CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

October 17, 2013

Oct 20, 2013 Robin DeRieux University of California, Davis

A Message from Dean Mary Delany: General News Roundup

As you are hopefully aware, the CA&ES dean’s candidate interviews are underway (, and the students are back (fall census to be conducted October 18). Our college has also updated the CA&ES website—be sure to check it out at Along with many other features, we are initiating a “faculty portal” on our website, starting with profiles of our newest faculty ( We’ll be adding additional profiles as time permits. If you’d like to volunteer to have your bio completed before we get to your “year,” be sure to email Robin DeRieux in our communications group ().

We enjoyed a very successful 25th College Celebration on October 11, with more than 500 guests in attendance at Freeborn Hall—the final year we will host the event at that venerable venue. Mark your calendars now for our 2014 celebration to be held October 10.

Departments are busy once again with new faculty searches. A brief recap shows we have hired 58 professors and eight Cooperative Extension specialists since 2008–2009. We have an additional eight professors under recruitment and approximately 15 searches underway. Good luck to our students, staff, and faculty as the quarter and academic year kick into high gear!

Mary E. Delany

Interim Dean

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences



David Campbell: Mosher Award

campbellDavid Campbell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Human Ecology, recently received the William E. Mosher and Frederick C. Mosher Award from the American Society for Public Administration. The award recognizes the best Public Administration Review article written by an academician in the past year. Campbell won for his article “Public Managers in Integrated Services Collaboratives: What Works is Workarounds.”

The award was presented during the annual meeting of the American Society for Public Administration in New Orleans. Campbell is a political scientist whose work seeks to deepen the practice of democratic citizenship in California communities. Taking community planning and service delivery systems as the unit of analysis, his research illuminates the policy dynamics and collaborative mechanisms that shape local implementation of federal, state, and foundation programs.

Dave Campbell
(530) 754-4328


Jorge Dubcovsky: Fellow of Crop Science Society of America and Fellow of American Society of Agronomy

dubcovskyProfessor Jorge Dubcovsky, Department of Plant Sciences, has been named a fellow of both the Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy. He is one of 11 society members named to the 2013 class of CSSA fellows. He is one of 17 ASA society members named as fellows in 2013.

An internationally acclaimed wheat geneticist, Dubcovsky was recognized by both organizations for major contributions in the areas of wheat genetics, genomics, and breeding. He will be honored at awards ceremonies in November at the joint annual meeting of both academic societies in Florida.

Jorge Dubcovsky
(530) 752-5159


Ruihong Zhang: California Bioresources Alliance Symposium Achievement Award

zhangBiological and agricultural engineering professor Ruihong Zhang received the annual Achievement Award from the California Bioresources Alliance at a September symposium in Sacramento. Zhang, one of the symposium’s guest speakers, was honored by CBA for her “outstanding research incorporating good science and practicality in seeking solutions to agricultural organic waste problems, by transforming them into useful products.”

Zhang joined the UC Davis faculty in the fall of 1995. She became the director of the UC Davis Biogas Energy Project in 2006, seeking new methods to convert a variety of organic residues into biogas fuels and other valuable products. This technology moved from laboratory to pilot plant to commercial use in 2012. One application of her work will be a new campus digester using technology developed by Zhang, to be built at a former UC Davis landfill site. The plant will process 20,000 tons per year of organic waste, producing electricity in the process.

Ruihong Zhang
(530) 754-9530



Postharvest Agreement with India

The UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center has teamed up with industry in India to develop answers to food waste issues. In August, Cooperative Extension specialist Elizabeth Mitcham, director of the Postharvest Technology Center, signed a memorandum of understanding in Delhi with the Confederation of Indian Industries. Congressman Ami Bera (CA-7) attended the ceremony. Through this partnership, UC Davis specialists will train experts in India in the postharvest handling of fresh produce and processing. This will be under a new Confederation of Indian Industries program called the Food and Agriculture Centre for Excellence (FACE).

The partnership will have three phases. First, a workshop in India will identify potential experts for training. Those experts will come to Davis for the annual Postharvest Technology Short Course. The trained Indian experts will then advise farmers and others to spread the knowledge and skills on the grassroots level in India. UC Davis will provide mentors to guide those trainers throughout the program.

The photo from the office of Ami Bera shows Beth Mitcham (seated, right), Chandrajit Banerjee of the Confederation of Indian Industries (seated, left), and Ami Bera (standing, right).

Beth Mitcham
(530) 752-7512


State Legislature Honors UC Davis Top Ag Rating

In September, the California legislature honored UC Davis’ achievements and top ranking in agricultural teaching and research with a resolution that was unanimously passed by both the California Senate and Assembly. The resolution, SCR 70, was prompted by the May announcement that ranked UC Davis as No. 1 in the world for teaching and research in the area of agriculture and forestry by QS World University Rankings, widely considered one of the most influential international university rankings providers. The ranking was based on four criteria: the number of research publications in the area of agriculture and forestry, how often other researchers cited those publications in professional journals, opinions of other academics in the field, and opinions of employers in the field. The bill was sponsored by state senators Lois Wolk and Cathleen Galgiani.

Adrian Lopez
Government and Community Relations
(530) 752-9795


Request for Proposals: Rangeland and Cattle Research

Proposals are due October 25 for grants to support problem-solving research that will benefit the California range cattle producers. Funding is available through the Russell L. Rustici Rangeland and Cattle Research Endowment. The goal of this program is to promote collaboration and strengthen the network among research faculty, cooperative extension specialists, county-based Cooperative Extension advisors, and range cattle producers, and to ultimately provide practical answers to critical issues and challenges facing the industry. All principal investigators must be University of California campus-based faculty/CE specialists or county-based CE advisors. However, collaborations among campus-based faculty, CSU faculty, county-based CE advisors, and range cattle producers are encouraged. 

To create a new proposal:

Christine Schmidt
CA&ES Dean’s Office
(530) 752-6414


Landscape Architecture Fall Seminar Series

The Putah Creek watershed is the focus for a series of landscape architecture lunchtime seminars this fall, to be held Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. in 212 Veihmeyer. Putah Creek is one of the two largest and most important creeks in our local watershed. The public is welcome to hear speakers discuss the overuse of Putah Creek resources—water, gravel, and soils—and what can be done to restore vital processes. The work represented will be highly interdisciplinary, and invites collaboration with investigators from many fields.

Remaining seminar dates include: October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22, and December 6.

Sharla Cheney
Landscape Architecture
(530) 754-8628


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

“Prelude to a Kiss” by Craig Lucas
Fridays–Sundays, October 18–20, and October 25–27, 8 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
Common House Productions and the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum present this slightly dark, but touching, comedy performance featuring a whirlwind romance that culminates in a single moment of hesitation on the day of the wedding. Tickets for adults are $12. Students/seniors (60+) are $10. For reservations and more information, visit

New Front Yard
Saturday, October 19, 10 a.m., Buehler Alumni Center.
California native plants are a great choice for the “new front yard” that features low-water, easy-care plantings. Join a free tour of the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of native plants.

Folk Music Jam Session
Friday, October 25, 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 are welcome.



Arboretum Plant Sale: October 20, 2013

The arboretum hosts a public plant sale on Sunday, October 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery (on Garrod Drive, across from Vet Med). “The New Front Yard” is the focus for the plant sales this fall. Customers will find plants suitable for replacing their lawns or refreshing their landscapes. Attractive, low-water, easy-care California native plants, as well as a large selection of Arboretum All-Stars and other regionally-appropriate plants, will be available. For more information, visit Members save 10 percent off their purchases. Become a new member at the door to receive 10 percent off purchases and an additional $10-off coupon.

Katie Hetrick
Campus Planning
(530) 754-4134


The Global Market of Unskilled Labor: October 25–26, 2013

A research conference on the Global Market of Unskilled Labor will be held on campus on October 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Student Community Center and on October 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the Buehler Alumni Center. The event will examine various aspects of migration and the informal economy, with the goal of stimulating research and discussion on the topic. For a complete agenda, see To register, visit The conference is free, though registration is required by October 23.

M. Anne Visser
Human Ecology
(530) 752-9935


Fermentation at its Finest: October 26, 2013

fermentationTickets are on sale for Fermentation at its Finest, A Journey into Pairings of Beer and Cheese, to be held on Saturday, October 26, at the UC Davis Conference Center. Cheese makers and brewers will talk about their products in a tasting spearheaded by Seana Doughty, president of the California Artisan Cheese Guild, and UC Davis’ Charlie Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Brewing Science. The event is sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. To register, visit

Attendees must be 21 years of age or older.

Tracy Diesslin
Robert Mondavi Institute
(530) 752-5233


Eating Right in America: October 29, 2013

Professor Charlotte Biltekoff will give a free talk and sign books at the launch of her new book, “Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health,” on October 29 from 4–6 p.m. in room D of the Student Community Center. Biltekoff, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Food Science and Technology and the Department of American Studies, will discuss the cultural aspects of dietary health. The event is sponsored by the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, the Department of Food Science and Technology, and the Department of American Studies.

Charlotte Biltekoff
(530) 341-3036


UC Davis/Agilent Symposium: October 31, 2013

UC Davis and Agilent Technologies will sponsor a joint symposium on Thursday, October 31, focusing on new technologies for making measurements. “Return of the Mummy: New Technologies for Measuring Very Old Things” will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. Speakers at the event will include UC Davis faculty and experts from Agilent.

Hold a seat for this free event by registering at Please register by October 25.

Carrie Cloud
CA&ES Office of the Dean
(530) 204-7500


Produce Safety Workshop: November 5–7, 2013

The UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center will host a new interactive workshop with a focus on microbial produce safety systems from preharvest to postharvest on November 5–7 on campus.

This workshop is one of the core required components for the Produce Professional Certificate program and will feature an integrated approach to building a foundation of awareness and improved understanding of the current scientific basis for produce microbial safety systems and preventive controls.

The course delivery is largely interactive, with formal lectures, group assessment of case examples, and problem-solving challenges. The emphasis of the curriculum is the scientific-basis for audit standards, preparing for using audits, and targeted microbiological testing to improve performance. The enrollment fee is $950. Additional information is available at

Penny Stockdale
Postharvest Technology Center
(530) 752-7672


Seed Central/Food Central Networking Event: November 14, 2013

Seed Central/Food Central hosts a monthly networking event to bring together seed and food professionals, UC Davis faculty, scientists, and students. The November meeting will be a “value-added” afternoon, with a research presentation on intellectual property protection and a brainstorming session as well. After those sessions, the networking event begins at 4:30 p.m., and the speaker at 6 p.m. The event is free, but an RSVP is requested. More information is available at

Kathleen Bess
Department of Plant Sciences
(530) 754-2162


Soil and Crop Management Workshops: December 10–11, 2013

The Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center in Five Points hosts two workshops on innovative soil and crop management in December. The first, “Biotic Farming Systems,” will be held December 10 at UC Davis and will feature Colorado farmer Brendon Rockey. The second, featuring a talk entitled “It’s Not Just Dirt Anymore,” will be held on December 11 at the West Side Research and Extension Center in Five Points, California.

Jeff Mitchell
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
(559) 646-6565


Western Alfalfa and Forage Conference: December 11–13, 2013

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) hosts the Western Alfalfa and Forage Conference, to be held December 11–13 in Reno, Nevada. Representatives from all 11 western states have joined together this year to plan a comprehensive meeting that focuses on critical issues related to alfalfa and forage crops—including global issues, economics, and crop production techniques. Special sessions on corn and sorghum silage, pest management, alternative forages, and economic trends are planned, as well as a large exhibit area representing the latest technologies. There will also be a pre-symposium workshop on family farm management and inheritance.

Those interested in attending may include farmers, pest control advisors, certified crop advisors, industry members, and agency representatives. Registration is at

Dan Putnam
Department of Plant Sciences
(530) 752-8982


Methods of Measuring Fruit and Vegetable Quality: January 22, 2014

A postharvest workshop on Methods of Measuring Fruit and Vegetable Quality will be held January 22, 2014, at the UC Davis Conference Center. The principles behind instrumental measurement of flavor, color, and texture will be discussed. The various instruments and methods used will be available in interactive demonstrations. Real-life examples of fresh and processed fruit and vegetable color and texture measurement will be demonstrated. Examples of applications where flavor, color, and texture were measured on a wide variety of vegetables and fruits will be given by workshop instructors.

The course is designed for those working in the fresh produce and processed fruit and vegetable industries. For registration and additional information, visit

Penny Stockdale
Postharvest Technology Center
(530) 752-7672


Mead Making Short Course: February 6–8, 2014

Save the date for the first of its kind Mead Making Short Course, to be held February 6–8 at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. Mead—a fermented beverage made of honey and water—is the oldest alcoholic beverage known to the world. Short course topics will include fermentation, filtration, sensory analysis, meadery design, and financing a meadery. Tickets are $425 until December 15, and $500 after that date.

Amina Harris
UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center
(530) 754-9301


Soil Science Ecosystem Services Conference: March 6–9, 2014

The abstract submission deadline is December 1, 2013 for the Soil Science Society of America meeting to be held March 6–9 in Sacramento, which will focus on “Soil's Role in Restoring Ecosystem Services.” Professional and research scientists, consultants, natural resource managers, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students are invited to the spring meeting.

More information is available at

Jan Hopmans
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
(530) 752-8473

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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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