CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

November 13, 2008

May 27, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean








A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Additional Budget Challenges

We have all been reading about the budget challenges that California is facing, and we have learned that the university will be facing midyear reductions in our current budget. We do not yet know how much of a midyear reduction UC Davis or our college will need to absorb. Although any budget reduction added to the $1.7 million reduction that we have already absorbed this year will be a challenge, my greater concern is with next year’s budget. As we all discovered during our adjustment to this year’s budget reduction— there isn’t much fat left on our bones (figuratively speaking, of course).

To better prepare our college for any upcoming budget challenges, I plan to appoint one or more committees charged with initiating a strategic planning process to examine how the college can adjust to significantly reduced budgets over the next few years. The focus of the committees will be to explore ideas about how we can conduct the business of our college more efficiently and how we can focus our academic, research, and outreach programs to assure that we are better five years from now than we are today—even if our budgets are smaller. Suggestions regarding the objectives and composition of these committees would be welcome.

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]





Ron Tjeerdema: Fish and Game Award

0811_ronj.jpgProfessor Ron Tjeerdema, chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology, was awarded the 2008 Director’s Achievement Award from the California Department of Fish and Game for his service on the Lake Davis Pike Eradication Project. Tjeerdema has been working with fish and game officials since 2004 to assist with the lake’s treatment, advising on the environmental fate of rotenone and its potential toxic impacts to nontarget fish and wildlife, as well as humans. Tjeerdema also gives presentations on the same topics at workshops for the general public. Tjeerdema is one of few external candidates to receive the Director’s Achievement Award, which is typically given to someone within the Department of Fish and Game.

Ron Tjeerdema
(530) 754-5192
[email protected]





Walter Leal: Entomological Society of America Award

0811_walterleal.jpgProfessor Walter Leal, Department of Entomology, has been awarded the Entomological Society of America’s 2008 Recognition Award in insect physiology, biochemistry, and toxicology. Leal received the honor for his research involving insect communication. His lab recently discovered the mode of action for the mosquito repellent, DEET. The chemical ecologist will be honored this month at the ESA meeting, along with seven others receiving awards.

Walter Leal
(530) 752-7755
[email protected] 

Frank Zalom: Entomological Society of America Award

0811_frankzalom.jpgFrank Zalom, a Cooperative Extension specialist in Integrated Pest Management and professor in the Department of Entomology, is part of a University of California team that will receive the Entomological Society of America 2008 Award for Excellence in IPM. Zalom is one of seven members of the Almond Pest Management Alliance Integrated Pest Management Team that developed a successful insect pest management program for almond growers, leading to significant pesticide reduction. Zalom and other team members will be honored at the annual ESA meeting this month.

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





Gene Flow in Alfalfa Report

Plant scientists Allen Van Deynze, Dan Putnam, and Larry Teuber are co-authors of a report on gene flow in alfalfa that was recently issued by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. Van Deynze, a researcher in the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center, was chair of the 12-member task force that produced the report. “Gene Flow in Alfalfa: Biology, Mitigation, and Potential Impact on Production” found that growers of conventional, organic, and genetically engineered alfalfa can all coexist in the marketplace if they adopt appropriate agricultural practices.

This 30-page report is available electronically for $10 or as a paper copy for $18 plus shipping expenses. It can be purchased by contacting the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology at (515) 292-2125 or online at

Allen Van Deynze
Seed Biotechnology Center
(530) 754-6444
[email protected] 

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment ends at midnight on November 25, 2008, but it’s not too late to attend an informational session on medical plan options.

  • UC Medical Plan Overview: November 17, 12–1:30 p.m., room MUII, Memorial Union. This big-picture view of medical insurance options will include information about all plan choices: Blue Cross PLUS, Blue Cross PPO, CIGNA Choice Fund PPO, Health Net HMO, Kaiser Permanente HMO, and Western Health Advantage HMO. Behavioral health and wellness benefits will also be discussed.

In addition, the following presentations will provide a general overview of Open Enrollment for 2009, including a brief look at current medical plans and discussion of the Flexible Spending Accounts and the FSA transition to a new plan administrator in 2009. Reservations are not required, though seating is limited.

  • November 19, 1:30–2:30 p.m., Human Resources Administration Building, Room 182
  • November 24, 2–3 p.m., Human Resources Administration Building, Room 182

Open Enrollment actions are done online, and any coverage changes will become effective January 1, 2009. Visit the Open Enrollment website at

Guerren Solbach
Health Care Facilitator Program
(530) 752-4264
[email protected] 

100 Years of Plant Breeding

0811_tomatos.jpgThe role that UC Davis has played in developing crops through plant breeding over the last century is highlighted in a new publication called “100 Years of Plant Breeding.” A joint project between the Seed Biotechnology Center, the Department of Plant Sciences, and the CA&ES Dean’s Office, the publication also highlights the people on campus who have played an important role in plant breeding progress.

Researcher Allen Van Deynze of the Seed Biotechnology Center is editor of “100 Years of Plant Breeding.” Other contributors include: writer Diane Nelson, CA&ES director of communications Ann Filmer, graphic designer Eric Rohr, and entomology professor Michael Parrella, associate dean of agricultural sciences in CA&ES.

Hard copies of the publication are available at no charge in the Dean’s Office, plant sciences office, and at the Seed Biotechnology Center. It can be viewed online at

Allen Van Deynze
Seed Biotechnology Center
(530) 754-6444
[email protected] 

Environmental Speaker Series

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 through 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 will meet on Wednesdays at noon from January through March. Details on location, specific dates, and seminar topics are to be announced.

Jan Hopmans
Chair, Land, Air and Water Resources
(530) 752-3060
[email protected] 

Landscape Architecture Lunchbag Lecture Series

The public is invited to attend the Landscape Architecture Program’s fall 2008 lunchbag lecture series on Fridays from 12:10–1 p.m. in 202 Wellman Hall. Each week features a different lecturer who will present on sustainable site design. The lectures are held on Fridays through December 5, with the exception of November 28.

Shannon Tanguay
Landscape Architecture
(530) 752-1127
[email protected] 

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 upcoming seminars include:

  • December 1, 2008: “Financial Impact of Safety”
  • January 5, 2009 (tentative): “Heat Related Illness Interventions”

Sandra Freeland
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
(530) 752-5253
[email protected]

AgriSafe Network Webcasts

Webcasts on topics regarding agricultural health and safety are available through the AgriSafe Network, with the use of web conferencing software that allows participants to log in from any location. Speakers give their presentation through a microphone with the support of slides; participants hear the presentation through their computer speakers and can see the presenter’s slides on their own screens. All webcasts will be from 10–11 a.m. Continuing education credit is available. The December 4, 2008, webcast is on “Dental Health.”

Sandra Freeland
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
(530) 752-5253
[email protected] 

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 November and 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.

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

Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • “Folk Music Jam Session”; Friday, November 14, 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.
  • “What’s new? Bicycle Tour of Arboretum Highlights”; Saturday, November 15, 11 a.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
    Bring your bicycle to tour the arboretum on bike. Explore new paths and plants in the Australian section, see public art, visit the new nursery, learn about the big plans for the east end of the arboretum, and more. This will be a slow and easy bicycle ride lasting about one hour and covering less than five miles.
  • “Guided tour: Birds in the garden”; Sunday, November 23, 2 p.m., Arboretum Headquarters, LaRue Road.
    Learn how to attract birds to your garden and patio, and what kinds of birds you may see at this time of year.



Foods for Health Centennial Symposium: November 16–18, 2008

“Foods for Health in the 21st Century: A Roadmap for the Future” will be held November 16–18 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. The working meeting of more than 100 nutritionists, food scientists, plant researchers, engineers, and medical and veterinary scientists will chart future research directions in the area of foods, nutrition, and human health.

The UC Davis Foods for Health Institute is organizing the event, in collaboration with Innovation Center Denmark/Silicon Valley, the Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation, and scientists from the Centre for Advanced Food Studies, a Danish research consortium. The symposium will feature presentations by UC Davis faculty members and guest speakers. A complete agenda for the meeting is available on the Foods for Health Institute website at

Melanie Funes
Foods for Health Institute
(530) 752-9211
[email protected] 

Local Food Systems Symposium: December 2–3, 2008

Cooperative Extension personnel, researchers, administrators, government agencies, nonprofits, farmers, and community participants are invited to a two-day symposium on local food systems. The symposium will meet at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center at 1 p.m. Tuesday, December 2, and conclude at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 3. It is sponsored by the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute, and UC ANR North Coast and Mountain Region.

The conference will begin with an inspirational address by Paul Muller of Full Belly Farms, an innovative California organic farm. Michael Dimock, President of Roots of Change, will share his vision of sustainable food systems and provide a context for the conference's discussions on the second day. The conference will include panel presentations, break-out groups, and time for networking. Participants will also enjoy some great local food.
For registration and more information, visit

Gail Feenstra
(530) 752-8408
[email protected]

Olive Oil Tasting: December 6, 2008

0811_oliveoil.jpgThe public is invited to participate in an olive oil tasting on Saturday, December 6, at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. The event, organized by the UC Davis Olive Center, is the first in a series of public tastings that are planned in the sensory theater of the newly opened institute. It will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., with registration beginning at 12:30 p.m. The guided tasting will be followed by a selection of appetizers made with olive products and paired with suggested wine varietals.

Guest speaker Alexandra Devarenne, an olive oil consultant, educator, and sensory expert, will explain olive oil tasting techniques, culinary use, and influences on food style and quality. Clare Hasler, executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, will talk about olive oil's health benefits.

Seating is limited. Tickets are $75 and may be reserved by sending checks payable to “UC Regents” to: Patricia Glass, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, 392 Old Davis Road—Sensory Lab, Davis, California, 95616.

Patricia Glass
Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science
(530) 754-6349
[email protected]


Organic Soil Fertility Management Symposium: January 15, 2009

Mark your calendars for the Organic Soil Fertility Management Symposium, sponsored by the UC Vegetable Research and Information Center, on Thursday, January 15, 2009. 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. The symposium will be held in the Activities and Recreation Center at UC Davis. In coming weeks, more details will be available on the VRIC website (

Gale Perez
Vegetable Research and Information Center
(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, Elisabeth Kauffman, Neal Van Alfen
Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser

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The university is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.


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