January 17, 2013
Educating graduate students is one of the most important responsibilities of faculty—training and mentoring individuals who in turn lead academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits, and who create new businesses and contribute innovative ideas and problem-solving skills to many fields. In addition, graduate education benefits the campus as graduate students who serve as teaching assistants and student researchers make creative contributions to both undergraduate education and faculty research.
Effective graduate education is a community effort—the result of faculty involvement, plus the leadership of faculty who serve as graduate group chairs, as well as staff in advising centers and departments. In May 2012 a report on strengthening and prioritizing graduate education at UC Davis was released by the Joint Administration / Academic Senate Special Task Force on Graduate Education (two CA&ES faculty members served on this committee). This report provides an overview of campus efforts, articulates many concerns, and gives recommendations. It also provides numerical data on groups and programs over a multiyear period. It rightly describes graduate education as being at the heart of the institution (http://provost.ucdavis.edu/initiatives-and-activities/initiatives/Report-of-the-Task-Force-on-Graduate-Education.pdf).
I thought it would be interesting at this juncture—as CA&ES graduate groups and departmental programs begin assessing their applicant pools and extending recruitment interview invitations—to offer a snapshot of the importance of our college’s role in graduate education at UC Davis.
There are 49 graduate groups and 41 (departmentally-based) programs on campus. Our college has administrative responsibility for 19 graduate groups and four programs. Fall 2012 enrollment numbers indicate 320 master’s and 654 doctoral students are enrolled in the groups and programs administered by CA&ES; total campus enrollment numbers are 1,164 master’s and 3,352 doctoral students. In addition, many of our faculty train students from graduate groups administered by other colleges (e.g., genetics, plant biology, molecular, cellular and integrative physiology).
Sixty percent of CA&ES graduate students are female, 71 percent are California residents, 8 percent are national, and 21 percent are international. Ten percent are under-represented minorities. In 2011–12, our college awarded 181 master’s and 114 doctoral degrees out of the 740 master’s and 566 doctoral degrees awarded by campus.
Graduate education is important to us and vital to our success and future. The stressors in this endeavor include rising costs of supporting graduate students (stipends, fees, and resources to conduct research), and delivery of graduate curriculum as college faculty retire while new hires are just beginning their careers. The provost is now working on development of an implementation committee to address recommendations and issues raised by the Joint Task Force on Graduate Education. The Academic Senate is also developing an assessment report. Hopefully, these will lead to strategic investments of resources, both financial and human, supporting the enhancement of graduate education at UC Davis.
Mary E. Delany
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Ken Brown, a pediatrician and a professor in the Department of Nutrition, and Manuel Ruiz, a nutrition researcher at the University of Chile, are co-recipients of the 2012 Rainer Gross Prize for their efforts to control zinc deficiency in lower-income populations.
The prize, for innovation in nutrition and health in developing societies, is from the Munich, Germany-based Hildegard Grunow Foundation. The award’s namesake headed the UNICEF Department of Nutrition until his death in 2006. The foundation established the memorial award in 2010 and plans to present it every two years.
The November announcement was made in Havana, Cuba, during the 16th meeting of the Latin American Nutrition Society.
In his research career, Brown has focused on improving nutrition and health, especially among young children and women in developing countries. One of his areas of emphasis has been control and prevention of zinc deficiency, which threatens childhood wellness, survival and physical growth. Brown plays a key role in the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group, which helps interpret the policy implications of zinc-related research and develop strategies to control zinc deficiency.
Chemical ecologist Walter Leal, a professor in the Department of Entomology, was one of 36 members recently elected to the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Leal, a native of Brazil, will be honored at a May ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
Leal was recognized for his accomplishments as a distinguished scientist in entomology and for his role in promoting cooperation among Brazilian and U.S. universities. Leal is a liaison between UC Davis and the Brazilian government’s Scientific Mobility Program, launched to exchange graduate and undergraduate students. The U.S. currently hosts the largest number of students participating in the program, and UC Davis leads the nation, hosting more than 30 Brazilian undergraduate scholarship students. Leal is also involved in the Brazilian/UC Davis student exchange with the Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) grants for research related to Brazil.
The Postharvest Technology Center and the Department of Plant Sciences will host a public memorial service on January 26 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center for Adel Kader, who suffered a heart attack in December while travelling home from a postharvest conference in South Africa. The luncheon reception begins at 11 a.m., followed by a 1 p.m. program and a 3 p.m. reception.
Kader, who was a professor emeritus in the Department of Plant Sciences, first joined UC Davis in 1972 as a researcher. The Kader family has requested that in lieu of flowers, any memorial gifts be made to the Postharvest Program Endowment Fund. Additionally, they have created an Adel Kader Memorial Facebook page, and welcome your thoughts and photos.
Department of Plant Sciences
The Department of Environmental Toxicology and the Department of Entomology will hold a public memorial service on Friday, January 25, for Distinguished Professor Fumio Matsumura, who died in December following a brief illness. The Matsumura memorial will be held at the UC Davis Conference Center in Ballrooms A, B, and C from 2–3 p.m., with a reception to follow.
Matsumura, a member of the UC Davis faculty since 1987 in environmental toxicology and in entomology, was a former director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. The Matsumura family has established a memorial website at http://www.fumiomatsumura.com/. They have also established a memorial fund in Matsumura’s honor through the UC Davis Foundation.
Department of Environmental Toxicology
The UC Davis Meat Lab was named “Best Locavore Find” in the November issue of “Sacramento Magazine.” In the food and drink section on page 116, the article informs local readers that they can buy meat at UC Davis on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Below is an excerpt from the article:
UC Davis Meat Lab is a federally inspected meat processing plant on the Davis campus that’s used primarily for teaching and research by the university’s animal science department. But on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 5:30 p.m., the meat lab opens its doors to the public and sells the same cuts you’d find at a high-end butcher, from dry-aged rib-eyes to frenched racks of lamb. “Everything’s local and fresh,” says meat lab manager Caleb Sehnert, who oversees the facility and its student employees. Proceeds are ploughed back into the animal science department. “Our customers really like our products,” Sehnert says. “And they get to support the university.” Building C, Harold Cole Facility, La Rue Road, animalscience.ucdavis.edu/facilities/meat.htm.
The Partnership to Advance Cooperative Extension (PACE), formed by the statewide UC ANR (Agriculture and Natural Resources) network, has been hosting a series of dialogue sessions to seek input on serving stakeholders and other issues, with sessions held at various locations in January and February.
UC Davis Agricultural Experiment Station faculty, Cooperative Extension specialists and advisors, and academic coordinators and academic administrators are invited to join a PACE dialogue session to be held February 20 at UC Davis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Areas of discussion include:
- Is campus research finding its way through county channels to address applied issues of our stakeholders?
- As advisors take on growing responsibilities within larger geographic areas, are we creating a hybrid position that may be more like regional specialists than a traditional advisor?
- What are the potential benefits and risks associated with locating some specialist positions in county offices or in the RECs?
- How might we develop academic coordinator and/or administrator positions to strategically support this statewide network of advisors and specialists?
These and other key questions will be discussed by the larger UC ANR academic community with the purpose of strengthening the network within the state and providing input to UC ANR leaders regarding potential strategies for the future. For survey results so far from previous sessions, visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/pace2013/PACE_survey_findings/.
To register for the UC Davis session, visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/pace2013/Register_for_2013_Conference.
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 18. Dates and topics for seminars include:
- January 21: Holiday
- January 28: TBA
- February 4: TBA
- February 11: TBA
- February 18: Holiday
- February 25: Using the Land Grant Model to Support Beef Producers in Adding and Capturing Value
- March 4: Dairy Feed Management and Nutrient Variation
- March 11: Quantitative Molecular Phenotyping of Environmental Stress Responses by Proteomics
- March 18: Genomic Prediction in Practice: Refining a New Selection Tool for Commercial Beef Cattle Producers
Department of Animal Science
For more information, visit the arboretum website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
Folk Music Jam Session
Friday, January 18, 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.
Audacious Aussies and Curious Kiwis
Saturday, January 26, 1 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
Discover the unusual features of plants from Australia and New Zealand during a free tour.
A free video viewing and reception will feature “9 Billion Mouths to Feed: The Future of Farming,” a series of four 10-minute videos produced by UCTV Prime, University Communications, and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The viewing event, along with refreshments and speakers, will be held at the Robert Mondavi Institute Sensory Theater from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 24. The videos feature interviews with UC Davis faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The series examines the challenges of feeding a global population expected to hit 9 million by 2050, and demonstrates how UC Davis is developing innovative ways to boost production and protect resources while training the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
Seating is limited. Please RSVP to Carrie Cloud at [email protected].
The farming videos are available for viewing on UCTV Prime’s channel on YouTube:
- Farming Today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlnrvkzEv9w
- Field to Fork http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uUyW8x445U
- Keeping it Green http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jH1k9Dd5Ik
- High Tech Ag http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP--_lg7PjQ
CA&ES Dean’s Office
Join experts for a talk on “Unpacking California Voter Registration and Turnout Trends: The Youth Impact on California’s Electorate,” to be held January 24 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at 1130 K Street, Room LL3 in the UC Sacramento Center in Sacramento. Speakers will be Jonathan Fox, professor and chair of the Latin American and Latino Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz and Mindy Romero, project director of the California Civic Engagement Project, housed within the UC Davis Center for Regional Change.
For more information, visit http://uccs.ucdavis.edu/events/2013-January-24-FoxRomero.
Institute of Governmental Affairs
The second Rangeland Science Symposium and the eighth annual California Rangeland Conservation Coalition Summit will be presented together on January 24–25 in Freeborn Hall. “Today’s Rangeland Management: Integrating Science, Practices, Partnerships, and Policy” offers continuing education credits for certified rangeland managers. For more information, visit http://www.carangeland.org/calendarevents/2013summit.html.
For registration pricing, visit http://www.calcattlemen.org/wcevents/eventdetail.aspx?eventid=18.
Wine exports from the former Soviet republic of Georgia will be the subject of a talk at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, given by economist Kym Anderson of the University of Adelaide, Australian National University, and Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). Anderson will discuss “Is Georgia the Next ‘New’ Wine-exporting Country?” at 5 p.m. on January 28 in the RMI Sensory Building.
The former Soviet republic of Georgia is reputedly the cradle of wine and has produced at least 8,000 vintages. It has also been a major supplier of wine to Russia for at least 200 years, but to few other countries, until Russia imposed a ban on beverage imports from Georgia in 2006. Since then farmers have been seeking to develop new export markets for wine.
Agricultural Issues Center
Seed Central/Food Central hosts an afternoon of speakers and networking once a month to bring together seed and food professionals, UC Davis faculty, scientists, and students. The February event will be held from 1:30–7 p.m. on Thursday, February 14. At 1:30 p.m., the initial research and technology presentations will be held in the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building, room 3001. At 3 p.m., there will be a brainstorming session in the same room. At 4:30 p.m., the networking forum and speech featuring Professor Henk Hilhorst of Wageningen University will meet at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.
The catered event is free of charge, and anyone involved in the food, plant, or seed industry is welcome. The event attracts a large contingent of students interested in talking to industry scientists and managers. Attendees should RSVP; for more information, visit http://www.seedcentral.org/.
Department of Plant Sciences
For those who missed last year’s UC Soil Fertility Short Course, a new one will be held Tuesday, February 19, at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. Sponsored by the UC Vegetable Research and Information Center, the short course will focus on the practical aspects of soil fertility management in an era of escalating fertilizer costs and increasing government regulation of nutrient inputs for environmental water quality protection.
- getting the maximum value from soil testing
- interpretation of laboratory soil test results
- comparing fertilizer sources
- developing crop nutrient management plans
- fertilizer management and environmental protection
Although the focus will be on nutrient management in annual cropping systems, much of the material presented will be relevant to perennial crops as well. The program is intended for growers, CCAs, PCAs, government agency personnel, and others involved in fertility management planning. The content will be geared toward commercial scale production, and will assume a general knowledge of soil science; this course is not appropriate for home gardeners.
Take advantage of the early-bird registration fee ($150). The fee goes up on January 31 to $175. The registration fee includes lunch, refreshments, and study materials. UC Farm Advisors can attend at the special rate of $90.
More information is available on the VRIC website at http://vric.ucdavis.edu.
UC Vegetable Research and Information Center
The California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) hosts “Farming for the Future: California Climate and Agriculture Summit,” to be held February 21 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the UC Davis Conference Center. Hosted by the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute, the summit will explore the science, policy, and politics of climate change and sustainable agriculture issues in California. Participants will include farmers and ranchers, agency staff, technical service providers, policymakers and advocates concerned with issues of climate change challenges and opportunities for California agriculture. The summit includes presentations, a poster session, a wine and cheese reception, and an optional farm tour on February 20.
For a complete list of speakers and topics, visit http://calclimateag.org/calcan-summit-2013/. To register, visit http://bit.ly/UFE7DP.
A half-day symposium titled "Making the 'People’s University': Exploring the Civic Mission of Public Land Grant Universities and Cooperative Extension" will be held Friday, February 22 on campus. This symposium will focus on questions surrounding the civic mission of land grant universities and what changes in university practices are needed to better fulfill this mission in the future, particularly in context of the current crisis facing all public universities.
The symposium begins at 1 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Student Community Center. A reception will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the same location. Please RSVP to Alycia Thompson at [email protected]. For more information, visit http://provost.ucdavis.edu/initiatives-and-activities/activities/future/index.html.
The inaugural presentation of the Davis Technology Series, a new forum connecting industry, academia, and science, will be held Tuesday, February 26, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the Orchid Room of the Courtyard Marriott at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Guest speaker Joseph Beechem, senior vice president for research and development at NanoString Technologies, will talk on “Moving from Genomic Discovery to Translational Results.”
Please register for the event at http://davistechseries.eventbrite.com/. There is limited free shuttle service from the UC Davis campus to the UC Davis Medical Center.
The inaugural UC Davis Agribusiness Workshop will be hosted on March 11–12 at the UC Davis Conference Center. The workshop is targeted at decision-makers in small or large enterprises who would benefit from discussions of strategic issues affecting the agribusiness industry.
The academic foundation of the program is provided by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and the University of California Agricultural Issues Center. The workshop will feature case study presentations and discussions, and a closing panel on the implications of consumer-side regulations.
For program details and registration, visit https://agribusiness.ucdavis.edu/workshop. The fee is $1,500. Sponsorships are available.
CA&ES Dean’s Office
Mark your calendars for a new short course, “Emerging Postharvest Technologies for California Agriculture,” to be held on the UC Davis campus March 14–15. The course will cover cutting-edge research technologies and will be presented in a shortened, interactive, and more convenient time format to allow busy California agriculture professionals to attend. Topics related to nanotechnology, automation and robotics in horticultural, superfoods, food waste, environmental protection, and others will be discussed by academic and industry world experts.
For more information, visit http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/.
Postharvest Technology Center
Carlos Crisosto, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences, will coordinate the March 18–19, 2013 “Fruit Ripening and Retail Handling” workshop to be held on the UC Davis campus. The course will focus on how to increase profits by reducing losses at the receiving end, and delivering ready-to-eat, delicious fruits and vegetables to the consumer.
The cost of the workshop is $775, and registration includes all instruction, breakout sessions, demonstrations, course materials, coffee break, lunches, and an evening networking reception. Sensory, quality measurements, and environmental equipment demonstrations will be held, and lectures will include topics such as maturity and quality relationships, retail temperature storage conditions, tools to control ripening and senescence, physiological disorders and other losses, and ripening facilities and equipment.
To learn more about this workshop, or to register, visit http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/Education/fruitripening/.
UC Davis Postharvest Technology
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Visit CA&ES Currents online at http://caes.ucdavis.edu/NewsEvents/currents.
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, mailto:[email protected].
Editor: Robin DeRieux
Writing: Robin DeRieux, Mary E. Delany
Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser
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