CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

January 20, 2011

May 20, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean







A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Implementation of Administrative Clusters

Governor Brown’s announced plans for additional cuts to the UC budget were sobering. We are still uncertain what our final budget will be once the state is able to balance its budget. Although there is much uncertainty, I believe that the planning our college has done to adjust to a lower budget will get us through this crisis—we do not need to initiate another round of planning. It is important, however, for us to move quickly to implement the decisions that have been made.

I particularly want to commend our department chairs, faculty, staff, and especially the Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) of our clusters for working together to build the new administrative clusters. None of us would have chosen to move to administrative clusters had the reality of significant budget cuts and increasingly complex administrative requirements not forced me to make this difficult decision.

Various administrative options were considered by our planning committee. The committee recommended the cluster over service centers because clusters should preserve more local control. It is important to remember that our CAOs and chairs are working together to implement a plan that was designed to provide equitable service to all faculty in an environment of shrinking budgets.

There are challenges in the implementation of our administrative clusters, in part because positions were not refilled in anticipation of changing cluster staffing needs. It also takes time to learn new routines, so I ask that you all be patient and supportive of the staff and CAOs of our clusters as we adjust to this new way of conducting our business. As adjustments are made, I am convinced that we will be able to provide more efficient service, and I hope, at a lower cost given our declining budgets.

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] 



American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows

Four CA&ES professors are among the 503 new fellows elected this year to the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their efforts to advance science or its applications. They are Eduardo Blumwald, David Neale, and Johan Six, of the Department of Plant Sciences, and Frank Zalom of the Department of Entomology.

The association will present a certificate and a rosette pin to all new fellows at its annual meeting next month in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1848, the AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society.

Six additional UC Davis faculty from other colleges were also named AAAS Fellows this year, including: chemistry professor Sheila David, physics professor Charles Fadley, molecular and cellular biology professor Julie Leary, George Mangun, dean of Social Sciences, and a professor of psychology and neurology at the Center for Mind and Brain, statistics professor Jane-Ling Wang, and John Wingfield, a professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior.



Eduardo Blumwald: AAAS Fellow


Professor Eduardo Blumwald of the Department of Plant Sciences was named an AAAS Fellow for his contributions to "the field of plant ion transport and the application of those discoveries to the development of salt- and drought-tolerant crops." Blumwald's research focuses on developing crop plants that can be grown with less irrigation water and on marginal lands, thus better equipping global agriculture to deal with limited and variable water supplies.

Eduardo Blumwald
(530) 752-4640
[email protected]

David Neale: AAAS Fellow


Professor David Neale of the Department of Plant Sciences was named an AAAS Fellow for his "leadership to the community" through:

  • serving as the founding editor of the scientific journal “Tree Genetics and Genomes”
  • co-authoring the textbook “Forest Genetics”
  • and building Dendrome, a collection of forest-tree genome databases.

In addition, Neale is the leader on a major genome-sequencing project, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and focused on accelerating breeding efforts for fast-growing conifers that can be used as biofuels resources and in sequestering atmospheric carbon.

David Neale
(530) 754-8431
[email protected] 

Johan Six: AAAS Fellow


Johan Six, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and a Chancellor's Fellow, was named an AAAS Fellow for "excellent and distinguished contributions to the field of soil science by elucidating the mechanisms underlying carbon cycling and sequestration in agroecosystems."

Six’s research focuses on the feedbacks among ecosystem management options (such as tillage, cover cropping, green manuring, sustainable farming, and grazing), global change (elevated carbon dioxide and climate change), and biogeochemical cycling. He studies the complex interactions among soil, plants, soil biota (fungi, bacteria, and earthworms), and the carbon and nitrogen cycles in agricultural, grassland, and forest ecosystems. His group conducts experimental work at both the plot and landscape levels, and integrates it with simulations to identify gaps in knowledge and to predict ecosystem response to global change.

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

Frank Zalom: AAAS Fellow


Entomologist Frank Zalom, a professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in entomology, was named an AAAS Fellow for his "distinguished scholarly, educational, and administrative contributions that have significantly advanced the science and application of integrated pest management in agriculture nationally and internationally."

Zalom's research focuses on California specialty crops, including tree crops, grapes, strawberries, caneberries, and tomatoes, as well as international integrated pest management programs. He has developed innovative practices to reduce pest damage and reduce insecticide risk, which have become standard practice for these crops.

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


Certified Olive Oil Taste Panel at UC Davis


The UC Davis Olive Oil Taste Panel, assembled a year ago, recently received official certification from the International Olive Council, making it the only such accredited panel in North America and one of only 47 certified panels worldwide.

The UC Davis panel, which includes 19 members and 12 apprentices, will launch a fee-based service in 2011 for producers, retailers, and importers. In addition to "extra virgin" certification for oils that are free of defects and have the desirable fruity, bitter, or pungent attributes, the service will provide a detailed sensory profile of the oils. The panel also will conduct research on the sensory characteristics of olive oil.

The panel was trained and is being directed by Professor Jean-Xavier Guinard, a sensory scientist in the Department of Food Science and Technology. The panel includes experienced tasters who have served on the California Olive Oil Council Panel and/or on a panel led by Paul Vossen, a Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Sonoma and Marin counties.

Dan Flynn
UC Davis Olive Center
(530) 752-5170
[email protected] 

Top Rankings for Research in Environment/Ecology

UC Davis ranked first nationally in “U.S. Institutions: Most Prolific in Environment/Ecology, 2005-2009.” The new ranking is from ScienceWatch of Thomson Reuters, which looks at the number of papers published in academic journals over a five-year period. In the field of environment/ecology from 2005 to 2009, the top five universities are:

  1. UC Davis
  2. UC Berkeley
  3. University of Florida
  4. Oregon State University
  5. Colorado State University

For more information, visit


CA&ES Executive Committee Election

Nominations for Academic Senate and Academic Federation faculty to serve on the CA&ES Executive Committee must be received by March 28, 2011.

  • Academic Senate: There are three Academic Senate vacancies, two representing the Division of Agricultural Sciences, and one representing the Division of Environmental Sciences. Continuing members of the Academic Senate are Trish Berger, Susan Handy, Kevin Rice, Judith Stern, and Jeffrey Williams.
  • Academic Federation: There is one Academic Federation vacancy, representing the Division of Agricultural Sciences. Continuing members of the Academic Federation are Karen Klonsky, Dan Putnam, and Ken Tate.   

At least TWO nominations are needed for each vacancy. Faculty may nominate themselves, but all nomination forms require five supporting faculty signatures. Elected members serve a three-year term.

For nomination forms, contact Sharon Berg in the CA&ES Dean’s Office or your department chair.

Nominations and election schedule

  • February 28: Pendency of election notice sent electronically to faculty
  • March 28: Last date nominations will be received
  • April 11: Ballots mailed to Academic Senate and Academic Federation members
  • April 29: Last date ballots will be received
  • May 6 or 9: Ballots will be counted by Rules and Jurisdiction Committee

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

Entomology Winter Seminar Series

The Department of Entomology hosts a series of noon seminars that meet every Wednesday through March 9 from 12:10 p.m. to 1 p.m. in 1022 Life Sciences Addition, corner of Hutchison and Kleiber Hall Drive. This is a change from last quarter's location of 122 Briggs Hall.

Dates and topics for upcoming seminars include:

  • January 26: Self-Medication vs. Self-Toxicity in Generalist and Specialist Herbivores
  • February 2: Strategies of Tamalia Aphids: Freeloading, Gall Induction,  Adaptive Sex Allocation
  • February 9: Area-Wide Fruit Fly Programs against Fruit Flies in Hawaii, French Polynesia, and California
  • February 16: Pheromone Production in Bark Beetles
  • February 23: Evolutionary Functional Genomics: How Can We Find the Natural Genetic Variants Affecting Interesting Traits in Model Insects?
  • March 2: Asexual Endophytes in Native Grasses: Tiny Partners with Big Community Effects
  • March 9: TBA

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


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • “Folk Music Jam Session”
    Friday, January 21, 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.    
  • “Storytime Through the Seasons: Under the Persian Oak”
    Sunday, January 30, 2–4 p.m., Gazebo (rain location, 146 Environmental Horticulture).
    Children and their families are invited to an outdoor reading program exploring the natural and cultural world of the Middle East. Discover the diversity of oaks through hands-on activities.



The Consilience of Art and Science Exhibit: January 14–February 27, 2011

The Pence Gallery hosts an exhibit by local and regional artists that features works linking the worlds of art and science. It opened January 14 and will continue through February 27. The show was juried by entomology professor Diane Ullman, who serves as CA&ES associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, and by design professor James Housefield.

The Pence Gallery is located at 212 D St. in downtown Davis.

Diane Ullman
(530) 752-7150
[email protected]

Shakespeare in the Arboretum: January 20–23, 2011

Continuing from last week’s opening, the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble present “Twelfth Night,” by William Shakespeare on January 20–23 (Thursday through Sunday). The play will be presented at the Arboretum Gazebo, and the production will feature a live rock band playing original pieces. Performances will take place rain or shine; the gazebo will be covered and heated with outdoor heating lamps.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students, and $5 for children 12 and under. To reserve tickets or for more information, call (760) 310-0323 or e-mail [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.

The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale horses will be on hand for the grand opening. A reception and tours in the Peter and Merle Mullin Courtyard will follow the opening.

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]

Delivering More Flavorful Produce Workshop: February 1–2, 2011

Produce industry professionals are invited to participate in a “Delivering More Flavorful Produce” workshop to be held February 1–2 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. It will be offered again May 4–5 in Gainesville, Florida. The workshop is coordinated by Cooperative Extension specialist Beth Mitcham of the Department of Plant Sciences, and Jeff Brecht of the University of Florida.

The workshop is intended for produce industry professionals in management and research and development positions from all segments of the production and distribution system. This includes germplasm development, growing, packing, shipping, and retailing, along with members of the supporting industries that supply the technology and services to help get produce into the hands of consumers.

Participants will come away from the workshop with an improved awareness and understanding of how fruit varieties and harvest and handling practices can have positive or negative impacts on flavor, and the most current research being conducted to advance the cause of more flavorful produce.

For additional information see the workshop brochure.

Penny Stockdale
Postharvest Technology
(530) 752-7672
[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.

Registration is $650. For additional information, visit,_Production_and_Quality_-_2011.html.

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

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day: March 4–5, 2011


CA&ES will hold its annual Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day on Friday and Saturday, March 4–5. The field day is open to FFA and 4-H high school students from California and surrounding states. Approximately 3,000 high school students come to Davis to compete in various agriculturally based judging contests, ranging from livestock judging to agricultural computer applications.

UC Davis students from a variety of majors coordinate the contests. CA&ES faculty and staff volunteer as advisors. No experience is required to serve as a contest judge.

To volunteer to be a judge, contact 2011 Field Day coordinator Kathryn Salfen.
Kathryn Salfen
Field Day coordinator
(530) 754-9083
[email protected] 

Cheese Loves Beer III: March 5, 2011


Registration is open for the third annual presentation of “Cheese Loves Beer: Mastering the Marriage,” to be held Saturday, March 5, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. in the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. The afternoon will be a rousing discussion on the compatibility of beer and cheese led by Charlie Bamforth and Moshe Rosenburg, professors in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

Tickets are $55 for the public and $45 for Friends of the RMI, UC Davis staff, students, and faculty.

Kim Bannister
Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science
(530) 752-5171
[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. Enrollment is requested by April 13. For more information, visit:

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

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

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.
Student News

Design It, Build It

Aug 21, 2015 Truscott donation allows landscape architecture students to dig in.

Student News - More Student News…
Research News

UC Davis Receives Unique, $1.5 Million Gift from Aggie Couple

Jul 07, 2016 Michael and Joelle Hurlston have pledged $1.5 million to endow a first-of-its-kind chair position.

Research News - More Research News…
Outreach News

Summer Internships

Jul 28, 2015 CA&ES students and Salinas Valley employers find common ground.

Outreach News - More Outreach News…