the perspective of both students and faculty.
The nomination form and information regarding the required contents of nomination packets is available at http://academicsenate.ucdavis.edu/committee_dta.cfm.
Academic Senate Office
Nominations are being accepted for the 2009 Academic Federation Award for Excellence in Teaching until Friday, January 9, 2009, at 5 p.m. This award is given in recognition of teaching contributions by non-Senate faculty members, and includes a $500 stipend. Nominees must hold a regular teaching appointment. The recipient will be honored at an awards reception in April.
Nominations should be in the form of a letter no more than three pages long describing the attributes and accomplishments of the nominee. Additional letters of support and evaluations are required. Nominators can be students, faculty, staff, or alumni. Students are especially encouraged to submit nominations.
The 2009 Call for Nominations can be found at http://academicfederation.ucdavis.edu/documents/Call-For-Nominations-Teaching-2009.pdf.
Academic Senate Office
Nominations are being accepted for the 2009 Academic Federation Award for Excellence in Research until Friday, January 9, 2009, at 5 p.m. This award is given in recognition of research contributions by non-Senate faculty members, and includes a $500 stipend. The recipient will be honored at an awards reception in April.
Nominations should be in the form of a letter no more than two pages long describing the attributes and accomplishments of the nominee. Nominators can be students, faculty, staff, or alumni. Self-nominations are acceptable. The award is intended for recent meritorious achievement rather than a career award, and nominees may be at any stage of their career.
The 2009 Call for Nominations can be found at http://academicfederation.ucdavis.edu/documents/Call-For-Nominations-Research-2009.pdf.
Academic Senate Office
Nominations are being accepted for the Charles P. Nash Prize, awarded annually to a member of the UC Davis Academic Senate, the Davis Faculty Association, or the Academic Federation, whose actions demonstrate an exceptional and extended commitment to shared governance and/or promoting faculty interests by ensuring equitable treatment of faculty. In the spirit of Charlie Nash, such activity must be above and beyond normal committee assignments or academic obligations. Any member of the campus community can submit a nomination.
The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. on Friday, February 6, 2009. All nominations must be submitted electronically to Nancy Kilpatrick in the Academic Senate office at [email protected]. Information on the nomination process is available at http://academicsenate.ucdavis.edu/documents/Call_for_Nominations_NashPrize_2008-09.pdf.
Academic Senate Office
As part of the campus centennial celebration, the departments of Land, Air and Water Resources and Environmental Science and Policy will host a winter speaker series titled “UC Davis—Global Leader in Environmental Sciences: Integrating Biophysical Sciences with Ecology and Policy.” The speaker series will showcase the impact of campus environmental research programs and include presentations by successful alumni of the two departments. The series will also highlight the recently-approved new major—Environmental Science and Management—a joint major between the two departments.
Seminars meet on Wednesdays from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. in 3005 PES from January through early April. Dates and topics for upcoming seminars include:
- January 14, 2009: Dan Dooley, UC Davis, TBA
- January 21, 2009: Dennis Baldocchi, UC Berkeley, “Physics Wins, Biology Is How It’s Done: Biometeorology in the 21st Century”
- January 28, 2009: Gerard Kluitenberg, Kansas State University, “Groundwater Consumption by Phreatophytes in a Mid-Continent Stream-aquifer System”
- February 4, 2009: Tom Stohlgren, Colorado State University, “Species Invasions Coast to Coast”
- February 11, 2009: Jim Elser, Arizona State University, “Biological Stoichiometry: The Ecology and Evolution of Elements on a Changing Earth”
- February 18, 2009: Jonathan Lynch, Penn State University, “Roots of the Second Green Revolution”
- February 25, 2009: Tom Dietz, Michigan State University, TBA
- March 4, 2009: Emilio Bruna, University of Florida, “Plant Demography in Brazil’s Cerrado: Disentangling the Effects of Leaf-cutter Ants, Small Mammals, and Nitrogen Deposition on a Biodiversity Hotspot”
- March 11, 2009: Juha Siikamäki, Resources for the Future, “Incorporating Economics into Biological Conservation Decisions”
- March 18, 2009: Wilfried Brutsaert, Cornell University, “Has Global Dimming Caused a Slowdown of the Hydrologic Cycle?”
- April 2, 2009: Pasquale Steduto, Food and Agriculture Organization, TBA
Chair, Land, Air and Water Resources
The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety hosts monthly seminars on topics related to agricultural health. The presentations are held from 4 to 5 p.m. in 3201 Hart Hall. Refreshments are provided.
Dates and topics for upcoming seminars include:
- January 5, 2009: “Occupational Heat-Related Illness in California”
- February 2, 2009: “Environmental Exposures Among Farmworkers”
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
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 December. All sessions are in the Memorial Union, Garrison Room. Topics include:
- Enrolling in Your UC Retirement Savings Program
- Determining Your Investment Strategy
- Accessing Your Account Online
- 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.
Volunteer training for the UC Davis Arboretum will begin in January. All skill levels are welcome, and various volunteer positions are available. There is a $10 materials fee for the training. Advance registration is required.
- Volunteer naturalists help the education staff lead environmental education programs for visiting elementary school classes. Training for naturalists will be held on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon, January 13 through February 17.
- Volunteers on the fix-it crew help maintain the equipment, facilities, and public amenities of the arboretum. Fix-it crew members will attend a basic orientation session from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, January 14.
- Volunteer gardeners work with the arboretum horticulture staff. Training for gardeners will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays, January 14 through February 18.
- Nursery record-keepers work with the nursery staff to take inventory of nursery plants, enter propagation results in the computer, and update the nursery database. Training will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays, January 14 through February 18.
- Office team volunteers work with the administrative staff to keep the front office running smoothly. Office volunteers will attend a basic orientation session from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, January 14.
Arboretum Resource Development Manager
For more information, visit the arboretum website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
“Folk Music Jam Session” - Friday, December 12, 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.
The Organic Soil Fertility Management Symposium, sponsored by the UC Vegetable Research and Information Center, will meet on Thursday, January 15, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Activities and Recreation Center on campus. The program will combine the latest technical information on nutrient dynamics in organically managed soils with practical results of on-farm nutrient management research. The program is intended for growers, consultants, students, and government agency personnel who work with people in this fast-growing segment of agriculture. Speakers will be drawn from throughout California.
Registration is $80 if received by December 15, and $100 after December 15. Student registration costs $50 with valid student identification. The registration fee includes lunch and handouts. For more information, visit http://vric.ucdavis.edu/events/osfm_symposium_2009/osfm_info.htm.
Vegetable Research and Information Center
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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, Elisabeth Kauffman, Neal Van Alfen
- Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser
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