CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

June 9, 2011

May 22, 2014 admin


Message from the Dean







A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Academic Year in Review


Commencement is this week, and so ends our 2010–11 academic year. In looking back, we have reason to celebrate, even though it has been a very challenging year. Our major challenges have been the reorganization of the administrative structure of our departments and the academic reorganization of a number of our departments. These changes have been very difficult for those involved, and I feel it is important that we acknowledge the disruption this has caused for many of our staff and faculty. I believe that there is widespread support for the basic principle that has driven the changes—planning our budget reductions strategically rather than just distributing them across-the-board.

In the midst of the pain of our reorganization, I believe it is important to celebrate the excellence of our college. We have been reminded this past year of our global excellence by the various research rankings released by different groups, by the awards and grants received by our faculty, and by the quality of the students that we are able to attract. We could have adopted other approaches to handling the significant budget reductions, but I am convinced that the path we have chosen will assure that the excellence of our college will be maintained into the future.

Meanwhile, let’s not forget to congratulate all of our graduating students. They have worked hard to earn their degrees, and they deserve our warmest regards. I also want to thank everyone in the college who, in one way or another, makes our commencement ceremonies so successful.

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] 




Christine Bruhn: Carl R. Fellers Award


The Institute of Food Technologists has named Christine Bruhn, Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, as the 2011 winner of the Carl R. Fellers Award. The career service award acknowledges exemplary leadership and communication in food science. Bruhn was commended as an international authority on consumer attitudes toward food irradiation and other novel technologies. She was also noted for her presentations on food safety risk to national and international audiences and for improving the food science profession through her service and leadership within IFT, the International Association for Food Protection, as well as state, national, and international agencies and organizations.

Bruhn and other award winners will be honored at the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting in New Orleans on June 11.

Christine Bruhn
(530) 752-2774
[email protected]


Nancy Erbstein: Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community


Nancy Erbstein, a project scientist in the Department of Human and Community Development, was one of seven members of the Davis community honored by Chancellor Katehi this spring with a 2011 Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community. As a member of the Academic Federation, Erbstein was recognized for her examination of the well-being of low-income, disadvantaged youths in a number of populations, including immigrant, foster care, juvenile justice system, homeless, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender—and how they might be better supported. Erbstein was also commended for developing new UC Davis relationships with foundations, youth-serving organizations and other community organizations, including schools and other civic groups.

Erbstein is shown in the bottom right of the photo. Also pictured are: Chancellor Linda Katehi, left, and Associate Executive Vice Chancellor Rahim Reed, back row, center. Award recipients include (seated, from left) Sheri Atkinson, Lisceth Cruz, and Nancy Erbstein. Back row, Adela de la Torre, second from left, Janet Boulware, second from right, and Galit Erez, right. (Photo by Cheng Saechao/UC Davis)

Nancy Erbstein
(530) 754-6913
[email protected]

Kathy Keatley Garvey: Writing Awards


Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the Department of Entomology, won gold awards in a 2011 writing competition sponsored by the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE), for communicators in agriculture, national resources, and life and human sciences. Garvey won top awards in both the newswriting category and writing-for-a-specialized-publication category.

The best newswriting award was for an article titled "Saving Franklin's Bumble Bee," about entomology professor Robbin Thorp, who is monitoring the endangered bumble bee, found only in a small area of southern Oregon and northern California. The best writing-for-a-specialized publication award was for “Miss Bee Haven,” about Davis artist Donna Billick’s six-foot-long bee sculpture in the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven.

Garvey will be honored in June at the annual ACE conference held in Colorado.

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

Tina Jeoh: National Science Foundation Early Career Award


The National Science Foundation has given a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award to Tina Jeoh, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. An innovator in biofuels, Jeoh will be awarded $407,573 over five years in support of her studies on how microbial enzymes break down plant cell walls to release sugars for conversion to biofuels and other products.

The CAREER award is one of NSF’s most prestigious awards to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars.

Tina Jeoh
(530) 752-1020
[email protected]

Jay Rosenheim: Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching

06rosenheim award.jpg

Professor Jay Rosenheim of the Department of Entomology has been named a 2011 recipient of the UC Davis Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching. Rosenheim was honored in May by the Academic Senate, along with three other faculty who were recipients of the award for undergraduate teaching (Dean Tantillo, chemistry; Charles Walker, history; Gergely Zimanyi, physics) and two faculty who were honored for their graduate/professional teaching (Carol Erickson, molecular and cellular biology; John Scott, political science.)

Rosenheim teaches large- and small-sized classes, lower division introductory courses and freshman seminars. He also mentors undergraduate and graduate students, has chaired the Population Biology Graduate Group, taught in the Collaborative Learning in Math and Biology (CLIMB) program, and developed an innovative honors program to enhance the research experience of undergraduates.

Rosenheim is shown on the right in the photo, receiving his award from Provost Ralph Hexter. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey/UC Davis)

Jay Rosenheim
(530) 752-4481
[email protected]

Howard Schutz: Sensory and Consumer Sciences Achievement Award

The Institute of Food Technologists will honor Professor Emeritus Howard Schutz with a Sensory and Consumer Sciences Achievement Award at the institute’s annual meeting in June. Schutz, retired from the Department of Food Science and Technology, is founder and first chair of the Institute of Food Technologists Sensory Division. He also founded a UC Davis University Extension certificate program for applied sensory science and consumer testing, and he continues to teach through the extension program.

At UC Davis, Howard Schutz focused his career on taste and odor research, preference measurement and methodology, and cognitive and context factors in food acceptance. He has worked on product development methods, consumer behavior, food irradiation attitudes, and food and nutrition attitudes.

Howard Schutz
(530) 757-8891
[email protected]

Marilyn Townsend: Excellence in Research Award


Marilyn Townsend, Cooperative Extension specialist in the nutrition department, received the 2011 UC Davis Academic Federation’s Excellence in Research award for her research to improve nutrition among low-income people. She was honored, along with other winners of Academic Senate and Academic Federation awards, at a ceremony held in May.

Townsend’s research includes four areas: nutrition intervention development and evaluation, mediators of behavior change, risk and evaluation assessment methods, and relationships among obesity, food insecurity, and food costs. She often serves as a consultant with federal and state agency professionals as an expert on the development of valid assessment tools for risk assessment and program evaluation of USDA’s food assistance and education programs with special attention to low-literate participants.

Marilyn Townsend
(530) 754-9222
[email protected]

Jeffrey Williams: Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award


Jeffrey Williams, a professor of agricultural and resource economics and holder of the Daniel B. DeLoach Endowed Chair, received the 2011 UC Davis Distinguished Scholarly Public Service award. Williams was honored in May by the Academic Senate, along with three other faculty who were recipients of a public service award, (Neal Fleming, anesthesiology and pain medicine; Ross Thompson, psychology; and Amparo Villablanca, cardiovascular medicine).

Williams distinguished himself for service on the California Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee (IMRC), to which he was appointed by Governor Gray Davis and reappointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Williams has conducted extensive analyses on the effectiveness of the state’s smog-check regulations and program, which he has presented to the IMRC. Some of his research has resulted in legislation that has saved California taxpayers millions of dollars while ensuring cleaner air.

Jeffrey Williams
(530) 754-7625
[email protected]

ASUCD Awards: Michael Denison, Frank Hirtz, and Kentaro Inoue


In the ninth annual awards ceremony held in May, the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis (ASUCD) presented teaching awards to faculty in each of the four UC Davis undergraduate colleges. Within CA&ES, the ASUCD honored environmental toxicology professor Michael Denison, community development professor Frank Hirtz, and plant sciences professor Kentaro Inoue with 2011 ASUCD Excellence in Education awards. In addition, Hirtz was named the 2011 CA&ES outstanding instructor.

The ASUCD Excellence in Education awards are the only campus teaching awards that are funded, nominated, and selected solely by students. Three finalists are selected for each college (except for the College of Letters and Science, which has one award for each of its three divisions), and a student committee interviews the finalists to choose one outstanding educator based on teaching style, approachability, knowledge of subject material, and other criteria. The students also name an Overall Educator of the Year.

Michael Denison
(530) 752-3879
[email protected]

Frank Hirtz
(530) 752-8928
[email protected]

Kentaro Inoue
(530) 752-7931
[email protected]



Art/Science Fusion Student Photography Exhibit


A student photography exhibit that explores the conceptual connections between art and science will be on display through June 28 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. “Photography: Bridging Art and Science” is the culmination of a Science and Society class taught by Professor Terry Nathan of the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. The course is part of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion program. The exhibit, featuring more than 50 student photographs, is free and open to the public.

Terry Nathan
(530) 752-1609
[email protected]

Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • “Folk Music Jam Session”
    Fridays June 10 and 24, 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.
  • “World Music Concert”
    Sunday, June 12, 5:30 p.m., Gazebo.
    The UC Davis Arboretum and the Sacramento City College World Music Ensemble invite the public to a free outdoor concert celebrating and honoring the origins of the oaks in the Shields Oak Grove. The ensemble will perform music from some of the countries that are home to the 80 varieties of oak trees in the arboretum. Participants will stroll through the oak grove during the program, stopping to hear musical selections related to individual trees. The performance will also feature poetry read by Allegra Silberstein and commentary by docents relating to the oak trees.
  • “Walking Meditation in the Oak Grove”
    Saturday, June 18, 8 to 9 a.m., Gazebo.
    Join meditation teacher Amie Diller for a one-hour walking meditation experience in the Shields Oak Grove. The hour will begin with brief walking meditation instruction, move on to silent walking, with occasional brief instructions, and end with a chant.



Russell Ranch Field Day: June 9, 2011

The annual Russell Ranch Field Day will be held Thursday, June 9, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The theme this year is biodiversity in agriculture, and participants can hear about ecosystems, food safety, cover crops, irrigation management, and soil from growers, researchers, and other experts.

General admission is $8. Students and growers are free. To register, visit Russell Ranch is part of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.

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 RIC
(530) 752-7672
[email protected]

Genomics-based Breeding in Forest Trees: June 22–24, 2011

An international symposium, Genomics-based Breeding in Forest Trees, will meet June 22–24 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. The event will be hosted by the Conifer Translational Genomics Network, with additional sponsorship from Illumina, Inc. and ArborGen, Inc.

Researchers, breeders, and students from all over the world will gather to review the status of genomic resources in forest trees and to define a clear path to operational application of marker-informed breeding. Professor David Neale, Department of Plant Sciences, is helping organize the event.

For more information about speakers and topics, visit

Registration is $250 general/$150 students. To register, visit

Sue DiTomaso
Department of Plant Sciences/Seed Biotechnology Center
(530) 754-7333
[email protected]

Extreme Precipitation Symposium 2011: June 28, 2011

The California Extreme Precipitation Symposium will be held Tuesday, June 28, in Freeborn Hall. The symposium, sponsored in part by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, is a one-day event for sharing technical and scientific knowledge on extreme precipitation events responsible for California floods. This year's theme is: "Analyzing, Forecasting, and Managing Floods."

Registration, which includes continental breakfast, snacks, lunch, parking, and proceedings, is $50 before June 11 and $75 after. Student registration is $25 before June 11 and $50 after.

For more information, visit

Center for Produce Safety Research Symposium: June 28, 2011

The 2011 Produce Research Symposium will meet June 28 in Orlando, Florida, hosted by the Center for Produce Safety and sponsored by private and public organizations. The symposium will bring together participants from the produce industry, research and food safety communities, and government and nongovernmental organizations. Researchers will present recent project findings, and facilitators will lead discussions to exchange ideas on how best to apply those findings across the supply chain, from farm to fork.

Registration is $150 through June 27, and $175 for on-site registration. For more information, visit

The Center for Produce Safety was established in 2007 at UC Davis through a public and private partnership. Research funded by CPS helps provide science-based solutions to food safety concerns in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Center for Produce Safety
Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli
(530) 757-5777
[email protected]

Weed Day, July 14, 2011


Registration is open for Weed Day 2011, to be held on campus on Thursday, July 14. The 55th annual Weed Day provides an opportunity for pest control advisors, farm advisors, chemical company representatives, regulatory officials, faculty, and students to learn about current weed science research at UC Davis.

The event begins with a morning field tour of the UC Davis weed science research plots and a visit to the USDA-ARS Exotic and Invasive Weed Research Laboratory. Lunch and afternoon presentations will be held at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. The event check-in desk will be open from 7:30 to 8 a.m. Buses for the morning field tour will depart promptly at 8:15 a.m.

Registration is $65 if received by July 6, and $90 if received after July 6. Student registration is $20. The registration fee includes refreshments, lunch, and handout materials. Class size is limited, so early enrollment is suggested. No refunds will be granted.

For more information visit

Gale Perez
Department of Plant Sciences
(530) 752-1748
[email protected]

Weed Science School: August 30–September 1

A weed science short course will be held August 30–September 1 at the Bowley Plant Science Teaching Center. Weed Science School is an intensive course focusing on the mode and mechanism of herbicide activity in plants and the fate of herbicides in the environment. This course is designed for working professionals involved in consulting, research development, or sales of agricultural chemicals. Emphasis is on herbicides registered for use in California and important weeds within the state.

Registration is $650 (if received by August 15) or $750 (after August 15). For more information and registration, visit

Gale Perez
Department of Plant Sciences
(530) 752-1748
[email protected]

College Celebration: October 14, 2011


Mark your calendars for the CA&ES College Celebration at Freeborn Hall on Friday, October 14. 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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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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