CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

September 11, 2008

May 27, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean








A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Celebrating the Centennial

Each fall, we take the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our college and the people who make it possible. This year, the 20th annual College Celebration will be one of several festivities that mark the centennial anniversary of UC Davis. As the founding college on the UC Davis campus, we are proud of our 100-year history and invite you to join us for two events that will be part of Fall Festival.

The first event is the grand opening of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, to be held on Friday, October 10. Since August, the departments of Viticulture and Enology, and Food Science and Technology have been busy moving their offices into the new facilities. To initiate the next phase of construction, the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Teaching and Research Winery, and the Anheuser-Busch Brewing and Food Science Laboratory will take place on Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Beau Vine Lane and Old Davis Road.

Later that same day, College Celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. in Freeborn Hall. We will honor a dozen extraordinary individuals with the Award of Distinction, the highest recognition given by our college. The Award of Distinction is given to faculty, staff, alumni, and friends whose contributions and achievements enrich the college. This year’s recipients include Koichiro Aramaki, George Bruening, Richard Collins, Richard Kunde, Eddy Lee, Craig London, Chet McCorkle, Ken McCorkle, Elizabeth Mok, Margrit Mondavi, Rod Park, and Dan Sehnert.

Following the awards ceremony will be the “Taste of California” reception, featuring delicious food and beverages. The evening ends with a Farmer's Market, where you are invited to dismantle the "welcome display" and take home a bag packed full of fresh California produce. Tickets may be purchased online here.

College Celebration and the RMI grand opening provide a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with CA&ES colleagues and friends. We hope you will join us on October 10 to celebrate both the past and the future of 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
[email protected]


Michael Parrella: Fellow of the Entomological Society of America


Michael Parrella, divisional associate dean for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and professor of entomology, has been selected as a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) for his work in floricultural entomology. Parrella and the nine other recipients of this award will be honored at the ESA annual meeting in November. ESA fellows are selected for their outstanding contributions in entomological research, teaching, extension, or administration. Eight other UC Davis entomologists have received the honor since 1947.

Parrella holds a joint appointment in entomology and plant sciences. His research includes the development of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for ornamental crops, with an emphasis on biological control.

Michael Parrella
(530) 752-8473
[email protected]


Frank Zalom: Fellow of the Entomological Society of America


Frank Zalom, professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology, has been selected as a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) for work with integrated pest management. Zalom and the nine other recipients of this award will be honored at the ESA annual meeting in November. ESA fellows are selected for their outstanding contributions in entomological research, teaching, extension, or administration. Eight other UC Davis entomologists have received the honor since 1947.

Zalom’s work involves developing alternatives to conventional pesticides for insect and mite pests of fruit, nut, and vegetable crops, and on mitigating pesticide movement into surface waters.

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


Walter Leal: Brazilian Entomology Award


Professor Walter Leal, Department of Entomology, was awarded a Medal of Science from the Brazilian Congress of Entomology at the association’s 22nd annual meeting, held recently in Uberlandia, Brazil. The award, equivalent to a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, was presented to three additional honorees. Leal is a native of Brazil and was noted for “promoting the development of chemical ecology in Brazil and for international recognition in science.”

Leal and researcher Zain Syed recently published research showing that mosquitoes avoid the chemical repellent DEET because they dislike the smell, a discovery that received wide coverage by the news media.

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


James Sanchirico: Senate Testimony


Professor James Sanchirico, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, testified before a U.S. Senate committee about the use of economic incentives to restore fishery health through cooperatives and individual fishing quota systems. Sanchirico was invited to speak in July before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the topic of restoring the economic and ecological health of depleted fisheries.

Sanchirico joined the UC Davis faculty in 2007. His research interests include natural resource economics, ecology, spatial and dynamic bioeconomic modeling, and policy analysis.

James Sanchirico
(530) 754-9883
[email protected]



Plant Breeding Academy Graduates

The inaugural class of the Plant Breeding Academy graduated in June, completing the professional development program run by the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center. The center developed the academy in direct response to industry concerns over a decline in the number of plant breeders being trained in academic programs. The academy is designed to allow companies to provide their employees with formal instruction in genetics, statistics, and plant breeding theory, while enrollees remain in their current jobs.

The first class of 15 professionals studied between September 2006 and June 2008. As graduates, they are now equipped to work as independent plant breeders or to oversee regional plant-breeding programs. Now welcoming its second class, the academy has accepted 23 participants, many from abroad, who will spend more than 300 hours studying plant breeding in classes, workshops, and the field.

For more information about the academy program, visit

Susan DiTomaso
Seed Biotechnology Center
(530) 752-7333
[email protected]


Jared Diamond to Deliver Keynote at Symposium

Noted evolutionary biologist and author Jared Diamond will deliver the opening keynote address at an international symposium on agricultural biodiversity to be held on campus September 14–18. Diamond is a professor of geography at UCLA and author of the books "Collapse" and "Guns, Germs, and Steel." He will discuss the role that chance or destiny play in the local origins of agriculture. The symposium is open to the public, but preregistration is required.

Also presenting a keynote speech to the international gathering of scientists will be Gary Nabhan, an ecologist and expert on how different cultures use plants, as well as a pioneer in the local food movement. Nabhan, a professor at the University of Arizona's Southwest Center, will speak about the origins of food diversity on September 16.

The symposium is coordinated by the departments of Animal Science, Plant Sciences, Anthropology, and Human and Community Development, as well as the UC Genetic Resources Conservation Program, with guidance from an international advisory committee. More information and registration is available online at

Pat Bailey
News Service
(530) 752-9843
[email protected] 


Media Training Workshops: 2008-2009 schedule

University Communications has announced its media training schedule for the 2008–09 academic year, with dates for both regular and advanced media training.

Media Training I
This workshop is recommended for any faculty, administrator, or staff member likely to be called upon to do media interviews. The provost often asks new administrators to attend, and some deans require new department chairs to attend the workshop. Faculty and staff with expertise on hot media topics, and even graduate students and undergraduate student leaders are welcome to enroll.

The full-day interactive session covers the benefits and risks of working with the news media, including strategies for accommodating the differing methods of print and broadcast journalists. Enrollment in Media Training I is limited to eight participants per session. All workshops will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the University Club Conference Center Lounge, unless otherwise noted.

Dates offered include October 9, November 12, January 15, February 11, and May 14.

Advanced Media Training
This three-hour program is for those who have completed the primary media training workshop and are seeking more practice with media interviews and public speaking situations. Topics covered through on-camera exercises will include message development, speaking to a group, and aggressive interviews.

Dates offered include December 11, March 12, and April 16 from 9 a.m. to noon. For registration, contact Ada McAdow.

Ada McAdow
University Communications
(530) 752-3683
[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 September and October. 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

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 Oak Grove Improvements

This fall, UC Davis students, K–12 students from neighboring communities, arboretum volunteers, and community members will create a large-scale ceramic mosaic mural for the Shields Oak Grove picturing the fauna and flora of a California oak woodland ecosystem. In addition, the arboretum will begin work on a new Oak Discovery Trail that offers visitors instruction on oak biology and ecology, the importance of oaks in human history and culture, their significance in mythology and lore, and the challenges facing oak populations worldwide. The trail will feature paths, benches, plant labels, and interpretive signs.

The work will be funded by a two-year grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant will also support the development of resources for scientists, including digital maps, an online database, and vouchered herbarium specimens of the arboretum’s oak collection.

Emily Griswold
UC Davis Arboretum
(530) 754-8038
[email protected] 


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • “Heat-Tolerant Plants for Central Valley Summers”; September 14, 10 a.m., Gazebo.
    Learn more about heat-tolerant plants, irrigation techniques, and other gardening practices suited to our valley conditions during an arboretum tour.
  • “Folk Music Jam Session”; Friday, September 19, 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.
  • “Mediterranean Climate Gardening”; Saturday, September 20, 10 a.m., Gazebo.
    Take a tour of the arboretum to learn about Mediterranean-style gardening, which uses time-honored techniques to reduce water use and create a cool retreat.
  • “Arboretum on the Air”; Sunday, September 28, 11:05 a.m., KSTE Radio, 650 AM.
    Home gardeners can tune in and hear arboretum superintendent Warren Roberts chatting with host Fred Hoffman on the popular radio gardening show, “Get Growing with Farmer Fred.”



Aquatic Weed School: September 16–17, 2008

Professionals involved in consulting, research, and management of aquatic weed systems throughout the western United States are invited to attend the Aquatic Weed School 2008. The intensive two-day course will meet September 16–17 on campus at the Bowley Plant Sciences Teaching Center.

The weed school will focus on issues associated with developing weed management strategies in a variety of aquatic ecosystems. The course covers ecological classification, biology, and impacts of aquatic weeds, physical and mechanical control methods, biological and chemical controls, and surfactants. Water management, and restoration and sustainable ecosystem management are also covered.

The $400 registration fee includes a comprehensive notebook, as well as lunch and light refreshments each day. Class size is limited; no walk-in registrations accepted.

For an agenda and more information, visit

Gale Perez
Weed Research and Information Center
(530) 752-1748
[email protected]


Good Life Garden Event: September 27, 2008


On September 27, the UC Davis Good Life Garden will host its debut event—“Growing Our Food”—featuring David Howard, who was Prince Charles' head gardener and is one of the world's foremost experts on organic and sustainable horticulture. Howard will discuss the gardens at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, the private residence of the Prince of Wales. The “Growing Our Food” event will begin with registration and refreshments at 4:30 p.m. at the Sciences Lecture Hall and Courtyard, followed by a 5 p.m. talk by local author Georgeanne Brennan, a cooking school owner and "slow food" advocate. Also featured will be author Ethne Clark, discussing the evolution of the kitchen garden from the late medieval period to the 19th century. Following Clark’s talk, a "Taste of the Region" sampling of local artisanal products will be available, including heirloom tomatoes, caviar, handcrafted cheeses, smoked fish, breads, preserves, and wine. David Howard’s talk will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $75 per person. For tickets and additional information, visit

Kira O'Donnell
Event Coordinator
(916) 705-9621
[email protected] 


Garden Workshop: September 27, 2008

The “Great Plants for Central Valley Gardens Workshop” will be held Saturday, September 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the UC Davis Arboretum. Ellen Zagory, arboretum director of horticulture, and Missy Borel, California Center for Urban Horticulture, will present a workshop to inspire beginning and experienced gardeners. The workshop will focus on the best plants for our garden climate, including the Arboretum All-Stars, plants selected by the arboretum’s horticultural staff for their beauty, reliability, heat and drought tolerance, and value in attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

After an introductory presentation, the class will tour the Ruth Storer Garden for more ideas and discussion of the best plant combinations, and to learn about how to grow a successful perennial garden in the Central Valley. The garden tour will be followed by a special sneak preview of the new Arboretum Teaching Nursery, this fall’s crop of Arboretum All-Stars, and other great plants that will be available at the Arboretum Plant Faire on October 4.

The workshop fee is $45 general and $35 for members. Space is limited, and advance registration is required. To register, contact the UC Davis Arboretum at (530) 752-4880 or [email protected].

Diane Cary
UC Davis Arboretum
(530) 752-4880
[email protected] 


Arboretum Plant Faire: October 4, 2008

The 34th annual Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum Plant Faire will be held Saturday, October 4, at the new Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive across from the School of Veterinary Medicine. The plant faire will also be the grand opening for the Arboretum Teaching Nursery. Free parking is available in visitor parking lot 55. The event will include live music and free children’s activities.

The sale features the popular Arboretum All-Stars, a lineup of hardy plants that can thrive in the heat of the Central Valley. The All-Stars will be identified by signs that include a list of the plants’ features and growing instructions.

The sale will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and the Davis Botanical Society will be able to shop at a special member sale from 8–10 a.m. Anyone may join or renew at the door and be eligible for early admission and a 10 percent member discount. There will be a $5 discount on the membership fee for the day of the sale only. New members will also get a free plant.

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

Diane Cary
UC Davis Arboretum
(530) 752-4880
[email protected] 



WCAHS Seminar: October 6, 2008

Consultant Rick Mines, Ph.D., will speak on "The Well Being of Mexican Indigenous Farmworker Communities: Defining the Problem,” on Monday, October 6 from 4–5 p.m. in 3201 Hart Hall. Mines is the first speaker of the 2008–09 WCAHS Monthly Seminar Series. His specialties include survey research on immigrant farmworkers in Mexico and the United States; analysis of education, employment, immigration, health and social service data on farmworkers; analysis of technological change and its impact on farmworkers; and rural development in Mexico.

Light refreshments will be provided, and the seminar is free of charge.

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


Food Price Symposium: October 10, 2008

“Causes and Consequences of the Food Price Crisis,” will be held Friday, October 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Bancroft Hotel at 268 Bancroft Way in Berkeley. The symposium is hosted by the UC Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics and the UC Agricultural Issues Center. Agricultural economists from UC Davis and UC Berkeley will summarize results of research on the food price crisis. In addition to causes of high commodity prices, symposium presenters will discuss the consequences.

Registration is free. For registration and additional information, visit

Pam Kan-Rice
Agriculture and Natural Resources
(510) 987-0043
[email protected] 


Fun Run: October 12, 2008

As part of the Fall Festival, UC Davis Facilities Management is hosting the first annual “Run for Your Lives” 5 and 10K run/walk to benefit your health and the environment. The race begins at Toomey Field at 8 a.m. on Sunday, October 12. The Kid’s Run begins at 10 a.m. Registration costs $25 for adults, $18 for students and children, ages 12–17, and $10 for children, ages 11 and under. Beneficiaries include the UC Davis Vascular Center, the American Stroke Association, and the UC Davis 100-Year Tree Program.

Participation is limited. Additional information and registration available at

Katie Hetrick
(530) 752-6741
[email protected]


Celebrate UC Davis! Community Festival: October 12, 2008

As part of Fall Festival activities, the city of Davis will host “Celebrate UC Davis!” on Sunday, October 12, from noon to 4 p.m. The Davis Chamber of Commerce is organizing the street fair to honor the UC Davis Centennial. The Farmers Market Pavilion at Central Park will feature 100 birthday cakes.

Departments, centers, institutes, and programs are invited to display their materials for the community at tables set up along Third Street. One six-foot table and two chairs will be provided free of charge, though signage is not included. CA&ES will have a booth displaying college-wide points of pride and outreach materials. For additional information and to register for a booth, please fill out the vendor application at:

Sumiko Hong
Government and Community Relations
(530) 752-9795
[email protected] 



Pistachio Short Course: November 3–6, 2008

A pistachio short course will be held at the Visalia Convention Center in Visalia, California, on November 3–6. It is hosted by the Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center, Department of Plant Sciences. Registration by October 15 costs $825, and covers materials, manuals, field trip, all meals, and social events. Late registration from October 16–November 1 will cost $900. For registration and more information, visit

Penny Stockdale
Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center
(530) 754-8523
[email protected]

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

Save the date for “Foods for Health in the 21st Century: A Roadmap for the Future,” a centennial conference to be held November 16–18, 2008, at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. 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 international conference will highlight research at the UC Davis campus and develop a scientific road map for the next decade and beyond, including an analysis of how the evolving global economy will affect the future directions of nutrition and human health.

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



Local Food Systems Symposium: December 2–3, 2008

Save the date for a two-day symposium on local food systems sponsored by multiple campus affiliates. 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.

Cooperative Extension personnel, researchers, administrators, government agencies, nonprofits, farmers, and community participants are invited to learn about new county and regional food systems activities. A preliminary program and registration form will be available on the symposium website in late September (

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


Soil Symposium: January 15, 2009

Mark your calendars for a symposium on organic soil fertility management sponsored by the UC Vegetable Research and Information Center (VRIC) 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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