CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

May 13, 2008

May 27, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean






A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Sharing our College Stories

Much of my time is spent representing our college, where I have the opportunity to share information about our teaching and research programs and the impact that they have on the quality of life in California. When I speak to stakeholders, I occasionally end up learning more from them about the importance of our programs than they learn from me.

I recently toured some aquaculture facilities and learned that research from our college is largely responsible for the rapidly developing sturgeon aquaculture programs around the world. There are a number of these programs clustered close to campus, largely because they want easy access to our expertise. Animal science professor Serge Doroshov was prominent in the discussions, but I learned that many of our faculty have been important to the development of this industry.

This is just one of the many stories that can be told about the influence our college has on the economic development, environmental protection, and quality of life in our region. As we begin our campus's centennial celebration in a few months, the university will share many of these stories in different publications and at various events. This will help provide a broader perspective on the significant impact our research and educational programs have had on California. Our centennial is an opportunity to honor not only past achievements, but also to celebrate the teaching and research we do that makes a difference today.

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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Wendy Silk: Invited Professor


Wendy Silk, professor of water science and quantitative plant biologist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, was recently awarded an appointment as an invited professor by the Université Blaise Pascal and the INRA (French national research institute for agriculture and the environment). As invited international professor, she gave a series of talks relating her work on growth kinematics to the French programmatic themes “genes to ecology” and “functional biology in the environment.” She participated in an interdisciplinary workshop on robustness and resilience in biology, and addressed research groups in Clermont-Ferrand, Montpellier, Versailles, and Paris.

Wendy Silk
(530) 752-0686
[email protected]

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Joseph DiTomaso: Weed Science Award


The Weed Science Society of America honored Joe DiTomaso, Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences, with the Outstanding Extension Award. The society recognized DiTomaso at its 48th annual meeting in February, held in Chicago. The award is presented to only one person each year.

DiTomaso's research and extension program focuses on understanding the biology and ecology of invasive plants, and using this information to develop effective management strategies. Since DiTomaso began working at Davis in 1995, he has made more than 600 extension presentations.

Joe DiTomaso
(530) 754-8715
[email protected]

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James Oltjen: Society President


James Oltjen, Cooperative Extension specialist in animal management systems, has been chosen president-elect for the American Society of Animal Science, with duties to begin in July, 2008. The ASAS is a professional organization for animal scientists designed to help members provide effective leadership for the rapidly changing livestock and meat industries.

Oltjen works primarily in animal enterprise management, natural resource and beef cattle modeling, and livestock quality assurance programs. His current research projects include feedlot performance prediction to improve efficiency and reduce variation in beef production, improved grazing and supplementation strategies for beef cow herds, herd management modeling, and cost/benefit of animal identification.

Jim Oltjen
(530) 752-5650
[email protected] 

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John Krochta: Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists


John Krochta, professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and will be recognized in June at the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans. Krochta was honored for his research on food processing, food packaging, and edible films, and for his contributions to the teaching of food science and engineering and mentoring of graduate students.

His work includes fundamental and applied research on the utilization of the whey byproduct of cheese manufacturing. In particular, he has researched edible films and coatings to improve food quality and safety; whey protein-based coatings to improve barrier properties of paper and plastic; and lactose-based polymers. Krochta has coordinated curricula development for the university's food science and food engineering programs. Students have recognized him for his teaching efforts, and the food science department has commended him for teaching-related service.

Krochta also received the Riester-Davis Award from IFT's Food Packaging Division for lifetime achievement in food packaging technology, including "developments that advance food packaging, research that leads beyond current frontiers, and ideas that spark students."

John Krochta
(530) 752-2164
[email protected]

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Carl Winter: Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists


Carl Winter, Cooperative Extension food toxicologist and director of the FoodSafe Program, was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and will be recognized in June at the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans. Winter was honored for his contributions to food safety and innovative educational methods. An expert on pesticides and food safety, Winter was one of the first scientists to publish work linking agricultural production methods with the presence of naturally occurring toxins in food. He also has developed state-of-the-art methods for dietary chemical risk assessment.

Winter has combined his food safety expertise with his musical talents to create a series of humorous parodies of popular songs that help explain critical food safety issues. He has given nearly 200 performances, and his music has been the subject of dozens of news articles and reports.

Carl Winter
(530) 752-5448
[email protected]

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Pamela Tom: Food Technologists Award


Pamela Tom, Seafood Extension program manager with the California Sea Grant program, was elected as Member of the Year for the Institute of Food Technologists International Division. The Seafood Network Information Center (SeafoodNIC) was launched in 1997 by the seafood technology unit of the University of California Sea Grant Extension Program. One of the world's first seafood technology network information centers, SeafoodNIC is a portal to Internet resources addressing seafood safety and quality information needs of seafood processors, inspectors, researchers, importers, and food educators.

Pam Tom
(530) 752-3837
[email protected]

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Charles Bamforth: IAFoST Fellow


Professor Charles Bamforth, chair of the Department of Food Science and Technology, was recently named a fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST). The new class of fellows will be formally inducted into the IAFoST during the 14th World Food Congress in Shanghai, China, in October 2008.

Bamforth is the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences. His current research program focuses primarily on the wholesomeness of beer, including studies on the psychophysics of beer perception, on polyphenols, and on the residues from non-starchy polysaccharide digestion that constitute soluble fiber and potential prebiotics in beer.

Charlie Bamforth
(530) 752-9476
[email protected]

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Kenneth Shackel: National Academies Education Fellow


Professor Kenneth Shackel, Department of Plant Sciences, has been named a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences for the 2007–2008 academic year. Shackel was honored for his participation in the 2007 National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology in Madison, Wisconsin, which brought together teams from 13 research universities to focus on enhancing undergraduate education for future research biologists.


Shackel’s research interests are primarily in the area of plant water relations, specifically the responses and adaptations of plants to water limited conditions. He studies the impact of tree water status on productivity and the water relations and physiological activity of fruit.

Ken Shackel
(530) 752-0928
[email protected]

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Climate Change Art on Display

Mixed media artwork created by undergraduate students from the landscape architecture program in the Department of Environmental Design will be on display through the end of May at Gallery 625, 625 Court St., in Woodland. For a landscape and regional planning studio class, students were asked to identify planning and design strategies that could help Yolo County and its communities adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These ideas are showcased in mixed media presentation boards that illustrate concepts ranging from green roofs to transit-oriented development. Precedent-setting examples from other places are also included.

The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit also features entries of the annual congressional high school art competition, conducted by Congressman Mike Thompson, as well as the winners of Yolo County Arts Council and IKEA, West Sacramento Earth Day Art Exhibition.

Danielle Thomas
Yolo County Arts Council
(530) 406-4844

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Beef Cattle Improvement Anniversary Celebration

The Department of Animal Science hosted the 50th anniversary celebration of the California Beef Cattle Improvement Association on May 3, a one-day event that featured a tour of Yolo Land and Cattle Company in Woodland, as well as industry seminars and a review of the history of the organization. American Angus Association chief executive officer John Crouch was the keynote speaker.


Mary Delany
Chair, Animal Science
[email protected]
(530) 752-1250

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Cruess Hall Catwalk

The first-ever Food and Food Packaging Fashion Show (also known as the Cruess Hall Catwalk) was held April 18, 2008, at the annual pre-Picnic Day barbecue. The event was organized by the Department of Food Science and the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. Photos of the faux fashion event can be viewed at

Jamie Ruffolo
(530) 752-1465
[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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Call for Nominees: Farm Health and Safety Award

The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) is accepting nominees for its "Outstanding Achievement in Farm Health and Safety Recognition" Award. The deadline for submitting nominees is May 31, 2008. The award winner will receive a prize of $1,000.

The WCAHS honors an individual, group, organization, association, or business/industry that works to consistently improve the overall health of the agricultural workplace and reduce injuries. For a nomination packet, visit

Sandra Freeland
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
(530) 752-4050
[email protected]

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Call for Applications: Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards

Applications for the 2008 Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards must be received or postmarked by Tuesday, May 20, 2008. Individuals, organizations, businesses, trade associations, and communities may apply for the state's highest environmental honor. Recipients are honored for exceptional leadership and contributions to conserving California's natural resources, protecting the environment, and building our economy. To download an application, visit:

Anna J. McGuire
(916) 323-2514
[email protected] 

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Travel Grants: Academic Senate

The Academic Senate Committee on Research is now accepting applications from members of the Academic Senate for research meeting expenses to be undertaken between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2009.

Up to $800 can be reimbursed for any one meeting, domestic or international, although in no case can the award exceed the cost of travel and other allowable expenses. Applications will be considered for a maximum of one travel award per fiscal year. Applications must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the meeting.

To complete the online application, visit Save a copy of the e-mail confirmation you receive shortly after submitting the online form. If you do not receive this e-mail, your application has not been successfully submitted, or the e-mail address entered on the form is incorrect.

Kimberly Pulliam
Academic Senate Office
(530) 752-4918
[email protected]

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Call for Nominations: James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award

Nominations are being accepted for the 36th annual James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award. The campus community can nominate members of the Academic Federation who merit recognition for career-long contributions to the mission of the university and a commitment to the campus community.

This award will be presented in the fall and carries a stipend of $1,000. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, May 15, 2008, at 5 p.m. Submit nominations electronically to [email protected].

For more information, visit

Nancy Kilpatrick
Academic Senate Office
(530) 752-2220
[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 May and 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:

“Walk with Warren”; Wednesday, May 14, noon, Mrak Hall south entrance.
Join arboretum superintendent Warren Roberts for a lunchtime stroll. Enjoy the spring weather and learn about the arboretum’s collections.
“Folk Music Jam Session”; Fridays, May 16 and May 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.
“Herbs and Herbivores”; Saturday, May 17, 11 a.m., Gazebo.
Learn about the relationships between herbs and the animals that eat them during a free guided tour of the arboretum's collection of medicinal and culinary herbs. Docent Edith Vermeij will explain why plants develop aromatic compounds, and discuss the uses of herbs in cooking, medicines, cosmetics, and ritual.
“Moonlight Music at the White Flower Garden”; Saturday, May 17, 8 p.m., Gazebo.
Fans of music, gardens, and moonlight are invited to a free concert under the full moon in the white flower garden at the arboretum. Composer Luciano Chessa will perform a set of his own compositions for electrified Vietnamese dan bau, and collaborative improvisational pieces with Keith Cary (aluminum string bass, two-string Stroh viol, tin can fiddle, and other homemade instruments) and Erin Espeland (cello and tin can fiddles).
“Aquatic Life in the Arboretum”; Sunday, May 18, 1 to 3 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
Naturalists of all ages are invited to learn about aquatic life in the arboretum with hands-on activities. The aquatic program is part of the family nature series.
“Writers in the Garden: Matt Biers-Ariel”; Tuesday, May 20, 7 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
Fans of good writing and beautiful gardens are invited to enjoy talks by prominent local writers. Davis writer Matt Biers-Ariel will read from his work and talk about the importance of the natural world in his writing.
“Use a Mediterranean Garden Model for your Garden”; Saturday, May 24, 11 a.m., Arboretum Terrace Garden, Davis Commons, First Street.
Docent Dorothy Brandon will discuss Mediterranean-style gardening. Learn about using patios, seating walls, paved paths, shade structures, container gardens, and water features to increase comfort and reduce the area of irrigated garden.
“Get Ready for Your Roses”; Saturday, May 31, 11 a.m., Gazebo.
Growing roses in the Central Valley doesn’t have to require lots of time or chemical sprays. Docent Pam Kazmierczak will show roses chosen to thrive in our climate and discuss how to get roses to produce gorgeous blooms during a tour of the rose collection at the arboretum.

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Small Grains/Alfalfa and Forage Field Day: May 14, 2008

The Small Grains/Alfalfa and Forage Field Day will be Wednesday, May 14, at the Agronomy Field Headquarters from 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. It is designed primarily for grain and alfalfa growers, PCAs, seed companies, and handlers of certified seed. The Small Grain Field Day, in the morning, is organized by Lee Jackson ([email protected]). It will feature progress in field research on wheat, triticale, barley, and oat. CCIA will sponsor and host a BBQ lunch at noon. The Alfalfa/Forage Field Day, organized by Dan Putnam ([email protected]), will be in the afternoon. Visit to see the agendas.

Janice Corner
Agronomy Research and Information Center
(530) 752-7091
[email protected]

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Sustainable Development Seminar: May 14, 2008

Judi Schweitzer will present a speech entitled “Creating a Carbon Neutral Future: The Push/Pull of Regulation vs. Innovation” on Wednesday, May 14 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in PES 3001. Schweitzer is the founder of Schweitzer + Associates, Inc., a multidisciplinary consulting firm in sustainable development, and is also an adjunct professor of real estate development at USC.

Juan M. Cervantes
John Muir Institute of the Environment
(530) 752-5643
[email protected]

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Personal Protective Technology Seminar: May 15, 2008

“Effectiveness and Reusability of Filtering Facepiece Respirators for Protection against Emerging Hazards” will be the topic of a seminar on Thursday, May 15, from 12:10–1:00 p.m. in the MU II, with a light lunch preceding the talk at 11:45 a.m.

The speaker will be Dr. Ron Shaffer, chief of the research branch at National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, a division of the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. Shaffer provides overall technical leadership for research on personal protective equipment, including respirators and protective clothing.

Gang Sun
Division of Textiles and Clothing
(530) 752-0840
[email protected]

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Air Quality Policy and Sustainable Engineering Lectures: May 16, 2008

David Allen, distinguished lecturer for the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, will present two lectures on Friday, May 16 in PES 3001. Allen, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources at UT Austin, will present “The Texas Air Quality Studies: State of the Science of Air Quality in Texas and Implications for Air Quality Policy” from 10 a.m. to noon. His second lecture will be from 4 to 6 p.m. and is entitled “Sustainable Engineering: A Model for Engineering Education in the 21st Century?”

Juan M. Cervantes
John Muir Institute of the Environment
(530) 752-5643
[email protected]

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Climate Change Panel Discussion: May 22, 2008

The concluding event of the John Muir Institute’s Climate Change Solutions speaker series is the panel discussion, “A Climate for Shared Solutions”. It will meet May 22 from 2–5:00 p.m. in the AGR room of the Buehler Alumni Center. Panelists include: Ruth Coleman, California Department of Parks and Recreation; Anthony Eggert, Air Resources Board; Bob Epstein, Environmental Entrepreneurs; Jackie Pfannenstiel, California Energy Commission; and Lance Pierce, Union of Concerned Scientists.

Juan M. Cervantes
John Muir Institute of the Environment
(530) 752-5643
[email protected]

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Renewable Energy Lecture: May 23, 2008

British explorer Robert Swan, the first to walk unassisted to the North and South Poles, will speak about “The Voyage for Cleaner Energy” on May 23 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in 1001 Giedt Hall. Sponsored by the John Muir Institute of the Environment and the UC Davis Energy Institute, the talk will cover Swan’s five-year commitment to sailing around the world while teaching leadership and teambuilding for climate change solutions.

Juan M. Cervantes
John Muir Institute of the Environment
(530) 752-5643
[email protected]

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Global Climate Change Conference: May 30–31, 2008

The California Center for Urban Horticulture at UC Davis will host the CA&ES Global Climate Change and Your Backyard conference on Friday and Saturday, May 30–31, 2008.

Conference highlights include a panel discussion moderated by Ira Flatow, NPR’s science correspondent and host of “Talk of the Nation”. Conference topics will investigate the impacts of global climate change and its relationship to horticulture and the urban forest. The audience for this conference is industry professionals, researchers, non-profit green industry associations, Cooperative Extension and Master Gardener programs, and the gardening public.

The $150 general admission conference registration fee includes admission to the event, parking, and lunch on both Friday and Saturday. Admission for UC Davis Arboretum members and master gardeners is $125.

Please register by Monday, May 19, 2008, at the following link:

Missy Borel
California Center for Urban Horticulture
(530) 752-6642
[email protected]

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Annual Faculty Meeting: June 5, 2008

The annual spring CA&ES faculty meeting will be held on Thursday, June 5, 2008, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the AGR room of the Buehler Alumni Center.

Sharon Berg
CA&ES Dean's Office
(530) 752-3483
[email protected]

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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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Foundation Plant Services Anniversary: July 1, 2008

Save the date for the 50th Anniversary of Foundation Plant Services celebration on July 1. FPS is planning an open house, a short program, and a barbecue lunch. Additional information will follow.

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