CA&ES Currents Newsletter  icon newspaper

June 12, 2014

Jun 10, 2014 John Stumbos

A Message from Dean Helene Dillard: Commencement Plans

06 helenedillardCongratulations to the more than 1,200 undergraduate students who will cross the stage at one of two CA&ES commencement ceremonies on Friday, June 13, in the ARC Pavilion. We’re looking forward to the participation of more faculty and staff in this year’s ceremonies, which will not coincide with Father’s Day for the first time in many years. In the future, we will rotate between Friday and Sunday for the spring ceremonies.

The keynote speaker this year is our own Charles E. Hess, who served as CA&ES dean from 1975 to 1989 and has held three presidential appointments, including USDA assistant secretary of science and education. Hess was recently named recipient of the 2014 UC Davis Medal, the premier campus accolade. The student speaker for the morning ceremony is Beyza Seflek, a community and regional development major. In the afternoon, the student speaker is Phillip Tran, who majored in environmental policy analysis and planning.

It’s interesting to look at the number of graduates in various majors, as it offers a glimpse at the depth and breadth of the college. The 9 a.m. ceremony will include 280 graduates majoring in managerial economics, 181 in human development, 45 in community and regional development, 40 in biotechnology, and 32 in landscape architecture. Other graduates in the morning ceremony will represent majors in:

  • ecological management and restoration (4)
  • environmental horticulture and urban forestry (6)
  • international agricultural development (6)
  • plant sciences (6)
  • sustainable agriculture and food systems (19)

The 2 p.m. ceremony will include 186 animal science graduates (37 animal biology, 137 animal science, 11 animal science and management, 1 avian sciences). There will be140 nutrition students majoring in clinical nutrition or in nutrition science, 65 in environmental science and management, 56 in food science, and 39 in wildlife, fish, and conservation biology. Other majors represented in the afternoon ceremony include:

  • agricultural and environmental education (2)
  • atmospheric science (5)
  • entomology (10)
  • environmental policy analysis and planning (35)
  • environmental toxicology (17)
  • hydrology (3)
  • textiles and clothing (12)
  • viticulture and enology (27)

Commencement is such a special occasion for our graduates and their loved ones, and I extend many thanks to all who participate in the ceremony. I also offer a special thank you to the dean’s office planning team, led by Francesca Ross and Jamie Dehn, and to the more than 55 staff volunteers who help facilitate both ceremonies. I look forward to seeing you all at this joyous occasion!

Helene R. Dillard


College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences





Diane Barrett: Institute of Food Technologists Fellow

diane_barrettDiane Barrett, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, has been selected as a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). The fellow designation is an honor bestowed by IFT peers, recognizing exemplary professionalism in the field of food science. In a given year, no more than 0.3 percent of the professional membership is eligible, and even fewer than that will earn this honor.

Barrett serves as liaison between the fruit and vegetable industries of California and her university colleagues. As part of her extension program, she conducts timely short courses on fruit and vegetable quality evaluation and processing methods such as fresh-cut, low-acid canning, freezing, juice, aseptic, high pressure and electric field processing. She also carries out applied research and is intrigued with optimizing raw fruit and vegetable quality and applying processing methods that preserve the color, texture, flavor, and nutrient content of products. In addition, she has directed the UC Davis site for the National Science Foundation Center for Advanced Processing and Packaging for more than 10 years.

Diane Barrett


Charles Hess: 2014 UC Davis Medal

06 charlie hessCharles “Charley” E. Hess, former dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and a professor emeritus of plant sciences, has been named the recipient of the 2014 UC Davis Medal. He will be honored the evening of June 12 at a UC Davis Medal Gala to be held at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

The prestigious award is the premier accolade the campus bestows upon an individual. It recognizes the highest levels of distinction, personal achievement, and contributions to the ideals of higher education.

Hess served as CA&ES dean from 1975 until 1989, when he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to be the assistant secretary for science and education in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He returned to UC Davis in 1991 to serve as director of International Programs and as a special assistant to the provost and chancellor.

Although he retired in 1994, Hess has been called back into service many times. He facilitated the relocation of USDA’s Western Human Nutrition Center to UC Davis, chaired the Department of Nutrition, and most recently served as interim vice chancellor of the Office of Research. Hess has a long history of promoting the welfare of retirees, serving as first chair of the Retiree Center Advisory Committee, president of the Emeriti Association, chair of the Council of UC Emeriti Associations, and on other emeriti-related workgroups and committees.

Each year in his honor, the Charles E. Hess Award is presented to two graduating seniors who have the most noteworthy records of public/community service while at UC Davis.

Charles “Charley” Hess


Eric Mussen: UCCE Outstanding Extension Distinguished Service Award

06 eric mussenEric Mussen, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, is the recipient of the UC Cooperative Extension 2013-2014 Outstanding Extension Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments by UCCE academics over a significant period of time for academic excellence, impact on targeted clientele, usefulness as an extension model, level of innovation and creativity, and outreach to underserved audiences.

For 38 years, Mussen has been known throughout the state, nation, and world as “the honey bee guru” and “the pulse of the bee industry.” He is the go-to person when consumers, scientists, researchers, students, or the news media have questions about honey bees. “He is one of the key reasons why we as a nation are so focused on the troubled honey bee population,” the awards committee stated. “Since honey bees pollinate one-third of the foods we eat, there is arguably no more important extension work than what Eric does.”

Eric Mussen


R. Paul Singh: Institute of Food Technologists, Board of Directors

singR. Paul Singh, a distinguished professor of food engineering in the Department of Food Science and Technology and in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, has been elected to the board of directors for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). He begins his term in September. The IFT, founded in 1939, draws members from food science and technology disciplines in more than 100 countries.

Singh joined the food engineering program at UC Davis in 1975 and has since helped the food industry address key challenges in energy and water use efficiency, inventory management and shelf life of foods, emerging technologies, use of computational tools to improve food manufacturing operations, the role of food in human health issues, and other areas. Link here to learn more.

Paul Singh


Ken Tate: UCCE Outstanding Team Distinguished Service Award

06 ken tateKen Tate, a professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences, is a recipient of the UC Cooperative Extension 2013/2014 Outstanding Team Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments by UCCE academics, the impact of activities on target audiences, evidence of greater impact from combined effort, and cross-disciplinary integration among Cooperative Extension, faculty, and workgroup members. He shares the award with Robert Atwill, a veterinary medicine extension specialist at UC Davis.

Since 1994, Tate and Atwill have collaborated on a series of projects assessing the potential risk to rangeland surface water quality and human health from livestock-associated pollution. Between them they have published more than 100 peer-reviewed reports over the past decade.

In addition, they have conducted an extension education program that engages a wide range of audiences in collaboration with UC farm advisors. “Both will tell you that they cannot separate their research from their extension activity,” the awards committee stated. “Instead, they view research and extension as a feedback loop that delivers new knowledge and methods but also identifies new opportunities for research.”

Ken Tate





Celebration of Life for Professor Larry Teuber

06 teuberA celebration of life service for Professor Larry Teuber, who died May 19 after a long battle with cancer, will be held June 19 at 4 p.m. in the University Covenant Church in Davis. Teuber was an alfalfa breeder and geneticist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, and the director of the California Crop Improvement Association.

“Larry was instrumental in contributing to the plant breeding of alfalfa, having released numerous key nondormant alfalfa germplasm sources which have been used by private companies, and, more recently, several widely-grown alfalfa varieties,” said agronomist and colleague Dan Putnam.

Teuber taught genetics, statistics, and forages at UC Davis. For many years he was the director for the departmental Foundation Seed Program. He also taught with the UC Plant Breeding Academy since its inception. For nearly 10 years he was the executive director of the California Crop Improvement Association.

Condolences, comments, and anecdotes about Professor Teuber can be shared on the Alfalfa & Forage News blog. Condolences can also be sent to Kathryn Soden () at the California Crop Improvement Association, and she will pass those on to the family. Email photos to Putnam (), and he will forward those to the family.

Dan Putnam


Memorial Service for Professor Emeritus Barry Wilson

06 wilsonFamily and friends of Barry William Wilson, professor emeritus of animal science and environmental toxicology, will hold a memorial service June 14 at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis to remember both him and his wife, Joyce Ann Wilson. A celebration of life reception will follow.

Professor Wilson passed away March 28 from lung cancer. Joyce Wilson passed away in 2007, also due to complications from cancer.

Professor Wilson was a world expert on environmental toxicants and was actively teaching at UC Davis until shortly before his passing. After receiving his doctoral degree at UCLA in 1962, Wilson was hired into the Department of Poultry Husbandry at UC Davis. His work focused on neuromuscular development, pesticides, and neurotoxins. Recent projects included studies of runoff of pesticides on the growth of embryo muscle and nerve cells, and pesticides and reproduction of mice and birds. He held appointments in both the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Environmental Toxicology.

Contributions may be made to the recently established Barry and Joyce Wilson Family Foundation, which will continue charitable and philanthropic efforts in their name. Please contact his son, Sean Wilson, for more information.


Drought Workshops for Landscape Irrigation Managers

The University of California and the state Department of Water Resources have teamed up to bring a series of workshops to help landscape managers save water by making improvements to irrigation systems. “Get Ahead or Get Parched: Six Ways to Survive the Drought” will be held in six statewide locations. Topics include understanding precipitation rates to reduce runoff, improving sprinkler distribution uniformity, improving controller programs during water restrictions, determining application rates of drip and micro- irrigation, understanding soil to reduce runoff, and understanding water meters to improve irrigation.

The first workshop will be held June 25 in Walnut Creek. Link here for more details and to register. The second workshop will be held June 27 in Fresno. Link here for more details and to register. Additional workshops are in the planning stages and will be held in:

  • Riverside (July 15)
  • San Diego (July 17)
  • Arcadia (July 29)
  • Irvine (July 31)

Separate sessions for each workshop will be held in English and Spanish. For additional information visit the California Center for Urban Horticulture website.

Dave Fujino
California Center for Urban Horticulture


Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

Folk Music Jam Session
Friday, June 20, noon-1 p.m., Wyatt Deck
Folk musicians are invited to bring their acoustic instruments and play together informally over the lunch hour. All skill levels are welcome, and listeners are invited.





Advances in Stable Isotope Techniques and Applications: June 15–18, 2014

The UC Davis Stable Isotope Facility is hosting the Advances in Stable Isotope Techniques and Applications (ASITA) conference June 15–18 in Freeborn Hall. The focus of the workshop is methodology advancements, technical challenges, and novel applications.

The conference begins with short courses on basic isotope analysis, instrument operation and troubleshooting, and data manipulation. The remainder of the conference includes oral and poster presentations, as well as breakout discussions. The Stable Isotope Facility, housed in the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building, supports more than 150,000 analyses annually from academic, governmental, and private clients in California and from around the world.

Registration is $275 and covers workshop discussions, breakfasts, lunches, a reception, and a banquet dinner. Tours also will be offered of the Stable Isotope Facility, the Botanical Conservatory, and the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. More information is available at

Joy Matthews
Stable Isotope Facility


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, and field harvest, packing, and transportation facilities in California.

For more information, see

Penny Stockdale
UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center


Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy: June 24–26, 2014

The Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy will be held on the UC Davis campus on June 24–26. The three-day program integrates lectures, exercises, and individual projects to help participants identify new business opportunities for their research. The academy is designed for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty working in agriculture-related fields to support commercialization of clean ag technologies. Sessions are taught by venture capitalists, angel investors, entrepreneurs, and industry executives.

The academy is funded in part by a grant from the Economic Development Agency under the Sacramento Region Clean AgTech Innovation Center Development Project. For more information, see

Niki Peterson
Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Seed Central/Food Central Networking Event and Talk in Salinas: June 26, 2014

Seed Central/Food Central hosts a monthly networking event and speech to bring together seed and food professionals, UC Davis faculty, scientists, and students. The June 26 event will be held in Salinas at the main campus of Hartnell College with networking and a catered lunch at 11:30 a.m. The June speaker, Timothy Hartz, is a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences. His talk—Farm Management to Minimize Environmental Water Quality Problems—runs from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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

Kathleen Bess

Department of Plant Sciences



Weed Day: July 10, 2014

Weed Day, HansonThe 58th annual Weed Day will be held Thursday, July 10, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., beginning on campus at the Buehler Alumni Center and subsequently heading out for a field tour. Weed Day gives pest control advisers, farm advisors, chemical company cooperators, faculty, students, and regulatory officials the opportunity to learn more about current weed science research at UC Davis.

The morning field tour will include herbicide research in annual fruit and vegetable crops, crop safety and herbicide symptomology demonstrations, aquatic weeds, grassland weed invasion and restoration research, and a weed identification challenge. Research presentations will focus on weed science research being conducted off-campus in various agronomic and specialty crops.

For more details and to register, see and click on “Weed Day 2014.”

Gale Pérez
UC Weed Research and Information Center


Advanced Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil: September 16–18, 2014

06 oliveoilThe UC Davis Olive Center will hold an advanced course in the sensory evaluation of olive oil September 16–18 in the Silverado Vineyard Sensory Theater at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

The three-day course is designed for producers, buyers, importers, category managers, and anyone wanting to know more about assessing the quality of extra virgin olive oil. It will address official methods of the International Olive Council, as well as protocols used by major food and beverage companies.

Course highlights include flights of oils with classic sensory profiles; benchmarks for fruitiness, bitterness, and pungency; intensity scaling of rancid and fusty; grading; a blending workshop; the role of filtration; correlating chemistry and sensory analysis; and pairing olive oil and food. Instructors include professional sensory scientist Sue Langstaff, Olive Center research director Selina Wang, and Olive Center executive director Dan Flynn.

Early-bird registration is $745 until August 16, 2014; $895 thereafter. More information is available at

Dan Flynn
UC Davis Olive Center


Program Management for Plant Breeders: September 16-18, 2014

“Program Management for Plant Breeders” will be held September 16-18 in the Bowley Plant Sciences Center at UC Davis. The course is designed to enhance the management skills of professional scientists in plant breeding and laboratory programs in agricultural research and development programs of agribusiness companies and the public sector.

Early-bird registration is $750 until August 4; full registration is $850. The fee includes course materials and lunch. More information is available at

Sue DiTomaso
Seed Biotechnology Center


Fresh-Cut Products Workshop: September 23–25, 2014

06 freshcutThe UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center presents a September 23–25 workshop on fresh-cut fruits and vegetables at the Buehler Alumni Center. The 19th annual workshop will include lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and research updates.

This workshop is designed for food scientists, food engineers, quality assurance personnel, and new product development staff, as well as for representatives of research institutions, the restaurant and institutional food industries, and equipment, packaging, and ingredient suppliers. Fresh-cut products (cleaned, washed, cut, packaged and refrigerated fruits and vegetables) are an important and expanding food category.

The enrollment fee is $1,150 and includes all instruction, course materials, lunches, and morning and afternoon snacks, in addition to an evening networking reception. For more information, visit

Penny Stockdale

Postharvest Technology Center 



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

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 monthly. Send news items to editor, .

Editor: John Stumbos
Writing: John Stumbos, Robin DeRieux, Helene R. Dillard
Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser, Robin DeRieux, Christine Schmidt

To be added to or deleted from this electronic newsletter list, please send an e-mail to: .

The University of California does not discriminate in any of its policies, procedures, or practices.
The university is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Student News

Design It, Build It

Aug 21, 2015 Truscott donation allows landscape architecture students to dig in.

Student News - More Student News…
Research News

UC Davis Receives Unique, $1.5 Million Gift from Aggie Couple

Jul 07, 2016 Michael and Joelle Hurlston have pledged $1.5 million to endow a first-of-its-kind chair position.

Research News - More Research News…
Outreach News

Summer Internships

Jul 28, 2015 CA&ES students and Salinas Valley employers find common ground.

Outreach News - More Outreach News…