A Message from the Dean - May 2024

May has been an absolute whirlwind of activity—the college is thriving and full of people teaching, conducting cutting edge research, and engaging with communities. I have had the pleasure of speaking at several events this month. We welcomed admitted transfer students at Aggie Day, celebrated members of our community at the Walker Advising Awards and Bradford Rominger Award ceremonies, met with current and potential donors and attended and hosted several events on agriculture innovation and sustainability. I enjoy attending these events because they are opportunities to connect with people face to face and create partnerships and collaborations in real time.

We kicked off May with the first ever UC Davis Symposium on Agricultural, Environmental and Social Sciences. We hosted several faculty members, students, government officials, community leaders and friends of the college who came out for a full day of panel discussions to learn about our commitment to supporting the needs of California. The talks, which focused on water, air, healthy food and communities, and working lands and people, highlighted our work through the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES), which is directly tied to our partnership and mission to serve California. 

Approximately 250 of our faculty across all 14 departments in the college have an AES component to their appointment, and they are charged with finding solutions to our state’s most pressing issues. Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross, Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot, and Kim McCoy Wade, a senior advisor in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom were all there to provide insightful keynotes. 

Our partnerships with state officials, NGOs and private industry help us create scientific solutions that support Californians, and the funding we receive from AES helps drive our mission to find those solutions. This work is critical as we continue to study and research all the ways to make our world a safe and sustainable place to live. You can watch a recap of the day, see below, and the panel discussions in their entirety, which are posted online.


Orange rivers, upcycled food and several accolades

In this edition of Highlights, you’ll read about new research examining why Alaska’s pristine rivers and streams are turning orange, how students repurposed food waste during an Upcycled Iron Chef competition and all the ways artificial intelligence is being used in food production. We also celebrate some significant achievements. Patsy Eubanks Owens, associate dean of human and social sciences, was elevated to fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Richard Michelmore, a distinguished professor of plant sciences, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Environmental toxicologist Christina Pasparakis won the UC Davis Award for Innovation and Creative Vision and will use the $40,000 prize to launch a long-term microplastic monitoring program in the Bodega Marine Reserve. And Maci Mueller was the winner of the Kinsella Memorial Prize for her work developing novel breeding technologies for cattle. 


Go Ags!

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