Outlook Speaker Series
UC Davis in California’s Great Central Valley
Thursday, November 8, 2012
11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier
We’re sorry, but this event has been cancelled. We hope you see you at another College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences event soon. Thank you.
Join faculty speakers and others from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) to learn more about the impact the college has on California’s Central Valley, one of the world’s most bountiful agricultural areas. Hear about research under way at UC Davis—featured in the fall issue of CA&ES Outlook—that addresses challenges and opportunities in the region. Listen to two outstanding undergraduates, originally from the Central Valley, discuss the opportunities they’ve explored as students at UC Davis.
UC Cooperative Extension specialist, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
“Protecting California’s Groundwater”
Thomas Harter, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, is a leading expert on California groundwater who has studied contamination problems and helped agricultural producers improve management practices. (Harter’s website)
A hydrogeology specialist, Harter was one of the lead scientists in a recent study of nitrates in the southern San Joaquin Valley and in the Salinas Valley. Findings from the 18-month investigation were published earlier this year in a report, Addressing Nitrate in California’s Drinking Water. The people most affected by the nitrate problem live in small communities or rely on private domestic wells. “We found that there are large areas on the east side of the Tulare Lake Basin and in the Salinas Valley that have elevated levels of nitrate that exceed the drinking water limit,” Harter said.
Harter also runs the UCCE Groundwater Hydrology Program, begun at UC Davis in 1995. In his outreach efforts, he has worked with dairy producers throughout the San Joaquin Valley to improve manure management practices that maintain crop productivity while minimizing nitrogen and salt losses to groundwater.
Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology
“Dairy Industry Innovation”
Daniela Barile, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology, hopes to turn research findings into a new source of income for the California dairy industry. Barile has discovered the presence of certain molecules in cow’s milk—complex sugars called oligosaccharides—that could be developed into food supplements of promising benefit to human health, especially for infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. (Barile’s website)
The food scientist has identified more than 60 of these valuable molecules in whey permeate, a byproduct of cheese making. Whey processors send thousands of pounds of valuable oligosaccharides down the drain each day. “We want to solve the problem of the accumulation of byproducts and improve the sustainability of the dairy industry,” said Barile. “At the same time, we can solve important problems relevant to human health.”
Two outstanding CA&ES students, originally from the Central Valley, will discuss why they chose UC Davis, as well as the internships and activities that have enriched their undergraduate years.
UC Davis senior Megan Reese is a plant sciences major originally from Clovis, California. Reese has been involved in research internships in production agriculture throughout her college career.
For two summers, she participated in grape research at the USDA San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center in Parlier. Last summer, Reese worked with a corn breeder at the Woodland Research Center of Dupont Pioneer.
Reese is an outstanding scholar, an equestrian, and the former president of the UC Davis women’s club water polo team that won the national championship in 2012. She will complete her B.S. in June 2013 and intends to continue graduate studies in plant sciences at UC Davis.
UC Davis junior Jacob Gomez is an animal science major originally from Tulare, California. As a Gates Millennium Scholar, Gomez was one of 1,000 high school students selected nationwide to receive a full scholarship at the university of his choosing. Gomez passed up Cornell and UCLA to become an Aggie.
Gomez interned for the past three summers at the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center (VMTRC) in Tulare. He ultimately intends to become a large animal veterinarian and return to work in the San Joaquin Valley.
This year, Gomez is president of the UC Davis Aggie Ambassadors, a leadership group that travels widely to promote the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UC Davis at schools and workshops.
UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
9240 S. Riverbend Ave.
Parlier, CA 93648
For more information, contact:
CA&ES Dean’s Office