July 22, 2010
Message from the Dean
We have spent the past two years planning for how our college can remain strong while under significant budgetary stress. Our approach has been to plan to consolidate our academic programs and to increase the efficiency of our business operations. We have moved from the planning to the implementation stage of this process. The next step will be for departments to adjust their academic plans to our new reality and for the college to look at how we can improve the quality of our programs.
We are beginning our planning for quality improvement in a very enviable position. The data suggest that we are already considered to be the among the nation’s best in most programmatic areas of the college. For example, Thomson Reuters ISI recently released some data that ranked research output (number of journal papers and/or citations) by U.S. universities in agricultural sciences, agronomy, food science and technology, and soil science. In each case, UC Davis is listed as the top-ranked institution.
In a comparison of global institutions that do research in plant and animal sciences, UC Davis ranked third after the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, INRA. (INRA is the largest agricultural research institute in Europe, and our research output was essentially equal to theirs.) We published about half the number of papers in these areas as the USDA Agricultural Research Service, but we have an appropriated budget that is about 5 percent that of the ARS.
While it would be nice if we could rest on our laurels, life is unkind to those who do. We will be planning through next year for specific ways that our college can improve its extramural funding, the impact of our research, and the volume of our research. 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
Senior writer Kathy Keatley Garvey of the Department of Entomology received the top award in the category, “Writing for Newspapers,” at the 2010 conference of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE), an international association of communicators, educators, and information technologists. Garvey’s gold-winning entry, “The Young Bee Crusaders,” showcased what youth are doing to help save the bees in the face of colony collapse disorder.
Kathy Keatley Garvey
Writer Diane Nelson of the Department of Plant Sciences won two awards at the 2010 conference of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE), an international association of communicators, educators, and information technologists. She earned a Gold Award in the “Writing within a Specialized Publication” category for her story “Exploring Ecosystem Management,” which appeared in the spring 2009 issue of “The Leaflet.” She also was named winner of the Outstanding Professional Skill Award in Writing.
Professor Douglas Shaw of the Department of Plant Sciences has been awarded the Wilder Silver Medal Award by the American Pomological Society, the oldest fruit organization in North America. The Wilder Medal is awarded each year to a group or person who has rendered outstanding service to horticulture.
Shaw’s research on the quantitative genetics and breeding of strawberries has had a huge impact on the strawberry industry – California’s in particular. Some 60 percent of the world's strawberry fruit is produced using one of the 12 cultivars Shaw and his team have released. California is the dominant producer of both fresh and processed strawberries, providing more than 87 percent of the strawberries consumed in North America. UC strawberry cultivars are characterized by broad environmental adaptation, excellent fruit quality, high yields, high harvest efficiency, and good disease resistance.
A memorial gathering was held July 17 in honor of Professor Cathy Morrison Paul of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, who died June 30 in a Sacramento hospital from complications of leukemia. She was 57.
Morrison Paul received her doctoral degree in economics at the University of British Columbia in 1982. She then spent 13 years on the faculty of Tufts University, where she served as chair of the economics department and developed her rigorous research program on cost and productivity measurement. She also served as a research economist and associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 1995, Morrison Paul joined UC Davis.
Morrison Paul was known as a leading scholar in productivity and applied econometrics. Her research produced platforms for addressing key issues facing the U.S. food system, such as cost structure and market power in the meat packing industry, and environmental consequences from pesticide use in agricultural production. Her work also provided the basis for studying the productivity effects of external factors such as spatial linkages between agricultural producers and food processing industries, and factors such as contracts, product diversification, and scale economies for small farms.
In recent years, Morrison Paul also had begun studying economic performance in fisheries, with a focus on excess capacity, and fishing productivity and technology. The focus of this work addressed policy-related questions about management and regulation of fisheries, while recognizing characteristics that are specific to the fishing industry, including regulatory distortions, environmental and stock factors, and the unintentional catch of other marine species.
Morrison Paul met her future husband, David Paul, in Massachusetts prior to her move to California and UC Davis. David, now a staff member of the Department of Environmental and Science Policy, followed her to California three years later, and the couple married in 1998.
The family prefers that any memorial contributions be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
UC Davis News Service
UC Davis’ pioneering work in art-science connectivity was featured at the annual meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held last month at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. Five UC Davis representatives participated in the meeting’s Science and Art Consilience symposium. Professor Terry Nathan also displayed five of his art-science photographs in an art show that went along with the meeting’s theme: The Art of Science. Shown here is “Smoke Dance: Where Kant meets Newton.”
In the Science and Art Consilience symposium, entomology professor Diane Ullman and Davis-based artist Donna Billick discussed UC Davis’ Art-Science Fusion Program, in which instructors and students use various art forms — music, ceramics, graphics, textiles and photography — to explore the art-science connection. Ullman, who also serves as CA&ES associate dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs, and Billick developed their first art-science fusion class in 1997 and founded the Art-Science Fusion Program in 2006.
The symposium also included presentations by Terry Nathan and Wendy Silk, professors in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, where Nathan teaches atmospheric science and Silk teaches soils and biogeochemistry. Both of them lead Art-Science Fusion classes, as well, and those classes formed the basis for their AAAS meeting presentations: Nathan’s “Art and Science: Bridging the Two Cultures Through Photography” and Silk’s “How They Learned Science By Singing About It.”
Ann Savageau, associate professor of design and another collaborator in the Art-Science Fusion Program, participated in the same symposium, discussing the connections between art, design and building sustainability.
The Daily Green website, which is geared toward people who are looking to be more environmentally responsible, cites UC Davis as one of the 10 best colleges in the U.S. for environmental studies. According to Brian Clark Howard, an award-winning environmental journalist, “This research-driven campus is renowned for its innovations in the environmental, agricultural and biological sciences, including in green transportation and alternative energy. Overall, the 10 campuses of the University of California have set impressive goals of boosting the use of low- and zero-emission vehicles by 50 percent by the year 2010, generating 10 megawatts of renewable energy by 2014, and achieving zero waste and carbon neutrality by 2020.
The Davis Farmers Market, named last year as “America’s Favorite Farmers Market,” is in the running again this year in a national contest hosted by the American Farmland Trust. The Davis Farmers Market is in the lead among California markets, but there’s some serious competition from Rochester, N.Y.
Our university community reaps value from the national recognition of the Davis Farmers Market, which spotlights Davis as an agricultural community with an interest in healthful and sustainable food. In addition, the market sponsors the East Quad Farmers Market on campus during part of the academic year.
The deadline for voting is midnight on Sunday, August 31.
- Go to www.farmland.org/vote.
- Type in 95616.
- Click “Vote” next to Davis Farmers Market.
For more information, visit the arboretum website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
“Folk Music Jam Session”
Fridays, July 23, August 6 and 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.
“Meet the Mighty Oaks”
Saturday, July 24 and August 14, 10 a.m., Gazebo.
A free guided tour will highlight the arboretum’s astonishing variety of oak tree and leaf forms along the new Oak Discovery Trail. The tour guide will discuss oak ecology and the importance of oaks in human culture through time and around the world.
Celebrate Yolo County’s bounty of agricultural products and produce at the Yolo County Fair Gala Opening Night Celebration, to be held Wednesday, August 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Agriculture Building at the fairgrounds in Woodland. Advance tickets will be on sale at the fair office for $10. Tickets at the door will be $15. Last year, about 400 people attended the opening and enjoyed tastings of local wine, olive oil, fresh produce, nuts, and other specialties.
For more information, visit www.yolocountyfair.net.
Yolo County Fair
1125 East Street
The grand opening of the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven will be held on Saturday, September 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road. The half-acre bee-friendly garden, planted in the fall of 2009, was the award-winning design in a competition funded by Häagen-Dazs. The key goals of the garden are to provide bees with a year-round food source, to raise public awareness about the plight of honey bees, and to encourage visitors to plant bee-friendly gardens of their own.
The grand opening will include activities for kids, garden tours, hands-on demonstrations, and free ice cream, compliments of Häagen-Dazs. For more information and an up-to-date event schedule, please visit http://beebiology.ucdavis.edu/HAVEN/index.html. For more information on the garden design, visit http://beebiology.ucdavis.edu/HAVEN/honeybeehaven.html.
The event is free and open to the public.
CA&ES Dean’s Office
The 15th annual “Fresh-cut Products: Maintaining Quality and Safety” workshop will be held September 14–16 on campus. Presented by the Postharvest Technology Center, the three-day workshop is designed for food professionals. Fresh-cut products (cleaned, washed, cut, packaged, and refrigerated fruits and vegetables) are an important and rapidly expanding food category for the produce industry, food processors, retailers, and food service operators.
Specific workshop topics include: product biology, quality and preparation, temperature management, microbiology and sanitation, modified atmospheres, as well as marketing and consumer issues. There will also be product demonstrations and discussion of commodity-specific requirements. Instructors are from UC Davis, other institutions, and the fresh-cut industry and suppliers.
Cost for the course is $1,050 and includes all program handouts, lunch, along with morning and afternoon refreshments each day. For more information on the technical program, please contact the workshop coordinator Marita Cantwell, [email protected] To register for the workshop, visit the Postharvest Technology Center’s website at http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/Announce/freshcut.shtml. Questions about registration can be answered by Penny Stockdale at (530) 752-6941, or [email protected].
The Aquatic Weed School 2010 will meet on campus at the Bowley Science Teaching Center on September 21-22. The intensive two-day course focuses on issues associated with developing weed management strategies in a variety of aquatic ecosystems. Organized by the UC Weed Research & Information Center, the course provides an opportunity for professionals to efficiently update their understanding of aquatic weeds and interact with experts in this field. The Aquatic Weed School is designed for those involved in consulting, research, and management of aquatic weed systems throughout the western United States.
Registration is $395 if received by September 1, and $475 after that date. The course fee includes a comprehensive notebook, lunch and light refreshments each day. Class size is limited, so early enrollment is suggested. Walk-in registrations will not be accepted.
Save the date for the third biennial International Conference on Atmospheric Chemical Mechanisms, “Tackling the Greatest Uncertainties,” to be held December 8–10 at UC Davis. It is sponsored by the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center, the California Air Resources Board, Atmospheric Aerosols & Health, and the San Joaquin Valleywide Air Pollution Study Agency.
The conference focuses on linking chemistry research, field studies, mechanism development and analysis in order to improve the chemistry that is used in air quality models. While the focus is largely gas-phase chemistry, an important component of this conference is improving interfaces and feedbacks between the gas, aqueous, and aerosol phase chemistry. This conference was established in 2006, and alternates years with the International Aerosol Modeling Algorithms conference.
For more information, visit http://airquality.ucdavis.edu/pages/events/index.html.
Air Quality Research 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, Neal Van Alfen
Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser
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