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April 21, 2011

May 20, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean







A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Keeping California Competitive

Universities are widely considered to be important drivers of economic development. Communities adjacent to universities benefit directly from the funds that universities attract. By paying faculty and staff salaries and purchasing materials locally, universities create jobs within the community throughout many service sectors of the economy. Most studies on the local economic impact of universities focus on this type of multiplier.

Our college also has been an unusually successful driver of the broader economy of California in ways aspired to by most universities. Through our research, we have facilitated the establishment of significant new industries that each bring more than $1 billion per year to the California economy. The most famous example is the processing tomato industry, but there are many others, including wine, strawberries, walnuts, and almonds.

In most of these industries, key research achievements by our faculty led to the creation of successful new plant varieties and growing methods, or led to solutions for debilitating pest or pathogen problems. The success of our college’s efforts to keep California agriculture globally competitive has contributed to our global reputation as a leader in food research.

We continue to seek ways to help stimulate the economy of our region and the state through the research of our faculty. One approach we are taking is to form research partnerships with different companies within the food industry sector in order to address the research needs of the industry. This approach provides research funding opportunities for the faculty and helps our partner companies remain globally competitive.

UC Davis research success in food and agriculture has the potential to help our region become the equivalent of Silicon Valley for green industries that depend upon agriculture for their raw materials. We believe that with these types of partnerships, California can become a world leader in the development of the new biobased economy.

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] 



Charley Hess: Emeriti Honor


The UC Davis Emeriti Association selected Charles Hess as the 2010-11 Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Hess was honored during the chancellor’s emeriti luncheon, held in January.

Though Hess officially retired from UC Davis in 1994 as a professor in the former Department of Environmental Horticulture (now part of plant sciences), he has continued to serve the university in multiple roles. Throughout his retirement, he has worked tirelessly for the development of international collaborations and programs. Since 2006, he has served as chair of the U.S. Agency for International Development–National Academies Review Panel for the Pakistan-U.S. Science and Technology Cooperative Program.

In addition, Hess has served the UC Davis administration in several capacities, most recently as interim vice chancellor of the Office of Research. Before that, he chaired the Department of Nutrition while it was in transition from 2007 to 2009. He also facilitated the move of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Western Human Nutrition Center from San Francisco to UC Davis, and served as a special assistant to the chancellor in 2003–04.

Hess came to UC Davis as dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 1975. He served as dean for 14 years. In 1989, he left UC Davis when President George H.W. Bush appointed him assistant secretary of science and education in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Upon his return to campus in 1991, Hess served as the director of International Programs until his 1994 retirement.

Charley Hess
(530) 758-0671
[email protected]

Johan Six: Chancellor’s Fellow


Professor Johan Six, Department of Plant Sciences, is one of six faculty members selected as a 2011 Chancellor’s Fellow — an honor for faculty members still early in their careers who have already compiled outstanding records of achievement. Each fellow receives a $25,000 prize and is entitled to use the title “Chancellor’s Fellow” for five years. Other winners include Magali Billen of geology, Artyom Kopp of evolution and ecology, Colin Milburn of English, Zhendong Su of computer science, and Qing Zhao of electrical and computer engineering. New fellows were recognized by Chancellor Katehi at a formal ceremony in March.

Six is an agroecologist who works at the interface of farming and the environment within a global-change context, on issues such as soil functioning, water and air quality, and climate change. Six, who came to UC Davis in 2002, is an expert on ways in which agriculture can remain competitive while promoting environmentally sustainable production.

Johan Six
(530) 752-1212
[email protected] 

Ken Tate and Rob Atwill: Outstanding Achievement Awards


Cooperative Extension specialists Ken Tate and Rob Atwill, international leaders in the science and management of surface water quality of rangelands, were honored with Outstanding Achievement Awards from the Society for Range Management. Tate holds the Russell L. Rustici Endowed Chair in Rangeland Watershed Sciences in the Department of Plant Sciences. Atwill is a UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Extension specialist and Director of the Western Institute of Food Safety and Security.

Tate and Atwill were honored in February during the annual meeting for the Society for Rangeland Management, a professional scientific society and conservation organization concerned with studying, conserving, managing, and sustaining the varied resources of the rangelands, which cover nearly half the planet. Established in 1948, the society has over 4,000 members in 48 countries, including many developing nations.

Ken Tate
(530) 754-8988
[email protected]

Rob Atwill
(530) 754-2154
[email protected] 

Frank Zalom: C.W. Woodworth Award


Professor Frank Zalom, Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology, is the 2011 recipient of the C. W. Woodworth Award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America. Zalom received the award in March during the branch’s 95th annual meeting held in Hawaii. Brian Holden, great-grandson of Woodworth and a 1981 graduate of UC Davis in electrical engineering, presented Zalom a plaque and a check for $1,000. Zalom also delivered the plenary address at the opening session of the meeting.

Zalom is a specialist in integrated pest management. His research focuses on California specialty crops, including tree crops (almonds, olives, prunes, peaches), small fruits (grapes, strawberries, caneberries), and fruiting vegetables (tomatoes), as well as international IPM programs.

The Woodworth Award is the top honor given annually by PBESA. It was first presented in 1969 for outstanding accomplishments in entomology. Zalom is the eighth UC Davis entomologist to receive the award.

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


Recruitment for California Agricultural Leadership Program

The California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP), designed to create leaders who will help ensure the long-term viability of California agriculture, is accepting applications for Class 42. The application deadline is May 16, 2011, and those interested can download the application and required forms at

The California Agricultural Leadership Program has more than 1,100 alumni and current fellows who are influential leaders and volunteers in the agricultural industry, government, communities, business, and education. CALP fellows must commit to approximately 70 days of travel and educational seminars over a 20-month period. The educational foundation of CALP is based on a more than 40-year alliance with UC Davis, California State University, Fresno, Cal Poly Pomona, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Most of the program costs are underwritten by industry and private donors.

Susan DiTomaso (Class 32 graduate)
Seed Biotechnology Center
(530) 754-7333
[email protected] 

Animal Science Spring Seminar Series

The Department of Animal Science hosts noon seminars that meet on Mondays in Meyer Hall, Weir Room 2154 from 12:10 to 1 p.m. through May 23.

The dates and topics for remaining seminars include:

  • April 25: Greg Jaffe, Center for Science in the Public Interest, The Road to Consumer Acceptance of Engineered Animals
  • May 2: Susan Swanberg, UC Davis Department of Animal Science, Transcription of TERRA from Avian Telomeres
  • May 9: Kathleen Fisch, UC Davis Department of Animal Science, Conservation Genetics of the Endangered Delta Smelt in the San Francisco Estuary
  • May 16: Jang-Won Lee, UC Davis Department of Animal Science, Effects of Dietary Methylmercury and Selenomethionine on Juvenile Green and White Sturgeon
  • May 23: Gustavo Cruz, UC Davis Department of Animal Science, Improving the Understanding of Adipocyte Growth and Development in Beef Cattle

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

Entomology Spring Seminar Series

The Department of Entomology hosts a series of noon seminars to meet Wednesdays through May 18 from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall. On May 25, Gary Felton of Pennsylvania State University will give the “Thomas and Nina Leigh Distinguished Alumni Seminar in Entomology” at a time and location to be announced later.

Dates and topics for remaining seminars include:

  • April 27: Dave Kavanaugh, California Academy of Sciences, Systematic Studies of the Genus Nebria and their Implications for Biogeography, Ecology, Evolution, and Climate Change
  • May 11: Dave Lytle, Oregon State University, Catastrophic Floods and Epic Droughts: How Extreme Events Shape Populations of Aquatic Organisms
  • May 18: Lora Morandin, UC Berkeley, TBA

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


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • “Arboretum on Wheels”
    Sunday, April 24, 2 p.m., Gazebo.
    Bring your bike to join a guided tour of the arboretum, the largest public garden and outdoor classroom in Davis.
  • “Folk Music Jam Session”
    Friday, April 29 and Friday, May 13, 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.
  • “Drawing Closer to Nature: Workshop with Peter London”
    Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wyatt Deck (rain location, Environmental Horticulture 146).
    Artists of all skill levels are invited to participate in a drawing and painting workshop with artist Peter London. The only prerequisites for the workshop are an open mind, an adventurous spirit, and a willingness to step outside. Materials will be provided. The fee is $75 ($65 for members), including materials. Preregistration is required: visit or call (530) 752-4880. Class is limited to 20 participants.    
  • “Bugtopia: Discover Everyday Insects”
    Sunday, May 1, 2 p.m., Gazebo.
    All ages are welcome to a special guided tour focusing on the hidden insect wonders of the arboretum.  Participants will learn the names of common insects and explore their life cycles and the ecological relationships of insects and plants.
  • “Walk with Warren”
    Wednesday, May 11, noon, Gazebo.
    Join arboretum superintendent emeritus Warren Roberts for a lunchtime stroll in the Shields White Flower Garden and the Storer Garden, featuring flowering perennials and small shrubs that are especially well suited to Central Valley gardens.
  • “Poetry in the Garden: Amy Champ”
    Thursday, May 12, noon to 1 p.m., Wyatt Deck (rain location Foster Room, Meyer Hall).
    Join fans of good writing and beautiful gardens to hear a free reading by poet Amy Champ, a UC Davis graduate student of performance studies, a yoga and meditation teacher, poet, and a documentary filmmaker.
  • “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)”
    Thursday–Sunday, May 12–15 and May 19–22, Gazebo.
    Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble present “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” an irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s 37 plays. This hilarious lampoon of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, and tragedies will be presented Thursday–Sunday, May 12–15 and May 19–22 at 8 p.m. and Sundays, May 12 and May 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students, and $5 for children 12 and under. To reserve tickets, or for more information, e‑mail [email protected] or visit



Genetically Modified Foods Seminar: April 26, 2011

Greg Jaffe, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Project on Biotechnology, will share his thoughts on the benefits and risks of engineered crops on Tuesday, April 26 from 4:10 to 5 p.m. in Room 3001 of the Plant and Environmental Sciences building. “Genetically Modified Foods: The raw truth” is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis, the Department of Plant Pathology and the Department of Plant Sciences.

Colin Bishop
Agricultural Sustainability Institute
[email protected] 

Fruit Ripening Workshop: April 26–27, 2011

The Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center will host the 17th annual Fruit Ripening and Ethylene Management Workshop from April 26–27 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. The workshop is intended for shippers, handlers (wholesale and retail), and produce managers involved in handling ripening fruits and fruit-vegetables. The workshop focuses on how to increase profits by delivering ready-to-eat, delicious fruits and vegetables to the consumer.

Registration is $700 and includes classroom instruction, lab activities, course materials, morning and afternoon coffee breaks, and lunches. For more information, visit:

Penny Stockdale
Postharvest Technology
(530) 752-7672
[email protected] 

Arboretum Spring Plant Sale: April 30, 2011


“Gardening for the Senses,” featuring plants chosen for color, texture, fragrance, is the theme for the UC Davis Arboretum’s April 30 plant sale, to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive. Experienced gardeners will be on hand to help you choose the best plants for your garden design and conditions. Join or renew your UC Davis Friends of the Arboretum membership at the door for a 10 percent discount on all plants.

For map, directions, and plant list, visit  

Margaret Kralovec
UC Davis Arboretum
(530) 752-1404  
[email protected] 

Rose Day: May 7, 2011


Rose Day, the fourth annual rose sale and tour sponsored by the California Center for Urban Horticulture, will be held Saturday, May 7, at the Foundation Plant Services fields west of campus. The event is free and open to the public. The rose sale will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the field tours of Foundation Plant Services (FPS), which feature eight acres of roses, will be offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. FPS produces and distributes virus and disease free plant materials throughout the state. 

A workshop on rose propagation will be offered, though pre-registration is required. Class size is limited so that registrants will have time to work with propagation experts and learn their techniques. All materials will be provided for the workshop and participants can take home any plants they create.

A complete agenda for the day, workshop registration, and a rose sale catalog are available at

Melissa (Missy) Borel
California Center for Urban Horticulture
(530) 752-6642
[email protected]

Race for the Cure: May 7, 2011

The UC Davis Food Chain team is seeking additional members to participate in the 15th annual Sacramento Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday, May 7. Cooperative Extension specialist Beth Mitcham, Department of Plant Sciences, is organizing the team. Participants can walk or run, or donors can “sleep in for the cure” from the comfort of home. Please sign up by April 22. Visit to view the team page for the UC Davis Food Chain.

Beth Mitcham
(530) 752-7512
[email protected]

Olive Oil Symposia: May 10–11, 2011

The UC Davis Olive Center offers a pair of one-day courses on olive oil production, to be held Tuesday, May 10, and Wednesday, May 11, at the UC Davis Conference Center.

  • “The Business of Olive Oil Production” will meet Tuesday, May 10, with food and wine writer Caroline Beck and olive grower Adam Englehardt discussing the key expenses and revenues of olive oil production. The course includes business-plan development, money-saving tips for orchard establishment and maintenance, the cost options in processing and bottling, ideas for marketing and selling the product, and strategies for profitability. Cost for the course is $285. For more information, visit
  • “Keys to Quality Olive Oil Production” will meet Wednesday, May 11, with olive grower Adam Englehardt and Lamberto Baccioni, CEO of Agrivision, discussing research conducted in California and beyond to ensure high quality oil year after year. This course will guide current producers and those who are exploring olive oil production through the keys to quality in orchard establishment, orchard maintenance, harvesting, fruit handling, processing, storage and blending. Olive oil tasting will supplement the discussions to show how the producer can influence quality in their operation. Cost for the course is $285. For more information, visit

To register for these classes, visit

Nicole Sturzenberger
UC Davis Olive Center
(530) 754-9301
[email protected] 

Winkler Dinner: May 14, 2011

The public is invited to an evening of wine and gourmet food on Saturday, May 14, as the annual Winkler Dinner is held in the courtyard of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. The evening's menu will include six courses, each prepared by a different chef and paired with a donated wine. Winemakers will be present to introduce each wine, and silent and live auctions will be held before and after dinner.

The gourmet event is coordinated by the Davis Enology and Viticulture Organization (DEVO), a club founded nearly 30 years ago by students in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology to promote interaction with the wine industry and the community, and to fund student scholarships, internships, and travel.

Tickets for the dinner are $175 per person or $1,200 for a table of eight. To purchase online, visit

Kristina Werner, DEVO president
Viticulture and Enology graduate student
[email protected]


Annual Spring CA&ES Faculty Meeting: June 2, 2011

All CA&ES faculty are invited to the annual spring faculty meeting for our college, to be held Thursday, June 2, from 4–6 p.m. in the AGR room of the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.

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

Russell Ranch Field Day: June 9, 2011

Mark your calendars for the annual Russell Ranch Field Day, to be held Thursday, June 9 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Russell Ranch Field Day provides growers, students, lawmakers, and the public with information about research results and new initiatives at Russell Ranch, which is part of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis. Further information on the agenda and registration will be forthcoming.

Emma Torbert
Agricultural Sustainability Institute
(530) 752-5208
[email protected] 

Postharvest Technology Short Course: June 13–24, 2011

The 33rd annual Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course is scheduled for June 13–24. The course is an intensive study of current technologies and best practices associated with the postharvest handling of fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables, and ornamentals in California. It is designed for research and extension workers, quality control personnel in the produce industry, and business, government, or academic professionals interested in current advances in the postharvest technology of horticultural crops.

The course’s optional second week field tour will visit a variety of postharvest operations, covering selected packinghouses, cooling and storage facilities, produce distribution centers, field harvest, packing, and transportation facilities in California.

The lecture plus field trip option is limited to 55 participants, and the lecture-only option is limited to 25 participants. Enrollment will be handled on a first-paid, first-enrolled basis. For additional information or to enroll, visit

Penny Stockdale
Postharvest Technology
(530) 752-7672
[email protected] 

College Celebration: October 14, 2011


Save the date on Friday, October 14, for the CA&ES College Celebration at Freeborn Hall, UC Davis. The event is held at harvest time each year to celebrate the accomplishments of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and to honor outstanding individuals with the Award of Distinction. After the awards ceremony, there will be a reception featuring delicious hors d’oeuvres, beer, and California wines. The evening culminates with attendees helping themselves to a bag of produce and grains from the farmers market display.

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

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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