CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

March 17, 2011

May 20, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean




A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Budget Buffers

Recent headlines in local newspapers about state and university budget challenges can result in anxiety about job security for those employed by the university. Smaller budgets will ultimately result in the university employing fewer staff on our state-appropriated budget lines, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the university will have fewer employees.

The campus budget plan specifically calls for the university to increase streams of funding to replace state-appropriated funds, and our college has been very successful in doing so over this past decade. Our extramural expenditures, including endowment payouts, have increased dramatically.

Our new faculty should be comforted by the fact that the University of California will do almost anything to avoid laying off faculty — we don’t lay off faculty for budgetary reasons. We likewise will work very hard to protect our staff from layoffs. Our college prefers to take cuts through attrition, and we have always planned our budget to avoid significant budget cuts to departments within a single budget year. If a department’s budget changes too much in a single year, we buffer the cuts by spreading them out over multiple years.

I cannot promise that there will be no staff layoffs, but I can promise to do everything possible to avoid them, so I hope the headlines that constantly remind us of our budget challenges will not cause undue anxiety.

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] 



Alison Berry: Honorary Doctorate

03Picture1Alison Berry.jpg

Alison Berry, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University for her exemplary research in plant biology and her engagement in finding ways to integrate human and natural ecosystems. Berry is an expert in the field of nitrogen-fixing actinorhizal plant microbe interactions and has recently expanded her research to bioenergetics and conflicts in the interface between man and environment. Berry, who has been on the UC Davis faculty since 1984, has a long-standing collaboration with the Stockholm University Department of Botany, where she was a visiting professor in 2008–09. The conferment took place in a ceremony at Stockholm City Hall in September 2010.

Alison Berry
(530) 752-7683
[email protected]


Frank Mitloehner: Outstanding Dairy Educator/Researcher Award


Frank Mitloehner, a professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences, was named 2011 Outstanding Dairy Industry Educator/Researcher at the World Ag Expo in Tulare in Feburary.

The award was presented by Western DairyBusiness for Mitloehner’s achievements in researching the measurement and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions on large dairies in California and the impact of these and other pollutants on dairy workers. The award was also conferred in recognition of his effort towards educating farmers, regulatory staff, and environmental groups on air quality and climate change, and helping them meet air quality compliance regulations.

Frank Mitloehner
(530) 752-3936
[email protected]


Michael Parrella and Michael Reid: California Floriculture Hall of Fame


Professor Michael Parrella, chair of the Department of Entomology, and Professor Emeritus Michael Reid, Department of Plant Sciences, have been selected for induction into the California Floriculture Hall of Fame. Both researchers have dedicated a large portion of their careers to the ornamental industry.

Parrella, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Plant Sciences, develops integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for ornamental crops, with an emphasis on biological control. He is widely known for his applied research that includes floriculture crops, nursery and bedding plants, and landscape plants in the urban environment. In 1985, he initiated what has become an annual conference on insect and disease management for ornamentals. Parrella is shown on the right in the photo (courtesy of Debi Aker) with presenter Mike Mellano Sr. of Mellano & Company.


Postharvest specialist Michael Reid, prior to his retirement in late 2010, was a vocal proponent of postharvest care and techniques for ornamental producers. In his more than 30 years as a professor and Cooperative Extension specialist, Reid worked with growers and other industry professionals to provide research and education on proper postharvest treatments to prolong the life of floriculture products. Reid’s research focused on the biochemistry of senescence of ornamental plants, particularly cut flowers and potted plants, as well as on applying new methods of postharvest technology in the field.

The California Floriculture Hall of Fame was started in 1986 to honor individuals who have made a lasting contribution to the California floral industry. The names of California Floriculture Hall of Fame inductees are engraved on permanent plaques at the San Francisco Flower Market, the Los Angeles Flower Market, and the San Diego International Floral Trade Center. Parrella was inducted at a ceremony held during the Society of American Florists’ Pest and Production Management Conference in February. Reid is out of the country, and will be inducted at a ceremony to be held later this year.

Michael Parrella
(530) 752-0479
[email protected]

Michael Reid
[email protected]



Art of Regional Change Documentary


“Up from the UnderStory,” a television documentary about an isolated rural community in the Sierra Nevada foothills that struggles to overcome social, economic, and environmental challenges after a century of mining and logging, premiered on March 9 on KVIE Channel 6. Rural residents and university scholars involved in the documentary project attended a special broadcast premiere screening and reception held on the UC Davis campus.

The 30-minute documentary, produced in collaboration with KVIE, shows how a diverse group of rural residents—loggers, environmentalists, Native Americans, urban transplants—in the Blue Mountain area of Calaveras County came together to chart a new path for their economically devastated community. The program traces the history of boom and bust resource extraction cycles in the Sierra. It examines how the Blue Mountain community launched a rural revitalization movement to create a more sustainable future, and the recent role UC Davis has played in supporting their efforts.

“Up from the UnderStory” brought university students and scholars together with rural youth and community leaders to create videos that documented local history and profiled current revitalization projects. The documentary was directed by jesikah maria ross, director of the UC Davis Art of Regional Change program, a joint initiative of the Davis Humanities Institute and the Center for Regional Change. For more information, visit  

jesikah maria ross
Art of Regional Change
(530) 320-1819
[email protected]


Call for Nominations: CA&ES Award of Distinction


Nominations for the 2011 CA&ES Award of Distinction are due Monday, March 28. The award honors individuals for excellence in leadership, achievement, support, and/or meritorious service to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, or for bringing distinction to the college through their careers.

There are five categories for the Award of Distinction:

  • alumni
  • young alumni (less than 15 years from last degree)
  • friends of the college
  • faculty
  • staff and non-Senate academic appointees

Recipients of the Award of Distinction will be chosen and announced in July 2011. Awardees will be honored at the annual CA&ES College Celebration to be held Friday, October 14.

For online forms and nomination instructions, visit

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


Top Rankings for Research in Agricultural Sciences

UC Davis ranked first nationally in “U.S. Institutions: Most Prolific in Agricultural Sciences, 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 agricultural sciences from 2005 to 2009, the top five universities are:

  1. UC Davis
  2. University of Florida
  3. Cornell University
  4. University of Wisconsin, Madison
  5. Texas A&M University

For more information, visit


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, California State Polytechnic University–Pomona, and California State Polytechnic University–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]


College Receives Six "Best of Davis" Awards

In a special “Best of Davis” section in “The California Aggie” (February 17, 2011), students voted for “Best General Education Course” on campus. Leading the list were three classes in our college:

  • Human Development 12: Human Sexuality
  • Food Science and Technology 3: Introduction to Brewing and Beer
  • Nutrition 10: Discoveries and Concepts in Nutrition

Human Development 12 was taught by Lisa Rapalyea in fall 2010, and Nicole Polen in winter 2011, both lecturers in the Department of Human and Community Development. Food Science and Technology 3 is taught by Professor Charlie Bamforth. Nutrition 10 is taught by Liz Applegate, a senior lecturer in the Department of Nutrition.

In addition, the UC Davis Arboretum was listed as “Best Place to Take a Date,” and ranked second as “Best Place to Study,” as well as “Best Place to Sleep on Campus.”


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]


Animal Science Winter Seminar Series

The Department of Animal Science hosts a series of noon seminars that meet on Mondays in Meyer Hall, Weir Room 2154 from 12:10 to 1 p.m. through March 14. The date and topic for the remaining seminar is:

  • March 14 — Karrigan Bork, Department of Animal Science, California Fish and Game Code 5937: Water for Fish

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


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • "Folk Music Jam Session”
    Friday, March 18, 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.
  • “Spring in the Native Plant Garden”
    Saturday, March 19, 2 p.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
    A free tour will focus on standouts in the spring native plant garden and how well they can fit into any home landscape.
  • "Plant Sale Preview”
    Saturday, March 26, 2 p.m., Arboretum Teaching Nursery.
    No plants will be for sale during the guided tour, but visitors will get a special preview of the arboretum’s spring plant sales. The tour will focus on the best plants for our garden climate, including the Arboretum All-Stars, plants selected for their beauty, reliability, heat and drought tolerance, and value in attracting butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.
  • ”Spring in the Storer Garden”
    Sunday, March 27, 11 a.m., Gazebo.
    The first spring flowers are in bloom in the Ruth Storer demonstration flower garden, which was designed for fragrance, sound, and texture, as well as for visual beauty.



Sugar, Obesity and Health Symposium: March 17, 2011

A one-day symposium focused on sugar consumption and its impact on human health will be held Thursday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. Researchers will present new and unpublished data, pointing to converging evidence that sugar is at the root of many modern disease epidemics.

The conference is part of a UC Office of the President collaboration between UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and UC San Francisco to promote cutting-edge research on obesity. It is funded by the University of California. This year's symposium is titled "Sugar Highs and Lows: Dietary Sugars, the Brain, and Metabolic Outcomes." The registration fee is $25 person for the general public and $10 per person for students.

For more information, visit

Rashel DeCant
USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center at UC Davis
(530) 754-0271
[email protected]



Cover Crops for California Tomato and Cotton Production: March 18, 2011

Cooperative Extension specialist Jeff Mitchell of the Department of Plant Sciences will be one of the speakers at a field day on cover crops to be held Friday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the UC Westside Research and Extension Center in Five Points, California. Participants will learn about cover crop management for tomato and cotton production in the San Joaquin Valley.

Those interested in attending the free event should contact Jeff Mitchell at [email protected] and indicate “Cover Crop Field Day” in the subject line.

Jeff Mitchell
Department of Plant Sciences
(559) 303-9689
[email protected]


Symposium on Wild Relatives of Fruit and Nut Crops: March 19–23, 2011

The first international Symposium on Wild Relatives of Subtropical and Temperate Fruit and Nut Crops will be held March 19–23 at UC Davis. The symposium is organized by the International Society of Horticultural Sciences and hosted by the USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository at UC Davis, in cooperation with the Department of Plant Sciences.

The conference will bring together stakeholders from around the world to address the current status and future course of action for conservation, management, and sustainable utilization of wild relatives of subtropical and temperate fruit and nut crops. For details, see

Malli Aradhya
USDA Agricultural Research Service
(530) 752-9392
[email protected]

Dan Kluepfel
USDA Agricultural Research Service
(530) 752-1137
[email protected]


Medium Density Olive Production Symposium: April 4–5, 2011


The UC Davis Olive Center presents a symposium on medium-density olive oil production to be held April 4–5 at Freeborn Hall. Experts will discuss medium-density orchard systems that offer the potential for mechanical harvesting and production efficiency. Topics will include cost and return, comparison to other planting densities, assessing applicability to olive oil and table olives, orchard establishment and management.

Registration is $525. Refunds will NOT be issued for cancellations.

To view symposium information, visit For registration, visit

Kiley Athanasiou
UC Davis Olive Center
(530) 752-5233
[email protected]


UC Energy Week: April 4–7, 2011

UC Energy Week 2011 will be held on campus April 4–7, hosted by the California Renewable Energy Center. The event includes a global energy symposium and forums on multiple renewable and sustainable technologies. Sessions will provide an opportunity to learn and discuss current issues involving renewable and sustainable energy along with energy efficiency, clean transportation, and the need for a sustainable energy future. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with top academic, governmental, and corporate leaders.

For registration, an agenda, and additional information, visit Attendees can opt to register for a multiday pass, or for individual sessions of interest. The e-mail contact is [email protected].


Sustainable Backyard Workshop: April 9, 2011


Join the California Center for Urban Horticulture for a hands-on workshop for gardeners on Saturday, April 9, called “Your Sustainable Backyard: Landscaping in California.” The $35 registration fee includes morning coffee and lunch.  A plant sale hosted by the UC Davis Arboretum at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery from 3 to 5 p.m. will immediately follow the workshop.

Speakers include Debra Lee Baldwin, a photojournalist and author of “Designing with Succulents,” and Bob Perry, a landscape architect and author of “Landscape Plants for California Gardens.”

For registration and more information, visit

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



Postharvest Technology Short Course: June 13–24, 2011

Enrollments are well under way for the 33rd annual Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course, 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].

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The university is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

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