academic plan developed by
the faculty in 1999 identified five areas as priorities for development.
Programs in these areas are highly collaborative, and take advantage of
our formidable strengths to address future challenges facing society.
The CA&ES will actively support and participate in the campus genomics initiative and the developing Center for Functional and Comparative Genomics. Our priority is to expand our existing strengths in plant genomics, and, considering our investment in animal biology, build our strengths in animal genomics. With established expertise in organismal biology, the CA&ES will make major contributions in functional genomics to gain an in-depth knowledge of gene function and in comparative genomics to transfer fundamental genomics information from model species to agriculturally important animals, plants and microbes.
More on genomics in CA&ES Outlook.
Issues surrounding the management of water resources
are paramount in California and globally, and thus stand as a high priority
in the CA&ES. Further, the need to optimally manage natural resources
and ecosystems under pressure from a growing urban population has stimulated
a nationwide call for new approaches to the analysis and management of
water and watersheds, recognizing water as the 'life blood' of the watershed
or ecosystem. The campus is positioned to take a world leadership role
in the area of integrated watershed science and management.
During the past decade, there has been increasing interest in the identification of new means by which we can improve the health and well being of our nation's citizenry. Improvements in the quality of the food we consume and the environment we live in, and promotion of the most efficient and effective use of our economic resources, are factors that must be addressed simultaneously if we are to substantially advance all segments of the population. CA&ES, internationally recognized as a leader in the area of agriculture and human health, has programs aimed at all of the above issues.
In the last several years, a variety of tools have been
developed to better describe physical, chemical and biological components
of the environment, from small (millimeter) to large (kilometer) scales.
Much of this data collection is both non-destructive and remote, making
real-time transmission back to a research laboratory possible. Informatics
forms the backbone of data acquisition and management systems, including
digital libraries, geographic information systems, and image analysis
tools. Solidification of our programs in sensing sciences will serve to
underpin multiple campus and state programs.
Our faculty has a strong commitment to conducting high-quality
research and the communication of the results of this research to the
general public, to relevant constituency groups and to governmental policy-makers.
While the faculty generally succeed at a very high level in terms of research
quality, the same often is not true for the communication of those results
to non-academics. A research and teaching focus on specific aspects of
the science-to-policy process will provide substantial benefit to all.
More on the environment in CA&ES Outlook.