Jackson Sawyer, animal science major, works at the Sheep Barn on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Jackson Sawyer, animal science major, works at the Sheep Barn on Monday, March 16, 2020.

A Message From the Dean - March 2020

Thank you to everyone in CA&ES for your dedication


These last few weeks have brought about a lifetime of change for many of us. We are living through an unprecedented time, and I want to thank each of you for your extraordinary efforts and incredible resilience.  

I have witnessed unbelievable courage, creativity and commitment throughout the entire college. Adopting new technology has always been a hallmark of a university environment, but you have been asked to go above and beyond to work, teach and learn remotely. I am in awe and humbled by your ability to remain flexible and develop new ways to stay connected.  Zoom meetings have become a daily part of our lives and give us an opportunity to see each other in our home environments. The children, spouses, partners and furry friends who pass in and out of view remind us of the importance of our humanity and why we have taken steps to shelter in place. Thank you for taking the time to learn new technology quickly, and for your commitment to continuing your work, even though your new workspace now may include the task of managing new “co-workers.”

As we face this new reality of remote instruction for spring quarter, I want to thank our faculty, many of whom are spending their spring break preparing online coursework that is both accessible and equitable for our students. Fortunately, we have a highly capable and experienced team of IT professionals helping to make this transition. To support this effort, the campus developed the "Keep Teaching" website to provide practical resources and strategies for moving courses online.

I am deeply grateful to our staff, faculty and students who are taking care of our animals and plants in facilities scattered throughout campus. Everything from mice and fish to dairy cattle need to be fed and looked after every day. Access to our animal facilities is restricted to only essential personnel—staff, student barn residents and those delivering feed and veterinary supplies. In the greenhouses and fields, essential personnel are making sure our research plants are tended to and cared for. Over at the Student Farm, a dedicated group of staff and students continue to harvest produce for our community using strict safety precautions. And our college led the campus this week in providing much needed supplies, including face masks, gloves, isolation gowns and respirators to UC Davis Health, and donating food to students in need. Read more about these and other examples of good work in our newsletter.

It is because of your collective actions that we will get through this pandemic and emerge a changed, but an even stronger and more resilient College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. We will persevere and stay true to our mission to educate our students, conduct transformative research and provide the public with the knowledge and tools needed to create a brighter future. We will embrace new ways to make this world a better place.

Thank you for making the most of these challenging days. You are a remarkable group of individuals, and I am honored to be your dean and deeply grateful for your efforts to balance your lives during this trying time. Please continue to stay safe and healthy.

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