Dean Hillard

A Message From the Dean - October 2022

The fall temperatures are finally dropping and the campus is busy! The bike paths are packed with students heading to and from classes, the Arboretum is teeming with wildlife and people taking time to relax in the beautiful weather, and everyone is settling into the new school year.

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has had several reasons to celebrate this October. Earlier this month, we received a historic $50 million pledge from Lynda and Stewart Resnick—the largest individual gift ever given to UC Davis. This transformational and generous gift will be used to build the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Center for Agricultural Innovation with $10 million directed towards competitive research grants through the Resnick Agricultural Innovation Research Fund.

The focus of the fund will support research that results in identifying and developing value-added properties in pistachio, almond, pomegranate and other by-product materials. There are many opportunities for us to discover new ways to use food byproducts to create new products that lower the impact of our collective footprint and realize the full value of the various parts of our food. This fund is designed to provide applied solutions to critical issues and challenges facing the industry, and we hope to inspire new ideas through technological advancements.

Additionally, we look forward to supporting students who are passionate about jobs in agriculture, technology and STEM fields. Educating and training future leaders to create new solutions to our most challenging issues is at the core of what we do.

This month, we also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology. The event was an incredible success as we celebrated the growth and work of the museum with approximately 200 alumni, faculty, staff, donors and community members in attendance. The museum is home to more than 60,000 specimens, approximately 11,500 tissue specimens and one of the most significant, modern collections of birds, mammals and fish in California.

And next month we celebrate our Award of Distinction recipients. Each year, we recognize exceptional staff, faculty, friends of the college, alumni and most recently, exceptional emeriti. This year’s awardees exemplify outstanding achievements and contributions to the college. Read up on our 2022 recipients.

The campus has also launched a new faculty hiring initiative to expand our ability to create solutions that impact climate change, sustainable food systems and emerging health threats. Our college is committed to this hiring effort and will continue to recruit researchers who both embody the experience needed to tackle these challenges while recognizing the important role that diversity, equity and inclusion plays in fostering new perspectives to support the needs of all members of our communities.

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