CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

February 19, 2009

May 27, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean




A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Committee Input on College Decisions

Last summer I asked a faculty-staff committee chaired by Christel Cantlin (department manager of land, air and water resources) to advise me on how our college can more effectively serve the human resources needs of our departments. The committee provided a thoughtful report that has resulted in a reorganization of services provided by my office.

As many of you know, Anne Moyer—formerly the director of human resources in our college—was offered a promotion by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and decided to accept this new opportunity. Based on the recommendations of the HR committee, I decided that we would combine the staff and academic personnel groups within my office into a single team to be called the College Personnel Team. I am very pleased to announce that Julie Fritz-Rubert, former director of academic personnel in our college, has agreed to lead this team as Assistant Dean for College Personnel. The team will consider each of the other recommendations of the HR committee and work closely with our departments to provide efficient personnel services. I would like to thank the HR committee for the time and effort they put into preparing their recommendations.

In addition, my office has been working with our department chairs, the Executive Committee, and the Dean’s Council to give direction to a new committee formed to help our college take a proactive approach to planning for the future in an environment of budget challenges. Although our college completed an academic plan less than two years ago, the budget situation is much different today than it was when that planning was completed. The charge of the new committee will be to use the foundation of our current academic plan, along with the expected strategic plan from ANR, to help us guide budget decisions that must be made over the next few years. The bottom line is that we need advice regarding what priorities are necessary for the future success of our college and advice regarding what we can de-emphasize in the future.

Professor M.R.C. Greenwood, former chancellor of UC Santa Cruz, has agreed to chair this important committee. I have also asked the following faculty members to serve on the committee:  Chris Benner, Doug Cook, Graham Fogg, Bruce German, Marion Miller, Beth Mitcham, Anita Oberbauer, Jay Rosenheim, Mark Schwartz, and Rich Sexton. Everyone understands that this committee has a very challenging assignment. In their recommendations, the committee will need to place every department and interdepartmental program in the context of how the college can excel under challenging budget conditions. The committee has been asked to provide the report to me by June 1, 2009. Based on the committee report, I will then ask the various constituents of our college—the Dean’s Council, the College Executive Committee, and others—to advise me regarding the difficult budget decisions that the college will certainly need to make.

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]




Deanne Meyer: Dairy Industry Award

0219_meyer.jpgDeanne Meyer, Cooperative Extension specialist in livestock waste management, has been named the Western DairyBusiness 2009 Outstanding Dairy Industry Educator/Researcher. Meyer was honored at the World Ag Expo, the world’s largest annual agricultural exposition, held recently in Tulare, California.

State and federal environmental regulations have changed how livestock operators do business, and Meyer serves as a resource to help them conform to new standards. Meyer helps dairy operators integrate soil, air, water, plant, and animal resources, while maintaining economic and environmental soundness.

Deanne Meyer
Department of Animal Science
[email protected]


Stephen Wheeler: Urban and Regional Planning Award

0219_wheeler.jpgProfessor Stephen Wheeler, Department of Environmental Design, was awarded the 2009 William R. and June Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning. This annual award is given by California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, to one planning scholar and one practitioner. The Dale Prize recognizes planning excellence, creates dialogue between scholars and practitioners, and enriches the education of planning students.

Honorees receive awards of $5,000 each and participate in two days of symposia, class presentations, and dialogue with students. This year, the February event focused on “The Future of California’s Communities and Regions in an Era of Resource Constraints and Climate Change.” In addition to Wheeler, Cal Poly honored Gail Goldberg, planning director for the City of Los Angeles and former planning director for the City of San Diego, as practitioner.

Wheeler joined the Landscape Architecture Program faculty in January 2007 and teaches courses related to community and regional planning, urban design, and sustainable development. His research interests include the theory and practice of sustainable development, the evolution of built landscapes, metropolitan regional planning, and planning strategies to address climate change.

Stephen Wheeler
(530) 754-9332
[email protected]





Call for Nominations: CA&ES Award of Distinction

Nominations for the 2009 CA&ES Award of Distinction will be accepted through March 27, 2009. Awards recognize individuals for excellence in leadership, achievement, support, and/or meritorious service to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, or for bringing distinction to the college through their careers.

Categories include alumni, friends of the college, young alumni (less than 15 years from last degree), faculty, and staff. Recipients will be honored at College Celebration, to be held October 9, 2009.

If possible, nominations should be kept confidential from nominees. Nomination forms can be downloaded and submitted by mail, fax, e-mail, or online at

Carrie Cloud
(530) 752-2120
[email protected]



Call for Nominations: Calvin E. Handy Leadership Award

Nominations are being accepted for the fifth annual Calvin E. Handy Leadership Award, which honors police chief emeritus Calvin Handy. The award recognizes an individual community member, group, or organization that has made significant contributions in the area of public safety and security. The award recipient will be recognized at the “Soaring to New Heights” annual awards ceremony on April 14, 2009.

Criteria for the award: the nominee, through leadership actions, has established a sustainable program or has cultivated and/or enhanced relationships that encourage two or more groups to collaborate and create an identifiable impact on public safety and security for the campus or medical center community.

Nominations are due Friday, February 27, 2009. All nomination letters/forms must be submitted electronically to [email protected], c/o the Campus Community Relations office.

For more information, please visit

Vickie Gomez
Offices of the Chancellor and Provost
(530) 752-2071
[email protected]


Specialty Crop Research Funding: Request for Applications

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announces the availability of research funding for specialty crops—fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. The USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service has $47.3 million in initiative grant funding for FY 2009.

The application deadline is April 15, 2009. Prospective applicants are requested (but not required) to e-mail a notification of intent to submit by March 2, 2009.

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative is intended to promote collaboration, open communication, the exchange of information, and the development of resources that accelerate application of scientific discovery and technology to solving needs of the various specialty crop industries. Priority will be given to projects that are multistate, multi-institutional, or multidisciplinary and include explicit mechanisms to communicate results to producers and the public.

For more information, visit

Tom Bewick
Cooperative State Research Education, and Extension Service
(202) 401-3356
[email protected]  


Call for Applications: Staff Adviser-Designate to UC Regents

Applications are being accepted for staff adviser-designate to the UC Board of Regents. The designate now being recruited would serve from July 2009 to June 2011. There are two staff advisers at a time, with one serving as “designate” for a year and then moving up to staff adviser for a year. The advisers serve in a nonvoting capacity on three regents’ committees: Educational Policy, Finance, and Long-Range Planning.

Applications are due by 5 p.m., March 2, 2009. More information is available from the human resources office, or at

Randolph Scott
Strategic Planning and Workforce Development
(510) 987-9996


Kinsella Memorial Prize

Nominations of outstanding graduate students for the Kinsella Memorial Prize are due April 3, 2009. In memory of former CA&ES dean John Kinsella, the annual $3,000 award will be given to an outstanding individual who submits his/her Ph.D. dissertation between March 23, 2008 and March 20, 2009. The major professor of the recipient must have an appointment in CA&ES.

Each graduate group may submit one nomination. Nominations from the graduate group chair should include the name and department of the major professor and a one-page abstract of the dissertation. In addition, please submit a letter (maximum of 3 pages) that elaborates on the:

  • quality and originality of the work
  • multidisciplinary impact of the research
  • importance of the research to the college’s mission to serve agriculture, the environment, and human health and development.

The CA&ES Graduate Education Subcommittee will select the winner, whose name will be announced during the college and graduate commencement ceremonies.

Sharon Berg
CA&ES Dean’s Office
(530) 752-3483
[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 are hosting 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 and include 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 meet on Wednesdays from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. in 3005 PES from January through early April. Dates and topics for upcoming seminars include:

  • February 18, 2009: Jonathan Lynch, Penn State University, “Roots of the Second Green Revolution”
  • February 25, 2009: Tom Dietz, Michigan State University, “Journeys to Sustainability? Examining National Trajectories of Impact, Efficiency and Sustainability”
  • March 4, 2009: Emilio Bruna, University of Florida, “Plant Demography in Brazil’s Cerrado: Disentangling the Effects of Leaf-cutter Ants, Small Mammals, and Nitrogen Deposition on a Biodiversity Hotspot”
  • March 11, 2009: Juha Siikamäki, Resources for the Future, “Incorporating Economics into Biological Conservation Decisions”
  • March 18, 2009: Wilfried Brutsaert, Cornell University, “Has Global Dimming Caused a Slowdown of the Hydrologic Cycle?”
  • April 1, 2009: Pasquale Steduto, Food and Agriculture Organization, TBA


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


Wine Tastings at Gunrock Pub

0219_gunrock.jpgThe Gunrock Pub (formerly known as the Silo Café & Pub) offers a special themed wine tasting on the first Wednesday of every month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The event costs $10, with no reservations required. Each tasting will feature four wines and food pairings that share a common theme. The event is sponsored by Sodexo and the Vintage Aggies Wine Club.

Robin Clement
University Dining Services by Sodexo
(541) 383-8154
[email protected]


Environmental Health Summer Internships

The Department of Environmental Toxicology, in conjunction with the Internship and Career Center, is offering paid summer research internships in environmental health for undergraduates. The program has about 20 students, with funding from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, and other sources. In addition to interning with faculty, students participate in field trips, lab research conferences, and take two units of UC Davis summer school classes in environmental health sciences. Applications and faculty research interests are available at

Marion Miller
Department of Environmental Toxicology
(530) 754-8982
[email protected]


Recyclemania 2009

0219_mug.jpgDemonstrate the UC Davis commitment to environmental responsibility by recycling your cans, bottles, and papers. From now through March 28, UC Davis is competing with almost 500 colleges nationwide in a “Recyclemania” event to divert as much waste as possible from the landfill. Recyclemania organizers are still looking for divisional volunteers to promote recycling in their part of campus.


Anyone interested in volunteering should e-mail their contact information to [email protected]. For more information, visit

Katie Hetrick
Facilities Management
(530) 754-4134
[email protected]


CA&ES Executive Committee Election

March 27, 2009 is the deadline for nominations for Academic Senate and Academic Federation faculty to serve on the CA&ES Executive Committee. Representation is needed from within the Division of Human Sciences—one Academic Senate representative and one Academic Federation representative to join continuing committee members. Elected members serve a three-year term. At least two nominations are needed for each vacancy.

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

Landscape Architecture Seminar Series

The Landscape Architecture Program winter quarter lecture series, entitled "Design as Activism," meets Fridays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 119 Wellman Hall. The series is open to the public.

Dates and topics include:

  • February 20, 2009: “Designing in Partnership with Community”
  • February 27, 2009: “The Pusher: Selling Vision to Communities”
  • March 6, 2009: “Liberatory Urbanism: Approaches to a Practice”
  • March 13, 2009: “Drop City Revisited”

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


WCAHS Monthly Seminar Series

The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety hosts monthly seminars on topics related to agricultural health. The presentations are held from 4 to 5 p.m. in 3201 Hart Hall. Refreshments are provided.

Dates and topics for upcoming seminars include:

  • March 2, 2009: “Immigration”
  • April 6, 2009: “CHAMACOS: A Community/University Partnership to Assess Environmental Exposures and Their Health Effects on Young Children”

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


Entomology Seminar Series

The Department of Entomology hosts a series of noon seminars that meet every Wednesday through March 11 from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in Briggs Hall. The talks are open to the public.

Dates and topics for upcoming seminars include:

  • February 18, 2009: “Patterns of Diversity in Southern California Beetles”
  • February 25, 2009: “Midge Madness! Quantifying Linkages Between Lake and Land”
  • March 4, 2009: “But Do We Shoot the Driver? Meeting New Challenges in Detecting Agents of Harm by Using Old Entomological Knowledge”
  • March 11, 2009: TBA

Kathy Keatley Garvey
Department of Entomology
(530) 754-6894
[email protected]


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

“Folk Music Jam Session”; Friday, February 20, 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.

“Native Californian Elderberry Flute-Making Workshop”; Sunday, February 22, 1–3 p.m., Room 146 Environmental Horticulture, Old Davis Road.
Learn how to make and play a Native Californian elderberry flute in a free two-hour workshop. East Bay Regional Parks docent Antonio Flores will talk about the culture of flute-making and the endangered elderberry beetle. All materials will be supplied. Please bring a sharp pocket knife. Adult supervision is required for young children.

“Birding in Your Own Backyard”; Sunday, February 22, 2 p.m., Arboretum Headquarters.
A docent will share techniques for bird-friendly gardening and explain what plants attract birds and what kinds of birds you may see at this time of year.

“Beat the Winter Blahs in the Garden”; Saturday, February 28, 11 a.m., Gazebo.
Gardeners can learn how to plan for year-round garden interest, see examples of plants that stand out in the winter, and watch for early bloomers during a tour of the arboretum’s demonstration gardens.





Groundwater and Watershed Hydrology: February 23–24, 2009

“Introduction to Groundwater and Watershed Hydrology: Monitoring, Assessment and Protection” will meet February 23–24 in Orange, California. The shortcourse will be taught by Professor Randy Dahlgren and Cooperative Extension groundwater hydrologist Thomas Harter, both faculty in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. It is sponsored by UC Cooperative Extension and the Groundwater Resources Association of California.

The course is for technical staff, consultants, and technical and management personnel in private and public water supply companies, irrigation districts, water districts, local and state agencies, and in resource conservation districts. It also serves as an excellent introduction to hydrogeology, water resources assessment and monitoring for watershed advisors, watershed group participants, and members of environmental and other stakeholder groups and citizens alliances.

Conference registration forms can be found at For more information on the conference, visit

Mary Megarry
Groundwater Resources Association
(916) 446-3626
[email protected]



Food and Health Entrepreneurship Academy: February 23–27, 2009

0219_beaker.jpgThe Food and Health Entrepreneurship Academy, co-sponsored by the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute and the Center for Entrepreneurship, is an intensive one-week program designed for science and engineering Ph.D. students, postdocs, and research faculty in the fields of nutrition, viticulture and enology, plant science, biochemistry, nutritional genomics, and fields relevant to foods for health. The conference will meet at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center from Monday, February 23 through Friday, February 27.

For more information, visit

Nicole Starsinic
Center for Entrepreneurship
(530) 574-6531
[email protected]


Tasting Histories Conference: February 27–March 1, 2009

“Tasting Histories: Food and Drink Cultures Through the Ages” will meet Friday, February 27 through Sunday, March 1 at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. Sponsored by RMI and the UC Davis Humanities Institute, the conference will bring together scholars, research scientists, growers, and farmers in a three-day study of food, wine, and culture.

The program is available at:

Jennifer Langdon
Humanities Institute
(530) 754-0331
[email protected]


California Small Farm Conference: March 1–3, 2009

The state’s annual gathering of small farmers and their supporters will be held Sunday, March 1 through Tuesday, March 3 in Sacramento. The 2009 California Small Farm Conference includes 25 workshops related to farm transitions, production, marketing, equipment, and other topics. Optional tours on the first day of the conference highlight cherry production and risk management, urban agriculture, small-scale livestock, regional marketing, transitioning to organic, and farmers market innovations. Featured speakers include Thaddeus and Moyra Barsotti, Capay Valley farmers; Ann Evans, Davis food and agriculture writer/community leader; and A. G. Kawamura, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The UC Small Farm Program is an organizing sponsor of the conference, which will also include speakers from UC Davis, UC Cooperative Extension, and UC Berkeley.

To register or for more information, visit

Brenda Dawson
UC Small Farm Program
(530) 752-7849
[email protected]


Common Threads: March 5, 2009

The sixth annual Common Threads Awards Ceremony and Luncheon will be held Thursday, March 5, in the ballroom of the Activities and Recreation Center. Common Threads recognizes northern California women for their agricultural background, philanthropic efforts, and community service. The organization is co-sponsored by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation and our college.

The 2009 honorees include:

  • Francine A. Bradley, Yolo County (and UC Davis)
  • Barbara Ohlendorf, Yolo County (and UC Davis)
  • Ann Silva, San Joaquin County
  • Eloise Fischer Spence, Calaveras County
  • Caroline Vann, Colusa County
  • Molly Watkins, San Joaquin County

The registration fee is $35 per person, and the last day to preregister is Thursday, February 26. Refunds will not be issued for cancellations. Registration at the ARC Ballroom on the day of the luncheon is $50 per person and begins at 10:30 a.m. For more information and registration, visit

Carrie Cloud
CA&ES Dean's Office
(530) 752-2120
[email protected]


Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day: March 6–7, 2009

CA&ES hosts the annual Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day on Friday and Saturday, March 6–7. This field day is open to high school students involved in FFA or 4-H from California and surrounding states. Approximately 3,000 high school students come to campus to compete in 26 contests that range from livestock judging to agriculture computer applications. UC Davis students from a variety of majors coordinate the contests. CA&ES faculty and staff serve as advisors for these contests. Volunteers are still needed to serve as judges for several contests (no experience necessary).

Ali Zike
2009 Field Day Coordinator
(530) 752-4939
[email protected]


UC Davis Wine Executive Program: March 8–12, 2009

0219_wineposter.jpgThe ninth annual UC Davis Wine Executive Program, “Blending the Business and Science of Winemaking,” meets March 8–12 in Sacramento. Sponsored by the Graduate School of Management and the Department of Viticulture and Enology, the conference will present an intensive program on winemaking and management skills for wine industry professionals.


Diana Vail
Graduate School of Management
UC Davis Wine Executive Program
(530) 754-6450
[email protected]


Faculty-Staff Brown Bag Budget Forum: March 13, 2009

CA&ES faculty and staff are invited to the second brown bag budget forum on Friday, March 13, in 3001 PES from noon to 1 p.m. The town hall meeting with Dean Van Alfen will provide an opportunity to discuss our current budget situation.

Lori Fulton
Dean’s Office
(530) 752-7192
[email protected]


Seed Biology, Production, and Quality Class: March 25–26, 2009

The Seed Biotechnology Center, together with UC Davis Extension, presents a two-day class in “Seed Biology, Production, and Quality” March 25–26 at the Bowley Plant Sciences Teaching Center. The course is designed for professionals in the seed industry, crop consultants, and growers to update and expand their current knowledge. Participants will learn fundamental and specialized information on topics including seed development, production, harvesting, testing, conditioning, enhancement, storage, and quality assessment.

Instructors include UC Davis faculty Kent Bradford, director of the Seed Biotechnology Center, and Allen Van Deynze, SBC researcher. For registration and more information, visit

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


ANR Statewide Conference: April 27–30, 2009

Registration is now open for the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources statewide conference, “Defining Our Future: Putting Science to Work in an Interconnected World,” which 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 registration and more information, visit

Sherry Cooper
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 pre-conference tour on Thursday, April 30, will include visits to cattle operations and a cutting horse demonstration. The post-conference 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


Save the date for the second annual Rose Day at a new lower cost. 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. Save the date for “Seed Biotechnologies: Filling the Gap between the Public and Private Sector,” which will include an evening social on May 11 with a keynote address by Rob Dirks of Rijk Zwaan. A full day of talks will be held on May 12, with confirmed speakers including Mathilde Causse (INRA, France), Molly Jahn (University of Wisconsin), Jean Kridl (Arcadia), and Pam Ronald (UC Davis).

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]



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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

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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