CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

November 10, 2011

May 22, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean







A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: New Faculty Searches

I mentioned in my message in the September issue of Currents that the provost has authorized the college to release up to 12 faculty searches each year for the next four years. I announced to our department chairs last week the specific searches that will occur this year. It will stretch our level of financial comfort to sustain this many faculty searches during a difficult budget period. Each of these new faculty searches will require funds from central campus, the college, and the home department to cover not only the faculty salary and benefits, but also administrative support for the new faculty member, remodeling of space, and realistic start-up budgets to assure that our new faculty colleagues have the facilities, equipment, and help they need to initiate a successful career.

A decision has been made to begin the transition of our college faculty from fiscal-year appointments to academic-year appointments, consistent with those of faculty in other colleges of the university. Our new faculty will be hired into 9-month appointments rather than 11-month appointments. I have supported this change because we have noticed that the starting salaries of our faculty with 11-month appointments do not really differ from faculty of other colleges who have 9-month appointments. The market sets the starting salary level — regardless of whether it is for a 9- or 11-month term. With this reality, our faculty are at a salary disadvantage with their 11-month appointments since they cannot significantly increase their salaries through summer salary supplementation. This move is not viewed as a budget-saving initiative, but as one that extends equal opportunity to all faculty across campus.

There is currently much discussion regarding the chancellor’s 2020 vision for the future growth of the campus and the hope that it brings during a difficult budget period. With the authorized release of at least 48 positions for recruitment by CA&ES during the next four years, this process of renewal is beginning early for our college. We also will certainly benefit from the growth in faculty in the future, but the new faculty who join us now will help maintain the success and momentum of this great college.

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] 


Roberta Cook: Fresh Produce Industry Award


Cooperative Extension specialist Roberta Cook was recently named one of the “Packer 25,” an honor that recognizes fresh produce industry leaders for 2011. The awards are published in magazine form by “The Packer,” a trade publication for the fresh produce industry that was distributed at the annual Produce Marketing Association meeting held in October in Atlanta.

Cook was recognized for her ability to link businesses, government, farms, and academia. She was also noted for her wide-reaching knowledge of the produce industry within the United States and abroad.

Cook, who has been with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics since 1985, has wide-ranging research interests that include food distribution, fresh fruit and vegetable marketing, international competition and trade, the Mexican horticultural industry, and food safety.

Roberta Cook
(530) 752-1531
[email protected]

Walter Leal: Entomology Award for Innovation and Creativity


Chemical ecologist Walter Leal, a professor in the Department of Entomology, is the recipient of the Entomological Society of America's Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology. Each year this award is given to an ESA member who demonstrates an ability to identify problems and develop creative, alternative solutions that significantly impact entomology. Leal will receive the award at the 59th annual ESA meeting in Reno this month.

A pioneer in the field of insect communication, Leal employs innovative approaches to insect olfaction problems. His work examines how insects detect smells, communicate with their species, detect host and non-host plants, and detect prey.

Walter Leal
(530) 752-7755
[email protected]

Michael Parrella: Distinguished Achievement Award in Horticultural Entomology


Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology, with a joint appointment in the Department of Plant Sciences, is the recipient of the Entomological Society of America's Distinguished Achievement Award in Horticultural Entomology. The award singles out an entomologist who has contributed greatly to the American horticulture industry. Parrella will receive the honor at the 59th annual ESA meeting in Reno this month.

Throughout his career, Parrella has developed an internationally recognized program focused on advancing integrated pest management and biological control for the floriculture and nursery industry.

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




Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award: Call for Nominations


Nominations for the Eric Bradford and Charlie Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award are due Monday, January 2, 2012. The award was established in memory of Eric Bradford, professor emeritus of animal science, and Charlie Rominger, a fifth-generation farmer and well-known advocate of farmland preservation and wildlife habitat restoration. The award seeks to recognize and honor individuals who exhibit the leadership, work ethic, and integrity epitomized by Bradford and Rominger.

Members of the UC Davis community are invited to nominate UC farm advisors and Cooperative Extension specialists, as well as UC Davis graduate students, faculty members, and in special cases, alumni, for their work toward agricultural sustainability. Nominees for the award should demonstrate leadership with a passion for service, as they aim to improve the world through their contributions to agriculture.

The recipient will receive a cash award, and may be invited to give a lecture sponsored by the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis, which manages the award selection process. For nomination forms and more information about the award, visit The award recipient will be announced in spring 2012.

Eve Hightower
Agricultural Sustainability Institute
(530) 752-8664
[email protected]

Animal Science Fall Seminar Series

The Department of Animal Science hosts a series of noon seminars to meet Mondays at 12:10 p.m. in 2154 Meyer Hall through November 28. Dates and topics for seminars include:

  • November 14: Performance and Economic Advantages of Wintering Beef Cattle in the California Foothill Range
  • November 21: Adventures in Polyploidy: Genome Duplication and Gene Flow in the Octoploid White Sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus
  • November 28: The Effect of Phytoestrogens on Basal and GnRH-Induced Gonadotropin Secretion from Ovine Pituitary Cells in Culture

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 to meet on Wednesdays through December 7 in 122 Briggs Hall. Coordinating the seminars are professors Louie Yang and Joanna Chiu. Dates and topics for seminars include:

  • November 16: Lepidopteran Learning and Memory: Caterpillars, Butterflies, and the Mysterious In-Between
  • November 18 (Special seminar from 2 to 3 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall): Colored Shading Nets Reduce Insect-Borne Viral Diseases in Vegetable Crops
  • November 23: No seminar
  • November 30: Fevers from the Forest: Dynamics of Sylvatic Dengue Virus and Chikungunya Virus in their Primate Hosts and Mosquito Vectors in Southeastern Senegal
  • December 7: The Roles of Demography and Genetics in the Founding of New Populations

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

Plant Sciences Fall Seminar Series

The Department of Plant Sciences hosts a series of noon seminars to meet on Wednesdays through November 30 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 3001, Plant and Environmental Sciences Building. Dates and topics for seminars include:

  • November 16: A New Phytohormone and They Still Do It in the Dark
  • November 23: Endomembrane Trafficking and Polysaccharide Deposition
  • November 30: Genome Evolution in the Grass Family as Seen from the Perspective of the Large and Complex Genomes in the Tribe Triticeae

Diane Nelson
Department of Plant Sciences
(530) 752-1969
[email protected]


WCAHS Monthly Seminar Series

The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety hosts monthly seminars on topics related to agricultural health. The presentations will be held Mondays from 4 to 5 p.m. in a new location, the Center for Health and the Environment on Old Davis Road.

Dates and topics for upcoming seminars include:

  • December 5: Recent Agricultural Ergonomic Research at UC Davis

Sandra Freeland
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
(530) 752-5253
[email protected]

Bohart Museum of Entomology Special Weekend Openings


The UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology offers special weekend programs throughout the year designed for families and other visitors who are unable to view the insect collection on weekdays. Located at 1124 Academic Surge on California Drive, the Bohart Museum houses a global collection of more than seven million insect specimens and also maintains a live “petting zoo” with such residents as Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks.

All the weekend openings will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Upcoming dates for weekend programs include:

  • Saturday, November 19
  • Sunday, December 18
  • Saturday, January 14

The museum’s regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Admission is free. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Tabatha Yang
Bohart Museum of Entomology
(530) 752-0493
[email protected]

Community Tile Making for Arboretum Installation

Anyone with an interest in science and art is invited to join Art/Science Fusion instructors in creating tiles for a permanent installation at the UC Davis Arboretum. Artist Donna Billick and entomology professor Diane Ullman, associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, will assist participants to carve, paint, and glaze a piece to contribute to the ceramic tile surface of a 50-foot curved, concrete bench at the entrance to Shields Oak Grove. The tile installation will highlight 43 steps in the life cycle of an 800-year-old English oak. Volunteers may select an image of a wildflower, mushroom, bird, mammal, or insect from the English oak woodland to depict. The finished ceramic bench will serve as an outdoor classroom and gathering area for tours of the arboretum’s nationally recognized oak collection.

Tile-making sessions are held Tuesday evenings through November 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Labudio rooms (Environmental Horticulture Building, Rooms 126/128). Materials are provided. Please RSVP to Emily Griswold.

Emily Griswold
UC Davis Arboretum
(530) 754-8038
[email protected]

Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • Container Plants for Winter Color
    Saturday, November 19, 2 p.m., Arboretum Terrace Garden.
    Learn about container gardening for winter color during a free tour with a guide who will discuss planting in multiple layers and grouping a variety of containers of different types and sizes to create depth and density. The tour will meet at the garden next to the former site of Borders Books and Music downtown on First Street.
  • Planting for Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects
    Saturday, December 3, 2 p.m., Arboretum Teaching Nursery.
    On a guided tour, learn how your home landscape can provide habitat for native pollinators.
  • Folk Music Jam Session
    Friday, December 9, 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. Listeners and musicians of all skill levels welcome.
  • Walk With Warren
    Wednesday, December 14, noon, Gazebo.
    Tour the arboretum plant collections with superintendent emeritus Warren Roberts.
  • Under the Redwood Canopy
    Saturday, December 17, 2 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
    Enjoy a free guided tour of the redwood grove on a quiet and peaceful winter day.



Sacramento Beer Night with Charlie Bamforth: November 13, 2011

The Sacramento chapter of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association invites the public to an afternoon with Charlie Bamforth at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 13, at Sudwerk’s Riverside in Folsom. Enjoy the lively wit of Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences in the Department of Food Science and Technology, as he shares research and expertise on the subject of beer. Stay for a social hour while enjoying views of the American River.

The event will be held at Sudwerk’s Riverside in Folsom on 9900 Greenback Lane. RSVP at

Alex Hanway
(530) 752-0287
[email protected]

Aldo Leopold Documentary: November 18, 2011


A screening of “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time” will be shown Friday, November 18 at the UC Davis Conference Center Ballroom. The movie highlights the career of legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold, explaining how he shaped conservation and the modern environmental movement. The event is sponsored by the John Muir Institute of the Environment and the USDA Forest Service Experimental Forest and Range Network.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the program begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Please RSVP at

Sharon Ruth
John Muir Institute of the Environment
(530) 752-9178
[email protected]

Bicycling in Davis Talk: November 22, 2011

Sarah Underwood of the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences will give a presentation on “Bicycling in Davis: What Lessons Can we Learn from Europe?” on Tuesday, November 22, at The Barn Conference Room from noon to 1 p.m. The talk is sponsored by the Environmental Leaders Program of the John Muir Institute of the Environment and the Institute of Transportation Studies Sustainable Transportation Center.

One area Underwood will explore is why, even with good bicycling conditions, many Davis residents do not choose to bicycle on a regular basis. Included in her talk are strategies that have enjoyed success in Europe to get more people bicycling for transportation. She will discuss what can be done in the U.S. to achieve the same.

Institute of Transportation Studies Sustainable Transportation Center
(530) 752-1082

Olive Oil Talk: November 29, 2011

Author Tom Mueller will debut his new book “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil” at the UC Davis Conference Center on November 29 from 5:30–6:30 p.m., followed by a reception. Mueller is known for his 2007 article in “The New Yorker” magazine, “Slippery Business:  The Trade in Adulterated Olive Oil.” The event is sponsored by the UC Davis Olive Center.

Please RSVP through the following link:

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

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