April 18, 2013
“Snapshot” is the theme for the 99th annual Picnic Day to be held Saturday, April 20, at UC Davis. Along with the whole campus, many of our CA&ES departments and programs organize interesting events for visitors, and I thank you for all those extra efforts at such a busy time of year.
My lab will be hosting a chick hatching exhibit on the ground floor of Meyer Hall, and it’s a lot of fun. For other exciting Picnic Day activities, visit http://picnicday.ucdavis.edu/. I hope everyone has a fun and safe day with the many visitors we host. Picnic Day is always a great opportunity to showcase our suite of activities to the public.
Mary E. Delany
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Colin Carter of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics is officially a “commodity-friendly professor,” one of 15 named recently by “Commodity HQ,” an online information source for commodity-related news and analysis for investors. “Commodity HQ” cited the commodity-friendly professors for being pioneers in the field and providing the public with a better understanding of the complex commodities market.
Carter, director of UC’s Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics, has done extensive research on China’s grain market and international trade. He is the author of a new book, “Futures and Options Markets.”
The article on commodity-friendly professors is available at http://commodityhq.com/2013/15-commodity-friendly-professors/.
The International Association for Food Protection recently elected Linda Harris to the association’s executive board. Harris, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, will begin a five-year commitment to the association, beginning service as secretary in 2013 and as president in 2016.
Harris is a specialist in microbial food safety. She also serves as the associate director of the UC Davis Western Institute for Food Safety and Security and as a principal investigator for the Western Center for Food Safety. In addition, she oversees a research program on the microbial food safety of fresh fruits and vegetables and tree nuts, from preharvest through minimally and fully processed products.
Professor Alan Hastings of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy was one of 33 new fellows named this year by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He was noted for leadership in theoretical ecology, helping to lay the foundation for scientifically-based agriculture and resource management. His areas of research include population biology, mathematical biology, and theoretical ecology—specifically, structured populations, complex dynamics, and model fitting.
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) is an international society of more than 14,000 individual members, including applied and computational mathematicians and computer scientists, as well as other scientists and engineers.
Cooperative Extension specialist Tom Lanini of the Department of Plant Sciences was named a fellow of the Western Society of Weed Science at the organization’s annual meeting in March. A weed ecologist, Lanini has influenced weed management strategies in forest plantations, aquatics, roadsides, rangeland, wildlands, agronomic crops, orchards, and vegetable crops. He is considered an expert on dodder management and over the years has provided more than 1,000 extension presentations. Lanini has been with UC Davis for 27 years.
In the photo, Lanini shares weed advice at Picnic Day.
Community ecologist Louie Yang, assistant professor in the Department of Entomology, was one of four UC Davis faculty members selected by the National Science Foundation for an Early Career Development Award.
Yang is studying the importance of timing in interactions between plants, animals, and their environment—specifically, the monarch butterfly and milkweed. Species interactions change with the seasons and with different life stages, and climate change may disrupt these interactions. For example, caterpillars may emerge before food sources are available. Yang’s award of $600,000 will support work that will provide new knowledge about how natural communities respond to such changes.
NSF's Faculty Early Career Development Program supports junior faculty who perform outstanding research, are excellent educators, and who integrate education and research in their work. The awards, known as CAREER awards, typically support both a five-year research program and a program of outreach and education in local schools and colleges.
Other UC Davis recipients of the early career awards this year were engineering professors Ken Loh and Stephen O'Driscoll, as well as computer science professor Ilias Tagkopoulos.
The City of Davis and the UC Davis Arboretum are seeking to collect 400 used spades, gardening trowels, and shovels of all kinds for use in an outdoor art sculpture scheduled for completion this fall. Shovel collection will occur weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the city offices at 1818 Fifth Street, as well as at the arboretum’s spring plant sales through the end of May.
Artist Christopher Fennell will take recycling to new heights at the east end of the arboretum when he builds a 16-foot-tall, vine-inspired gateway out of twisted steel pipes and 400 used shovel heads. Funded by the City of Davis Municipal Arts Fund, this landmark sculpture will mark the transition between downtown Davis and the arboretum and serve as a symbol of town and gown collaboration.
Last year a committee of campus, city, and community representatives selected Christopher Fennell from an applicant pool of 66 artists from around the nation to design and build the sculpture. Fennell—a sculptor from Alabama with an engineering background—specializes in the creation of large-scale public art from dramatic collections of cast-off materials.
The Department of Animal Science hosts a series of noon seminars to meet Mondays at 12:10 p.m. in 2154 Meyer Hall through June 3. Dates and topics for seminars include:
- April 22: Integration of Marek’s disease herpesvirus into the chicken host genome: where, when and why?
- April 29: Species delimitation and origins of domestication in Cocochineal insects
- May 6: Opportunities and challenges of applying genetic modification technologies to the chicken
- May 13: Impact of gumboro disease reassortants in commercial chicken immune system
- May 20: Wild horse and burro program: debunking the “myth” information
- May 27: Holiday
- June 3: Is preening and dust bathing affecting ectoparasite loads?
Department of Animal Science
For more information, visit the arboretum website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
Poetry in the Garden with Mariam Ahmed
Thursday, April 25, noon to 1 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
Mariam Ahmed studied English literature as an undergraduate at UC Davis. She enjoys organizing poetry slams and open mic nights featuring local artists, poets, and musicians.
Folk Music Jam Session
Friday, April 26, 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.
What’s New in the Native Plant Garden?
Saturday, April 27, 2 p.m., Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
Tour the recently renovated pathways and plantings in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants for examples of native plants that work well in home landscapes.
Public Plant Sale
Sunday, April 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery.
This plant sale will feature 30 “Durable Delights,” plants that that demand little time but give a big return in form, color, flower, and durability.
Turtle Talk and Tour
Sunday, April 28, 1 to 3 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
UC Davis students will discuss the history of turtles in the arboretum and present recent research on the effect of invasive, introduced turtles on native turtles.
California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross and rancher John Harris host a forum to seek input from the California agricultural community on the selection of a new dean for our college. Participants will discuss the challenges and opportunities the next dean will face, as well as the characteristics most important for the university to consider in recruiting and screening candidates. The forum will meet at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier on Monday, April 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Those unable to attend in person may dial in at 1 (866) 740-1260, access code 7547984.
Light refreshments will be served at the free event. Please RSVP at [email protected].
The Opportunities in Sustainable AgTech Workshop will meet Thursday, April 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. in 2310 Gallagher Hall. The workshop will feature a panel forum on innovations in sustainable agriculture, spotlighting both past successes and future opportunities. Panelists will share their insights on commercializing concepts in agricultural innovation, and how these innovations can lead to increasingly sustainable agriculture and food systems.
The workshop kicks off the Sustainable AgTech Innovation Seed Fund grant proposal period. The program provides UC Davis students, faculty, and researchers access to funding for innovative ag-related projects through a request-for-proposals process. The Seed Fund is intended for early-stage commercialization efforts of research findings, not basic research.
The April 25 event is free, but please RSVP at http://susagtech.eventbrite.com/.
Sustainable AgTech Innovation Center
Seed Central/Food Central hosts an afternoon of speakers and networking on the second Thursday of each month to bring together seed and food professionals, UC Davis faculty, scientists, and students. There will be a full afternoon of events on May 9, beginning with research and technology presentations from 1:30 to 2:45 in Plant and Environmental Sciences Building room 3001. A Seed Central brainstorming session will follow from 3 to 4:15 p.m., also in PES 3001.
The Joint Seed Central/Food Central Forum will host a networking event from 4:30 to 6 p.m., to be held at the Student Community Center next to the Silo. At 6 p.m., guests will hear speaker Dan Flynn, executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center. The event is free, but an RSVP is requested. More information is available at http://www.seedcentral.org/calendarofevents.htm.
Department of Plant Sciences
Susan Bissell, UNICEF’s Chief of Child Protection, will make a free public presentation at UC Davis on May 13, 2013 at 5 p.m in Hunt Hall Room 100. Her talk is entitled “The Protection of Children in Our Globalizing World: Change, Challenge and Champions.” This event is offered by Healthy Youth/ Healthy Environments, an initiative of the Center for Regional Change, focused on building a network of scholars at UC Davis and beyond.
Center for Regional Change
The UC Davis student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects will host a dinner at 5:30 p.m. on May 16 that brings together students, faculty, professionals, and anyone interested in landscape architecture. The event will be held at Odd Fellow’s Hall in downtown Davis. It includes a showcase of student work, networking, and a lecture from Daniel Solomon, an architect and urban designer from the Bay Area.
Tickets can be purchased at http://asla.ucdavis.edu/. Student tickets are $20, and all others are $35.
UC Davis ASLA, Student Chapter
Faculty, save the date for the annual spring CA&ES faculty meeting, to be held Thursday, May 30, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the AGR Room of the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
CA&ES Dean’s Office
The 35th annual Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course will meet June 17–28 at UC Davis. The two-week course provides an intensive study of the biology and current technologies used for handling 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 first week (Monday through Friday) is spent on intensive lectures and discussions, as well as hands-on laboratory sessions on campus. The optional second week is a field tour covering selected packinghouses, cooling and storage facilities, produce distribution centers, field harvest, packing, and transportation facilities in California.
Enrollment in the lecture-only option is limited to 25 participants. The lecture-plus-field-trip option is limited to 55 participants.
For more information, see http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/Education/PTShortCourse/.
UC Davis Postharvest Technology
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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, Mary E. Delany
Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser
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