CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

June 12, 2008

May 27, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean





A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: New Assistant Dean

I am pleased to welcome Christine Schmidt as our college’s new Assistant Dean for College Advancement. Christine, who has served as acting assistant dean since June 2007, accepted the position on a permanent basis in April. She will lead the College Advancement Team, which handles philanthropy, communications, events, and external relations for CA&ES.

Christine was selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates after a national search was initiated in January. She is very familiar with our campus, having received a bachelor’s degree in international relations at UC Davis, as well as a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco. Prior to her work as acting assistant dean, Christine served as a Director of Major Gifts and Director of Planned Giving for CA&ES. She joined the college’s development team in 2002 after working for several years in fundraising and communications for non-profit organizations.

In her role as leader of the College Advancement Team, Christine will help donors understand our work and explain ways that our friends can use their philanthropic dollars to deepen the university’s impact and shape the legacy they want to create. We are fortunate to have someone with Christine’s experience to meet our challenging fundraising goals. She has successfully shepherded major gifts to our college, and she has experience in directing communications efforts related to fundraising. She brings a great deal of enthusiasm for our college to her job, and has an outstanding ability to build partnerships that benefit both the college and our supporters. Please welcome Christine (752-0236, [email protected]) at her new location in the Dean’s Office in Mrak Hall.

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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Emanuel Epstein: Keynote Address


Emanuel Epstein, professor emeritus in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, has been invited to give the keynote address at the fourth annual Silicon in Agriculture Conference, to be held in South Africa in October. He will talk on “Silicon: Its Manifold Roles in Plants.”

Epstein is an internationally recognized scientist and a member of the National Academy of Science. He has been a key figure in research on salt tolerance and its application in agriculture. As an emeritus professor, Epstein reopened the field of essential elements with his work on the role of silicon in plant systems.

Emanuel Epstein
(530) 752-0197
[email protected]

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Theresa Costa: Walker Award


Theresa Costa received the 2008 Walker Award for Outstanding Academic Staff Adviser in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at a Mrak Hall reception on May 30. Costa is an adviser in the Department of Plant Sciences and was honored for her exemplary service to students. A UC Davis alumna, Costa graduated in 2005 with a B.S. in genetics.

The Walker Award was established in 1991 by Harry Walker, an emeritus lecturer and master adviser in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. Candidates are nominated by students and selected by peer advisers, faculty advisers, and administrators.

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

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Michael Lewis: Brewers Award

Michael Lewis, professor emeritus of the Department of Food Science and Technology, was awarded the 2008 Brewers Association Recognition Award at the annual Craft Brewers Conference. The award recognizes his dedication and service to the industry. With more than 30 years of teaching experience, Lewis has taught many of the prominent players in the American brewing industry and has served as the academic director of the UC Davis Extension professional brewing programs for the past 25 years.

Michael Lewis
(530) 756-4302
[email protected]

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Alan Hastings: Journal Editor

Mathematical ecologist Alan Hastings, professor of environmental science and policy, is editor-in-chief of a new journal entitled “Theoretical Ecology,” which published its first quarterly issue in March, 2008. For its first year, the journal is open access, available online at:

Alan Hastings
(530) 752-8116
[email protected]

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Rosa Rivero: Postdoctoral Research Award


Rosa Rivero, Department of Plant Sciences, was one of two scholars to receive the 2008 Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research, sponsored by the UC Davis Postdoctoral Scholars Association and the Office of Graduate Studies. Rivero, whose mentor is Professor Eduardo Blumwald, was recognized during a May ceremony at the University Club for the vital role that postdoctoral scholars play in maintaining the reputation of excellent research at UC Davis.

Another scholar recognized for excellence in postdoctoral research was Zhigang Wang of the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. This was the fifth year of the awards. Those honored receive a certificate and $500.

Rosa Rivero
(530) 752-4640
[email protected]

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Christoph Vogel: Excellence in Research Award

The UC Davis Academic Federation honored Christoph Vogel, assistant professional researcher in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, with the 2008 Academic Federation Excellence in Research Award. The award annually recognizes the research contributions of a UC Davis academic employee who is not a member of the Academic Senate. The Academic Federation comprises more than 1,200 academic employees, including lecturers, librarians, agronomists, academic coordinators, project scientists, researchers, and extension specialists.

Vogel and other recipients of this year’s federation awards for Excellence in Teaching and Research were honored at a reception held at the International House on June 4.

Christoph Vogel
(530) 752-1337
[email protected]

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Alison Van Eenennaam: Guest Speaker


Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science, was the guest speaker at the Community Women’s Luncheon hosted by Rosalie Vanderhoef in mid-May. Van Eenennaam spoke on “Cloned Cows and Biotech Beef: Does Animal Biotechnology Have a Future?” It was an informational talk on the use of animal genomics and biotechology in livestock production systems.

The event was attended by more than 200 invited guests, and Van Eenennaam distributed “clickers,” also known as “personal response devices,” so that she could pose questions about these controversial technologies and immediately provide feedback on audience opinion. The luncheon menu included food made from cloned plants. Luncheon guests were also offered a DVD copy of Van Eenennaam’s “Animal Biotechnology” movie. This 30-minute educational film is available for viewing on her website at

Alison Van Eenennaam
(530) 752-7942
[email protected]

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Sheila Walker and Anne Moyer: Campus Award

Sheila Walker and Anne Moyer of the CA&ES Dean’s Office were members of a team that received the 2008 Diversity and Principles of Community Achievement Award. Walker, manager of undergraduate programs, and Moyer, director of human resources, were recognized for leadership and contributions to the campus community as part of the “Student Affairs Officers for the Future” team. The 14-member team developed a program to cultivate a diverse pool of talented staff interested in pursuing entry-level SAO positions. The 10-month training program for 30 participants ended in March, 2008.

Along with other “SAO for the Future” implementation team members, Walker and Moyer were honored at the annual “Soaring to New Heights” luncheon, held in April.

Sheila Walker
(530) 752-3484
[email protected]

Anne Moyer
(530) 752-1607
[email protected]

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Art/Science Fusion Exhibit


Student work that bridges science and art is on display at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center through June 23. The final student exhibition for "Photography: Bridging Art and Science," a new course taught by Professor Terry Nathan of the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, opened in early June. The photography class is part of the Art/Science Fusion Program led by entomology professor Diane Ullman and local artist Donna Billick.

Also on display is a ceramic mosaic mural, “California’s Gold.” The mural was created by students and community members in a spring quarter Art/Science Fusion seminar called, “Connecting Art and Science: Bringing Environmental Concepts to Life with Ceramic Mosaic.”  The seminar was taught by Ullman and Billick. After the exhibition at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center, “California’s Gold” will travel to Washington D.C. for display in Congressman Mike Thompson’s office.

Terry Nathan
(530) 752-1609
[email protected]

Diane Ullman
(530) 752-7161
[email protected]

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Agricultural Air Quality Conference


“Green Acres, Blue Skies,” an agricultural air quality conference for stakeholders, was held June 2–4, 2008, at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. The conference was organized by the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center and chaired by professor Frank Mitloehner, Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science, and research engineer Peter Green of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Day 1 of the conference related to dairy and livestock issues, day 2 to row crops and field crops, and day 3 to orchards and vineyards. Keynote speakers included Dean Van Alfen; A.G. Kawamura, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture; and Lynn Terry, deputy executive officer of the California Air Resources Board.

Frank Mitloehner
(530) 752-3936
[email protected]

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2008 Campus Community Book Project

The book selection for the seventh annual Campus Community Book Project is “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World,” by Tracy Kidder. It is a biography of physician and anthropologist Paul Farmer, renowned for his work to improve health care for the poor in developing countries. Author Tracy Kidder will speak at the Mondavi Center on December 1, 2008. The book is available at the campus bookstore for a discounted price.

In connection with the campus centennial celebration, “Mountains Beyond Mountains” provides a catalyst for exploring the mission of a land-grant university—specifically, how multi-disciplinary research can contribute to solving significant local and global problems. Other issues raised by the book include health care and human rights, poverty, and social justice.

Tammy McNiff
Offices of the Chancellor and Provost
(530) 752-2071
[email protected]

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Retirement Readiness

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 June. All sessions are in the Memorial Union, Garrison Room. Topics include:

  • Enrolling in Your UC Retirement Savings Program
  • Determining Your Investment Strategy
  • NetBenefits
  • Achieving a Sound Retirement
  • The Fundamentals of Retirement Income Planning

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.

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

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Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

“Folk Music Jam Session”; Fridays, June 13 and June 27, 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.

“June in the White Flower Garden”; Saturday, June 14, 11 a.m., Gazebo.

Join docent Don Christiansen on a tour through the White Flower Garden. White flower gardens are popular in hot climates because white flowers and silvery foliage look cool in the summer heat and can be viewed at night in the moonlight.

“Microclimates in Your Home Landscape”; Saturday, June 21, 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. Docent Taffy Bandman will help you identify your garden’s microclimate zones and find the right spot for every plant.

“Design Your Dream Garden”; Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m., Arboretum Terrace Garden, Davis Commons, First Street.

Docent Pat Greene will discuss Mediterranean-style gardening. Learn about using patios, seating walls, paved paths, shade structures, container plantings, and water features to increase comfort and reduce the area of irrigated garden.

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Potato Variety Trial Field Day: June 19, 2008

The annual Kern County Potato Variety Trial Field Day will be held on Thursday, June 19 from 9 a.m. to noon in Shafter, California (near Bakersfield) at the Shafter Depot Museum. Sponsored by UC Cooperative Extension and the California Potato Research Advisory Board, the field day is an opportunity to see tubers of potentially new varieties, how they performed this year, and how they performed compared to standard varieties.

Entries include varieties from numerous USDA, state, and private breeding programs. This year’s entries include Russets, chippers, reds, and yellows, and specialty types. New this year will be the Snack Food Association chipper trial.

Joe Nunez
UC Cooperative Extension, Farm Advisor
[email protected]
(661) 868-6222

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Antique Farm Equipment Show: June 20–22, 2008


The “Best Show on Tracks” is a one-time antique farm equipment show to be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, June 20–22. The show will be held north of Woodland at the ranch of Dan Best II, who is the grandson of C.L. Best, the first president of Caterpillar. The show site is 155 acres, with 30 acres of grain reserved for harvesting demonstrations.

The show will highlight Best, Holt and Caterpillar tractors, especially tracklayers. Tractors are being shipped to this event from Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. In addition to antique tractors, the show will feature mule and horse teams and antique trucks. A 27-mule team will pull a 1906 Holt ground-propelled harvester. There will be activities for children, a wide variety of vendors, as well as live music (from 11 to 1 daily).

“Best Show on Tracks” is sponsored by the Heidrick Ag History Center. Admission is $10 a day, or $25 for 3 days. The price for ages 5 to 12 is $5; under 5 is free. For more information, visit

Helen Voss
Heidrick Ag History Center
(530) 666-9700

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Postharvest Technology Anniversary: June 21, 2008

A special one-day Anniversary Celebration and Symposium will be held on Saturday, June 21 to mark the 30th annual offering of the Postharvest Technology short course at UC Davis. The event will celebrate 30 years of outreach excellence and provide an opportunity for past and present participants to engage with leaders from the produce industry, academia, and government on high-priority postharvest issues. It will meet in the ARC Ballroom from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Registration costs $150 per person, which includes lunch, and morning and afternoon coffee breaks. Enroll online at Or register by phone at (530) 752-6941.

Penny Stockdale
(530) 754-4326
[email protected]

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AgrAbility Training: July 1 and July 2, 2008

Mark your calendar for a free workshop called "Rural Health Solutions: Rehabilitating Injured and Disabled Farmers and Farmworkers" to be offered July 1 in Sacramento and July 2 in Fresno. The three-hour workshop is offered by UC Davis California AgrAbility Program. Details will follow.

Martha Stiles
CalAgrAbility Project Director
(530) 752-2606
[email protected]

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National Viticulture Research Conference: July 9–11, 2008


A national research forum for scientists interested in grape cultivation, or viticulture, will be held in the Studio Theatre of the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts from Wednesday, July 9 through Friday, July 11. Sponsored by CA&ES, the intensive three-day conference is open to public and private researchers, postdoctoral researchers, scientific staff, and students. Researchers will present recent findings in the areas of grapevine breeding, diseases, evaluation of plant materials, genetics, pests, and viticultural practices.

Registration and payment are due June 20. The registration form and more information about the conference are available online at

Deborah Golino
Foundation Plant Services
(530) 754-8102
[email protected]

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Weed Day: July 17, 2008

The 52nd annual Weed Day will be held Thursday, July 17 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event provides an opportunity for pest control advisors, farm advisors, chemical company cooperators, college faculty and students, and regulatory officials to learn about current weed science research at UC Davis.

The event begins with a morning bus tour to the campus research fields to view demonstrations and current research studies in terrestrial and aquatic weed control. Lunch and afternoon presentations will be indoors. Faculty, staff, and students will present information on projects that are not easily available for viewing. Presentations will include basic research showing the scope of the campus weed science program.

Registration and additional information is available online at

Gale Perez
Plant Sciences
(530) 752-1748
[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 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

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.

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