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May 8, 2014

May 08, 2014 admin

A Message from Dean Helene Dillard: Listening to Students, Faculty, and Staff

Since I began my tenure as dean in January, I’ve been meeting with college stakeholders and making a full-court press to get to know CA&ES faculty, staff, and students. In April I attended an informal coffee with undergraduate and graduate students at the Buehler Alumni Center, where I had the opportunity to listen to some of their concerns and field questions about the future of the college.

One area we discussed was advising, which I consider critical to the success of our students. Getting the right advice at the right time helps guide students who are undecided on a major or a career, helps students complete their major requirements and graduate in a timely manner, and helps struggling students seek out the appropriate resources. The Career Discovery Groups we offer to freshmen address some of these needs, but we are actively seeking additional ways to reach all students. One concern expressed at our informal get-together was the need for better advising for transfer students who enter our college as juniors. We plan to discuss needed advising improvements at an upcoming retreat for both staff and faculty advisers.

Another question from students concerned the biggest challenge facing our college. I shared information about the demographics of our college faculty. With a large number of faculty nearing retirement, we face the loss of the institutional knowledge that accompanies this level of experience. At the same time, this challenge provides us the opportunity to renew and reinvigorate the college with a wave of new hires. In 2013 we welcomed 11 new assistant professors and three new assistant Cooperative Extension specialists. We have a dozen current searches ongoing, and recently got permission to launch searches for six additional new faculty positions.

I enjoyed talking with CA&ES students and hearing their thoughts. On May 19, I’ll be meeting with faculty at the Gunrock Pub. On May 28, I will have coffee with staff at the Buehler Alumni Center in the AGR Room. I hope to see you at one of these events, and I look forward to hearing your ideas, concerns, and suggestions regarding the college.

Helene R. Dillard


College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences





Mary BianchiMary Bianchi: Bradford Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award

Mary Bianchi, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor and county director for San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties, received the 2014 Eric Bradford and Charlie Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award at a ceremony held in April. The award recognizes and honors individuals who exhibit the leadership, work ethic, and integrity epitomized by the late Eric Bradford, a livestock geneticist who gave 50 years of service to UC Davis, and the late Charlie Rominger, a fifth-generation Yolo County farmer and land preservationist.

Bianchi has worked for UC Cooperative Extension for 20 years. Her achievements include the development and implementation of a water quality workshop series that required the collaboration of more than 100 team members. The workshops brought timely and essential information on water quality management to 2,200 growers in California.

Mary Bianchi

Linda BissonLinda Bisson: Charles P. Nash Prize

Viticulture and enology professor Linda Bisson, who has a long and distinguished record of service to the Academic Senate, received the Charles P. Nash Prize in April. The prize was established in 2008 by the family of Charlie Nash, who was a professor of chemistry and a longtime faculty leader. The award honors a faculty member who epitomizes Nash’s commitment to shared governance and his advocacy on behalf of faculty interests and welfare.

Bisson served as Academic Senate chair in 2006–07, 2007–08, and again in 2011–12, succeeding Professor Bob Powell when he was appointed vice chair of the systemwide Academic Senate. In a nomination letter for the award, eight faculty members stated, “For more than a decade, Professor Bisson has been a strong voice on our campus for shared governance, a fearless and relentless advocate of faculty interests, while at the same time insisting on the importance of engaging productively with the administration.”

Linda Bisson

Thomas CahillThomas Cahill: Distinguished Emeritus Award

Atmospheric scientist Thomas Cahill, an international authority on the makeup and transport of airborne particles, recently received the UC Davis Emeriti Association’s 2014 Distinguished Emeritus Award. The award honors outstanding scholarly work or service performed by an emeritus or emerita professor since retirement. In Cahill’s case, that includes analyses of the pollution that spewed from the ruins of the World Trade Center after the September 11 terrorist attack. Cahill is a professor emeritus in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, as well as in the Department of Physics.

After officially retiring in 1994, Cahill formed the DELTA Group (Detection and Evaluation of Long-Range Transport of Aerosols) to study aerosol impacts on global climate. The Emeriti Association lauded Cahill for his outstanding career in the area of atmospheric aerosols, or particulate matter. Noted one nomination letter, “He has combined his research on the impact of aerosols with a highly visible and effective public service component, using his knowledge to address local, national and international problems."

Tom Cahill

James Carey: C.W. Woodworth AwardJames Carey: Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award

Professor James Carey, Department of Entomology and Nematology, received a 2014 Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award—Undergraduate Category. Carey and three other UC Davis faculty members will be honored for excellence in teaching undergraduates at an upcoming Mondavi Center ceremony, where various members of the Academic Senate and Academic Federation are to receive recognition for achievement in research, teaching, and public service.

Carey’s nominators noted his innovations in the use of digital technology to encourage students to learn in novel ways. For example, he developed a class in which students produced their own “One-Minute Entomologist” videos. He also led students in producing 11 short videos that demonstrate different aspects of insect collecting.

Although trained as a demographer and widely known as an authority on the Mediterranean fruit fly, Carey has broad interests that have benefitted his students. He developed and teaches a course on longevity, which grew out of his fruit fly-based “oldest of old” research. He created the course “Terrorism and War” in the Science and Society program. He continually receives high marks from his students, one of whom noted that the professor routinely came “prepared to each lecture, excited and passionate to teach.”

Jim Carey

susanSusan Ebeler: Undergraduate Academic Programs Associate Dean

Professor Sue Ebeler of the Department of Viticulture and Enology has been appointed as CA&ES Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs. She follows Diane Ullman, who has served in the position since 2005 and now returns to teaching and research after many outstanding years of service. Ebeler’s appointment began May 1.

Ebeler served as a member and chair of the college’s Undergraduate Program Review Committee, where she advocated for program needs in the areas of student advising and support for laboratory, field, and studio classes. She is a member of the CA&ES Undergraduate Advising Review Workgroup that is developing strategies to strengthen advising for students in the college, and she has a proven passion for improving the undergraduate experience for our students. Ebeler also has an outstanding academic record of achievement in research and teaching.

Sue Ebeler

Ermias Kebreab, James Oltjen, Alison Van Eenennaam: American Society of Animal Science Awards

Three faculty members in the Department of Animal Science will be honored with awards from the American Society of Animal Science at the society’s annual meeting, to be held in Kansas City in July. They are among 38 ASAS award recipients to be honored this year.

ermias kebreab

Professor Ermias Kebreab, who holds the Sesnon Endowed Chair, is the recipient of the American Feed Industry Association Award in Ruminant Nutrition Research. The award honors research excellence in ruminant nutrition for work published within the last decade.

James W. OltjenCooperative Extension specialist James Oltjen, animal management systems, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science, one of two fellows named in the category of “extension.”

Van Eenennaam CropCooperative Extension specialist Alison Van Eenennaam is the recipient of the 2014 American Society of Animal Science Extension Award for outstanding achievements in animal science outreach.

Ermias Kebreab

Jim Oltjen

Alison Van Eenennaam

Van EenennaamAlison Van Eenennaam: Borlaug CAST Communication Award

Alison Van Eenennaam is the 2014 winner of the Borlaug CAST Communication Award. The award was established in 1986 by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology to honor a scientist, engineer, or specialist who communicates the importance of food and agricultural science and who contributes to the advancement of science in the public policy arena.

Van Eenennaam, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science, conducts research and educational outreach on the uses of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems. She frequently speaks about agricultural technology to the public and to policymakers, nationally and internationally.

Award nominators noted that Van Eenennaam was willing to discuss controversial issues and use innovative approaches to reach a broader audience. She will be honored in October at the World Food Prize Symposium in Iowa.

Alison Van Eenennaam





arboretum ambassadorsArboretum Ambassadors Win Service Awards

The UC Davis Arboretum Ambassadors received a Community Service Award from the UC Davis Community Service Resource Center in May, one of several campus groups and individuals recognized at the “gold” level for volunteer service projects.

The Arboretum Ambassadors are also to receive a President's Volunteer Service Award. The federal award is given to individuals, families, and groups that have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service and civic participation over the course of a 12-month period. For a group award, each member contributing to the total number of hours must have served 25 hours or more.

The Arboretum Ambassadors are environmental leadership interns who make a one-year commitment to train with professional arboretum staff in ecology, event planning, fundraising, and educational program design. The interns have provided free and accessible educational outreach programs to the public and K–12 audiences since 2008. They work as a team to design participatory learning experiences that engage the broader community in the arboretum and improve environmental awareness.

Elaine Fingerett
UC Davis Arboretum

Recruitment for Executive Associate Dean

CA&ES has begun recruiting for Executive Associate Dean (EAD). The EAD (80 percent) is the second-ranking administrative official in the college and reports directly to the dean. The incumbent will have a broad range of responsibility and executive authority inherent in a close working relationship with the dean. The EAD acts for the dean in her absence, and works closely with the associate deans, assistant deans, department chairs, chief administrative officers, faculty, and staff to accomplish the missions and goals of the college.

Self-nominations or nominations from peers are welcome. All nominations and applications should be sent via email directly to Dean Helene Dillard at . Nominations are due May 16. Applications are due May 27. Applications will include a brief (two-page) statement of interest and a brief (two-to-three page) CV.

Helene Dillard

Landscape Architecture Lunchbag Lecture Series

Landscape Architecture hosts a spring quarter lunchtime lecture series, which meets Fridays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in the Art Building, room 217. Remaining talks include:

  • May 9: John Zanzi of Habitat Restoration Sciences, Inc.
  • May 16: Chelsea Bowman of Domus Development and Brenna Jones of Quadriga
  • May 23: Kevin Robert Perry of Urban Rain Design
  • May 30: Beth Bokulich of Fletcher Studio

Brad Wilcox
Department of Human Ecology

Arboretum Events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

Storytime: Under the Tuscan Sun
Sunday, May 18, 1 to 3 p.m., Gazebo.
Explore the Mediterranean in this free program for children and families sponsored by the UC Davis Arboretum Ambassadors. Take part in readings, tastings, and hands-on activities in the arboretum’s spectacular Mediterranean Collection.

Poetry in the Garden
Thursday, May 29, noon to 1 p.m., Wyatt Deck.
Frank Dixon Graham and Tim Kahl will do poetry readings, followed by an open microphone available to other poets.

Yoga in the Arboretum
Saturday, May 31, 1:15 p.m., grassy area east of Putah Creek Lodge.
Participate in an hour of yoga appropriate for all skill levels led by certified instructor Loshan Ostrava. Dress comfortably, and bring a towel or yoga mat and water bottle.

Bugtopia 3.0: Discover Everyday Insects
Sunday, June 1, 1 to 3 p.m., Gazebo.
Learn about the hidden insect wonders of the arboretum from UC Davis Entomology Club members and UC Davis Arboretum Ambassadors. Tour the collections and learn insect names, trapping methods, and ecology.





National Public Gardens Day at Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven: May 9, 2014

May 9 is National Public Gardens Day, and it will be observed at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road from 5:30 to 7 p.m. A guided tour will take place from 6 to 6:30 p.m. There will be a sunflower seed giveaway, along with information about how to monitor sunflowers for bee activity.

Chris Casey
Department of Entomology and Nematology

Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil Certificate Course: May 9–10, 2014

Learn about olive oil quality from some of the world's foremost authorities on May 9–10 in the Sensory Building at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. This two-day course is for producers, buyers, importers, and anyone wanting to know more about assessing the quality of extra virgin olive oil.   The course will lead participants through the tasting of dozens of olive oils from around the world. Instructors will address the politics and science behind quality standards and grades, best practices for growing and processing, consumer attitudes toward olive oil, strategies for professional buyers to get better quality for the price, and best practices for consumers.

The course costs $550. For registration, see

Penny Stockdale
UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center

ASLA Student Chapter Professionals Dinner: May 15, 2014

The UC Davis ASLA Student Chapter hosts the annual Professionals Dinner, to be held Thursday, May 15, at Oddfellows Hall on 2nd Street. The event begins at 5:30 and will include food, drinks, a band, an art auction, and keynote speaker Walker Wells of Global Green USA. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the event ends at 10 p.m.

Student tickets are $30 for one or $50 for two. Professional tickets are $60 for one or $100 for two. Tickets can be purchased at

Brad Wilcox
Landscape Architecture

Arboretum Plant Sale: May 17, 2014

The arboretum will hold a spring clearance plant sale on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive. Prepare your landscape for long-term water conservation with attractive, drought-tolerant plants appropriate to our region. There will be a large selection of California natives and Arboretum All-Stars.

Members of Friends of the Arboretum save 10 percent off purchases, and anyone can join at the door.

Katie Hetrick
UC Davis Arboretum

Climate Change Forum: May 19, 2014

A one-day forum on understanding the implications of climate change for agriculture in California will be held at the California Museum on “O” Street in Sacramento on Monday, May 19. “Climate Change: Challenges to California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources,” is sponsored by the UC Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics, a research foundation whose members focus on research in agriculture and rural development in California.

For more information, see

Julie McNamara
Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics

Faculty Social with the Dean: May 19, 2014

CA&ES faculty are invited to a casual get-together with Dean Hillard at the Gunrock Pub on campus from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, May 19. Please RSVP to

Rita Suryani
CA&ES Dean’s Office

Staff Coffee with the Dean: May 28, 2014

CA&ES staff are invited to share coffee with Dean Hillard on Wednesday, May 28, from 9 to 11 a.m. in the AGR at the Buehler Alumni Center. This coffee break will provide the opportunity for staff to share thoughts and ask questions of the dean about her future plans. Please RSVP for this free gathering by May 21 at

Carrie Cloud
CA&ES Dean’s Office

CA&ES Spring Faculty Meeting: May 29, 2014

The annual spring CA&ES faculty meeting will be held Thursday, May 29, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the AGR Room of the Buehler Alumni Center.

Brenda Nakamoto
CA&ES Dean’s Office

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

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

Weed Day, HansonWeed Day: July 10, 2014

The 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 advisors, 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
(530) 752-1748

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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, Helene R. Dillard
Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Thomas Kaiser

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