October 8, 2009
Message from the Dean
This fall, as we take the opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments at College Celebration, I’d also like to thank the individuals who have completed their service as chairs and announce the appointments of new chairs in our college’s departments. As the leaders of the college, the chairs and vice chairs are key contributors to our success.
- In July, Professor Francene Steinberg began a five-year appointment as chair of the Department of Nutrition. Francene, who joined the university in 1996, is also a nutritionist in the Agricultural Experiment Station and specializes in the physiologic roles of food phytochemicals. She replaces Professor Emeritus Charley Hess, former CA&ES dean. Charley came out of retirement to serve two years as interim department chair.
- Professor Michael Parrella began a five-year appointment as chair of the Department of Entomology in July. Michael replaces interim chair Professor Lynn Kimsey, who will continue in a leadership role as the department’s vice chair. A member of the UC Davis faculty since 1989, Parrella chaired the department from 1991–1999 before becoming associate dean for the college’s Division of Agricultural Sciences. After ten years of service as an associate dean, Michael is returning to the faculty and chair position in entomology. In addition to his entomology appointment, Parrella holds a joint appointment with the Department of Plant Sciences.
- Professor Anita Oberbauer, vice chair in the Department of Animal Science, has agreed to take over as interim chair through the end of the year. The department is seeking someone to replace Professor Mary Delany, who recently stepped down as chair to join my office as programmatic associate dean for the college.
- Professor Emeritus Michael Singer, who retired this summer, has agreed to serve as interim chair in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources through the end of the year while the department seeks a replacement for Professor Jan Hopmans. Jan recently joined my office as a programmatic associate dean for the college. Will Horwath will continue to serve as vice chair for LAWR.
- Within the Department of Plant Sciences, Cooperative Extension specialist Beth Mitcham has stepped down as section chair of Horticulture Sciences to assume the duties of running a new Collaborative Research Support Program in horticulture. There will be no interim section chair to replace Beth until the department completes an evaluation of all sections.
I want to again thank both current and former chairs for their leadership and service to the departments and 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
Professor Julian Alston, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, was one of six people honored with the Distinguished Scholar Award by the Western Agricultural Economics Association at their June 2009 meeting in Hawaii. Alston was commended for research in three major areas: the consequences of government policy, such as export subsidies and trade barriers to marketing quotas; the demand for farm commodities; and the economics of agricultural productivity growth and research and development.
Professor Michael Carter has been selected as a fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the AAEA’s most prestigious honor. Carter and five other recipients of this award were honored in July at the association’s annual meeting in Milwaukee. AAEA fellows are selected for outstanding contributions in agricultural or applied economics through research, teaching, extension, administration or other contributions to decision-making.
Carter, one of the leading development economists in the world, joined the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics this fall from the University of Wisconsin. He has worked on rural development issues throughout Africa and Latin America. His research focuses on the theoretical underpinnings of imperfections in rural factor markets, poverty dynamics and asset accumulation, and the relationships between inequality, institutional development and growth.
Professor Bruce German, Department of Food Science, has been named the new director of the Foods for Health Institute. German is an internationally known scholar and leader in the field of food and health. He leads a milk genome project on campus that has gained significant financial support and attracted wide interest because of the interdisciplinary way in which the research effort has been conducted. Through the milk genome project, he has demonstrated that collaborations in research across broad disciplinary areas are possible and can lead to much more success than would individual, isolated efforts.
The Foods for Health Institute was organized to bring together campus faculty to collaborate in an area of research where UC Davis has the potential to be dominant in the world. The core components include research and outreach in the arenas of: medicinal nutrition, food engineering and processing, quality of life, and policy analysis and education methods. German replaces former director MRC Greenwood, who recently began her position as president of the University of Hawaii.
Professor Richard Howitt, chair of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, has been selected as a fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the AAEA’s most prestigious honor. Howitt and five other recipients of this award were honored in July at the association’s annual meeting in Milwaukee. AAEA fellows are selected for outstanding contributions in agricultural or applied economics through research, teaching, extension, administration or other contributions to decision-making.
Also honored at the AAEA’s annual meeting was Howitt’s doctoral student, Kristiana Hansen, who received the “Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.” Professor Jeffrey Williams was also a thesis advisor on Hansen’s dissertation, “Three Essays on Contractual Mechanisms to Manage Water Supply Risk in the Western United States.” Three other dissertations received honorable mention awards.
The Davis Farmers Market, designed by landscape architecture professor Mark Francis in the Department of Environmental Design, was voted "America's Favorite Farmers Market" in the “large market” category in a recent national poll conducted by the American Farmland Trust. The Davis Farmers Market received 3,032 votes, over 10 percent of the total votes. The award was presented at a September ceremony in Central Park attended by local and state officials, as well as the California Commissioner of Agriculture and the former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. In its inaugural year, the “America’s Favorite Farmers Market” contest featured 857 participating markets.
Francis' design of Central Park and the Davis Farmers Market has received several major design awards and is the first permanent farmers market designed into an urban park in California.
The East Quad Farmers Market is back for fall quarter. It will be held every Wednesday until November 18 (except Veteran’s Day, November 11) from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the East Quad. Health Education and Promotion, a unit of Student Health Services, coordinates the market during fall and spring quarters, offering a convenient shopping place for students, staff, and faculty who might not otherwise have the time to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and more.
Student Health Services
The public is invited to attend the UC Davis Landscape Architecture program’s fall 2009 lunchbag lecture series on Fridays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 1130 Hart Hall. This fall’s series is “A Sustainable Campus — What’s Being Done? What More Can Be Done?” The lectures will be held on Fridays through December 4, with the exception of November 27.
Dates and topics for remaining seminars include:
- October 9: UC Davis Sustainability Initiatives
- October 16: Sustainability Initiatives at the Arboretum
- October 23: Sustainability in Campus Dining
- October 30: Sustainability in Campus Buildings
- November 6: Sustainability in Campus Transportation
- November 13: Sustainability in Campus Development
- November 20: Sustainability at Shields Library
- December 4: Minicharette, Your Ideas for a Sustainable Campus
The Department of Entomology hosts a series of noon seminars that meet every Wednesday through December 2 from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall. Topics this fall range from honey bees to butterflies. No lectures are scheduled for Veterans' Day, November 11, or during the Thanksgiving holiday, November 25. The talks are open to the public.
Dates and topics for remaining seminars include:
- October 14: Mimicking Science Interpretation: A Visit to the Creation Museum
- October 21: Demography of the Finitude: Insights into Lifespan, Aging, and Death from Insect Studies
- October 28: Microarray-Based Pathogen Detection and the Antiviral Role of RNA Interference in Honey Bees
- November 4: TBA
- November 18: Anatomy of a Niche Shift: Lycaeides melissa and the Colonization of Alfalfa
- December 2: An International Perspective on Sustainable Production in Greenhouses
Kathy Keatley Garvey
Department of Entomology
The Gunrock Pub on the south side of the Silo 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 wines and food pairings that share a common theme. The event is sponsored by the pub and the Cal Aggie Alumni Association’ s Vintage Aggies Wine Club.
University Dining Services
University Communications has announced its media training schedule for the 2009–2010 academic year, with dates for both regular and advanced media training.
Media Training 1
This full-day interactive session is customized for UC Davis scientists, faculty, staff, and students who interact with the news media. It covers the benefits and risks of working with the news media, including strategies for accommodating the differing methods of print and broadcast journalists. Participants will learn what to do when a reporter calls, as well as their rights to obtain information from the news media before agreeing to an interview. A series of exercises will teach participants how to prepare for a successful interview and how to develop strategic media messages and talking points for public presentations.
All workshops will be held in the Allewelt Room of the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center, unless otherwise noted. Enrollment is limited to eight participants per session. The class meets from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and costs $50, which includes materials and a catered lunch. (Please note that cancellations made less than one week in advance of the scheduled class date will still be charged the entire class fee.) Remaining dates offered include November 12, January 14, February 11, May 13, and some summer training dates, TBA. For registration, contact Ada McAdow.
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.
All workshops will be held in the UC Davis television studio at Mediaworks, unless otherwise noted. Enrollment is limited to three participants per session. The class meets from 9 a.m. to noon and costs $50. (Please note that cancellations made less than one week in advance of the scheduled class date will still be charged the entire class fee.) Dates offered include March 11 and April 15. The December 10 class is full. For registration, contact Ada McAdow.
For more information, visit the arboretum website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
- “Tips for Successful Container Gardens”
Saturday, October 10, 11 a.m., Arboretum Terrace Garden, Davis Commons, First Street.
Participants can learn some simple secrets for great container gardens. The tour guide will show examples of planting in multiple layers and grouping a variety of containers of different types and sizes to create depth and density.
- “Walk with Warren”
Wednesday, October 14, noon, Arboretum Headquarters.
Enjoy the fall colors, hears stories about arboretum collections, and get a little exercise during a lunchtime stroll with superintendent Warren Roberts.
- “Readings by the Creative Writing Faculty”
Thursday, October 15, 7 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
Award-winning fiction writers and poets from the UC Davis Creative Writing Program will read from their work to kick off the academic year. The program will include Lucy Corin, Joshua Clover, Pam Houston, Joe Wenderoth, and Alan Williamson.
- “Folk Music Jam Session”
Fridays, October 16 and October 30, noon to 1 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
Pull out your fiddles, guitars, banjos, and other instruments for an acoustic jam session. Campus and community folk musicians play together over the lunch hour. All skill levels welcome. Listeners welcome!
- “Meet Some Native California Plants”
Sunday, October 18, 2 p.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
More than 5,000 species of plants are native to California. Learn about choosing and caring for native plants in the garden during a tour of the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants.
- “Outstanding Oaks!”
Saturday, October 24, 11 a.m., Gazebo.
The arboretum contains one of the nation’s largest collections of oak trees, with 574 trees representing about 100 different species. Tour leaders will discuss plans for a new Oak Discovery Trail in the grove, and point out two ceramic mosaic murals illustrating oak ecology, created by students in the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion program.
- “Autumn Colors in the Storer Garden”
Saturday, October 31, 11 a.m., Gazebo.
Visitors will tour the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden to see garden plants that look good late into the growing season. It features uncommon garden plants chosen for their ability to thrive with little maintenance in the dry Central Valley climate.
Join us for the 21st annual College Celebration on Friday, October 9, 2009, in Freeborn Hall. The CA&ES event is held each year at harvest time to celebrate the accomplishments of our college and the people who make it possible. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and will honor nine extraordinary individuals with the Award of Distinction, the highest recognition given by our college. A reception featuring California wine, beer, and hors d'oeuvres will follow the awards ceremony. The evening culminates with a farmers market where attendees dismantle the "welcome display" and take home a bag packed full of fresh California produce and grains.
This year’s Award of Distinction honorees include:
- John Bruhn, Outstanding Faculty
- Thomas Kaiser, Outstanding Staff
- Gurdev Khush, Outstanding Alumni
- Martha Guzman Aceves, Young Alumna
- James Lugg, Friend of the College
- Mary Patterson, Friend of the College
- Howard-Yana Shapiro, Friend of the College
- Ann Veneman, Friend of the College
- Fritz Maytag, Friend of the College
This fall, the arboretum hosts two plant sales to accommodate the high level of community interest. On Saturday, October 17, the plant sale will feature a group of “Warren’s Favorites,” great plants for home landscapes selected by arboretum superintendent Warren Roberts. The community is invited to celebrate Warren’s extraordinary career and wish him well as he prepares to retire after 37 years at the arboretum. The sale and Warren’s retirement reception will be held at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive, open to the public from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone may join the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum at the door for a 10 percent member discount and a free plant.
Expert sales assistants will help visitors choose the very best plants for their garden conditions. There will be brightly-colored signs identifying the Arboretum All-Stars, each with a photo of the plant in bloom, a list of its outstanding features, and information about how to grow it. A special focus this year will be on plants that support local pollinators.
Professor Tord Kjellstrom, a visiting fellow from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University in Canberra, will speak on “Climate Change and Occupational Health” on Monday, October 19 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Genome Center in Room 1005. The brown bag seminar is hosted by the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center and the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety.
Kjellstrom also serves as director of the Health and Environmental International Trust in New Zealand, and was an epidemiologist for the World Health Organization for more than a decade. He has worked for almost 40 years as a teacher and researcher in epidemiology, environmental health, and occupational health.
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
A one-day forum on California water called “Water: More than a Peripheral Issue” will meet at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico on October 28. The event is sponsored by the Great Valley Center as the annual Sacramento Valley Forum. It will focus on how communities can balance the changing economic, recreational, agricultural, and environmental needs for water. Early registration is $50, including sessions, exhibits, and buffet lunch. For more information, visit: http://www.greatvalley.org/svforum/.
Great Valley Center
“Looking into the Future of Weed Control,” the 62nd annual conference of the California Weed Science Society, will meet January 11–13, 2010, at the Visalia Convention Center. Topics will include advances in herbicide development, herbicide resistance, organic weed control, and transgenic crops, as well as new research on weed biology and management. For registration or more information, visit www.cwss.org.
Weed Research and Information Center
Save the date for an International Drought Symposium that will meet March 24–26, 2010, organized by the Water Science and Policy Center of UC Riverside. The conference will bring together multidisciplinary teams from California, South Africa, Australia, Mexico, and Spain to address the issue of water scarcity. Scientists, policymakers, and water managers will compare technological, economic, institutional, and policy measures used to combat drought conditions. For more information, visit www.cnas.ucr.edu/drought-symposium.
Water Science and Policy Center
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Visit CA&ES Currents online at http://caes.ucdavis.edu/NewsEvents/currents.
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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