CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

November 18, 2010

May 27, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean





A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Faculty Turnover and Recruitment

Our college has been engaged for more than two years in a difficult process to adapt our academic ambitions and business operations to better fit the reality of our reduced budget. This type of planning is behind us, and now it is time for us to face the fact that about half of our faculty will turn over in the next decade due to retirements. This new challenge also presents an exciting opportunity for departments, as they begin planning how to use the process of faculty replacement to build and maintain programs of excellence.

Most of our departments are among the best of their disciplines in the country, so their challenge will be to maintain high quality during a period of rapid change. For other departments, this will be their opportunity to build excellence.

My office has asked departments to update their academic, research, and outreach plans to address the new budget targets and future areas of investment.

Our college recently held a retreat for department chairs and other college leaders to discuss how we can successfully integrate so many new faculty into our college over a relatively short period of time, while maintaining the excellence of our college. We recognize that efforts will be needed to mentor our new faculty members and assist them in successfully establishing their teaching, research and outreach programs.

We released 13 new faculty positions this year for recruitment, and expect that we will need to recruit similar numbers every year for the next ten years just to maintain our current number of faculty positions. We are facing a period of significant change for the college, and a period of unusual opportunity.

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]



Jean-Xavier Guinard and Charles Shoemaker: UC Davis Extension Awards


UC Davis Extension recently presented outstanding service awards to six faculty members, including two from our college.

Jean-Xavier Guinard received an outstanding service award for his online courses in the Sensory Science and Consumer Testing Certificate Program, which continue to draw students from around the world. Guinard, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, recently became director of the systemwide UC Education Abroad Program.


Charles Shoemaker received an outstanding service award for his contributions to the growing partnership between Jiangnan University (China) and UC Davis Extension’s Center for International Education. Shoemaker is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

Jean-Xavier Guinard
(530) 754-8691
[email protected]

Charles Shoemaker
(530) 752-7347
[email protected]

Jonathan London: Keynote Speaker


Jonathan London, a professor in the Department of Human and Community Development and director of the Center for Regional Change, will be the keynote speaker at the first UC Merced Conference on Community Research and Scholarship. The goal of the November conference is to focus on faculty who conduct research addressing community issues. London will speak on “The Engaged University at a Crossroads: A Place of Opportunities and Dangers.”

London's research addresses conflicts and collaboration in natural resource and environmental issues, with a particular emphasis on marginalized rural communities and environmental justice issues in the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley. The UC Davis Center for Regional Change fosters multidisciplinary research that helps build healthy, prosperous, equitable, and sustainable regions.

Jonathan London
(530) 752-2733
[email protected]

Peter Moyle: Brown-Nichols Science Award


Fish biologist Peter Moyle is the 2010 recipient of the Brown-Nichols Science Award, which promotes the practice of good science in regard to the San Francisco Estuary and watershed. Moyle is a professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, and associate director of the Center for Watershed Sciences. Over his four-decade career, Moyle has become known for documenting the declining status of many native California species, as well as invasions by alien species.

Upon hearing the announcement of Moyle’s selection for the award, the audience at the sixth annual Bay-Delta Conference stood in ovation — underscoring Moyle’s status as California’s most broadly knowledgeable fish expert.

The Brown-Nichols award is given every two years. The first award, given in 2008, went to Sam Luoma, outreach and policy coordinator at the John Muir Institute of the Environment.

Peter Moyle
(530) 752-6355
[email protected]


Ning Pan: Honorary Doctorate


Professor Ning Pan has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic. Pan was honored at a September ceremony in the city of Liberec for his “extraordinary contributions to the development of scientific research in the field of fibrous materials.”

Pan has a dual appointment in the Division of Textiles and Clothing and the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. His research in textile engineering focuses on the physical properties of fibers and fibrous structures, on carbon nanotube synthesis and nano supercapacitors, and on biomechanics and physiology of textile-body interactions.

Pan is shown on the right of the photo during the ceremony, accepting a parliamentary certificate from Premysl Sobotka, President of the Senate, Czech Republic.

Ning Pan
(530) 752-6232
[email protected]


Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra: Presidential Early Career Award


Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, has been selected to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Ross-Ibarra is one of two UC Davis faculty chosen this year for the honor, along with Ilke Arslan, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Ross-Ibarra and Arslan are among 85 researchers selected by President Barack Obama to receive the nation's highest honor for professionals in the early stages of their scientific research careers. The awards will be conferred at a later date during a White House ceremony.

Plant genetics expert Ross-Ibarra was nominated for the award by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a research project that uses a novel approach, based on population genetics, to identify genes that would be useful in improving varieties of maize (corn). As part of its nomination, the USDA will provide Ross-Ibarra's project with $150,000 in annual support for three years.

Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra
(530) 752-1152
[email protected]

R. Paul Singh: Harris Award


R. Paul Singh has been selected as the 2010 Harris Award winner. The Harris Award is given annually to recognize the accomplishments of an individual who has made substantial contributions to the advancement of food science or technology. Established in 2004, the award was endowed by an adjunct food science professor at Ohio State University and includes a $3,000 honorarium.

Singh is a distinguished professor of food engineering who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Food Science and Technology and the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. He teaches courses on topics related to heat and mass transfer in foods. Currently, his research is focused on studying gastric wall motility and fluid flow in a human stomach to develop the next generation of foods for health.

Singh will receive the Harris Award in February at a luncheon held in his honor at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

R. Paul Singh
[email protected]

Vernon Singleton: Vintners Hall of Fame


Vernon Singleton, professor emeritus in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, has been named to the 2011 Vintners Hall of Fame by the Culinary Institute of America. Singleton, who retired in 1991 after almost 35 years at UC Davis, did groundbreaking research involving phenolics and oxidation in wine that was years ahead of the current surge of interest in these compounds. 

Singleton and four additional wine industry leaders will be honored at a ceremony in February at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena. The ceremony will be part of the CIA’s fifth annual Celebration of California Wine and Food.

As the fourth member of the UC Davis faculty to be inducted into the hall, which was established in 2007, Singleton joins former colleagues Carole Meredith, Harold Olmo, and Maynard Amerine, (with whom he co-wrote "Wine: An Introduction for Americans.")

Vernon Singleton
(530) 752-0384
[email protected]

Frank Zalom: Integrated Pest Management Award


Professor Frank Zalom, an integrated pest management specialist in the Department of Entomology, is the 2010 winner of the Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management from the Entomological Society of America, a 6000-member worldwide organization. The award, sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection, will be given to Zalom at the society’s 58th annual meeting, to be held this December in San Diego.

In addition to his professorial duties, Zalom is an extension agronomist, and an entomologist in the Agricultural Experiment Station. His current research focuses primarily on California specialty crops, as well as international IPM programs. The IPM strategies and tactics Zalom has developed include monitoring procedures, thresholds, pest development and population models, biological controls and use of less toxic pesticides, which have become standard practice and part of the UC IPM Guidelines for these crops.

Frank Zalom
(530) 752-3687
[email protected]




Seed Business Course Offering

Registration is now open for Seed Business 101, a new course offered by the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center. The course is designed to focus on optimum operations of the five major functional areas of a seed company: research and development, production, administration, operations, sales and marketing.  The course also offers insights to seed dealers and companies offering products and services to the seed industry, including seed treatments, crop protection, seed enhancement and technology, machinery and equipment, etc.

The course will be offered in different locations:

  • Davis, California: November 15–19, 2010
  • Salinas, California: November 29–December 3, 2010
  • Boise, Idaho: January 17–21, 2011
  • Yuma, Arizona: February 14–18, 2011

Each session will be limited to 30 participants. For registration and additional information, visit

Jeannette Martins
UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center
(530) 752-4984
[email protected]


Commercial Food Processing Short Course

The UC Davis Better Process Control School is now offered in an online version. The four-day short course—intended for operating supervisors of commercial food processing operations of low acid (pH > 4.6) and acidified foods—is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This is the first approved online course on the topic in the country.  The online version will provide U.S. food companies with another means of teaching their employees about production of safe foods in cans, jars, flexible, and semi-rigid packages. UC Davis will continue to offer the in-person program every February.

Registration is $400, and includes a textbook and access to the video modules and test modules. For registration, visit

The course coordinator is Diane Barrett, [email protected]. For procedural information, contact Zann Gates.  

Zann Gates
Department of Food Science and Technology
(530) 752-5901
[email protected]


Growing Green Awards: Call for Nominations

Nominations are being accepted for the third annual Growing Green Awards, sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  A Growing Green Award will be given next April to an outstanding individual in each of four categories: food producer, business leader, knowledge leader, and young food leader. Cash prizes of $10,000 and $5,000 will be awarded in the food producer and young food leader categories, respectively.

The NRDC sponsors these national awards to recognize individuals who have demonstrated original leadership in the field of sustainable food. The NRDC seeks nominees who have made contributions that advance ecologically integrated farming practices, climate stewardship, water stewardship, farmland preservation, and social responsibility from farm to fork.

Applications are due December 10, 2010. For more information, visit

Suzanne Vyborney
National Resources Defense Council
[email protected]



Animal Science Fall Seminar Series

The public is invited to attend the Department of Animal Science Seminar Series, which meets Mondays in the Weir Room, 2154 Meyer Hall, from 12:10 to 1 p.m.

Dates and topics for remaining seminars include:

  • November 22: Environmental Stress Changes Salmonella Host Association
  • November 29: Research in Hummingbird Health and Landscape Genetics

Elizabeth Maga
Department of Animal Science
(530) 752-5930
[email protected]


Entomology Fall Seminar Series

The Department of Entomology hosts a series of noon seminars that meet every Wednesday through December 1 (except Thanksgiving week) from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall. Also, a special joint seminar will be held on Friday, December 3, at 12:10 in the UC Davis Genome Center Auditorium, “Development of a Mosquito-Derived, Attenuated Whole Parasite Vaccine against Malaria.”

Dates and topics for remaining seminars include:

  • November 17: How Can Theoretical Ecology Guide Management of Plant and Insect Populations?
  • December 1: Shifts in Life History Influence Invasion Outcomes

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

Landscape Architecture Seminar Series

The public is invited to attend the fall seminar series sponsored by the Landscape Architecture Program, held weekly on Fridays at noon in Veihmeyer Hall, room 212 (except Thanksgiving week).

Dates and topics for remaining seminars include:

  • November 19: Hitting the ground: Real world projects that respond to sustainable water practice
  • December 3: California Center for Urban Horticulture…partnerships for promoting eco-friendly landscapes

Sharla Cheney
Landscape Architecture Program
(530) 754-8628
[email protected]

Wine Tastings at Gunrock Pub

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.

For more information and a current schedule, visit    

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

Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • “The Oak Lifecycle”
    Saturday, November 27, 11 a.m., Gazebo.
    In fall the oaks are ending their cycle, preparing to drop their seeds, and hunkering down for the winter. Learn more about the stages in the life of an oak during a free tour of the Shields Oak Grove





Social Media’s Potential in Agriculture: November 20, 2010

A workshop to help agriculturists make better use of new media—such as Facebook, Twitter, wikis, podcasts, YouTube, and others—will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 20, in Wellman Hall. "New Media: Making Marketing Personal," will help farmers and others working in production agriculture to communicate with a variety of audiences. The workshop is sponsored by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, in conjunction with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Animal Science.

It will include speakers from industry who are effectively using social media. Afternoon breakout sessions will help participants learn how to tell their stories, develop concise messages, and expand their vision of ways that technology can be used to market agriculture and its products.

More information and registration for the workshop are available online at

Annie King
Department of Animal Science
(530) 752-3530
[email protected]

Atmospheric Chemical Mechanisms Conference: December 8–10, 2010

The third biennial International Conference on Atmospheric Chemical Mechanisms, “Tackling the Greatest Uncertainties,” will 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

Donna Reid
Air Quality Research Center
(530) 754-8374
[email protected]

Grand Opening of the Winery, Brewery, and Food Science Facility: January 28, 2011

The official grand opening of the Teaching and Research Winery and the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory is Friday, January 28, at 10 a.m. As the newest addition to the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, these facilities are housed in the only building on campus that meets the strict environmental standards known as “LEED Platinum.” The building has high thermal efficiency and low energy consumption. It uses rainwater in toilets and landscaping, and includes other “green” features.

To attend the reception, reply to [email protected]. Please write “Grand Opening” in the subject line of your reply.

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


Seed Course: February 16–17, 2011

The UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center will offer a two-day course on Seed Biology, Production and Quality to be held February 16–17 at the UC Davis Conference 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 information on topics including seed development, production, harvesting, testing, conditioning, enhancement, storage, pathology, and quality assessment.

Register by January 7 for a discounted fee of $550. Registration is $650 after January 7. For additional information, visit,_Production_and_Quality_-_2011.html.

Jeannette Martins
UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center
(530) 752-4984
[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, 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]



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