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March 12, 2009

May 27, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean




A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Outstanding Teachers Enrich Undergraduate Education

I join the Department of Animal Science and our entire college in celebrating this week’s announcement that Professor Ed DePeters is the 2009 recipient of the UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement. Ed is an ideal representative of the core values of our college: he is a great teacher, he is a prolific researcher, and he helps find practical solutions to important problems. It is unfortunate that only one faculty member each year at UC Davis can receive this prestigious award because I know that there are many who deserve this recognition.

Our college has many great teachers, and I’m proud that undergraduate education is so important to our faculty members. The last survey of small undergraduate class sections taught by ladder-rank faculty at UC Davis showed that our college leads the campus in this indicator of faculty involvement in education.

I’m also proud of how our faculty have been campus leaders in undergraduate teaching innovations: our Science and Society program provides exciting teaching opportunities for faculty that stimulate the learning process for our undergraduates. Student projects completed in Art/Science Fusion classes are evident throughout the campus. One Art/Science Fusion project was displayed last year at the U.S. Botanical Garden on Capitol Mall, and a juried art exhibit will be on display at the Pence Gallery, March 10 to April 12.

The UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement recognizes excellence in teaching — the fundamental reason for the existence of UC Davis. Awarding this prize is an opportunity for our community to thank all of our faculty members who contribute so much to the positive undergraduate educational experience of our students.

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]




Ed DePeters: Undergraduate Teaching Award


Ed DePeters, an animal science professor and expert in dairy cow nutrition, was named the 2009 recipient of the UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement. The $40,000 teaching prize, funded by the UC Davis Foundation and first awarded in 1987, is believed to be the largest undergraduate teaching prize in the nation. The winner is selected on the recommendations of faculty members, students, and research peers. DePeters was honored on March 11 by Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef before a classroom filled with surprised and supportive students, who celebrated with a cake and, of course, milk.

DePeters teaches a lower-division course in livestock production and upper-division courses in dairy cattle production and animal feeds and nutrition. This year he's also helping teach an animal science course on meat and dairy products. DePeters' research, which has been widely applied in the dairy industry, has focused on how the composition of milk, particularly the fatty-acid content, can be modified by changes in the cow's diet, and how agricultural by-products such as almond hulls and cottonseed can be converted into nutritious feeds.

Ed DePeters
(530) 752-1263
[email protected]




Daniel Sperling: “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart


Professor Daniel Sperling appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart on February 11, 2009. Sperling is director of the Institute of Transportation Studies. He holds a joint appointment in civil engineering and environmental science and policy. Sperling appeared on “The Daily Show” to discuss his new book, “Two Billion Cars.” Video can be viewed online at:

Sperling is a leading international expert on transportation technology assessment, energy and environmental aspects of transportation, and transportation and climate policy. Since January 2008, Sperling has served on the California Air Resources Board, providing expertise in automotive and transportation engineering.

Dan Sperling
(530) 752-7434
[email protected]





Alison Van Eenennaam: Excellence in Research Award


The UC Davis Academic Federation has awarded Alison Van Eenennaam with the Academic Federation 2009 Excellence in Research Award. Van Eenennaam is a Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science.

The Academic Federation award recognizes the research contributions of a UC Davis academic employee who is not a member of the Academic Senate. It is intended for recent meritorious achievement rather than a career award, and nominees may be at any stage of their career. The Academic Federation comprises more than 1,200 academic employees, including lecturers, librarians, agronomists, academic coordinators, project scientists, researchers, and extension specialists.

As an extension specialist, Van Eenennaam does outreach to educate industry and the public about the field of genomics and animal biotechnology. Her 30-minute educational video titled “Animal Biotechnology” can be viewed at

Alison Van Eenennaam
(530) 752-7942
[email protected]







College Gets Six "Best of Davis" Awards

In a special “Best of Davis” section in The California Aggie (February 19, 2009), students voted for “Best General Education Course” on campus. Leading the list were three classes in our college:

  • Nutrition 10
  • Human Sexuality
  • Introduction to Brewing and Beer

“Nutrition 10: Discoveries and Concepts in Nutrition” is taught by Liz Applegate, a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition. “Human Development 12: Human Sexuality” is taught by Michael Rahilly, a lecturer in the Department of Human and Community Development. “Food Science and Technology 3: Introduction to Brewing and Beer” is taught by Professor Charlie Bamforth.

In addition, the UC Davis Arboretum was listed as “Best Place to Take a Date,” “Most Picturesque,” and ranked second as “Best Study Spot.”




Art/Science Fusion Exhibit


The UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program and the Pence Gallery are co-sponsoring a juried public exhibition March 10–April 12 at the Pence Gallery on 212 D Street in Davis. The opening reception is March 13 from 7–9 p.m., and the public is welcome. Art/Science Fusion explores the connections between art and science through visual arts. The work of Catherine Chalmers, one of the distinguished Consilience of Art and Science Colloquium speakers, will be among those exhibited.

Diane Ullman
(530) 752-7150
[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]



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

Two seminars remain in the winter speaker series “UC Davis—Global Leader in Environmental Sciences: Integrating Biophysical Sciences with Ecology and Policy.” As part of the campus centennial celebration, the departments of Land, Air and Water Resources and Environmental Science and Policy have hosted a series of speakers who showcase the impact of campus environmental research programs.

Seminars meet on Wednesdays from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. in 3001 PES. Dates and topics for remaining talks include:

  • 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, “Water Scarcity: Facing the Challenge—Responding to the World's Needs.”

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]



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.

Right now UC Davis is trailing behind UC Merced, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz. Help UC Davis move up in the rankings by separating landfill trash from mixed paper and other recyclables in your office, either through the mini-bin system or by keeping a cardboard box nearby to separate discards until you have time to take them your building’s central recycling location.

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]


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:

  • 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]


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • “Member Appreciation Plant Sale”
    Saturday, March 14, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Arboretum Teaching Nursery.
    Get the first pick of spring garden plants at the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum member appreciation plant sale. The event is open to members only; anyone may join at the door. All new members will receive a free plant and a 10 percent member discount on their purchases.
  • “Spring in the California Native Plant Garden”
    Saturday, March 14, 11 a.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
    Standouts in the spring native plant garden will be the focus of a free tour. The tour guide will discuss redbuds, dogwoods, California wild lilacs, and other native plants.
  • “San Francisco Flower and Garden Show”
    Wednesday, March 18, 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Join the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum for a day trip to the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. This year’s theme is “Sustainable Spaces, Beautiful Places.” The fee is $55, or $45 for members, and includes transportation and admission. Advance registration is required; call (530) 752-4880.
  • “Folk Music Jam Session”
    Friday, March 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.
  • “All About Oaks”
    Sunday, March 22, 2 p.m., Gazebo.
    Learn about oaks from many different parts of the world, as well as our native California oaks, during a tour of the Shields Oak Grove. The docent will highlight a variety of tree forms, leaves, and acorns, and will discuss uses of oaks throughout history.
  • “Living Under the Redwoods”
    Sunday, March 29, 2 p.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
    Learn about the coast redwood forest ecosystem during a tour of the redwood grove. The docent will discuss the factors that shape today's distribution of coast redwoods, and point out the plants of the understory, many of which will be in bloom.





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]


Symposium on Food Systems and Sustainability: March 24, 2009

The Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis will host its first national Symposium on Food Systems and Sustainability on Tuesday, March 24. Although the event is not open to the public, free webcast viewing of panel discussions will be accessible from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 176 of the Chemistry Building, and in the DANR building (near the UC Davis airport, west of Highway 113).

Lyra Halprin
Agricultural Sustainability Institute
(530) 752-8664
[email protected]




Produce Marketing Short Course: March 24–26, 2009

A short course on “Fresh Produce Marketing Strategies” will be presented March 24–26, hosted by the UC Davis Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center. It will meet in the Sensory Theatre of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

The program, developed by Cooperative Extension specialist and lecturer Roberta Cook and other leading produce marketing professionals, is designed for fresh produce industry managers and executives who are interested in improving their ability to develop and execute innovative marketing strategies. It will include practical examples presented by both UC Davis agricultural economists and fresh produce industry marketing leaders. Enrollment is capped at 45 participants. Complete course information and online registration is available at:

Jim Gorny
Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center
(530) 754-9270
[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]


Spring Plant Sale: April 4, 2009

0312_All-Stars.gifThe Arboretum All-Stars Centennial Celebration and Sale will be held Saturday, April 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive. The Arboretum All-Stars are 100 tough, reliable plants that require little water and grow well in the Central Valley. Many of them are California native plants and support native birds and insects. For more information, visit

Diane Cary
UC Davis Arboretum
(530) 752-7822
[email protected]




Climate Change and Arctic Resources: April 9, 2009

The John Muir Institute of the Environment hosts a geopolitical talk on the challenge of governing the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans as international spaces in the face of rapid changes in these ecosystems. Paul Berkman, head of the new Arctic Ocean Geopolitics Programme at the University of Cambridge, studies how climate change is affecting interpretations of the Law of Sea, including the growing potential for conflict over Arctic resources.

Berkman will speak Thursday, April 9, from 4:10 to 5 p.m. in 242 Asmundson Hall. His talk is part of the 2008–09 Distinguished Speaker Series on Environmental Solutions, “Water, Climate, Security and Society.” It is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Sharon Ruth
John Muir Institute of the Environment
(530) 752-9178
[email protected]




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 a keynote speaker, the first in the Thayer Lecturer Series, as well as student-led tours of the new facilities and a juried exhibit of alumni and student work. A reception follows, with light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.

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



Olive Oil Conference: June 21–23, 2009

0312_Olive-Center-conf-logo-Large.jpg“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

0312_IPNC.jpgSave 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.  

Registration by April 15 is $500, or $300 for students. Registration after April 15 is $625, or $400 for students. The deadline for paper and poster submissions is also April 15. 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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