CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

February 23, 2012

May 20, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean







A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Keeping California’s Food and Agricultural Industries Globally Competitive

Last month I mentioned the responsibilities of UC Davis as a land-grant university and the contributions of the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) and Cooperative Extension (CE) in helping the university fulfill that role. AES and CE contribute to the mission of UC Davis by playing an important role in graduate education, providing opportunities for student internships, and enriching our curriculum. But the primary function of AES and CE at land-grant universities is to serve as a resource for helping the state and our nation address challenging problems related to agriculture, rural economies, conserving our natural resources, and promoting the nutritional and environmental health of our citizens and their communities.

To assess the performance of our AES and CE responsibilities, my office has been searching databases to query how well we have supported the research needs of California agriculture. We know that UC Davis is a very strong research university on a globally competitive scale in fields such as genomics,  metabolomics, and other cutting-edge areas. We have been so successful that many may assume we do this type of research at the expense of serving the applied research needs of California’s leading agricultural industries.

Our data show that just the opposite is true: UC Davis is the overall leading university in the world in applied research supporting the 15 most important commodities produced by California farmers. We are the most productive university in research on many of these commodities, and the only university that is ranked in the top 10 in research on each of these commodities. We not only lead California in research activity that helps keep California agriculture globally competitive, but the data show that we lead the world in this research. The investment that taxpayers and our industry partners make in the AES and CE programs of UC Davis have a very high rate of return. We are the most significant research organization in the state focused on keeping California’s food and agricultural industries globally competitive.

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] 


Lindsay Allen: E.V. McCollum International Lectureship in Nutrition


Lindsay Allen, a research professor in the Department of Nutrition, has been chosen as the 2012 recipient of the E.V. McCollum International Lectureship in Nutrition, awarded by the American Society for Nutrition. This award is given out only every two years. Allen will be honored in April at an ANS awards ceremony in San Diego and will deliver a keynote lecture at that event. She has also been invited to give a presentation in an international setting of her choosing.

Allen is director of the USDA ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center. Her research is focused on the prevalence, causes, consequences, and prevention of micronutrient deficiencies including iron, vitamin B-12, zinc, vitamin A, and riboflavin.

Lindsay Allen
(530) 752-5920
[email protected] 

James Sanchirico: Rosenstiel Award in Oceanographic Science


Professor James Sanchirico of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy was awarded the Rosenstiel Award in Oceanographic Science for outstanding contributions to ocean economics and policy. He is the 39th recipient of the award, which is given annually by the Rosenstiel Foundation. Sanchirico will be honored at a ceremony held in April at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami in Florida.

A natural resource economist, Sanchirico applies quantitative methods to study the design and evaluation of policy instruments for the conservation of natural resources. He has worked on the management of marine populations and habitats, land use, biodiversity conservation, invasive species management, provision of ecosystem services, and the design of market-based policies, such as individual fishing quota systems. As an expert on natural resource management, Sanchirico was recently appointed to two new National Research Council committees, the committee to review the National Ocean Acidification Research Plan, and the committee on Evaluating the Effectiveness of Stock Rebuilding Plans of the 2006 Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act.

James Sanchirico
(530) 754-9883
[email protected]



College Receives Seven "Best of Davis" Awards

In a special “Best of Davis” section of “The California Aggie” (February 16, 2012), students voted for “Best General Education Course” on campus. Leading the list were three classes in our college:

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

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. Human Development 12 was taught in fall 2011 by Nicole Polen, a lecturer in the Department of Human and Community Development.

In addition, the UC Davis Arboretum received multiple accolades. It was named the “Most Picturesque Spot,” and was ranked second as “Best Place to Take a Date,” and “Best Place to Exercise,” and “Best Place to Take Family.”

Faculty Awards and Fellowships Link on CA&ES Homepage: Please Review

Our college has a new “Awards and Fellowships” link on the CA&ES homepage——where faculty awards and honors such as memberships in national and international academies are listed. If there are information gaps in this new list, please let us know. We request that faculty help us keep the list accurate and up-to-date by sending additions or corrections to CA&ES communications director Ann Filmer.

Ann Filmer
CA&ES Dean’s Office
(530) 754-6788
[email protected] 

Call for Nominations: CA&ES Award of Distinction

The CA&ES Dean’s Office requests nominations of outstanding individuals to be considered for the college’s Award of Distinction. This annual award recognizes a small number of outstanding alumni, friends, faculty, and staff to be honored at College Celebration, scheduled for October 5, 2012 in Freeborn Hall.

The nomination packet can be found at Nominations can be submitted online (same website), or by mail or fax. These awards are extremely competitive. Out of courtesy and respect for the nominees, please keep the nominations confidential. The nomination deadline is Friday, March 23, 2012. 
Carrie Cloud
CA&ES Dean’s Office
(530) 204-7500
[email protected] 

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Animal Science Winter 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 March 19. Dates and topics for remaining seminars include:

  • February 27: Animal Health and Welfare Planning in Dairy Cattle
  • March 5: Shaping the Future of California’s Cattle Industry
  • March 12: Effect of Introduced Trout on Alpine Lake Benthic Invertebrate Communities
  • March 19: Genomic and Functional Analysis of Infertility in High Growth FVB/NJ Female Mice

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

Entomology Winter Seminar Series

The Department of Entomology hosts a series of noon seminars to meet Wednesdays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 122 Briggs Hall through March 21. Dates and topics for remaining seminars include:

  • March 7: A Virus at the Helm: Infection with Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus Modifies Thrips Feeding Behavior
  • March 14: Ant-Microbe Interaction and Evolution
  • March 21: Pheromone Mating Disruption Systems for Management of Insects in Perennial Crops—New Successes with Old Problems

Louie Yang
Department of Entomology
(530) 754-3261
[email protected]

Landscape Architecture Lunchbag Lecture Series

The campus community is invited to attend the Landscape Architecture Lunchbag Lecture Series, which meets Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. in room 6 of Wellman Hall. This quarter’s lecture topic is “Food and the Built Environment.” Dates and topics for remaining lectures include:

  • February 24: Food, Inc. Part II (film)
  • March 3: Urban Agriculture, Transcultural Exchange, and Community Building
  • March 9: Mapping a Tacoshed
  • March 16: Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives (from TED lectures)

Tara Hanlon
Department of Environmental Design
[email protected]
(530) 752-3907

Plant Pathology Graduate Seminar Series

The Department of Plant Pathology hosts a series of graduate seminars to meet Mondays from 9–9:50 a.m. in 115 Hutchison Hall through March 19. Dates and topics for remaining seminars include:

  • February 27: Interactions between Bacteria and Fungi and the Plants on Which They Live
  • March 5: TBA
  • March 12: Factors Contributing to Abscisic Acid-mediated Predisposition to Disease Caused by Phytophthora capsici
  • March 19: TBA

Frances Gamez
Department of Plant Pathology
(530) 754-9506
[email protected]  

Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • Native Californian Elderberry Flute-Making Workshop
    Sunday, February 26, 1–3 p.m., Room 146 Environmental Horticulture.
    People of all ages are invited to learn how to make and play a Native Californian elderberry flute in a free two-hour workshop. Please bring a sharpened pocket knife. Adults will need to supervise their young children.
  • Folk Music Jam Session
    Fridays, March 2, 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.
  • All Things Acacia Tour
    Saturday, March 3, 2 p.m., Arboretum Headquarters.
    Enjoy a free public tour of the Eric E. Conn Acacia Grove, which displays over 50 varieties of acacias from around the world that are adapted to Central Valley conditions.
  • Member Appreciation Plant Sale
    Saturday, March 10, 9 a.m.–1 p.m., Arboretum Teaching Nursery.
    The Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum will host a Member Appreciation Plant Sale. The event is open to members only. Anyone may join at the door to get the first pick of spring garden plants, and all members will receive a 10 percent discount and a special member appreciation gift of $10 off their purchase.
  • Walk With Warren
    Wednesday, March 14, noon, Arboretum Headquarters.
    Join arboretum superintendent emeritus Warren Roberts for a lunchtime stroll in the arboretum.




Water 101: February 23–24, 2012

A short course on California water basics and water district board member governance will be held February 23–24 on campus, presented by the Water Education Foundation.

The course is open to anyone interested in learning more about the history of water and the management structure of water in California, as well as the water issues facing the state. The course will be especially beneficial to water resource industry staff, engineering and environmental firm personnel, legislators, legislative staff, advocates, stakeholders, environmentalists, public interest organizations, and water district directors.

Educational sessions will include discussions on:

  • California's natural water environment
  • California's water rights systems
  • Water demand and use
  • Current issues in California water management
  • The legal and institutional management framework

The cost is $150, which includes all educational materials, coffee breaks, lunch on February 23, and a graduation certificate upon completion of the day-and-a-half course. For registration and more information, visit

Water Education Foundation
(916) 444-6240

Groundwater and Watershed Hydrology Seminar: February 28–29, 2012

A two-day short course called “Introduction to Groundwater and Watershed Hydrology: Monitoring, Assessment and Protection” will be offered February 28–29 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.

The short course is for technical staff, consultants, and technical and management personnel in private and public water supply companies, irrigation districts, water districts, local and state agencies, and in resource conservation districts. The course also serves as an excellent introduction to hydrogeology, water resources assessment and monitoring for watershed advisors, educators, lawyers, watershed group participants, and members of environmental and other stakeholder groups and citizens alliances.

The short course is co-sponsored by the UC Cooperative Extension Groundwater Hydrology Program. For registration and additional information, visit

Mary Megarry
Groundwater Resources Association of California
(916) 446-3626
[email protected] 

The Challenges and Opportunities of Working Internationally: February 29, 2012


UC Davis graduate and undergraduate students will share their collective stories and experiences about working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in developing countries on Wednesday, February 29 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the International House, located at 10 College Park. UC Davis students have gained real-world, practical experience while also achieving tangible benefits for the poor in Peru and East Africa by working with NGOs such as Freedom from Hunger and the Global Women’s Water Initiative. The event is co-hosted by the UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies, which supports students with grants to do this fieldwork.

Speakers include:

  • Gemma Bulos, Global Women’s Water Initiative
  • Bobbi Gray, Freedom from Hunger
  • Terri Harris, graduate student, community development
  • Byron Hoy, graduate student, international agricultural development
  • Kelly Taylor, undergraduate student, international relations

For more information, visit  

Gwynn Benner
University Outreach and International Programs
(530) 574-7485
[email protected] 

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day: March 2–3, 2012


CA&ES will hold its annual Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day on Friday and Saturday, March 2–3. 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, contact 2012 Field Day coordinator Sarah Warren, at [email protected] or (530) 752-4939.

Korie (Robinson) Stubblefield
CA&ES Dean’s Office
(530) 752-4369
[email protected] 


California Small Farm Conference: March 4–6, 2012

Cultivating the Next Generation, a California Small Farm Conference, will be held March 4–6 in Valencia, California. The California Small Farm Conference is the state's premier gathering of small farmers, agricultural students, farmers market managers and others involved in the small farm industry. The three-day educational conference includes speakers, workshops, and farm tours, as well as numerous networking opportunities.

For more information, visit

California Farm Conference
PO Box 73614
Davis, CA 95617
[email protected]  

Environmental Sustainability Networking Night: March 6, 2012

The inaugural networking event for anyone involved with the sustainability community at UC Davis will be held Tuesday, March 6, from 7–8:30 p.m. in Gallagher Hall 1000, the Great Room. Greenbridge Networking Night is an interdepartmental event bringing together graduate students, faculty, and professionals pursuing environmental sustainability. Professor Nicole Biggart, Director of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, will introduce the evening with a presentation on interdisciplinary innovation.

Groundbreaking research and innovative projects related to sustainability are happening at UC Davis in areas such as energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, water security, waste management, and sustainable design. This event, co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Management's Net Impact sustainable business chapter and the Cleantech Club, seeks to unite people working in various disciplines in order to foster collaboration and new insights.

Please RSVP to
John Churchman
Graduate School of Management
(484) 357-2644
[email protected] 

Seed Central Networking Event: March 8, 2012

Seed Central, the seed industry cluster surrounding UC Davis, invites you to a monthly networking event on Thursday, March 8 at 5 p.m. in the UC Davis Conference Center. (Please note change of location from last month.) Managers and researchers from many seed companies will attend the event to interact with UC Davis faculty, scientists, and students.

The speaker will be Roger Chetelat, director of the C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center at UC Davis. His talk, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is “Overcoming Barriers to the Use of Wild Species in Breeding Programs—An Example of How the C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Center Benefits the Seed Industry.”

Access to the events is free for UC Davis personnel and students and for public sector attendees. There will be food and beverages for all. A fee of $50 will be charged to industry attendees who are not employees of a Seed Central member company.

Registration is requested to attend the networking event, please go to: For more information, visit

Kathy Bess
PIPRA (Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture)
(530) 754-2162
[email protected] 

Fruit Ripening and Retail Handling Workshop: March 27–28, 2012

The 18th annual Fruit Ripening and Retail Handling Workshop, sponsored by the UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center, will be held March 27–28 at the UC Davis Conference Center. The two-day workshop is organized by Carlos Crisosto, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences. The workshop is intended for shippers, fruit handlers (wholesale and retail), quality control personnel, and produce managers who are involved in handling and ripening fruits and fruit-vegetables.

Lectures, group discussions, and hands-on demonstrations form the workshop. Topics include how to increase profits by developing ripening protocols, evaluating arrival condition, proper retail handling strategies to protect fruits and fruit-vegetables, and delivering ready-to-eat quality produce to the consumer.

Registration is $750, which includes two days of lectures and labs, instructional materials, small group discussion, lunches, coffee breaks, and an evening networking reception. For more information, visit

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

Energy Economics Seminar: March 29, 2012

Energy economist C–Y Cynthia Lin, professor of agricultural and resource economics, will speak on “Energy: Economics, Policy and Business Strategy” on Thursday, March 29, from 4–6 p.m. at BrightSource Energy in Oakland, followed by a reception. The talk is co-sponsored by CA&ES. Space is limited. Please RSVP by March 22 to Carrie Cloud, [email protected].

BrightSource Energy is located at 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 2150, in Oakland, California.

Carrie Cloud
CA&ES Dean’s Office
(530) 204-7500
[email protected] 

Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil: March 30–31, 2012

The UC Davis Olive Center offers a two-day course on Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil, designed for olive oil producers and processors, food retailers and marketers, food service professionals, chefs, and consumers. The course will meet Friday and Saturday, March 30–31 in the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

The two-day program costs $495, with the fee increasing to $545 on March 1. To register, visit

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

Food Safety Workshop: April 2–3, 2012

A one-day entry-level workshop to provide food safety training for fresh produce suppliers will be offered April 2–3 at the UC Davis Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. The “UCGAPs Practical Skill-Building for On-Farm Assessments Workshop” will demonstrate good agricultural practices associated with science-based metrics. Cooperative Extension specialist Trevor Suslow of the Department of Plant Sciences will teach hazard and risk identification skills to workshop participants.

The workshop registration fee of $350 includes instructional materials, lunch, coffee breaks, and an evening networking reception. An optional half-day session for $125 will be offered to those wanting to build their own food safety manual. The course will be offered again in the fall, November 5–6.

For more information, visit or

Penny Stockdale
UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center
(530) 752-7672
[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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