October 9, 2014


A Message from Dean Helene Dillard: College Celebration is a welcome fall tradition

deanEvery year in early October we gather together for College Celebration to acknowledge our accomplishments and the people who help make the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences a world leader. College Celebration will be held Friday, October 10, in a new location—the ARC Pavilion—beginning at 5:30 p.m.

First we will honor seven people with an Award of Distinction, the highest recognition given by our college to friends, alumni, faculty, and staff. After the awards ceremony, we’ll enjoy some great food, wine, conversation, and camaraderie. At the end of the evening, everyone is invited to fill a bag of California agricultural products from our Farmers Market display.

This will be the 26th year for College Celebration—and my first as dean. I am looking forward to it and hope you will join us for the festivities. If you haven’t already registered, tickets are $15 at the door (cash or check only). The ARC Pavilion, where commencement is held, is located on the southeast corner of La Rue and Orchard roads. Parking is nearby.

This year’s Award of Distinction recipients are:

  • Christine M. Bruhn, a consumer food marketing specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology, is being honored as “Outstanding Faculty.” Her research has examined consumer attitudes and behavior on a wide range of food safety and quality issues, as well as safe food handling, nutrition, and risk communication.
  • François Korn, a “Friend of the College,” is the pioneering owner and managing director of Seed Quest, the central information website for the global seed industry. His hands-on advocacy for research, education, and outreach at UC Davis has invigorated the seed industry in Northern California and beyond.
  • Steve Leveroni, a “Friend of the College,” is a business leader, winegrower, and philanthropist. Through stewardship and counsel he has helped the college’s scholarship programs, endowed chairs, and research projects, most notably the Russell L. Rustici chairs in rangeland watershed sciences.
  • Corwyn “Corky” Lovin, an agricultural specialist in the CA&ES International Programs Office, developed training programs to enhance overseas markets for more than 30 years. He is being honored as “Outstanding Staff” for the delivery of 329 training programs and workshops for individuals from 141 nations.
  • Frank Muller, an “Outstanding Alumnus,” is a Yolo County farmer who graduated from UC Davis in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and managerial economics. Through collaboration with UC researchers, he has been instrumental in bringing sustainable agricultural practices into large-scale production.
  • Thurman “T.J.” Rodgers, a “Friend of the College,” is the founding CEO and president of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. He is the driving force behind some technological innovations at UC Davis that are setting a new standard in research winemaking, including 150 wireless research fermentors for the campus’s LEED Platinum winery.
  • Chris Zanobini, an “Outstanding Alumnus,” is president and CEO of Ag Association Management Services. His company provides support for more than 20 agricultural associations, foundations, commissions, and marketing orders. Chris has helped gain industry support for research and facilities at UC Davis, including a new feed mill project.

A lot of work goes into College Celebration, so a big “thank you” goes out to all who devote their time, energy, and enthusiasm to ensuring this welcome fall tradition continues to be a success. See you there!

Helene R. Dillard
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences



Dave Campbell, Ed Lewis, Ron Tjeerdema: CA&ES Research-Outreach Associate Deans

Dave Campbell, Ed Lewis, and Ron Tjeerdema
Dave Campbell, Ed Lewis, and Ron Tjeerdema

Three new research-outreach associate deans have been selected to provide leadership in the college. Professor Ron Tjeerdema, Department of Environmental Toxicology, will represent the environmental programs. Cooperative Extension Specialist Dave Campbell, Department of Human Ecology, will represent the human/social sciences programs. Professor Ed Lewis, Department of Entomology and Nematology, will represent the agricultural programs. The new leadership team will further develop our inter- and cross-disciplinary engagement among college and campus programs to enhance the mission of the college.


The new associate deans will serve five-year, 80 percent appointments that became effective October 1, 2014. They will report to and work collaboratively with CA&ES Executive Associate Dean Mary Delany 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 work with Dean Helene Dillard to represent CA&ES to other colleges, schools, stakeholders, and visitors, and work with development staff to advance college fundraising objectives.

Current Associate Dean Jan Hopmans has agreed to stay on for the 2014 fall quarter transition.

Dave Campbell

Ed Lewis

Ron Tjeerdema


Department leadership transitions

As a new academic year gets underway, a few transitions in CA&ES department leadership should be noted. The dean’s office thanks faculty members who have completed service as chairs or vice chairs. As college leaders, they help keep us on track toward our goals.

Bryan Jenkins, Ken Giles, and Robert Rice
Bryan Jenkins, Ken Giles, and Robert Rice

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

  • Professor Bryan Jenkins began a five-year appointment as chair of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in July. He replaces Professor Raul Piedrahita, who stepped down after serving a three-year term as department chair.
  • Professor Ken Giles began a three-year appointment as vice chair of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in July.

Environmental Toxicology

  • Professor Robert Rice will be serving as acting chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology for the fall quarter. He replaces Professor Ron Tjeerdema, who accepted an appointment as CA&ES associate dean for environmental sciences.


Luis Guarnizo, Brad Hanson, and John Yoder
Luis Guarnizo, Brad Hanson, and John Yoder

Human Ecology


  • Professor Luis Guarnizo began a one-year appointment in July as vice chair for community development in the Department of Human Ecology

Plant Sciences

  • Cooperative Extension Specialist Brad Hanson began a three-year appointment as vice chair for extension and outreach in the Department of Plant Sciences.
  • Professor John Yoder began a three-year appointment as section chair for agricultural plant biology in the Department of Plant Sciences


Diane Ullman: ESA Distinguished Teaching Award

DianeDiane Ullman, a professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, is the 2014 recipient of a distinguished achievement award in teaching from the Entomological Society of America. The award is the highest honor that the 7,000-member society presents to its outstanding teachers.

Ullman will receive the award at the ESA’s 62nd annual meeting in Portland, Oregon in November. She is known for innovative, multidisciplinary teaching strategies that connect science and art programs. Key examples include the Art/Science Fusion Program, Career Discovery Groups, and the national Thrips-Tospovirus Educational Network. Her research revolves around insects that transmit plant viruses. Read more about Ullman here.

Diane Ullman
Department of Entomology and Nematology


Patrick Brown, Jan Hopmans, Larry Schwankl, Ken Shackel: 2014 Experiment Station Section Award of Excellence in Multistate Research


Clockwise from top left are Patrick Brown, Jan Hopmans, Ken Shackel, and Larry Schwankl.
Clockwise from top left are Patrick Brown, Jan Hopmans, Ken Shackel, and Larry Schwankl.

Professors Patrick Brown, Jan Hopmans, and Ken Shackel, along with recently retired Cooperative Extension Specialist Larry Schwankl, are part of a team of scientists to be honored by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities for helping growers throughout California and the West save time, money, and water.


The team’s project, known as “Microirrigation for Sustainable Water Use,” will receive the 2014 Experiment Station Section Award of Excellence in Multistate Research at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, in November. The award is presented to one workgroup from across the nation each year to salute successful, well-coordinated, high-impact research and extension efforts.

Currently, there are 38 agricultural engineers and plant and soil scientists from 17 universities and the USDA working on the project. Without much money or fanfare, the sustainable water-use group has been working since 1972 to find practical ways growers can optimize irrigation to reduce water waste, protect groundwater, and enhance crop productivity. Their accomplishments include developing drip irrigation technology, designing infrared thermometers to measure plant canopy temperature, calibrating soil water sensors, measuring water evaporation rates for different crops under different climate conditions, and helping growers adopt and adapt to new technologies.

Patrick Brown
Department of Plant Sciences

Jan Hopmans
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources

Larry Schwankl
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources

Ken Shackel
Department of Plant Sciences




Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award: Call for Nominations

Nominations for the Eric Bradford and Charlie Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award are due January 5, 2015. The award was established in memory of Eric Bradford, professor of animal science, and in memory of Charlie Rominger, a fifth-generation farmer and well-known advocate of farmland preservation and wildlife habitat restoration. The award recognizes and honors individuals who exhibit the leadership, work ethic, and integrity epitomized by Bradford and Rominger.

Members of the UC Davis community are invited to nominate UC farm advisors and Cooperative Extension specialists, as well as UC Davis graduate students, faculty members, and in special cases, alumni, for their work toward agricultural sustainability. Nominees for the award should demonstrate leadership with a broad understanding of agricultural systems and the environment.

The recipient will receive a cash award, and may be invited to give a lecture sponsored by the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis, which manages the award selection process. For nomination forms and more information about the award, visit the ASI website. The award recipient will be announced in spring 2015.

Aubrey White
Agricultural Sustainability Institute


New Reference Set: Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, 2nd ed.

EncyclopediaPlant pathology professor and former CA&ES Dean Neal Van Alfen is the editor-in-chief of a newly published five-volume reference set on food and our future. The “Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems,” 2nd ed., comprehensively covers important areas of agriculture and food science, including methods, practices, and ideas in this growing discipline. It addresses important issues by examining topics of global agriculture and food systems that are key to understanding the challenges we face. The table of contents lists more than 200 entries on a wide range of topics—climate change, biodiversity, agroforestry, food security, food safety, food labeling, human nutrition, land use, agricultural research, plant and animal health, biotechnology, and many others.

“The food supply system must have significant flexibility in its capacity to adjust to the unpredictable disruptions caused by political upheavals, local weather disasters, emerging pests and diseases, and climate change,” Van Alfen said. “Most importantly, this flexibility must be built into local food systems since that is the source of most of the food that feeds the planet.”

CA&ES Executive Associate Dean Mary Delany and UC Davis Vice Chancellor for Research Harris Lewin are associate editors of the encyclopedia, and many UC Davis faculty members authored individual chapters. Read a blog article by Van Alfen and view and an accompanying sample chapter from the encyclopedia here.

Neal Van Alfen


Public Art Initiative Takes on Wastewater Problem

public artA public art initiative to address issues surrounding wastewater infrastructure and the problem of fats, oils, and grease is the product of a collaboration between the city of San Jose and two UC Davis faculty members—N. Claire Napawan, a landscape architecture assistant professor in the Department of Human Ecology, and Brett Snyder, an assistant professor of design in the Department of Design.

The aim is simple: to address issues surrounding wastewater infrastructure that contribute to sanitary sewer overflows. The realities are complex, however, and run from the kitchen to the San Francisco Bay and encompass daily rituals, cooking, and cleaning habits, and a variety of ages, cultures, and backgrounds. The initiative is designed to motivate responsible management by the community and support the community’s relationship to this vital, but invisible, infrastructure.

The project is a semifinalist in the “Place by Design” competition for the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) Eco conference, which connects global sustainability challenges with the opportunity for breakthrough solutions. Learn more about the project here and here.

Napawan and Snyder were also selected artists for San Francisco’s Open City Arts and Ideas Festival held recently. Their project, #SFOPENCITY, aims to bring to light contemporary experiences within the city. To learn more check out their Instagram/Twitter feeds: @sf_opencity. Information about the festival is available here and here.

N. Claire Napawan
Department of Human Ecology

Brett Snyder
Department of Design


Arboretum events

For more information, visit the arboretum website:

  • Opening Night: Readings by the Creative Writing Faculty,
    Thursday, October 9, 7 p.m. Wyatt Deck
    Fiction writers and poets from the UC Davis Creative Writing Program read from their work. They include Joshua Clover, Lucy Corin, Yiyun Li, Katie Peterson, Margaret Ronda, and Joe Wenderoth. This free event is co-sponsored by the English Department.
  • Folk Music Jam Session
    Fridays, October 10, 24, and November 7, noon–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.
  • Plant Sale
    Saturdays, October 11 and 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery (Garrod Drive near La Rue Road, across from Vet Med)
    Home gardeners wanting to replace high-water-use plants with low-water alternatives may want to attend one of the plant sales to support Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. The arboretum has the area’s largest selection of attractive, drought-tolerant plants that are easy to care for and are regionally appropriate—including many California natives and Arboretum All-Stars.

    Friends of the arboretum receive a discount and will have “members only” access to the October 11 plant sale from 9 to 11 a.m. Click here for information on how to become a friend of the arboretum.

    The plant sales are free and parking is nearby.
  • Nature Discovery Drop-in Day
    Saturday October 18, 1 to 3 p.m., Trellis at the California Native Plant GATEway Garden
    All ages are welcome to explore local wildlife in the arboretum during this nature discovery day. Walking or biking to the event is encouraged (the Davis Commons parking lot is for shopping customers only).
  • Native American Uses of California Plants
    Sunday, November 2, 2 p.m., UC Davis Welcome Center
    Enjoy an engaging and family-friendly tour of the Native American Contemplative Garden and discover traditional uses for a variety of California plants. The event is free and parking is available in the nearby Gateway District parking lot.
  • Story Time Through the Seasons: Under the Redwood Tree
    Sunday, November 9, 1 to 3 p.m., Wyatt Deck (rain location: 146 Environmental Horticulture)
    Join the Arboretum Ambassadors for an outdoor reading program exploring the cultural and natural world of Native Californians. Enjoy traditional stories, games, and arts. All ages are welcome for this free event. Parking is available in nearby visitor parking lot 5.



Seed Central/Food Central networking event: October 9, 2014

Seed Central/Food Central hosts networking events and speakers to bring together seed and food professionals, UC Davis faculty, scientists, and students. The October 9 event will be held in the Buehler Alumni Center at UC Davis. The featured speaker is David Stark, vice president for global trade partnerships with Monsanto. His topic is Opportunities and Challenges Commercializing Quality Traits.

Networking, with food and beverages, runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The featured presentation runs from 6 to 7 p.m. The event is free, but an RSVP is requested. More information is available at

Upcoming speakers for Seed Central/Food Central include:

  • November 13—Edwin Reidel (LemnaTec), Darshna Vyas (LGC Genomics), Susan Turner (BioConsortia), and forum speaker, CA&ES Dean Helene Dillard
  • December 11—Ian Korf, UC Davis professor of molecular and cellular biology

Kathleen Bess-Esparza
Department of Plant Sciences


CA&ES College Celebration: October 10, 2014

caesThe 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 display, where attendees are invited to take home a bag of fresh California produce and grains.

The 2014 CA&ES Award of Distinction honorees include:

  • Alumni: Frank Muller, Chris Zanobini
  • Friends of the College: François Korn, Steve Leveroni, T.J. Rodgers
  • Outstanding staff: Corky Lovin
  • Outstanding faculty: Christine Bruhn

Tickets are $15 at the door (cash or check only). 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.

Carrie Cloud
CA&ES Dean’s Office


Harvest—a Gathering of Food, Wine, Beer, and the Arts: October 12, 2014

“Harvest—a Gathering of Food, Wine, Beer, and the Arts” takes place Sunday, October 12, 2014, at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and nearby campus locations. Family friendly activities are planned from 2 to 6 p.m. on the Vanderhoef Quad. Discussions on global and regional agriculture will take place between 2 and 4 p.m. in the Vanderhoef Studio Theater. The Nelson Gallery will be open to the public 2 to 7 p.m. A highlight of this festival features food, wine, and live music in the Good Life Garden at the Robert Mondavi Institute from 4 to 6 p.m. Festivities conclude with an evening performance by Ray LaMontagne at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

With sponsorship from the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, the festival is presented by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the World Food Center, and the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. To see the full schedule of activities and to obtain tickets, please visit the event website. Tickets for the Good Life Garden event are $20 in advance ($25 if purchased onsite) for those 21 and over, $10 for patrons 12 to 20 years old, and free for those under the age of 12. A portion of the proceeds from the harvest festival will be donated to a UC Davis scholarship fund related to food, wine, beer, and/or the arts. Tickets for the Ray LaMontagne performancecan be obtained from the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

Stephanie Shimada
Robert Mondavi Institute


Horse Day—a hands-on approach to equine topics: October 25, 2014

horse dayThe Department of Animal Science trots out a new approach to Horse Day on October 25, 2014. Held at the historic animal science Horse Barn, the day will be filled with hands-on workshops for horse owners and enthusiasts. Attendees will be able to interact with the animals, talk to the experts, and be more involved in the day’s activities. In addition to a tour of the Horse Barn, some of the topics include equine appraisals, understanding forage and the horse diet, and getting your horse to work with your farrier.

Registration is $30 until October 11; $40 thereafter. Discounts are available for groups and children under 14. A barbecue lunch is available for $8. For additional information and to register, visit the department’s Horse Day website.

Valerie Ozella
Department of Animal Science


Bugs and Beer—Why Crickets and Kölsch Might be Matches Made in Heaven: November 1, 2014

bugsThe Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, in collaboration with the Department of Entomology and Nematology, is sponsoring “Bugs and Beer—Why Crickets and Kölsch Might be Matches Made in Heaven” on Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 1:30 to 6 p.m. at the Robert Mondavi Institute Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater. Charlie Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Science, and culinary bug enthusiast and Chef David George Gordon, will lead a joint tasting. Participants will experience eight different hand-picked combinations.

Registration is $50 (general) and $25 for UC Davis students 21 and over. Visit the “Bugs and Beer” website to learn more and register.

Stephanie Shimada
Robert Mondavi Institute


Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Seminar: November 3, 2014

Xóchitl Castañeda, with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and Teresa Andrews, with the UC Davis Health Systems Department of Public Health, will present a seminar on innovative outreach strategies for the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety on November 3 from 4 to 5 p.m. Castañeda’s research interests include migration and public health issues. She is director of the Health Initiative of the Americas. Andrews is a program representative with extensive experience working with cultural minorities, including farm worker groups, employers, and insurance personnel. She has developed low-literacy educational materials and conducted training sessions for diverse audiences.

Location of the seminar is the Center for Health and the Environment on Old Davis Road about one mile south of campus. This lecture is free and open to the public. No parking permit is required.

Cindy Valencia
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety


Produce safety—a science-based framework workshop: November 4–6, 2014

The UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center is offering a workshop on developing a scientific framework for produce microbial safety systems and preventive controls. The course is designed primarily for entering and junior-level produce safety professionals and others with an interest in produce safety education.

Course content will provide participants with a basis for decision making on topics common to industry guidance standards, as well as federal regulatory compliance. The curriculum is a blend of fundamental, applied, and practical information. The course includes formal lectures, group assessments, and break-out groups. The curriculum includes the scientific basis for audit standards and preparing for using audits and targeted microbiological testing to improve performance.

The course will be held in the ballroom at the UC Davis Conference Center. Enrollment is $950 and includes all instruction, course material, a networking reception and two lunches. For additional information and to enroll, visit the course website. Enrollment is requested no later than October 24, 2014.

Penny Stockdale
Postharvest Technology Center


Ranching and California’s Drought: workshop and webcast, November 7, 2014

A workshop for California ranchers to understand more about drought relief assistance will be held at UC Davis November 7 and webcast to locations in Auburn, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield, Tulare, Mariposa, Ukiah, Redding, Susanville, Yreka, and other locations. Specifics are still in development.

A major focus of the workshop is the U.S. Drought Monitor, which maps the extent and intensity of the drought throughout the United States and California in particular. There will be a discussion of how the Drought Monitor can be used by the California ranching and range community. In addition, speakers from UC Davis, UC Cooperative Extension, and the California Department of Water Resources will discuss studies of how ranchers are coping with the drought, livestock feeding strategies, and the seasonal climate forecast.

Support for the workshop comes from the UC Davis Russell L. Rustici endowments. Link here for more details and the complete workshop agenda.

Tracy Schohr
UC Davis Rangeland Watershed Laboratory


Pistachio production course in Visalia: November 18–20

fruitThe Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center is offering a course—Advances in Pistachio Production—to be held November 18–20 at the Visalia Convention Center.

“This course sets the standard for UC pomology extension courses with a wide array of farm advisor, specialist, and faculty instructors representing decades of experience in California pistachio production,” said Louise Ferguson, Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences. “Topics span the full range of pistachio production, including tree biology, orchard establishment, pruning, irrigation, nutrition, pest management, harvest and postharvest.”

Registration for the three-day course is $900 ($1,000 at the door). The fee includes breakfasts, lunches and coffee breaks. Participants will receive a binder with printed presentations, USB drive with presentations in PDF format, post-course online access to videos of presentations, and the recently published Nutrient Deficiency in Pistachio booklet. Link here to register. For additional information about the course visit the Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center website.

Louise Ferguson
Department of Plant Sciences


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Visit CA&ES Currents online at

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,

Editor: John Stumbos
Writing: John Stumbos, Helene Dillard, Robin DeRieux
Editorial review: Ann Filmer, Julie Fritz-Rubert, Thomas Kaiser, Christine Schmidt

To be added to or deleted from this electronic newsletter list, please send an e-mail to:

The University of California does not discriminate in any of its policies, procedures, or practices.

The university is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.