CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

July 26, 2012

May 20, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean








A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: CA&ES Success Built on Collective Excellence

UC Davis has a global reputation for excellence in the areas of scholarship encompassed by our college. For more than a century, our research on issues that affect the land, the environment, and the people of California has helped drive the success of one of the most important sectors of the state’s economy—agriculture. This enviable position of leadership is a reflection of the quality and dedication of the faculty, staff, and students of our college. We have an exciting, vibrant community that fosters excellence and innovation.

As we look to the future, I believe it is important to understand the basis of our current achievements in order to protect what has made us so successful. In analyzing the performance data of our faculty and departments, as well as our centers and institutes, I am impressed by how many CA&ES faculty can be characterized as high achievers in their research and teaching performance.

We are a college of broadly distributed, high-performing faculty. Our collective achievement is not based on the “star” system often used to create sports teams, with a few outstanding performers who disproportionately carry everyone else along. Our success is built on a strong community of excellent team members. Although we have our share of superstars, it is the excellence of the entire community that has propelled our college to its position of preeminence.

It’s great to belong to a community that respects and appreciates the role of each member’s contributions to our collective excellence. Maintaining this community is key to our future success.

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: Fellow of the International Association for Food Protection


Christine Bruhn was one of two scholars appointed as a fellow of the International Association for Food Protection at the association’s annual meeting in July, held in Rhode Island. A Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, Bruhn was recognized for her research and educational leadership in food protection and food safety communication. Bruhn communicates science-based information to advance food protection with food professionals and the public.

Bruhn’s career includes more than 25 years of service to the International Association for Food Protection. As an expert in consumer attitudes and perceptions, she has served as an adviser to many national and international organizations and agencies on food safety and communication. 

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


Rand Conger: Ernest W. Burgess Award


Distinguished Professor Rand Conger of the Department of Human and Community Development has received the Ernest W. Burgess Award from the National Council on Family Relations, the premier professional association in the United States for the multidisciplinary understanding of families. The Burgess Award is the council’s highest award for lifetime achievement in family research. One recipient is chosen every two years in recognition of continuous and meritorious contributions to theory and research in the study of families.

Conger’s research focuses on social and economic stress, life course development, family interaction processes, and family research methods.

Rand Conger
(530) 754-7357
[email protected] 




Adel Kader: Global Postharvest Horticulture Award


Professor Emeritus Adel Kader was honored for his contributions to postharvest technology at the opening ceremonies of the seventh annual International Postharvest Symposium, held in June in Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (right) presented the Excellent Contribution to Global Postharvest Horticulture Award to Kader. The award is from the International Society for Horticultural Science and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute. More than 600 people from 23 countries attended the symposium.

For much of his career, Kader has focused on reducing horticultural postharvest losses worldwide through improved postharvest handling practices. Kader retired in 2007 from the Department of Plant Sciences after 35 years of service on campus, including 29 years with a split appointment as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist. Kader led the UC Postharvest Biology and Technology Program by coordinating teaching, research, and extension activities, including an annual two-week postharvest technology short course that has educated hundreds of professionals since its inception in 1979.

Adel Kader
(530) 752-0909
[email protected] 



State Fair Recognition for Sierra Valley Videos

State Recogniztion for Sierra Valley Videos

A collection of short videos made in collaboration with the UC Davis Center for Regional Change and the UC Davis Humanities Institute won a gold ribbon for the Sierra County exhibit at the California State Fair. The videos portray personal stories from Sierra Valley, a high desert valley in Plumas and Sierra counties.

The 12 “Passion for the Land” videos feature local stories that explore connections between people, the environment, agriculture, and local communities. This collection of short videos is one of several projects organized by the Art of Regional Change, which brings together scholars, students, artists, and community groups to collaborate on media arts projects.

To view the videos, visit

jesikah maria ross
UC Davis Humanities Institute 
(530) 320-1819
[email protected]

Conservation Agriculture Videos and Field Day


To introduce more Central Valley farmers to the benefits of conservation agriculture practices, Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation (CASI) created a six-part documentary featuring California farmers, UC researchers, and agency representatives. The series premieres August 6 on the CASI website ( Additional segments will be released each Monday for the five weeks that follow.

Throughout the series, viewers will meet farmers who are implementing conservation agriculture successfully and profitably on their Central Valley farms. The episodes, which run six to 10 minutes, review the core principles and practices associated with conservation agriculture systems and provide examples of successful local adoption.

At the conclusion of the video series, farmers and others interested in conservation agriculture are invited to the UC West Side Research and Extension Center in Fresno County for the annual Twilight Conservation Agriculture Field Day on Thursday, September 13. The event, which begins at 4 p.m., is free and includes a barbecue dinner. Viewers of the video series can meet many of the farmers and scientists who were featured in the documentary and see conservation agriculture research currently in practice.

To register for the Twilight Field Day, visit The West Side Research and Extension Center is located at 17353 West Oakland Avenue in Five Points.

Jeff Mitchell
Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation
(559) 303-9689
[email protected] 

Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • Camp Shakespeare 
    Session Two: July 30–August 10, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
    Davis Shakespeare Ensemble and the arboretum invite campers ages 7–15 to participate in Camp Shakespeare, two weeks of theater games, camp activities, acting workshops, and a special camp production of one of Shakespeare’s most exciting plays, The Tempest. The fee for the camp is on a sliding scale. For more information, visit or e-mail [email protected].
  • Folk Music Jam
    Session: Fridays, August 3 and 17, 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.
  • Armchair Birding: Plants in Your Yard and the Feathered Friends Who Visit
    Saturday, August 4, 9–10:30 a.m., Arboretum Terrace.
    Learn how to add sound and movement to your garden by attracting birds, and find out what local bird species you might see there.
  • The Redwood Grove—So Cool!
    Saturday, August 18, 9–10:30 a.m., Wyatt Deck.
    Enjoy the cathedral-like cool and quiet of the redwood grove, and learn about the plants of the redwood forest understory. 



Olive Oil Sensory Evaluation Master Class: July 27–28, 2012

The UC Davis Olive Center, Pacific Sun Olive Oil, and the California Olive Oil Council present a Sensory Evaluation Master Class July 27–28 in the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theatre of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. This intensive course will be led by Italian olive oil experts Pierpaolo Migliorini and Marzia Arca. The two presenters have a wealth of experience as olive oil taste panel leaders, and they judge for various olive oil competitions around the world.

The two-day program costs $550. For registration and more information, visit

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

Aquatic Weed School: September 5–6, 2012

An aquatic weed science short course will be held September 5–6 at the Bowley Plant Sciences Center. Aquatic Weed School 2012 is an intensive two-day course focusing on issues associated with weed management strategies in a variety of aquatic ecosystems. The course provides an opportunity for professionals to update their understanding of aquatic weeds and interact with experts in this field. The Aquatic Weed School is designed for those involved in consulting, research, and management of aquatic weed systems throughout the western United States.

The topics are presented in lecture, laboratory, and demonstration formats. Registration is $425 if received by August 3, and $525 thereafter. The registration fee includes a comprehensive course notebook, lunch, and light refreshments each day. Class size is limited, so early enrollment is encouraged.

For registration and more information, visit

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

Fresh-cut Products Workshop: September 18–20, 2012

The 17th annual fresh-cut products course, “Maintaining Quality and Safety Workshop,” will be held September 18–20 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. The three-day short course will provide an overview of the production, processing, packaging, distribution, and quality assurance of fresh-cut products. It also features discussions on microbial food safety and the effects of temperature and modified atmospheres on fresh-cut fruit and vegetable quality.

Enrollment costs $1,150, and includes instruction, course materials, lunches, and break refreshments.  For more information, visit

Penny Stockdale

Postharvest Technology Center
[email protected]

(530) 752-7672

Olive Center Master Milling Short Course: October 4–6, 2012

The UC Davis Olive Center hosts the fourth annual Master Milling Short Course October 4–6 at the UC Davis Conference Center. The short course will be offered as two separate classes, providing information for both beginners and more advanced millers. Attendees are welcomed to sign up for one or both classes. 

  • Day one: Introduction to Olive Oil Milling, $255 ($305 after September 5)
  • Days two and three: Advanced Olive Oil Milling, $495 ($545 after September 5)

Registration is available through UC Davis Campus Events. For more information, visit

Dan Flynn
UC Davis Olive Center
(530) 752-5170
[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 monthly. 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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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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