CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

April 16, 2009

May 27, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean




A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Picnic Day is April 18

In lieu of a dean’s message this month, we’d like to invite everyone to visit campus for Picnic Day on Saturday, April 18. See the calendar entry below for more details. For a complete listing of activities, visit




Jorge Dubcovsky: Hoagland Award


Professor Jorge Dubcovsky of the Department of Plant Sciences is the recipient of the 2009 “Dennis R. Hoagland Award” from the American Society of Plant Biologists. The award, which acknowledges outstanding plant research in support of agriculture, will be presented to Dubcovsky at the ASPB annual meeting in Hawaii in July.

Dubcovsky has overseen several major research projects in recent years that have led to genetic discoveries to improve the disease resistance and nutritional quality of wheat. The American Society of Plant Biologists, founded in 1924, supports the interests and growth of plant scientists and publishes the journals Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell. Hoagland was a UC Berkeley soil scientist who made major advances in the study of mineral nutrition in plants.

Jorge Dubcovsky
(530) 752-5159
[email protected]


Lynn Kimsey: “Animal Witness” Show


Professor Lynn Kimsey, chair of the Department of Entomology, appeared on an “Animal Witness” documentary that aired in early April on Animal Planet. The director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, Kimsey chronicled her testimony in a landmark “insects-on-the-radiator” trial that led to a Bakersfield murder conviction.

Kimsey’s involvement in the trial began in the summer of 2003 when police asked her to identify the insects in a radiator from a rental car that had been driven by a suspect in a murder case, who claimed the car had not been taken out of Ohio. Kimsey testified that several insect species picked from the car parts were found only in the West. The suspect was ultimately convicted by the jury on five counts of murder.

Kimsey is considered one of the country’s foremost insect identification experts. Her research centers on the biology and evolution of insects, biogeography of insects, functional morphology, and systematics (the science of classification).

Lynn Kimsey
(530) 752-0492
[email protected]


Zhongli Pan: Chinese News Media Award


Zhongli Pan was one of 13 Chinese recipients awarded the 2008 “You Bring Charm to the World” award by a consortium of Chinese news media organizations. Pan, an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and a research engineer at the USDA ARS Western Regional Research Center, was honored for his contributions to science at a recent ceremony in Beijing. The other recipients for science included the Chinese astronaut group of the Shenzhou Seven and Nobel Prize winner Roger Tsien of UC San Diego.

Zhongli Pan
(530) 752-4367
[email protected]


R. Paul Singh: Distinguished Alumni Award


Professor R. Paul Singh, who completed his Ph.D. in agricultural engineering in 1974 at Michigan State University, East Lansing, will receive the "Distinguished Alumni Award" from his alma mater at a ceremony in May. Singh is a faculty member in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and the Department of Food Science and Technology. 

Singh uses computer-aided modeling in his research on heat and mass transfer in foods during processing. In 2007, he completed development of a multipurpose fruit and vegetable processor for NASA’s proposed manned mission to Mars. Singh’s recent research on computer simulation of food digestion in the human stomach is featured in the April 6, 2009 issue of “Scientific American.” For more information, visit

R. Paul Singh
(530) 752-0811
[email protected]


Charlie Summers: Woodworth Award


Entomologist Charlie Summers received the Charles W. Woodworth Award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America at the branch’s annual meeting in San Diego. The award recognizes Summer’s contributions to entomology over the last 10 years for his work solving pest problems that impact California agriculture.

Summers is stationed at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center in Parlier, California. He has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Entomology since 1992. His research has led to improved decisions about pest management and decreased pesticide use.

Charlie Summers
(559) 646-6564
[email protected]


Carl Winter: Food Safety Award


Food toxicologist Carl Winter has been awarded the 2009 NSF Food Safety Leadership Award for Education and Training. Winter is director of the UC Davis FoodSafe Program. NSF International is a nonprofit public health and safety organization. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the food service industry in areas that directly impact food safety. Winter will be honored by NSF International at the Food Safety Summit in Washington, D.C. later this month.

A Cooperative Extension specialist, Winter conducts research on the detection of pesticides and naturally-occurring toxins in foods. His most recent work includes looking at the relationships between crop production systems and naturally-occurring toxins. He also studies how to improve educational activities through incorporation of music into food safety curricula.

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


Larry Godfrey, James Hill, James Thompson: Rice Industry Award

Cooperative Extension specialists Larry Godfrey (entomology), James Hill (plant sciences), and James Thompson (biological and agricultural engineering) were part of a nine-member UCCE team awarded the annual “Circle of Life” award from the California Rice Commission. The award, given March 11 in Sacramento, acknowledges more than two decades of dedication, commitment, and accomplishments by the group.

The team, which also included Cooperative Extension county farm advisors, helped create the first surface water monitoring and management program, which has reduced rice herbicides in the Sacramento River by more than 99 percent.

Larry Godfrey
(530) 752-0488
[email protected]

James Hill
(530) 752 3458
[email protected]

James Thompson
(530) 752-6167
[email protected]





Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • “Folk Music Jam Session”
    Friday, April 17, 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.
  • “Discovery Day: Nature, Arts, and Culture”
    Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
    As part of Picnic Day, the public is invited to explore environmental activities and demonstrations, enjoy music and dance performances, win fun prizes, and take home a homemade eco-pot with seeds from native California plants. Discovery Day is organized by the Arboretum Ambassadors, a group of student interns.
  • “Gardeners Fair and Plant Sale”
    Saturday, April 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Arboretum Teaching Nursery.
    Uncommon garden plants will be for sale at this free event, which will feature information and demonstrations by local horticulture groups. Visit the “Plant Doctor” booth, where plant pathology graduate students will diagnose plant pests and diseases—bring samples of your problem plant for advice.
  • “Bicycle Tour of Campus Wildflowers”
    Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
    Bring your bike and get an insider’s view of garden improvements and recent additions, including two large areas planted in wildflowers. This will be an easy, slow bicycle ride lasting about an hour and covering less than five miles.
  • “In Search of Elusive Native Ants”
    Sunday, April 26, 1–3 p.m., Gazebo.
    Entomology professor Phil Ward will lead a tour exploring the refuges of native ants in arboretum. The first hour will be a walking tour around the west end; bring a bicycle if you want to continue for a second hour to explore some more remote sites. All ages are welcome.






Landscape Architecture Celebration: April 16, 2009

The Landscape Architecture Program celebrates the grand opening of its new home on the first floor of the newly remodeled Hunt Hall on Thursday, April 16, from 5 to 10 p.m. The evening will include the inaugural “Robert L. Thayer Lecture in Landscape Architecture,” presented by Frederick Steiner, the Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas, Austin. Steiner, who holds the Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture, will lecture on “Making Territory” in Hunt Hall 100 at 6 p.m. A reception with light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will follow at 7:30 p.m. There will also be student-led tours of the new facilities and a juried exhibit of alumni and student work.

The event is sponsored by the Dean’s Office and the Department of Environmental Design, along with the Geography Graduate Group, the California Center for Urban Horticulture, the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis Architects and Engineers, the John Muir Institute of the Environment, the Department of Plant Sciences, the Arboretum Community Development Graduate Group, and UC Davis Buildings and Grounds.

Shannon Tanguay
Department of Environmental Design
(530) 752-1127
[email protected]


Picnic Day: April 18, 2009

Come celebrate with UC Davis on Saturday, April 18, at this year’s Picnic Day, “Reflections: 100 Years of Aggie Legacy.” Begin the day with CA&ES friends and faculty at the Cal Aggie Alumni Association Pancake Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in Freeborn Hall. At 10:10 a.m., catch the parade. This year’s parade marshals are alumnus Bob Black and current student Gabriella Wong.

After the parade, choose from six stages featuring entertainment and more than 200 events across campus offering education and fun. Picnic Day is a great way to see what UC Davis has to offer and to experience our unique campus and community atmosphere. All ages are invited to attend this memorable and welcoming event.

For a complete listing of Picnic Day activities, visit

Julia Ann Easley
UC Davis News Service
(530) 752-8248
[email protected]


Transportation Talk: April 22, 2009

Professor Dan Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, will give a seminar titled “Transforming Transportation and Energy: Politics and Technology,” on Wednesday, April 22 from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 360 Shields Library, the IGA Reading Room. Sperling, who has a dual appointment in the departments of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy, recently published “Two Billion Cars.” Sperling’s talk is sponsored by the Institute of Governmental Affairs.

Mary Davis
Institute of Governmental Affairs
(530) 752-5570
[email protected]


Horticulture Talk: April 24, 2009

Author and horticulturist David Fross will speak on “California Native Plants for the Garden” on Friday April 24 at 7 p.m. in the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre. Fross teaches horticulture at Californa Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit

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


ANR Statewide Conference: April 27–30, 2009

The UC Agriculture and Natural Resources statewide conference, “Defining Our Future: Putting Science to Work in an Interconnected World,” will meet in Sacramento from April 27–30.

UC president Mark Yudof, regent Fred Ruiz, and ANR vice president Daniel Dooley will open the conference. Conference topics include the ANR strategic plan and the road map for ANR to achieve its vision for 2025. There will also be advocacy training sessions and breakout sessions on ANR programs. A reception for state legislators, legislative staff, and other decision makers will showcase ANR programs and California agricultural products.

For more information, visit

Sherry Cooper
Administrative Analyst, UC Berkeley
(530) 224-4902
[email protected]


Beef Improvement Symposium: April 30–May 3, 2009

The Beef Improvement Federation Annual Symposium will meet April 30–May 3 in Sacramento. The conference is funded in part by CA&ES and the Department of Animal Science and will be coordinated by Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology.

Main session topics include “Is There Gold in Those Genomes?”—which will examine prospects for genome-wide selection in beef cattle. A preconference tour on Thursday, April 30, will include visits to cattle operations and a cutting horse demonstration. The postconference tour on Sunday, May 3, will visit Drake’s Bay Family Farm on the coast, which raises grass-fed beef and oysters, as well as a tour of the Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory.

For registration information, visit

Alison Van Eenennaam
(530) 754-4856
[email protected]


Rose Day: May 1, 2009


The second annual Rose Day will be held on May 1. Hosted by the California Center for Urban Horticulture, in partnership with Foundation Plant Services, the popular event for rose enthusiasts will include educational presentations from industry specialists, meals, tours of Foundation Plant Service’s rose fields, and a rose sale. The $75 registration fee includes conference admission, parking, a “buy one get one free” rose coupon for use at the rose sale, fresh fruit breakfast, and buffet lunch.

This year, there will be an additional rose tour and sale on Saturday, May 2, that is open to the public, no registration required.

For more information on Rose Day, visit

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


Seed Biotechnology Center Symposium: May 11–12, 2009

The Seed Biotechnology Center celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. As part of the celebration, a symposium will be held on campus May 11–12. “Seed Biotechnologies: Filling the Gap between the Public and Private Sector,” will include an evening social on May 11 with a keynote address by Rob Dirks of Rijk Zwaan. The event is open to the public. For registration or more information, contact Jamie Miller at (530) 752-9985, or [email protected].

Sue DiTomaso
Seed Biotechnology Center
(530) 754-7333
[email protected]


Hubert Heitman Staff Learning Center: May 14, 2009

The Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh! will kick off a naming ceremony and Open House for the Hubert Heitman Staff Learning Center to be held Thursday, May 14 from 12:45 to 3 p.m. The former hog barn has been remodeled and dedicated to honor the memory of Hubert Heitman, Jr., an emeritus professor of animal husbandry (now animal science).

Heitman, who joined the UC Davis faculty after World War II, specialized in swine nutrition and environmental physiology and worked to improve methods for commercial pig production. Heitman also completed two terms as chair of the Department of Animal Science. He served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and was a member of the Chancellor's Academic Council.

The Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh! performance that kicks off the building dedication will be from 12:45 to 1 p.m. The ceremony will be held from 1 to 1:20 p.m., to be followed by refreshments and an Open House until 3 p.m.

Kristine Stalls
Ceremonies and Special Events
(530) 754-2262
[email protected]


Cheese Loves Beer: May 16, 2009

The public is invited to “Cheese Loves Beer: Mastering the Marriage,” to be held Saturday, May 16, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. Co-sponsored by Slow Food Yolo, the event will feature talks from Charlie Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences, and Moshe Rosenberg, professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in dairy engineering and technology. Both are faculty in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

The event will include beer and cheese tastings and pairings. Tickets are $75, or $65 for Slow Food members and UC Davis affiliates. RSVP by May 8 to Kim Bannister.

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


Alternatives to Pest Control: May 28, 2009

 “Safer Alternatives to Pest Control in Agriculture—Making the Public Health Case for Change” will meet May 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the ARC Ballroom B. The continuing education class is sponsored by the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, along with the UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety and the California Department of Public Health.

This conference will bring together a diverse audience of growers, pesticide applicators, public health officials, researchers, and entrepreneurs to discuss how to promote change in agricultural pesticide use. The class will explore the public health impacts of pesticide use in agriculture, discuss barriers that growers face in choosing to use non-pesticide control methods and reduced-risk pesticides, learn about safer technologies, and develop strategies to promote the use of safer pest management alternatives in agriculture.

The course costs $25, and enrollment is limited to 50. For more information and registration, visit

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


Green Acres Blue Skies II: June 1–2, 2009


A conference to examine agriculture and air quality called “Green Acres Blue Skies II” will be held June 1–2 at the Activities and Recreation Center on campus. The event is hosted by the UC Davis Agriculture Air Quality Center and the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center, with support from the
California Air Resources Board. For more registration and more information about “Ag and Air Quality, Working Toward Common Solutions,” visit  

Donna Reid
Air Quality Research Center
(530) 754-8374
[email protected]


CA&ES Commencement: June 13, 2009

Mark your calendars for CA&ES Spring Commencement, to be held June 13 at 9 a.m. and at 2 p.m. in the Pavilion at the Activities and Recreation Center. College and department staff are needed as volunteers at the event. The CA&ES majors included in the 9 a.m. ceremony are community and regional development, human development, international agricultural development, and managerial economics. All other CA&ES majors will participate in the afternoon ceremony.

Faculty members participating in the ceremony should report with their cap and gown to the Special Events Room on the main floor of the Pavilion at least 30 minutes before the event begins. Faculty will be directed by staff to their line-up.

A rehearsal will be held the week prior to commencement, with date and time to be determined. For gowns, caps, tassels, and UC Ph.D. faculty hoods, visit Services/CapsGownsProd/. For academic hoods from another university or any UC degree other than a Ph.D., visit

For more information, visit the commencement site at

Barbara Ambler-Thomas
Dean’s Office
(530) 754-0322
[email protected]



Locavore Feast: June 20, 2009


The Good Life Garden's first annual Locavore Feast will highlight the importance of eating tasty, healthy, environmentally-friendly local food. It will be held in the Good Life Garden at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at 6 p.m. The feast will be prepared by a well-known local chef who will use as many ingredients as possible from the greater Sacramento region. Tickets are $125.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Kira O'Donnell
Good Life Garden
(530) 681-6412
[email protected]


Olive Oil Conference: June 21–23, 2009

“Beyond Extra Virgin: Discovering the World of Super-premium Olive Oil” will meet June 21–23 on the UC Davis campus. The conference will explore the sensory qualities and culinary uses of “super-premium” olive oil.

The conference convenes in Freeborn Hall at 4 p.m. on June 21. The first two days of the event will spotlight UC Davis facilities, and the third day will be held at the Culinary Institute of America’s Napa Valley campus. Transportation to Napa is included in the $495 registration fee. The last day to register is June 12, 2009; refunds will not be issued.

For registration and more information, visit

Dan Flynn
UC Davis Olive Center
(530) 754-9301
[email protected]


International Plant Nutrition Colloquium: August 26–30, 2009

Save the date for the 16th annual International Plant Nutrition Colloquium to be held in Sacramento from Wednesday, August 26 through Sunday, August 30. “Plant Nutrition for Sustainable Development and Global Health,” hosted by the Department of Plant Sciences and CA&ES, will highlight advances in fundamental and applied plant nutrition, and emphasize the role of plant nutrition in food systems and environmental sustainability. For more information, visit

Patrick Brown
Plant Sciences
(530) 752-0929
[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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