A Message From the Dean: December 2022
At the end of the year, I like to reflect on all our college has accomplished and give thanks for the dedication and hard work of our faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends who keep the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences a place of excellence. Please scroll down to enjoy our year in review video and photographs of some of the college’s highlights from this past year. I wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and a wonderful year ahead.
Take a seat! A sod couch, designed by a landscape architecture student, is now part of an outdoor seating area near the main entrance of Hunt Hall."
Strawberry losses from Fusarium wilt could become less of a threat after researchers discovered genes that are resistant to the deadly soilborne disease. The finding could prevent a Fusarium wilt pandemic.”
This year’s Iron Brew competition winners created a Scottish export ale they named Mighty Gale Ale. The team of UC Davis students worked with Sudwerk Brewing Co. in Davis to package the limited-edition beer that was sold locally this summer."
A simple roadside weed may hold the key to understanding and predicting DNA mutation. This knowledge changes our understanding of evolution and could one day help researchers breed better crops or even help humans fight cancer.”
Plant breeders are developing new varieties of celtuce, a leafy green vegetable that’s important to Asian cuisine. The collaborative project by SCOPE, Student Farm and the Department of Asian American Studies aims to improve seed availability for small scale farmers."
Each year, we honor individuals for their achievements, support and leadership with the Award of Distinction. This year’s five recipients included CA&ES Budget Director Shannon Tanguay, a financial expert who is well-loved and appreciated by her colleagues.”
Abalone populations are challenged around the globe but a new, non-invasive technique using an ultrasound transducer will help breeding managers and farmers better understand when the mollusks are ready to spawn.”
A Ph.D. candidate in animal biology developed a customizable artificial intelligence platform called DairyFit, which brings big data to the small farmer to help them get a better sense of what is happening in their herds.”
The University Credit Union Center was filled with smiling, happy faces as we welcomed a new class of freshman and transfer students during the CA&ES Fall Welcome event."
Plant geneticist Pam Ronald won the 2022 International Wolf Prize in Agriculture in recognition of her pioneering work that examines disease resistance and environmental stress tolerance in rice crops.”
A case study by Jonathan London, associate professor with human ecology, suggests the environmental justice movement in Sacramento is gaining momentum. His research shows an increasingly dense network of organizations and coalitions that explicitly identify with the environmental justice movement."
American barn owls are key to naturally managing pests in agricultural areas and new research that analyzed nearly a century of records found that the best time to clean nest boxes to avoid disrupting breeding is in the fall.”
Frances C. Moore, associate professor with environmental science and policy, is serving as a senior economist with the Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C. She’s focused on climate change for the agency, which makes economic policy recommendations for President Biden."
Agave is emerging as a potential drought-tolerant crop in California and a new fund established at UC Davis will research the suitability and sustainability of the plants, which can be distilled into spirits, used as sweetener or turned into fibers.”
The Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. The facility, which is comprised of more than 60,000 specimens and over 11,500 tissues, supports education and conservation through hands-on learning, research and public outreach."
Researchers have found a way to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizers needed to grow cereal crops and the discovery could save farmers in the United States billions of dollars annually in fertilizer costs while also benefiting the environment.”
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report this year outlining the effects of global warming. Eric Chu, assistant professor with human ecology, served as a lead author of a chapter of the report, highlighting the impacts and risks to cities and infrastructure."
Trees can help cool urban spaces but fast-growing vines may offer a faster alternative. New research is evaluating how vines like honeysuckle grown on trellises could provide shade and lower temperatures.”