I recently participated in the unveiling of the UC Global Food Initiative announced by University of California President Janet Napolitano. This ambitious project, while still in its formative stages, intends to draw on the collective strengths of the UC system to help bolster the world’s food supply for a population estimated to grow to 9 billion by the year 2050.
The initiative seeks to align the university’s research, outreach, and operations to develop, demonstrate and export solutions that will enhance food security, health, and sustainability. It will draw on UC’s expertise in agriculture, medicine, nutrition, climate science, public policy, social science, humanities, arts, and law. All 10 campuses, the national laboratories, and the systemwide division of Agriculture and Natural Resources are involved. A working group will guide the process and provide structure for implementing the initiative.
Our campus, and thus our college, will be looked upon to provide leadership in many important areas of this initiative—agricultural sustainability, adaptation to climate change, providing research-based information to inform policy change, student experiential learning, and food and agriculture literacy. The initiative’s first phase calls for identifying best practices and developing toolkits to implement those practices. We will be involved in the development of management guidelines for food production, distribution, and safety, as well as school and youth nutrition programs.
This initiative grew out of the sobering recognition that 1 billion people currently go to bed hungry every night. By working together on one of the most crucial problems the world faces, we can leverage the extraordinary resources and talents in our college with those throughout the UC system to help people in the world sustainably and nutritiously feed themselves.
Helene R. Dillard
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Four CA&ES faculty members have been awarded fellowships from the Hellman Family Foundation for 2014–2015. The foundation provides support and encouragement for the research of promising assistant professors who exhibit potential for great distinction in their research, and who have documented a need for funding. The fellowship is intended to support research and creative activities that will promote career advancement and progress toward tenure.
This is the seventh year of the UC Davis Hellman Fellows Program, and applicants in many disciplines across the campus were selected for awards. To honor the 2014-2015 Hellman Fellows, there will be a luncheon for the fellows and the Hellman Family Foundation members. The fellows will be asked to make a short presentation about their research and the impact that the award has made on their research progress.
Gwen Arnold, Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Her research examines how factors affect the way science is applied to environmental policy problems such as hydraulic fracturing or wetlands preservation.
Katrina Jessoe, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. She specializes in environmental and energy economics, with much of her research centered on the design and evaluation of water regulations and time variant pricing in the electricity sector.
Paul Ullrich, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. His research is focused on regional and global climate change, atmospheric dynamics, computational fluid dynamics, numerical methods for geophysical sciences, model validation, verification, and uncertainty quantification.
M. Anne Visser, Department of Human Ecology. Her research interests include informal economy, nonstandard work arrangements, low-wage labor markets, governance, socioeconomic integration, and socioeconomic inequality.
M. Anne Visser
Beer expert Charlie Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences in the Department of Food Science and Technology, is co-editor of a new book on fermented foods.
“The Oxford Handbook of Food Fermentations,” edited by Charles W. Bamforth and Robert E. Ward, is just off the press. Ward, who completed his Ph.D. at UC Davis in 2005, did his master’s degree in food science with Bamforth.
Their book takes a comprehensive look at fermentation, covering food and beverages from bread to beer to brandy, from kefir to kimchee to kombucha. Bamforth and Ward observe that countless societies have used the chemical and biological process of fermentation to produce food and beverages essential to their societies. As the authors state in their preface, “It truly is a journey into culture in both the societal and the microbiological senses of the term.”
Mary Delany, an animal science professor who has held key administrative posts in the college, became CA&ES executive associate dean (EAD) effective July 1, 2014. Delany serves as the second-ranking administrative official in the college and reports directly to Dean Dillard. The EAD acts for the dean in her absence, and works closely with the associate deans, assistant deans, department chairs, chief administrative officers, faculty, and staff to accomplish the mission and goals of the college.
Delany previously served as chair of the Department of Animal Science and as an associate dean for the college. She also served for 17 months as interim dean of the college, bringing stability internally to faculty, staff, and students, as well as externally to stakeholders. She has successfully lead strategic planning efforts at both the departmental and college levels and is known as a strategic and thoughtful leader.
Kathy Keatley Garvey, a communications specialist with the Department of Entomology and Nematology, received two gold awards and a bronze award for her writing and photography from the international Association for Communication Excellence. The awards were presented at the organization’s annual meeting held earlier this year in Portland, Oregon. One of Garvey’s gold awards was for an image of a visiting scientist wearing a bee beard (right).
Kathy Keatley Garvey
Professor Thomas Gordon, Department of Plant Pathology, was recently elected as a fellow of the American Phytopathological Society (APS). This award recognizes distinguished contributions to plant pathology or to the APS.
Gordon’s research is devoted to the study of plant-pathogenic fungi to help guide management of plant diseases. He has served APS as an associate editor of Plant Disease, as an associate and senior editor for Phytopathology, and as a senior editor for APS PRESS. Gordon joined the UC Davis faculty in 1996 and served as department chair from 2005 to 2013.
Gordon was acknowledged by APS for his accomplishments in teaching, research, and administrative leadership. The award will be presented at the organization’s national meeting in Minneapolis in August 2014.
The Associated Students, UC Davis (ASUCD) recently presented the 2013-14 Excellence in Education Awards, one in each undergraduate college, plus one educator of the year. Frank Mitloehner, a Cooperative Extension specialist and a professor of animal science, received the award for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Mitloehner teaches a popular class on domestic animal production, ANS 41.
Although there are other undergraduate teaching awards for faculty, the ASUSD award is the only one nominated, funded, and selected exclusively by students.
Tom Tomich, director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis, has been appointed as a scientific adviser to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Tomich will serve on the Independent Science and Partnership Council, which ensures scientific quality and integrity for the CGIAR system.
CGIAR is a publicly funded research consortium working in more than 100 developing countries to eliminate hunger and poverty, improve food and nutrition security, and manage natural resources sustainably. Tomich will be one of seven advisers on the council and the only one from the United States. His appointment will better link UC Davis to global agricultural research. Before coming to work at UC Davis, Tomich worked at CGIAR’s World Agroforestry Center as a principal economist and global coordinator for a partnership working on tropical forests.
Alison Van Eenennaam, a geneticist and Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology, is the recipient of the 2014 American Society of Animal Science Extension Award. She was honored for outstanding achievements in animal science extension at the ASAS annual meeting, July 21, in Kansas City.
Van Eenennaam’s internationally recognized research and extension program, based in the Department of Animal Science, is focused on developing science-based educational materials about the uses of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems. She has served on advisory committees in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to provide expert counsel on animal biotechnology. She speaks frequently to the public and policymakers and provides science-based commentary to the media. Her research also has included work on the genetic modification of dietary milk lipids for the improvement of human health, the development of methods for the biological containment of genetically engineered fish, and uses of DNA information in beef cattle production systems.
Alison Van Eenennaam
UC Davis plans to launch a multimedia campaign—“One California”— to promote the important role that our campus plays in California agriculture. The promotional campaign will highlight UC Davis preeminence in agriculture and showcase the impact the university has on the agricultural economy. The campaign will focus on the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the School of Veterinary Medicine, the World Food Center, and other campus programs.
The multimedia campaign is being spearheaded by UC Davis Strategic Communications. Examples will be presented of how UC Davis helps solve real-world problems and improve well-being, primarily in California, but also nationally and globally.
The campaign will begin later this month and run through March, 2015. The primary areas to be targeted include the Sacramento and Napa regions, the Central Valley, and the Central Coast. We will share more details about the campaign as the plan takes shape.
CA&ES Dean’s Office
CA&ES has begun recruiting for three associate dean positions to provide leadership for the college in agricultural, environmental, and human sciences programs. Incumbents selected for these 80 percent positions will be appointed for a five-year term effective October 1, 2014. Associate deans will report to and work collaboratively with the executive associate dean on the planning and administrative coordination of departments and programs in the college. In addition to working with department chairs on research and outreach, the associate deans also will represent CA&ES to other colleges, schools, stakeholders, and visitors, and work with development staff to advance college fundraising objectives.
Applications from Academic Senate members or Cooperative Extension specialists must be received by August 18 and should include a brief (two-page) statement of interest and experience, and a brief (two-to-three page) CV. Email applications to CA&ES Assistant Dean Julie Fritz-Rubert.
CA&ES Dean’s Office
For more information, visit the arboretum website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
Folk Music Jam Session
Fridays, August 15 and 29, 12-1 p.m., Wyatt Deck
Folk musicians are invited to bring their acoustic instruments and play together informally over the lunch hour. All skill levels are welcome, and listeners are invited.
What’s Up with Plants Down Under?
Saturday, August 16, 10 a.m., Wyatt Deck
Explore the unusual and interesting plants in the Australian and New Zealand collection at the east end of the arboretum. Many of these plants grow well in our climate.
The annual Rice Field Day will be held on August 27 from 8 a.m. until noon at the Rice Experiment Station in Butte County. The event gives rice growers, researchers, industry representatives, and the public an opportunity to observe progress on research by RES plant breeders and UC Davis scientists.
Rice Field Day begins with a poster session at 8 a.m. After that follows a business meeting of the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation, which owns and operates the field station. Tours of research plots begin at 9:20 a.m. and run until noon. In addition to updates on rice variety development from plant breeders, UC Davis scientists will report on insect pest management and rice weed control programs. A luncheon follows the tours.
The Rice Experiment Station is located at 955 Butte City Highway (Highway 162). More information is available from the Rice Experiment Station.
The Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science holds its inaugural event in a new series of lectures and demonstrations from world-class chefs on September 13. The “Great Chefs Series” brings Chef Daniel Olivella for a full day of private kitchen instruction, cooking, great food, fine wines, and lectures. Olivella’s career began in Spain and includes restaurants in San Francisco, Barcelona, Austin, and Palm Springs. In the morning, 24 participants will step into RMI’s Food Innovation Kitchen to cook alongside Olivella. Lunch follows. A paella-making demonstration with Spanish wines takes place in the afternoon. Olivella concludes the day with a lecture in the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater.
Robert Mondavi Institute
The UC Davis Olive Center is holding an advanced course in the sensory evaluation of olive oil September 16–18 in the Silverado Vineyard Sensory Theater at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. The three-day course is designed for producers, buyers, importers, category managers, and anyone wanting to know more about assessing the quality of extra virgin olive oil. It will address official methods of the International Olive Council, as well as protocols used by major food and beverage companies.
Early-bird registration is $745 until August 16, 2014; $895 thereafter. More information is available at https://registration.ucdavis.edu/Item/Details/121.
UC Davis Olive Center
“Program Management for Plant Breeders” will be held September 16-18 in the Bowley Plant Sciences building at UC Davis. The course is designed to enhance the management skills of professional scientists who are leading and directing plant breeding and laboratory programs in modern agricultural research and development programs of agribusiness companies and the public sector.
Registration is $850. The fee includes course materials and lunch. More information is available from the Seed Biotechnology Center.
Seed Biotechnology Center
The UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center presents a workshop, September 23–25, on fresh-cut fruits and vegetables at the Buehler Alumni Center. The 19th annual workshop will include lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and research updates.
This workshop is designed for food scientists, food engineers, quality assurance personnel, and new product development staff, as well as for representatives of research institutions, the restaurant and institutional food industries, and equipment, packaging, and ingredient suppliers. Fresh-cut products (cleaned, washed, cut, packaged, and refrigerated fruits and vegetables) are an important and expanding food category.
The enrollment fee is $1,150 and includes all instruction, course materials, lunches, and morning and afternoon snacks, in addition to an evening networking reception. For more information, visit http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu/Education/FreshCut/.
Postharvest Technology Center
The 26th annual CA&ES College Celebration will be held on Friday, October 10, in the UC Davis ARC Pavilion. The event honors seven people who will receive an Award of Distinction, the highest recognition presented by the college. After the awards ceremony, guests will be served hors d’oeuvres, wines, beers, and other refreshments. The evening culminates with the dismantling of the farmers market welcome display, where attendees are invited to take home a bagful of fresh California produce and grains.
The 2014 CA&ES Award of Distinction honorees include:
- Alumni: Frank Muller, Chris Zanobini
- Friends of the College: Francois Korn, Stephen Leveroni, TJ Rodgers
- Outstanding staff: Corky Lovin
- Outstanding faculty: Christine Bruhn
Online registration is open. Tickets are $15. Link to the College Celebration website to learn more about the event. Please note that College Celebration is being held in a new location this year, not Freeborn Hall. Link here for a location map of the UC Davis ARC Pavilion. Parking is in the adjacent visitor parking lot #25.
CA&ES Dean’s Office
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CA&ES Currents, the faculty/staff newsletter of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis, is published monthly. Send news items to editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor: John Stumbos
Writing: John Stumbos, Helene Dillard, Robin DeRieux
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