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March 23, 2012

May 20, 2014 admin

Message from the Dean







A Message from Dean Neal Van Alfen: Addressing International Challenges of Food Security and Environmental Sustainability

This past month I traveled to Indonesia at the invitation of a UC Davis alumnus who is serving as U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia. The purpose of the trip was to explore how our college, and others at UC Davis, can become engaged in helping address the food security issues of Indonesia—the fourth most populous country in the world.

Indonesia is a tropical country rich in natural resources that currently imports food to feed its population. In many ways, Indonesia is at the center of the important issues that currently face our planet. Their challenge raises the question: how does a country rich in resources produce enough food to meet the needs of a growing population—one that is also becoming richer and thus seeking a diet with more animal protein and fresh fruits and vegetables? The hope is that this food security goal can be met in an environmentally sustainable manner that protects the ecosystem services provided by the extensive tropical forests and wetlands of this country.

Our college was asked to help address these challenges in Indonesia because of our global reputation. Becoming engaged in these issues provides significant opportunities for our faculty and students, while playing a role in helping to address the climate change issues that are shared by all people of this planet.

The International Programs Office of our college is engaged around the world addressing issues similar to those that I found in Indonesia. We established this office to assist our faculty and students in their international engagement efforts. Through the leadership of associate dean Jim Hill, this office has grown into a large and successful operation funded largely through extramural contracts and grants. They are engaged internationally in ways that reflect our campus land-grant heritage.

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] 


John Eadie: Waterfowl Conservation Awards


Professor John Eadie recently received recognition from two groups for his contributions to waterfowl and wetland conservation efforts. Eadie, who serves as the Dennis G. Raveling Professor of Waterfowl Biology, holds appointments in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology and in the Department of Animal Science.

Eadie was one of six people honored with a 2012 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award presented by Ducks Unlimited at the 77th annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in March. The organization recognized Eadie for his contributions to wetlands and waterfowl conservation and restoration in the research/technical category.

Eadie also received the National Blue-winged Teal Award from the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The award recognizes partners whose activities result in substantial benefits to waterfowl, other wetland-associated migratory bird populations, or wetlands habitats. In receiving the award for 2012, Eadie was recognized for his scientific accomplishments, his teaching contributions, his mentorship of up-and-coming conservation biologists, and for efforts to advise and contribute to waterfowl conservation efforts.
John Eadie
(530) 754-9204
[email protected] 

Alex McCalla: Distinguished Professor Emeritus Award

The UC Davis Emeriti Association named Alex McCalla as the recipient of the 2011–12 Distinguished Emeritus Award. The association honored the retired professor of agricultural and resource economics at a special luncheon.

McCalla joined the UC Davis faculty as an assistant professor in 1966 and attained the rank of professor in six years. From 1970 to 1975, he served as dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and associate director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.

In 1979, McCalla helped in the planning of the new Graduate School of Administration (today called the Graduate School of Management) and subsequently served as the founding dean for nearly two years, until 1981, before returning to the Department of Agricultural Economics (known today as the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics).

McCalla retired in 1994 and joined the World Bank soon after taking emeritus status. Since his retirement from the World Bank in December 1999, he has once again made UC Davis his home base, teaching extensively—from an introductory course on agriculture to graduate teaching in international trade—and taking on special assignments. As an emeritus professor, he has continued to teach, mentor, consult and publish, and his contributions are widely known and acclaimed in the international arena.


Pictured in the photo, from left, are plant sciences professor Bill Rains, president of the Emeriti Association, Alex McCalla, Chancellor Linda Katehi, and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter. (Photo by Sue Barnes/UC Davis)

Alex McCalla
(530) 752-1529
[email protected] 



UC Davis Food Safety Documentary


A new documentary about food safety and sensory science research at UC Davis premiered March 19 at the Robert Mondavi Institute’s Silverado Vineyard Sensory Theatre. A crowd of about 50 people attended “Better Safe than Sorry: A Focus on Food,” along with the discussion that followed.

University Communications, in collaboration with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, produced this video with support from Agilent Technologies, Inc. The PBS station in Sacramento, KVIE-TV, is scheduled to broadcast the documentary on its weekly public affairs program, Viewfinder, on three dates:

  • Wednesday, March 28 (7 p.m.)
  • Friday, March 30 (4 p.m.)
  • Sunday, April 1 (6 p.m.)

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

National Association of Plant Breeders Awards: Call for Nominations

The National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) announces its Awards Program for 2012. The association is sponsoring four awards that will be presented at the annual meeting in August. The deadline for nominations is June 15.

Early Career Award: Recognizes a young scientist who is active in the plant breeding field. Nominees must have obtained their Ph.D. after December 31, 2004.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Recognizes an individual who has given distinguished long-term service to plant breeding in areas such as breeding/genetics research and publication, education (graduate or undergraduate training), extension outreach, and regional, national, and/or international leadership.

Plant Breeding Impact Award: Recognizes an individual who has made significant advancements in the field of plant breeding, specifically in the area of applied variety and/or technology development. Public or private plant breeders whose improved germplasm or technological contributions have had a measurable impact on crop production are eligible to receive this award.

Graduate Student Poster Award: Recognizes an outstanding graduate student poster, both in content and delivery, which exemplifies breeding/genetics research.

Nomination procedures and entry forms containing more details are available at

Brooks Blanche
Awards Panel Chair
[email protected] 

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] 


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • Plant Sale Preview
    Saturday, April 7, 2 p.m., Arboretum Teaching Nursery.
    Gardeners thinking about adding new plants to their home landscapes can visit the demonstration plantings at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery during a special tour. 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.
  • Walk With Warren
    Wednesday, April 11, noon, Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
    Join arboretum superintendent emeritus Warren Roberts for a lunchtime stroll in the arboretum’s native plant collections.
  • Folk Music Jam Session
    Friday, April 13, 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.
  • Art Workshop with Peter London
    Sunday, April 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
    Artists of all skill levels are invited to participate in a drawing and painting workshop with Peter London, an active studio artist whose work is in many private and public collections. There is a $65 fee for members, $75 for the general public. Materials will be provided.



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 Theatre 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] 

Seed Central Research Presentations and Networking Event: April 12, 2012

Seed Central, the seed industry cluster surrounding UC Davis, invites you to an afternoon of research presentations, a brainstorming session, and a monthly networking event on Thursday, April 12. Managers and researchers from many seed companies will attend the event to interact with UC Davis faculty, scientists, and students.

  • From 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Plant and Environmental Sciences Building Room 3001: Research presentations on postharvest technology will be made by UC Cooperative Extension specialists Marita Cantwell and Trevor Suslow.   
  • From 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Plant and Environmental Sciences Building Room 3001: A Seed Central brainstorming special session, open to all, on the topic of a collaborative cell biology lab where UC Davis researchers, students, and industry scientists will conduct basic and pre-competitive research to translate genomic knowledge into useful phenotypes.
  • From 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center: the regular monthly networking session, featuring speaker Roberta Cook, a Cooperative Extension specialist, who will talk on “Key Trends in the Fresh Produce Industry: Opportunities and Challenges.”

Access to Seed Central events is free for UC Davis personnel and students, for public sector attendees, and for employees of Seed Central member companies. 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(s). For more information, visit

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

The Science of Why Some People Don’t Believe in Science: April 13, 2012

Journalist and bestselling author Chris Mooney, whose works include “The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science and Reality,” “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future,” and “The Republican War on Science,” will speak on Friday, April 13, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the ARC Ballroom A.

Mooney will review cutting-edge research suggesting liberals and conservatives are, in aggregate, fundamentally different people—differing in personalities, psychological needs, even brain structures. The talk is free and open to the public.

The event is hosted by the John Muir Institute of the Environment, the Institute of Government Affairs, the Department of Geology, and the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Dean's Office. For more information, visit

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

Arboretum Plant Sale, Just for Aggies: April 13, 2012


In honor of the UC Davis Arboretum’s 75th anniversary, the arboretum is hosting a private plant sale, exclusively for UC Davis faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and Cal Aggie Alumni Association members. The private sale will be held Friday, April 13 from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery. Bring your campus or CAAA ID to get first pick of plants before the public plant sales.

Members of Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum save 10 percent on their plant sale purchases, and anyone can join or renew at the door. New members receive a coupon for $10 off in addition to the 10 percent member discount.

For more information, please visit

Diane Cary
UC Davis Arboretum
(530) 752-4880
[email protected]

Arboretum Plant Sale for the Public: April 14, 2012

The public is invited to the arboretum plant sale, to be held Saturday, April 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery. The sale will highlight plants that attract pollinators (birds, bees, and beneficials) to the home landscape. In addition, the sale will include a wide selection of plants that thrive in the Central Valley like the Arboretum All-Stars. Garden experts will be on hand to share guidance on plants. Or bring problem plants in a plastic bag for diagnosis at the plant doctor clinic.

Members of Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum receive 10 percent off on purchases. Or become a member at the sale, and receive an additional $10 off. Free parking is available in Visitor Lot 55.

Diane Cary
UC Davis Arboretum
(530) 752-4880
[email protected]

Climate Change and the Fossil Fuel Industry: April 15, 2012

Capital Public Radio presents environmental author Bill McKibben, who will discuss the financial power of the fossil fuel industry and its impact on climate change on April 15 from 9:30–10:30 a.m. in the UC Davis Conference Center Ballroom. McKibben’s works include “The End of Nature,” which was published in 1989 after serialization in “The New Yorker” magazine, and is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change.

Hosted by the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment, the event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

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

Invasive Species Conference: April 24, 2012

A one-day conference to educate the public about invasive species will be held Tuesday, April 24, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the UC Davis Conference Center. “Educating the Public about New Invasive Species Threatening California's Plant Ecosystems” will explore:

  • new invasive species that threaten California’s plant ecosystems
  • how to educate people and organizations about the threat of invasive species
  • detection and exclusion of invasive species

Conference attendees will learn how to develop and deliver effective and consistent messages about invasive species to a variety of audiences. Speakers will examine pest plants and plant pests that are likely to enter California in the near future, the pathways of introduction and likelihood of entry, and examples of successful outreach programs that resulted in changes in behavior by segments of society.

Registration is free for UC personnel and $25 for non-UC personnel. UC employees can use the coupon code “AUTQSTBHMN” in lieu of the $25 registration fee. Employees must also provide an account number that can be charged the registration fee if you register and fail to attend the meeting. Cancellations will be accepted until April 9.

The conference is a cooperative project of CA&ES, the departments of plant pathology, entomology, plant sciences, food science and technology, the UC Davis California Center for Urban Horticulture, the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, and the UC Riverside Department of Entomology. For more information, including the full agenda and updates on the conference, visit

Kris Godfrey
Contained Research Facility
(530) 754 2104
[email protected]

CA&ES Outlook Speaker Series: May 10, 2012


You are invited to hear CA&ES faculty speak on conservation biology from 4–6 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, at the UC Davis Conference Center. Dean Neal Van Alfen will provide a brief overview and introduce two faculty members who were featured in the latest edition of CA&ES Outlook magazine.

Ted Grosholz, a professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, will share his personal experiences combating invasive species that are altering the California landscape.

Lisa Thompson, a Cooperative Extension specialist in wildlife, fish and conservation biology, will provide an overview of the campus’ specialized aquatic research lab, and will help us understand the research capacity UC Davis has because of the availability of this critical infrastructure.

Light refreshments will be served, and there will be time for questions and networking after the talks. The cost is $15 per ticket, and registration is available online at

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

Arboretum Plant Sale: May 19, 2012

Everyone is invited to the last public arboretum plant sale of the season, to be held Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery. The sale will highlight plants that bloom in summer. In addition, the sale will include a wide selection of plants that thrive in the Central Valley like the Arboretum All-Stars. Garden experts will be on hand to share guidance on plants. Or bring problem plants in a plastic bag for diagnosis at the plant doctor clinic.

Members of Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum receive 10 percent off on purchases. Or become a member at the sale, and receive an additional $10 off. Free parking is available in Visitor Lot 55.

Diane Cary
UC Davis Arboretum
(530) 752-4880
[email protected]

Annual Spring CA&ES Faculty Meeting: June 7, 2012

Faculty, save the date for the annual spring CA&ES faculty meeting, to be held Thursday, June 7, from 4–6 p.m. in the AGR Room of the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.

Brenda Nakamoto
CA&ES Dean’s Office
(530) 752-1606
[email protected] 


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

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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