August 13, 2009
This month marks a significant transition for UC Davis, as a long period of leadership under Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef ends, and a new era of leadership under Chancellor Linda Katehi begins. Such times of transition are both sad and exciting: Chancellor Vanderhoef has helped UC Davis develop into one of our nation’s leading public universities. Our college benefited from Vanderhoef’s leadership because he understood and supported the mission and aspirations of a land-grant institution dedicated to solving societal problems and making a difference to our state, our citizens, and our students. However, we are excited about welcoming a new chancellor who has demonstrated an understanding of the role of a land-grant university in her past leadership appointments.
Within our college, there will also be some changes. After ten years of service, three of our associate deans—Tu Jarvis, Michael Parrella, and Randy Southard—have decided to return to the faculty (although Michael has agreed to be the new chair of the Department of Entomology). This transition will be a difficult one for me since we have worked well as a team and faced some very challenging issues together. These three associate deans have been incredible partners and friends, and we will certainly miss them in our office.
I have agreed to be reappointed for another five-year term as dean. Executive associate dean Jim MacDonald has also agreed to be reappointed, and Diane Ullman and Jim Hill will continue as associate deans in my office. We have decided to restructure my office by reducing one associate dean position, so we are currently searching for two new associate deans. I am confident that once these transitions are complete, our campus and our college will fare well in the future under the leadership of Chancellor Katehi.
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
Liz Applegate, a senior lecturer in the Department of Nutrition, was one of three faculty chosen to receive the 2009 Distinguished Teaching Award in the undergraduate category, along with three faculty who were honored in the graduate/professional category. The prestigious annual awards, presented by the Academic Senate, recognize consistent outstanding teaching and commitment to student success.
Applegate has taught general education courses in nutrition to approximately 45,000 students during her 25-year career on campus. Her signature course, “Discoveries and Concepts in Nutrition,” (or NUT10) has more students enrolled than any other course on campus and has been selected as “Best General Education Course” by students for the past three years. Applegate is known for her clever and memorable use of cutting-edge teaching technology, including 3-D visuals, animation and cartoons, and PowerPoint presentations. She also uses podcasts that make material available for review by all students.
Applegate and other winners of Academic Senate and Academic Federation awards will be honored at a reception to be held in the spring.
Timothy Caro, a professor of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, was one of four faculty honored by the Academic Senate with the 2009 Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award. Caro was chosen in tandem with anthropology professor Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, both of whom are part of the UC Davis Center for Population Biology. Borgerhoff Mulder and Caro were recognized for their combined efforts to conserve the local cultural and natural environments of the Mpimbwe people of the Rukwa Valley in southwestern Tanzania. Their various projects in the Rukwa Valley include the establishment of a community-based organization that runs an eco-tourist lodge and coordinates local conservation activities.
The Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award is given by the Academic Senate for voluntary service in the scholar’s field of expertise. It recognizes professors for unpaid dissemination of information from their discipline to the public and nonprofit sector. Faculty receive the award for service activities such as advising public or nonprofit commissions, educating business, community groups, or the media, and giving testimony before government bodies. Other recipients of the 2009 Distinguished Scholarly Public Service award include Distinguished Professor Gail Goodman, Department of Psychology, and physician Marc Schenker, a professor of public health and director of the Western Agricultural Health and Safety Center.
A group of retired CA&ES professors and Cooperative Extension specialists gathered on July 16 to enjoy food and fellowship at the University Club. Retirees heard an update on the college from the dean. Those who came expressed interest in future reunions, and the Dean’s Office hopes to plan another gathering next year.
In the photo, (l to r) are Professor Barbara Webster, who retired from the Department of Plant Sciences in 1992; Lynn Campbell, wife of Professor Emeritus Robert Campbell of the Department of Plant Pathology; and Kay Ryugo, professor emeritus of plant sciences, who retired in 1989.
CA&ES Dean’s Office
The Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and the Good Life Garden were featured in a “Good Question” segment that aired on Sacramento’s Channel 13 KOVR News on July 31 and August 1. Reporter Pallas Hupe interviewed gardener Arlene Kennedy and RMI executive director Clare Hasler to answer the question, “What does it mean when wine has an oaky finish?” Kennedy explains the various flavor notes detailed in the “Wine Aroma Wheel” invented by Ann Noble, an emeritus professor from the Department of Viticulture and Enology. Her aroma wheel helps tasters choose vocabulary to describe the complexity of wine flavor.
Nutritionists Judith Stern and Alexandra Kazaks have published a new book titled “Obesity,” a thoughtful overview of the science and sociology of weight management. Written as a reference book for a general audience, the book was released in July by publisher ABC-CLIO as part of its Contemporary World Issues series.
"We wrote this book to answer the common questions related to obesity," said Stern, an internationally known obesity researcher and a distinguished professor of nutrition and internal medicine. "In it we examine why people gain weight, why they succeed or fail in their attempts to lose weight, and who bears the responsibility." Co-author Alexandra Kazaks is a researcher in the Department of Nutrition and a consultant for two national health organizations.
The book looks at the history and definition of obesity, as well as its causes and consequences. The authors tackle the controversies surrounding obesity, from its status as a disease to the diet foods, drugs, surgeries, and other invasive procedures available for treating it. A worldwide perspective is also offered that touches on international patterns, gender issues, and childhood obesity.
More than 100 scientists from China and the United States convened on campus for the eighth International Conference of Food Science and Technology, held August 5–6. The conference featured ten plenary talks, 32 technical sessions, and 45 poster presentations. Topics covered included the state of the food industry in China, new findings on the health benefits of almonds, olive juice (made from olive leaves), food safety, and the impact of calorie restriction on longevity.
The annual conference was established in 1991 as a collaborative effort between food science researchers at UC Davis and their counterparts at Jiangnan University in Wuxi, China. This is the second time that UC Davis has hosted the event.
California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research
For more information, visit the arboretum website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
- “California Native Plants in the Garden”
Saturday, August 15, 10 a.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
There are more than 5,000 species of plants native to California. Plants that are adapted to the local climate need less water and fertilizer and are less susceptible to disease than common garden plants. Visitors can see some popular native plants and get tips for gardening with natives during a free tour.
- “Folk Music Jam Session”
Friday, August 21, 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.
- “Planning your Garden to Conserve Water”
Sunday, August 23, 10 a.m., Gazebo.
Homeowners can learn how to create a beautiful garden that will continue to provide a green retreat in drought conditions. The tour guide will point out easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant plants that look great in the home garden, and discuss the best watering approaches for the Central Valley.
The 31st annual Western Apicultural Society Conference will meet August 17–20 in Healdsburg, California. Founded in 1978, the Western Apicultural Society is a nonprofit, educational, beekeeping organization whose members are primarily beekeepers from throughout western North America.
Several UC Davis faculty members will speak at the conference, including: Michelle Flenniken, who holds the UC Davis Haagen-Dazs Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Honey Bee Biology, and is also a researcher at UC San Francisco; Robbin Thorp, professor emeritus of entomology; Neal Williams, a new entomology faculty member; and Liz Applegate, a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition.
In addition to presentations on bee health and disease research, the conference will include such topics as beekeeping with minimal chemical input, cooperative rearing of local honey bee stocks, identifying non-Apis pollinators, and the impacts of native bees on commercial crop production. Various aspects of honey and human health will be addressed.
The Yolo County Fair gala opening night celebration of “Yolo County Bounty” will be held Wednesday, August 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Ag Business Building of the fairgrounds in Woodland. Guests will enjoy tastings of wine, olive oil, fresh produce, nuts, and other local specialties. Tickets are available at the fair office for $10 per person, or at the door of the gala for $15 per person. For more information, visit www.yolocountyfair.net.
Yolo County Fair
1125 East Street
The 16th annual International Plant Nutrition Colloquium will meet 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 http://ipnc.ucdavis.edu/.
The 2009 Weed Science School will meet on campus at the Bowley Science Teaching Center from September 21–23. The intensive course focuses on the mode and mechanism of herbicide activity in plants and the fate of herbicides in the environment. Organized by the UC Weed Research & Information Center, the school is designed for those involved in consulting, research, development, or sales of agricultural chemicals in either the private or public sector.
Registration is $550 if received by September 4, and $600 after that date. The course fee includes handout materials, refreshments, and a daily lunch. For more information, visit http://wric.ucdavis.edu and click on Weed Science School 2009.
UC Weed Research & Information Center
The UC Davis Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center is accepting registration for the 14th annual “Focus on Fresh-Cut!” workshop, to be held at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center on September 22–24, 2009.
The rapidly expanding food category of fresh-cut products (cleaned, washed, cut, packaged, and refrigerated fruits and vegetables) requires that produce be handled and packaged to maintain freshness, ensure safety, extend shelf life, and provide good eating quality. This workshop is designed for individuals from the fresh and processed fruit and vegetable industries, and will be of interest to food scientists, food engineers, quality assurance personnel, and new product development staff. The course is also valuable to representatives from research institutions, the restaurant and institutional food industries, and packaging and ingredient suppliers.
Enrollment is requested by September 4, 2009. For registration and more information, visit https://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=3526.
Sample heirloom tomatoes in the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science on Saturday, September 26, from 1 to 5 p.m. Speakers include Ann Noble, professor emeritus of the Department of Viticulture and Enology; Thaddeus Barsotti, farm manager for Capay Organic; and Clare Hasler, RMI executive director. Please RSVP by September 11. The event costs $75, ($65 for UC Davis affiliates).
Robert Mondavi Institute
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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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