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January 23, 2014

Jan 24, 2014 admin

A Message from Interim Dean Mary Delany: Transition

It is hard to believe we are already in our third week of winter quarter. We are all anticipating Helene’s arrival as dean beginning January 27. As most of you know, I will be returning to my programmatic associate dean position—so don’t hesitate to check in if you need anything.

It has been a great pleasure working with faculty and staff alike over the last 17 months. I very much appreciate all of your support, and of course your efforts are what make the college so outstanding!

Best wishes for 2014.

Mary E. Delany
Interim Dean
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences



Charles Bamforth: The Art and Science of Beer

bamforthProfessor Charlie Bamforth, aka “the Pope of Foam,” stars in a short video that won a Taste Award in Hollywood, honoring the world’s best in the lifestyle entertainment industry. The video, “The Art and Science of Beer,” was produced as part of UC’s Onward California campaign last year and earned the viewers choice award for short documentary (5 to 10 minutes long).

Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences in the Department of Food Science and Technology, takes viewers through the brewing process (from malt to mash to wurt, from brew kettle to fermenter and into the bottle), tells how beer saved the world, and, finally, pours the perfect pint. The video is shot in the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.  Bamforth said the video “really helped us put across our mantra that beer is fascinating, intriguingly complex, but also a fun and wide-ranging vehicle for studying great science.” The “Art and Science of Beer” and the other Onward California videos are produced by The Department of the 4th Dimension, a Los Angeles-based company.

The video can be viewed on YouTube at

Charlie Bamforth
(530) 752-9476


Eduardo Blumwald: Raices Prize and REDBIO International Prize

Professor Eduardo Blumwald of the Department of Plant Sciences received two prizes when he visited his native country, Argentina, in November. He was recognized by the Argentinean Congress for his scientific contributions as an Argentine living and developing science in another country. Presidential cabinet ministers and members of Congress presented Blumwald with the Raices (or “roots”) Prize.

“To be recognized by the country where you were born is nice,” said Blumwald. “Although I am a proud U.S. citizen, there is always a little bit of Argentina in me.”

In the city of Mar del Plata, Blumwald also received the REDBIO International Prize for his work in plant biotechnology, given to him by the Latin American Biotechnology Network, an organization sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The ceremony took place at the 8th International Biotechnology Meeting, held once every three years.

Blumwald’s research focuses on developing crop plants that can be grown with less irrigation water and on marginal lands, which better equips global agriculture for dealing with limited and variable water supplies.

Eduardo Blumwald
(530) 752-4640


Chancellor’s STAR Awards: Dan Flynn, Emily Griswold, Rob Kerner

Three CA&ES staff members were among the 11 inaugural winners of the Chancellor’s Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Award Program, created to honor UC Davis staff who go “above and beyond” to support core campus values. In December, the winners were recognized for “fostering a bold and innovative spirit, inspiring and supporting excellence and success, demonstrating respect and integrity, and building community.” The STAR award recipients from CA&ES were Dan Flynn, Emily Griswold, and Rob Kerner.

STAR Award recipient Dan Flynn, executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center, started the Olive Center in 2008 with the intent of “doing for olives what UC Davis did for wine.” According to his nominator, under the direction of Flynn, “the Olive Center has become a self-funded, world-renowned leading institution for olives and olive oils.” Flynn has engaged with industry leaders and given hundreds of talks, educating growers, producers, buyers, and consumers. He has also delivered more than 20 research projects on time, exceeding the funders’ expectations. Flynn has also helped mentor more than 20 undergraduate and graduate students.

Dan Flynn
(530) 752-5170

STAR Award recipient Emily Griswold is a principal museum scientist and director of the GATEways Horticulture and Teaching Gardens in the UC Davis Arboretum. In the Shields Oak Grove, she aided in the research of sudden oak death, and safely and humanely encouraged a quickly growing colony of herons to roost elsewhere. She raised $450,000 in grants and donations to renovate the entire collection, installing paths that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and developing interactive interpretive signage. Today she is instrumental in the GATEways Project (GATE stands for Gardens, Arts and the Environment), transforming areas on the edge of the arboretum into learning landscapes used for teaching, events, and other public engagement.

Emily Griswold
(530) 754-8038

STAR Award recipient Rob Kerner is a computing resource manager in the Department of Plant Sciences. Kerner was recognized for his leadership as chair of the Staff Assembly from 2011 to 2013. He organized town hall meetings on such topics as the Shared Services Center, the 2020 Initiative, the staff salary program, administrative efficiencies, executive compensation, and the need for more frequent opportunities for staff to engage with upper administration to discuss and resolve issues. Kerner’s nominator noted that the town halls were well attended, with dialogue that was very open and honest, ending with steps for action that will benefit the campus as a whole.

Rob Kerner
(530) 752-9105


Jorge Dubcovsky: Wolf Prize in Agriculture

Wheat geneticist Jorge Dubcovsky was named a recipient of the 2014 Wolf Prize in Agriculture, sharing the prize with Leif Andersson from Uppsala University in Sweden. Dubcovsky is a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation investigator. The $100,000 Wolf Prizes are awarded annually by the Wolf Foundation to outstanding scientists and artists in the fields of agriculture, chemistry, physics, mathematics, medicine and the arts. This year five prizes were awarded to eight individuals in four countries. The new Wolf Prize laureates will receive their awards in May from the president of Israel and Israel's minister of education during a ceremony at the Knesset Building in Jerusalem.

In selecting Dubcovsky, the Wolf Foundation committee wrote that his "combined basic and applied approach was able to dramatically improve the nutritional value of wheat, and the impact of the discoveries was increased when they were made available to the scientific community."

Originally from Argentina, Dubcovsky joined the UC Davis faculty in 1996. During the past two decades, he has conducted pioneering research in mapping and isolating genes in wheat's massive genome and deploying those genes in wheat cultivars. He and his laboratory colleagues have identified and cloned genes involved in disease resistance, protein content, flowering, and frost tolerance. Identification of these important genes has enabled researchers and breeders to accelerate the development of more nutritious and better-adapted wheat varieties.

Jorge Dubcovksy
(530) 752-5159


Eric Mussen: California State Beekeepers Association Award

Cooperative Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the Department of Entomology and Nematology was recently presented with a special recognition award from the California State Beekeepers Association (CSBA) “for 38 years of work and support.” Mussen, who will retire in June, joined the UC Davis faculty in 1976.

Mussen has devoted his research and extension activities toward the improvement of honey bee health and honey bee colony management practices. He helps growers, consumers, UC Farm Advisors, agricultural commissioners, scientists, beekeepers, researchers, pesticide regulators, 4-H’ers, as well as state and national agricultural and apicultural organizations. He continues to tackle many new challenges regarding honey bee health and pollination concerns, including mites, diseases, pesticides, malnutrition, stress, Africanized honey bees, and the successful pollination of California’s almond acreage. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Eric Mussen
(530) 752-0472



Call for Nominations: ANR Distinguished Service Awards

Online nominations are due February 21 by 5 p.m. for the ANR Distinguished Service Awards, which are sponsored by ANR and Academic Assembly Council. ANR academics and staff are invited to nominate their colleagues or themselves for outstanding achievement.

The ANR Distinguished Service Awards recognize service and academic excellence in UC Cooperative Extension over a significant period of time. The awards highlight the use of innovative methods and the integration of research, extension, and leadership.

These awards recognize and reward outstanding accomplishments in six areas

  • Outstanding Research
  • Outstanding Extension
  • Outstanding New Academic
  • Outstanding Team
  • Outstanding Leader
  • Outstanding Staff

For award criteria and instructions for submission, see

Joe Grant
UC Cooperative Extension


Animal Science Winter Seminar Series

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 17. Dates and topics for seminars include:

  • January 27— Dairy Sheep Feeding
  • February 3— Exploring the Bovine Milk Glycome and its Bioactive Properties
  • February 10— Animal Nutrition Related to Modeling
  • February 17— Holiday
  • February 24— Extracting Authentic Information Contents from Binary Network and Matrix Data: A Novel Way to Analyze Biological Data
  • March 3— Behavior and Welfare of Zoo Animals: Observations, Ideas and Experiments
  • March 10— Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle
  • March 17— Comparative Lipid Metabolism in a Piglet Model of Pediatric Nutrition and  Intestinal Health

Elizabeth Maga
Department of Animal Science
(530) 752-5930


California Water Policy Seminar Series

The California Water Policy Seminar Series, “Reconciling Ecosystem and Economy,” is open to the public and meets Mondays from 4:10 to 5:30 p.m. in 146 Olson Hall through March 17. The seminars are sponsored by the Center for Watershed Sciences (John Muir Institute of the Environment), the California Environmental Law and Policy Center (UC Davis School of Law), and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dates and topics for seminars include:

  • January 27— Management, economics and engineering perspectives
  • February 3— Regulator perspective
  • February 10— Reconciling ecosystem goals for San Francisco Bay
  • February 24— Farms, floods, fowl and fish on the Yolo Bypass
  • March 3— Law perspective
  • March 10— Science and ecosystem reconciliation for the Delta
  • March 17— Prospects for ecosystem reconciliation

Chris Bowman
Center for Watershed Sciences
(530) 754-7250


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • Folk Music Jam Session
    Fridays, January 31, February 14, 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.
  • Winter Birds in Davis: Slide Show and Tour
    Saturday, February 1, 10:30 a.m., 146 Environmental Horticulture.
    Learn about birds that winter in Davis during a slide show talk. Then take a walk to see birds in the arboretum (weather permitting).
  • Storytime Through the Seasons:  Climbing Up the Gingko Tree
    Sunday, February 2, noon to 2 p.m., Wyatt Deck (rain location 146 Environmental Horticulture).
    Celebrate Chinese New Year with a free, outdoor reading program exploring the cultural and natural world of Asia. The event is sponsored by the Arboretum Ambassadors.
  • Native Californian Elderberry Flute-Making Workshop
    Sunday, February 9, 1 to 3 p.m., 146 Environmental Horticulture.
    In this free two-hour workshop, people of all ages will learn how to make and play a native Californian elderberry flute.  East Bay Regional Parks docent Antonio Flores will talk about the culture of flute-making and also about the endangered elderberry beetle. All materials will be supplied. Please bring a sharpened pocket knife if you have one. Adults will need to supervise their young children.
  • Walk with Warren
    Wednesday, February 12, noon to 1 p.m., Gazebo.
    Join Warren Roberts, superintendent emeritus of the arboretum and famous storyteller and punster, for an always engaging noontime exploration of the arboretum’s west-end gardens.



Current Issues in Invasive/Emerging Pests and Diseases: February 5, 2014

University experts present a program on “Current Issues in Invasive/Emerging Pests and Diseases,” which will meet February 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UC Davis Conference Center. The event is sponsored by the UC Davis Foundation Plant Services, the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), and the California Center for Urban Horticulture. The cost is $10, and those interested can register at Lunch will be included.

Anne Schellman
California Center for Urban Horticulture
(530) 752-6642


Mead Making Short Course: February 6–8, 2014

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, is sold out. 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.

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


Beekeeper’s Feast: February 8, 2014

A mid-winter beekeeper’s feast is planned for Saturday, February 8, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the foyer of the Sensory Building at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. The evening begins with mead cocktails and ends with a mead flight, guided by Darrell Corti. There will be music, dinner, and a silent auction. Single tickets are $125 each, which includes a $50 donation to the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center.

For more information, visit

Tracy Diesslin
Robert Mondavi Institute
(530) 752-5233


Breeding with Genomics Workshop: February 11–13, 2014

The UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center will hold a course on “Breeding with Genomics” on campus, February 11–13. The course is aimed at professionals who are directly or indirectly involved in plant breeding and germplasm improvement. It is taught by experts from both industry and academia.
For more information, see

Sally Mohr
Department of Plant Sciences
(530) 752 5775


Seed Central/Food Central Forum and Networking Event: February 13, 2014

Seed Central/Food Central hosts a monthly forum and networking event to bring together seed and food professionals, UC Davis faculty, scientists, and students. The February 13 event will begin with presentations from faculty in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. The session on engineering in modern agriculture will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Seed Biotechnology Center, Plant Reproductive Biology building.

Networking begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building (Room 3001), and the speaker begins at 6 p.m. The February speaker will be Pam Marrone, Founder and CEO of Marrone Bio Innovations. She will talk about “Trends and New Market Opportunities in Biopesticides.”

The event is free, but an RSVP is requested. More information is available at

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


Water Management Best Practices Seminar: February 20, 2014

“Best Practices for Vine Water Management to Maximize Vine Health and Winegrape Quality” will be held Thursday, February 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Freeborn Hall. Hosted by the Department of Viticulture and Technology and VENSource, the event will feature experts to discuss better management of water, and how careful monitoring and delivery of water can be used to maximize yields and make better wine. There will also be a panel of vineyard managers who have practiced sustainable water management, and a panel of winemakers who have received the benefit of those practices.

The seminar is designed for wine professionals with some chemical and technical background. Registration is $200, including a continental breakfast, lunch, and all handouts. To register online, visit

Linda Bisson
Department of Viticulture and Enology
(530) 752-3835


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

The Soil Science Society of America meeting will be held March 6–9 in Sacramento, focusing 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


Fruit Ripening and Retail Handling Workshop: March 25–26, 2014

The UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center presents the annual Fruit Ripening and Retail Handling Workshop, to be held on campus March 25–26. 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.

To learn more about this workshop, or to register, visit

Penny Stockdale
UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center
(530) 752-7672


Postharvest Technology Short Course: June 16–27, 2014

The 36th annual Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course will meet June 16–27 at UC Davis. This course is a one-week intensive study (plus optional one-week field tour) 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, as well as field harvest, packing, and transportation facilities in California.

For more information, see

Penny Stockdale
UC Davis Postharvest Technology
(530) 752-7672


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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, .

Editor: Robin DeRieux
Writing: Robin DeRieux, Mary E. Delany
Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser

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