A Message from Dean Helene Dillard: Commencement is a special occasion for our graduates

UC Davis Arboretum Ambassadors
UC Davis Arboretum Ambassadors

Congratulations to the 1,615 undergraduate students who will cross the stage at one of two CA&ES commencement ceremonies on Friday, June 10, in the ARC Pavilion. We are anticipating the participation of numerous faculty and 60 volunteer staff in this year’s ceremonies.

Our distinguished speakers this year include alumni Richard and Evelyne Rominger, who for decades have played prominent roles in the community and in statewide and national agriculture. Richard and Evelyne Rominger also have been named recipients of the 2016 UC Davis Medal, the premier campus accolade.

The student award recipients are:

University Medal

  • Lucydalila Cedillo (Animal Science)

College Medal

  • Veronica Ruiz Quinonez (Human Development)

The Charles Hess Community Service Awards

  • Chun Yin Lai (Clinical Nutrition)
  • Ashely Shepard (Human Development)

 The Mary Regan Meyer Awards

  • Naomi Cholst (Agricultural and Environmental Education)
  • Amanjot Kaur (Biotechnology)

 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

  • Nathan Jayne (Biotechnology)

The student speaker for the morning ceremony is Esther Ebuehi, a human development major. In the afternoon, the student speaker is Lauren Oviedo, an animal science major.

It’s interesting to look at the number of graduates in various majors, as it offers a glimpse at the depth and breadth of the college. The 9 a.m. ceremony will include 417 graduates majoring in managerial economics, 263 in human development, 59 in biotechnology, 54 in community and regional development, 28 in landscape architecture, and 24 in sustainable agriculture and food systems. Other graduates in the morning ceremony will represent majors in:

  • Clinical nutrition (2)
  • Ecological management and restoration (7)
  • Environmental horticulture and urban forestry (5)
  • Food science (1)
  • International agricultural development (10)
  • Plant sciences (19)
  • Sustainable environmental design (7)

The 2 p.m. ceremony will include 208 animal science graduates, 80 students majoring in clinical nutrition, 71 in environmental science and management, 71 in food science, 67 in nutrition science, and 52 in wildlife, fish and conservation biology. Other majors represented in the afternoon ceremony include: 

  • Agricultural and environmental education (7)
  • Animal biology (31)
  • Animal science and management (16)
  • Atmospheric science (5)
  • Entomology (3)
  • Environmental policy analysis and planning (31)
  • Environmental toxicology (32)
  • Fiber and polymer science (2)
  • Global disease biology (3)
  • Hydrology (8)
  • Textiles and clothing (7)
  • Viticulture and enology (25)

Commencement is such a special occasion for our graduates and their loved ones, and I extend many thanks to all who participate in the ceremony. I also offer a special thank you to the dean’s office planning team, led by Jamie Dehn, and to the more than 60 staff volunteers who help facilitate both ceremonies. I look forward to seeing you all at this joyous occasion!

Helene R. Dillard, Dean

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences



Arboretum Ambassadors receive community and volunteer service awards

The UC Davis Arboretum Ambassadors won a 2016 gold level Community Service Award from the UC Davis Community Service Resource Center and a 2016 gold level President's Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama.

The Arboretum Ambassadors, environmental leadership student interns who work in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, have provided accessible, free educational outreach programs to the public and K-12 audiences since 2008. The ambassadors work as a team to design participatory learning experiences that engage the broader community in the arboretum and improve environmental awareness and ecological literacy. The Arboretum Ambassadors have conducted community service through Picnic Day, planting days, multiple plant sales, and a wide variety of educational events that typically attract 50 to 100 participants each. They invite many nontraditional learners and families to campus and provide high-quality educational experiences that inspire and educate.

Beyond their positive contributions within and outside of UC Davis, the ambassadors have a unique team structure that celebrates leadership and creativity. Each student commits for a year-long internship with professional staff training in ecology, event planning, fundraising, and educational program design.

Elaine Fingerett
UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden


Dave Campbell to receive Ted Bradshaw Outstanding Research Award

Dave CampbellDave Campbell, a community development professor and CA&ES associate dean, has been selected to receive the Ted Bradshaw Outstanding Research Award from the Community Development Society (CDS).

The award is presented to a CDS member in recognition of superior research that exemplifies and positively impacts community development practice and represents a lasting contribution to the field. Campbell’s research illuminates the policy dynamics and collaborative mechanisms shaping local implementation of federal, state, and foundation programs. His policy work has focused on welfare-to-work, youth civic engagement, and community food systems, often by means of detailed ethnographic case studies of community change initiatives. The goal of his research and extension work is to deepen the practice of democratic citizenship in California communities.

“It is especially meaningful given that it is in the name of Ted Bradshaw, a former departmental colleague who died much too young,” Campbell said. “Ted was the person who encouraged me to join CDS, helped me land two big evaluation grants, was the driving force behind the creation of the Center for Regional Change, and was always a spirited, warm-hearted colleague and friend to all.”

Professor Bradshaw, a rural sociologist, was a leader in the areas of rural development, community development, and energy policy. Campbell will receive the award in July at the organization’s conference in Bloomington, Minn.

Dave Campbell
Department of Human Ecology


Elizabeth Clark-Anibaba, Nann Fangue, and Elahe Jahani receive Walker advising awards

Elizabeth Clark-Anibaba
Elizabeth Clark-Anibaba

Staff adviser Elizabeth Clark-Anibaba, Professor Nann Fangue, and peer adviser Elahe Jahani are the 2016 recipients of the Eleanor and Harry Walker Award that celebrates excellence and innovation in academic advising.


Clark-Anibaba is the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics staff adviser for the managerial economics major. She led the advising team during a period of immense growth and improved processes for both faculty and staff. Clark-Anibaba has been an early adopter of social media tools to reach out to students, developed proactive approaches for advising incoming students, and partnered with faculty in revising the managerial economics curriculum to improve the major. Students remark on her dedication and contributions helping them easily achieve their goals.

Nann Fangue
Nann Fangue

Fangue is the master adviser in the wildlife, fishand conservation biology major. She has played a lead role in revising the major’s curriculum, enhancing communication among faculty and advising staff, and providing a clear vision for an accessible and transparent advising system. As a mentor and teacher, she strives to challenge students and help them to develop as scientists and students. She makes students’ best interest her priority. At events, she advocates, interacts with, and encourages students in all they do.

Elahe Jahani
Elahe Jahani

Jahani is a peer adviser in the Department of Plant Sciences advising office. She brings a positive energy and caring attitude that is felt by students, staff, and faculty. She has gone “above and beyond” by learning the general education requirements for her majors, collaborating with faculty to present their research to her peers, and helping to coordinate tours of employment locations for other students. She strives to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed. She embodies the qualities that make a peer adviser an integral part of the advising team at UC Davis.

Eleanor and Harry Walker have been longtime leaders in recognizing the importance of advising and the role that academic advisers play in helping students. They established the Eleanor and Harry Walker Award Fund to support and recognize advising excellence in the college. The late Harry Walker was a professor in the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources for more than 40 years. He led development of the exploratory major program in CA&ES and served as its master adviser for many years.


Elizabeth Clark-Anibaba
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Nann Fangue
Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology

Elahe Jahani
Department of Plant Sciences


Karl Kjer receives 2016 Hodson Alumni Award

Karl Kjer
Karl Kjer

Molecular phylogeneticist Karl Kjer, the Schlinger Chair in Insect Systematics in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, is the recipient of the 2016 Hodson Alumni Award. The award, given annually to a distinguished alumnus of the University of Minnesota's Department of Entomology, memorializes Alexander Hodson, a former department chair.

Kjer joined the Department of Entomology and Nematology in July 2015 following an 18-year career at Rutgers University. He is a co-founder of an international insect phylogenetics team known as the 1,000 Insect Transcription Evolution Project (1KITE). The project involved creating a database of transcriptomes or all the genes expressed in an insect at the time it is collected. The team developed state-of-the-art methods to analyze genetic data from the DNA of modern insects, and calibrate DNA “clocks” with fossil records. They then used massive supercomputers to estimate the pattern and timing of insect evolution. The research project revealed that insects originated 450 million years ago, around the same time as the first plants and that together they shaped the Earth's earliest ecosystems.

Kjer received the award in May. To learn more about Kjer and his work, read a blog post by entomology writer Kathy Keatley Garvey.

Karl Kjer
Department of Entomology and Nematology


Carolyn Slupsky selected to serve on NIH scientific review panel

Carolyn Slupsky
Carolyn Slupsky

Carolyn Slupsky, a professor in the Department of Nutrition and in the Department of Food Science and Technology, has been selected to serve as a member of the Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity Section at the Center for Scientific Review in the National Institutes of Health. Her term begins July 1 and runs through June 30, 2020.

Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements, and honors. Membership on a study section provides a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort. Study sections review grant applications submitted to the NIH, make recommendations on these applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in their fields.

Slupsky’s research includes understanding the impact of diet on human health from the perspective of nutrition, the gut microbiome, and host-microbial co-metabolism. In addition, she is looking into the implication of food processing, agricultural practices, and plant health status on the nutrient content and sensory aspects of food.

Carolyn Slupsky
Department of Nutrition
Department of Food Science and Technology


Jean VanderGheynst receives mentoring award from academic senate

Jean VanderGheynst
Jean VanderGheynst

Jean VanderGheynst, a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, is the 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring Award.

The award is presented by the Academic Senate’s Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Welfare Committee. It recognizes the vital role mentoring plays in the academic and professional development of postdoctoral scholars at UC Davis. It also recognizes faculty who have shown an outstanding commitment to mentoring in the overall success of the university’s postdoctoral scholars.

VanderGheynst was formally recognized at an honors and awards ceremony on May 23 at the Student Community Center.

Jean VanderGheynst
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering




Arboretum and Public Garden events

For more information, visit the arboretum website: http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

Walking in the Woods with Chemistry
Now through June 30, Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, Mediterranean Collection, Conifer Collection, Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants
Explore this temporary exhibit to discover how a plant can cure cancer, what plant molecules create the smell in soap and perfume, and how a plant defends itself chemically. Spread across several collections in the arboretum, this exhibit shows some of the research of chemistry professor Dean Tantillo, plant biology professor Philipp Zerbe, and chemistry Ph.D. candidate Nhu Nguyen.

Volunteers to harvest student-grown crops
Friday, June 10, 9 a.m. to noon, Bowley Plant Science Teaching Facility
Volunteers are needed in this important harvest event at the Student Farm that will increase access to fresh food in the community. Parking is available in Lot 30 off Hutchison Drive.

Folk Music Jam Session
Friday June 17, noon to 1 p.m., Wyatt Deck
Folk musicians are invited to bring their acoustic instruments and play together informally over the lunch hour next to the redwood grove. All skill levels are welcome, and listeners are invited.

Camp Shakespeare
The Davis Shakespeare Ensemble and the arboretum invite youth to participate in Camp Shakespeare.

Summer of Heroes (ages 8–12): session one is July 7–22, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; session two is July 25–August 5, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Shields Oak Grove
Campers will take on some of the greatest heroes in Shakespeare and beyond: Henry V, Joan of Arc, Romeo, Juliet, Imogen, and Cyrano de Bergerac. Through theater games and acting workshops, campers will explore how these classic characters changed their worlds by fighting for what is right. In the final show, campers perform these heroic journeys accompanied by original music, fun dances, and dynamic sword fights.

Teen camp (ages 13-18): July 25–August 5, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Shields Oak Grove and TBA
This camp is designed for teenagers wanting to sharpen their acting skills. Campers will also explore heroism with the characters listed above. Camp content will include stage combat, acting workshops, movement techniques, improvisation training, and more.

For more details and online enrollment, visit www.shakespearedavis.org.


Publicize your events on the CA&ES Calendar

The CA&ES calendar is an easy way to get the word out about your events. It is located here on the homepage for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Link here to submit a calendar item. Need help? Contact Communications and Events Coordinator Charleen Floyd in the CA&ES Dean’s Office.

Charleen Floyd
CA&ES Dean’s Office




Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course: June 13–24, 2016

Enrollment continues for the 38th annual Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course to be held June 13–24, 2016, at the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) and field locations.

This two-week course is an intensive study of the biology and current technologies used for handling fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals in California. The first week will be held at the ARC and features lectures and demonstrations on a broad spectrum of postharvest topics. The second (optional) week is a field tour visiting a variety of postharvest operations. The enrollment fee is $2,250 for the first week and $3,150 (plus additional lodging fees) for both weeks. To learn more please visit the course website.

Penny Stockdale
UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center


Sensory evaluation of olive oil: June 14–17, 2016

The UC Davis Olive Center will hold a certificate course, Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil, June 14–17 at the Robert Mondavi Institute’s Silverado Sensory Theater.

This course is for the professional buyer, importer, category manager, producer, or anyone who wants to gain expertise in evaluating olive oil. The course will be taught by renowned sensory, chemistry, and policy experts. The lessons are suitable for tasters at any level of experience. Attendees will evaluate more than 60 oils, learn about positive attributes and common defects, receive sensory panel training, experiment with olive oil blending, and receive a master certificate upon course completion.

Registration for the four-day course is $1,275. Registration includes breakfast, lunch, and beverages featuring local and seasonal ingredients. Participants will also receive a booklet and a flash drive with presentation slides and supplemental materials, a “defects wheel” for olive oil, a tasting kit with samples, and an official blue tasting glass. To register and learn more.

Shirley Li
UC Davis Olive Center


Tour of the viticulture and enology collection in Shields Library: June 16, 2016

Agricultural sciences librarian Axel Borg will lead a tour of the viticulture and enology collection in Shields Library on June 16 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Working in the Biological and Agricultural Sciences Reference Department of Shields Library, Borg is a distinguished wine and food science bibliographer specializing in food science and technology, nutrition, plant science, agronomy, and general agriculture. He is best known for curating the 29,000-volume viticulture and enology collection at UC Davis, considered the finest in the world.

Meet in the lobby of Shields Library for this event. To register.

Amanda Pietras
Plant Breeding Center


Licensing academy on intellectual property and technology transfer: June 20, 2016

The UC Davis School of Law and the UC Davis Public Intellectual Property Resource in Agriculture (PIPRA) program will be holding a training academy for lawyers, technology transfer officers, academics, and inventors on June 20 at the UC Davis School of Law. This is the sixth year for the academy.

Speakers include UC Davis professors and world-class intellectual property (IP) managers, lawyers, and entrepreneurs. The June program also features talks by intellectual property managers and technology transfer officers from Innovation Access, program managers from Corporate Relations and the Graduate School of Management, and leaders from other campus partners, as well as IP professionals from Silicon Valley and Sacramento. Cost is $3,140, and partial scholarships are available to qualified applicants. Contact Kate Asche in the School of Law to register.

A similar program was held March 1 in Mexico. To learn more about these academies.

Kate Asche
UC Davis School of Law


International agricultural groundwater conference in San Francisco: June 28–30, 2016

An international conference on agricultural groundwater, organized by UC Davis and the Water Education Foundation, will be held June 28–30 in the Hyatt Regency at the San Francisco Airport.

Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture 2016: 2nd International Conference Linking Science and Policy will focus on the latest scientific, management, legal, and policy advances for sustaining groundwater resources in agricultural regions throughout the world. The conference will bring together agricultural water managers, regulatory agency personnel, policy and decision makers, scientists, NGOs, agricultural leaders, and consultants working at the nexus of groundwater and agriculture.

The conference addresses a wide range of topics:

  • Sustainable groundwater management
  • Groundwater quality protection
  • Groundwater and surface water interactions
  • Groundwater and energy nexus
  • Agricultural BMPs for groundwater management and protection
  • Monitoring, data collection/management/assessment, modeling tools
  • Agricultural groundwater management, regulation, and economics.

 For more information on the 2016 conference and on the topics covered during the first conference in 2010.

Thomas Harter
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources


Weed Day: July 7, 2016

The 60th annual Weed Day will be held at UC Davis on July 7 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The program gets under way in the Buehler Alumni Center.

Weed Day will be of interest to pest control advisers, chemical company cooperators, faculty, students, and regulatory officials. It is an opportunity to learn about the latest research and to visit current weed-control field trials. The event begins with a bus tour to the research plots. Following lunch, staff and students will present information on projects that are either not in-season or located too far off campus for viewing.

“We have tomatoes, walnuts, and almonds, as well as aquatic research results, and a weed identification quiz,” said professor and UC Cooperative Extension specialist Kassim Al-Khatib, chairman of this year’s event. “We’ll be hearing about control of medusahead, management in grapes, a new herbicide for rice, and many studies on herbicide resistance issues.”

Registration is $95 before June 15; $120 thereafter ($135 for walk-ins). Student registration is $55. For additional information and to register.

Gale Pérez
UC Weed Research and Information Center


Diagnosing Herbicide Symptoms: July 8, 2016

The Weed Research and Information Center at UC Davis is offering a new course, Diagnosing Herbicide Symptoms, on July 8 at the Bowley Plant Science Teaching Center.

The course focuses on how an herbicide injury situation can arise, what information can help diagnose herbicide problems during field investigations, and what tools are available. Topics include herbicide modes of action, symptom development, recovery from herbicide injury, economic damage, and other areas. Instruction takes place in a lecture, field visit, and hands-on demonstrations. Course instructors include UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialists Kassim Al-Khatib and Brad Hanson, UCCE farm advisor John Roncoroni, and Napa County Agricultural Commissioner Greg Clark.

This program will be of interest to pest control advisers, sales representatives for chemical companies, field investigators, and insurance adjusters. Registration is $350 before June 15; $375 before July 1; and $400 thereafter. A discounted rate of $200 is available for up to four current students or UCCE farm advisors. For additional information and to register.

Gale Pérez
Department of Plant Sciences


Aquatic Weed School: September 7–8, 2016

The Aquatic Weed School will be held September 7–8 at the Bowley Plant Science Teaching Center.

This intensive course is designed for those involved in consulting, research, and management of aquatic weed systems throughout the western United States. Topics include ecological classification and impacts of aquatic weeds, biology of aquatic weeds, physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic ecosystems, regulatory issues, developing an aquatic management plan, aquatic weed identification, equipment demonstration, adjuvants and surfactants for aquatic systems, pest prevention for aquatic weeds, physical and mechanical control methods, biological control, chemical and non-chemical control, and a case study of a complex management plan.

Registration is $455 before August 7; $555 thereafter. Four reduced-fee registrations of $275 are available to UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors or current students. For additional information and to register.

Gale Pérez
UC Weed Research and Information Center


Fresh-Cut Products Workshop — Maintaining Quality and Safety: September 13–15, 2016

The UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center will hold the 20th annual Fresh-Cut Products Workshop September 13–15 at the Buehler Alumni Center.

This workshop provides an intensive overview of many aspects of fresh-cut production, processing, packaging, distribution, and quality assurance. Participants gain working knowledge of established and new procedures through topic-related sessions and demonstrations. The workshop will feature discussions on fresh-cut marketing, new packaging, product physiology, microbial control, and sensory evaluation. A practical demonstration on the impact of temperature on packaged product quality reinforces all the temperature-related discussions.

This workshop is designed for food scientists, food engineers, quality assurance personnel, and new product development staff, as well as representatives of research institutions, the restaurant and institutional food industries, and equipment, packaging, and ingredient suppliers. 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 and to register.

Penny Stockdale
Postharvest Technology Center 


Master Milling Certificate Course: September 20–23, 2016

The UC Davis Olive Center will hold its Master Milling Certificate Course September 20–23 at the Robert Mondavi Institute’s Silverado Sensory Theater.

The course will be led by Leandro Ravetti, among the world’s top experts in olive oil processing, growing, and standards. As executive director of Australia’s Boundary Bend Limited, he has helped guide the company to rapid growth, optimum efficiency, and top awards at international olive oil competitions.

The cost of the four-day course is $1,025. Last day to register online is September 14. A field trip to three Yolo County olive oil processors is included. To learn more and to register.

Dan Flynn

UC Davis Olive Center



Natural Areas Conference: October 18–21, 2016

The 43rd Natural Areas Conference will be held at UC Davis on October 18–21. The theme of this event is Climate Change Adaptation and Natural Areas Management: Turning Words to Action.

The conference, organized by the Natural Areas Association, will feature strategies and tactics that resource and natural areas managers can use to prepare for and respond to climate change. Topics include pollinators, assisted migration, tree planting, native plant materials, prescribed fire and wildland fire use, meadow and stream restoration, ecological restoration and adaptation, and carbon and biomass markets. The Natural Areas Association is a community of resource professionals that promotes natural area management based on sound science and works to raise awareness about the need for natural areas conservation and natural areas research.

For additional information visit the conference website.

Gabrielle N. Bohlman
Department of Environmental Science and Policy


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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, jdstumbos@ucdavis.edu

Editor: John Stumbos 
Writing: Helene Dillard, John Stumbos 
Editorial review: Caren Weintraub, Julie Fritz-Rubert, Christine Schmidt 

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