College News: 2016-17

Concert Celebrates ‘Cycles’ for Composer

Portrait photo of UC Davis composer Pablo Ortiz

During any given year, the music of composer and professor Pablo Ortiz can be heard across the globe — from his native Argentina to Switzerland to San Francisco. Just a few weeks ago, a piece he wrote to be played on a giant metal sculpture was performed in Athens, Greece. The UC Davis Department of Music professor’s 60th birthday was celebrated with a concert of his music at the new Ann E. Pitzer Center recital hall on Oct. 21.

Next Creative Writing Program Series Features UC Davis Faculty

portrait photo of Jacinda Townsend

UC Davis faculty members Maceo Montoya and Jacinda Townsend were featured in the Nov. 1 UC Davis Creative Writing Program Reading Series. The free event took place at 7 p.m. in Peter J. Shields Library.  Montoya is a writer, artist and assistant professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and Townsend is a new creative writing assistant professor in the English department. 

International Experts to Speak on 'Sensory Aspects of Tea'

Dec. 20, 2016 —Tea tasters talk about using all fives senses in experiencing a cup of tea. The UC Davis Global Tea Initiative for the Study of Tea Culture and Science will take that concept to new levels on Jan. 19, 2017—bringing experts from an array of disciplines to campus to talk about "The Sensory Aspects of Tea."

New Humanities Institute Director Brings Humanities, Arts and International Background to Role

portrait photo of Jaimey Fisher

Dec. 20, 2016 — After several years abroad Jaimey Fisher, professor in the UC Davis German Department and Cinema and Digital Media program, is back in Davis as the new director of the UC Davis Humanities Institute (DHI). 

Event turns to novelist, artist, diplomats and a defector to explain the mysteries of North Korea

Dec. 15, 2016 — In a nation shrouded in mystery, can literature and art lift the veil?

Ice Surface Melts One Step at a Time

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Researchers in Germany, the U.S. and Japan have used a combination of experiments and computer modeling to show how this “quasi-liquid layer” forms as layers of the ice crystal melt.

"Genius" Grant Winner Was Student Activist, Chicano Studies Major

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Chicano Studies Alumnus, José Quiñonez, Receives MacArthur Genius Grant

UC Davis experts to speak at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting

Grand Canyon

Dec. 9, 2016 — UC Davis scientists from fields across earth and space science will present their work during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Dec. 12-16. This tip sheet highlights a range of UC Davis research, from the origin of Earth and the moon, to climate change impacts on the California Coast, to estimating the potential for future earthquakes. 

Statistics Professor Receives China’s Highest Academic Honor

Jiming Jiang

Dec. 8, 2016 — Professor Jiming Jiang, Department of Statistics, has been named a Yangtze River (Changjiang) Scholar by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China.

Mapping Out Standing Rock

Standing Rock Map

December 6, 2016 — As a professor in the UC Davis Native American Studies Department, Liza Grandia  was looking for a way to help her students and the public better understand unfolding events about the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy. 

Graduate Paints Very Big Art Career

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Just before completing her undergraduate degree in studio art and Italian in 2008, Sofia Lacin was hired to paint a mural at the Davis Crepeville restaurant where she worked. It was a big wall so she recruited her high school friend Hennessy Christophel to help. “It was difficult, but we had fun,” said Lacin, who grew up in Sacramento. “I found out I liked painting out in the open and solving the problems involved.” 

Parallel Projects Bring Chemistry to the Arboretum

UC Davis chemistry in the arboretum

Dec. 2, 2016 — Nhu Nguyen (B.S., chemistry, ’12), an artist and doctoral student in chemistry, is the mastermind behind a recent exhibit in the UC Davis Arboretum called Walking in the Woods with Chemistry.

FT Lab: Where Fashion and Function Meet and Match

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In the two years since the Fashion Design and Technology Lab started, assistant professor of design and lab director Helen Koo, lab interns and other students have: 

• Won a top prize in the International A’ Design Award.

• Won a UC Davis Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and a Provost’s Undergraduate Fellowship Award.

• Presented at the International Textile and Apparel Association’s annual conference. 

“I can see how passionate, creative and innovative our students are,” Koo said. 

Bringing Scientific Thinking to Public Policy

Gabby Nepomuceno

Dec. 2, 2016 — With the State Capitol right across the Yolo Causeway, UC Davis students and researchers have the unique opportunity to directly engage politicians and policymakers with their research. One such talented individual is Gabby Nepomuceno (Ph.D., chemistry, ’15).

Geology Field Camp Delivers Fundamental Skills and Modern Methods

UC Davis geology field camp

Dec. 2, 2016 — Field camp is one of geology’s enduring rites of passage. In this capstone course, juniors and seniors spend six weeks in the wilderness learning how to document complex geological phenomena.

Launching Crocker Nuclear Laboratory Into The Future

Students in Crocker Nuclear Lab at UC Davis

Dec. 2, 2016 — Stepping inside the Crocker Nuclear Laboratory control room can spark nostalgia for space-age design. Bakelite knobs and flashing analog switches parade across sofa-sized control banks that look like they belong on the set of a 1960s sci-fi flick. But the Crocker is far from antiquated.

Digging for Clues to Past Cultures—and Future Jobs

UC Davis archaeology field school student shovels dirt

Dec. 2, 2016 — Students who endured swarms of mosquitos, tramped through thistle and sifted through shallow layers of dirt during six weeks of UC Davis' Archaeological Field School say they loved it. 

ASPIRE Program Gets Students Into Labs Early

Dec. 2, 2016 — Psychology major Brynna Thigpen got an early introduction to scientific research. As a sophomore, she became a research assistant at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, designing and conducting experiments on memory development in children.

'The California Aggie:' Back in Print

Editor of UC Davis' student newspaper

Dec. 2, 2016The Aggie returned to print this year, after 2 ½ years of online-only editions, thanks to a student-approved fee and the efforts of the paper's editorial staff—many of whom are College of Letters and Science majors.

Book on U.S. Food Safety Program Origins Wins Award

book cover with pattern of cow silhouettes, some splattered with spots

Dec. 1, 2016 Arresting Contagion, co-authored by economics faculty member Alan Olmstead has won a book award for outstanding social science history.

Three MPS Faculty Members Elected as AAAS Fellows

Seven UC Davis faculty members are included in the newest class of fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The AAAS Council recently voted in 391 fellows in all for 2016, in recognition of their efforts to advance science or its applications.

SNO+ Neutrino Detector Gets Ready For Run

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Professor Robert Svoboda and other UC Davis physicists, including graduate students Morgan Askins and Teal Pershing and postdocs Vincent Fischer and Leon Pickard, helped build SNO+ and will be working on analyzing data from the experiment.

Meet Our New CAMPOS Faculty Scholars

campos

UC Davis this week welcomed six new faculty members recruited through the CAMPOS Initiative, part of the ADVANCE institutional transformation initiative at UC Davis. Established through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the UC Davis ADVANCE program aims to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in academic careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, including social sciences.

Anthropologist Receives Prestigious Packard Fellowship

Portrait photo of UC Davis anthropologist Margaret Crofoot

Nov. 21, 2016 — Margaret Crofoot, a UC Davis anthropologist studying group decision-making in primates, has been awarded a 2016 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

UC Davis Symphony Orchestra Kicked Off Challenging Season Nov. 19

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The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra kicked off its season Nov. 19 with music by Johannes Brahms and two less familiar composers, Henri Dutilleux and Witold Lutosławski. The five additional concerts of the season likewise blend the older with the newer, the better known with the lesser known. “We like to invite people to come on a journey with us and find something new,” said Christian Baldini, orchestra music director and conductor and associate professor in the Department of Music.  “My passion is opening new doors as much for the orchestra as the audience.”

Art Professor Annabeth Rosen Wins Major Award

annabeth

Art professor‚ Annabeth Rosen‚ has received a USA Fellowship Award from United States Artists. The award carries an unrestricted $50,000 cash prize. A sculptor who works in ceramics, Rosen has held the Robert Arneson Endowed Chair‚ in the Department of Art and Art History since 1997.

LASER: Conversations in Art and Science Rebooted

laser logo

A series at UC Davis that brings together art and science restarts with a new format, location, time and leadership. The Leonardo Art, Science, Evening Rendezvous (LASER) re-launched on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. The first event included Manuelita Antonio Rangel-Sosa, a Venezuelan-American architect, designer and artist; Megan Dennis, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry; and Matthias Hess, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science.

Tea Expert Talks about Environment-Taste Connection

Nov 7, 2016 — Terroir, that “sense of place” so important to making great wines, matters in tea too. 

Political Scientists Give Bigger Picture of What Election Holds

Portrait photos of UC Davis Political Scientists Christopher Hare and Cheryl Boudreau

Portrait photos of UC Davis Political Scientists Christopher Hare and Cheryl Boudreau

Six days before the Nov. 8 general election, two UC Davis political scientists gave a talk about the hearts and minds of voters — both in California, where they face a dizzying array of ballot measures, and nationwide, where divisions run deep.

The panel discussion, “Election 2016: Polarization, Public Opinion and Policy Making,” took place 12:10–1 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Community Center’s multipurpose room.

Associate Professor Cheryl Boudreau discussed public opinion about the 17 propositions on the state ballot as well as types of information that might influence voters’ decisions. Issues that faced California voters were legalization of marijuana, raising tobacco taxes, abolishing or speeding up the death penalty, new regulations on gun ammunition sales and upholding or overturning the plastic bag ban.

Assistant Professor Christopher Hare talked about what 2016 can tell us about polarization in American politics — just how divided are we, and what are the policymaking implications moving forward?

The event was part of the UC Davis Institute for Social Sciences Noon Lecture series. 

Saxophone Quartet Premieres UC Davis Faculty and Student Compositions

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The Mana Quartet, a San Francisco saxophone ensemble, will performed several new UC Davis works in concerts Nov. 10 and 11. The Nov. 11 concert included the premiere of “Seagram Murals” by Mika Pelo, associate professor in the Department of Music. This and other works that performed were part of the “Sight and Sound” project through which the Mana Quartet and Chamber Music America commissioned music inspired by visual art works.

Art Alum Creates 1,500-Foot "Ribbon" for New Museum

rings ribbon

Oct. 31, 2016 - Working in her Oakland studio, Lisa Rybovich Crallé was surrounded by teetering stacks of white rings looking like oversize life preservers. These rings, 500 of them, will be linked to form a 1,500-foot-long sculpture that will hang from the canopy of the UC Davis Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art for its grand opening. Adorned with 200 gold-painted “charms,” the soft chain sculpture will replace the traditional ribbon associated with new building dedications. “I'm thinking of the project as a gigantic charm bracelet for the building to wear,” said Crallé, who earned a master of fine arts degree from the UC Davis Department of Art and Art History in 2011.

New Theory Explains How the Moon Got There

moon

Earth’s moon is an unusual object in our solar system, and now there’s a new theory to explain how it got where it is, which puts some twists on the current “giant impact” theory.

What the Ancient CO2 Record May Mean for Future Climate Change

fossil

The repeated restructuring of tropical forests at the time played a major role in driving climate cycles between cooler and warmer periods, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis, and published today in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Atom-by-Atom Growth Chart For Shells Helps Decode Past Climate

atom

For the first time scientists can see how the shells of tiny marine organisms grow atom-by-atom, a new study reports. The advance provides new insights into the mechanisms of biomineralization and will improve our understanding of environmental change in Earth’s past.

Initiative Examines Border Militarization

bsi

Oct. 24, 2016 - The UC Davis Mellon Initiative in Comparative Border Studies starts its second year with a series of events during “Border Studies Week,” Oct. 28 – Nov. 3, on the topic of “Mobility, Militarization, Containment.”  Events will explore the tensions between mobility and confinement as borders become more militarized. 

A Big Year for Creative Writing

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Rae Armantrout

This was a special year for creative writing at UC Davis. The popular Opening Night reading of new work by creative writing program faculty (Oct. 5) celebrated its 10th anniversary and the visiting writers reading series now have a new home in the Peter J. Shields Library. The visiting writers series kicked off Oct. 12 with Pulitzer Prize winner Rae Armantrout and continued with a wide range of writers throughout the academic year.

Pioneering Psychologist Receives Honorary Degree in Glittery Stockholm Ceremony

UC Davis psychology professor emeritus Philip Shaver receiving honorary doctorate from Stockholm University

Oct. 10, 2016 —Phillip Shaver, distinguished professor emeritus of psychology, has received a series of career awards for his research on romantic and other close adult relationships. But none of his award presentations can top what happened Sept. 30 in Stockholm.

Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive Launched

punjabibrochures

Oct. 10, 2016 - In the late 19th century, men from the Punjab region in north India began settling in the Sacramento Valley and other parts of rural California, farming the land that reminded them of home. UC Davis has launched the Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive Project  that brings together resouces on the history and ongoing vibrancy of Yuba City’s Punjabi American community – one of the largest rural South Asian communities outside India.

Book on Native American Slavery Shortlisted for National Book Award

book cover

Oct. 6, 2016 — A sweeping history by Professor Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America, is a finalist for a 2016 National Book Award.

Tongue-In-Cheek Museum Will Meld Science and Art

Aurora

October 4, 2016 — If Salvador Dali designed a science museum, it might look something like the plans for the Institute of Unknown Purpose, a surreal and playful pop-up institute that will blend science and art.

'India in the Artist's Eye' Series Offers Full Year of Events

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Bickram Ghosh’s Drums of India

The UC Davis Department of Religious Studies and the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts have teamed up for a year-long celebration of the arts of India. “India in the Artist’s Eye” includes music, theatre and dance along with exhibitions, lectures and workshops. The series, which started Sept. 30 with a concert by Bickram Ghosh’s Drums of India, is a part of the department’s Religions of Indian Initiative.

The “9/11 Generation” Lives Life Under Surveillance

9/11

Young people of South Asian, Afghan and Arab descent growing up in a post-9/11 world feel constantly under suspicion and surveillance. Their lives are the focus of the book The 9/11 Generation: Youth, Rights, and Solidarity in the War on Terror (New York University Press) by Sunaina Marr Maira, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Asian American Studies. The book has just been released to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

From Classroom to Canyon

grand canyon

Experience UC Davis students’ journey of science, discovery and education in the Grand Canyon through an interactive multimedia project.

Changes in the Ocean

tessa hill

Follow marine scientists from the Bodega Marine Lab and Point Blue Conservation Science as they track the dramatic changes happening in our ocean in this short film from Bay Nature. Featured researchers include Tessa Hill, associate professor and chancellor’s fellow in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences. Hill's research focuses on the impacts of ocean acidification.

UC Davis’ McClellan Nuclear Research Center on Forward Path

triga blue red

The McClellan Nuclear Research Center, owned and operated by UC Davis, has received approval from campus leadership to proceed with the implementation of a recently developed strategic plan that sets the direction for the facility over the next 5-plus years.

Marine Scientists Featured in Climate Change Film

Bay Nature preview

Aug. 30, 2016 — A UC Davis-run workshop that brings the history of the Transcontinental Railroad to life for schoolteachers is back on track for next summer, thanks to a National Endowment for the Humanities grant.

Teacher Workshop on Transcontinental Railroad to Make Another Run

Historic photo of last spike ceremony for Transcontinental Railroad

Aug. 30, 2016 — The Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences recognizes faculty and students who received awards and accolades during summer 2016.

MPS Awards and Accolades — Summer 2016

Isabel Montanez

Aug. 25, 2016 — As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary this summer, UC Davis Professor Gregory Downs has focused on an oft-forgotten part of U.S. history that our national parks are now helping the public to understand — the Reconstruction era. 

Historian's Study Helps National Park Service Commemorate Reconstruction Era

Portrait photo of UC Davis historian Gregory Downs with handbook on Reconstruction era that he co-edited

Aug. 22, 2016 In an interview with Toronto-based Business News Network, Professor Alan M. Taylor says Canada's hot housing market looks like the U.S. before the financial crisis.

10 Ways UC Davis Is Great in STEM

forbes

We present in sound and video some of the people and projects that make UC Davis a great place for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

Economist to CTV: Perfect Storm Brewing in Canada's Housing Market

UC Davis economics professor Alan Taylor in an interview with Canadian television

Aug. 18, 2016 — Our species, Homo sapiens, left Africa earlier than previously thought and our diverse cultures have been heavily influenced by geography, according to a recent review by Alexander (Sandy) Harcourt, professor emeritus of anthropology.

Anthropologist Sums Up Latest Research on Human Spread Around the Planet

Sandy Harcourt gives a keynote address on early human migration

Aug. 17, 2016 - When UC Davis alumnus Christopher Schaberg (Ph.D., English, ’09) thought about who would be great contributors to the book and essay series he was creating, he went back to colleagues at UC Davis. So far his UC English doctoral classmates, John Garrison (Ph.D., English, ’11)  and Kara Thompson (Ph.D., English, ’09), along with English professor Scott Shershow, have written essays and books for the “Object Lessons” series.

Evolution of Biggest Whales Linked With Ocean Productivity

whale

Starting out the size of a hippo some 50 million years ago, whales have since evolved into the largest animals on Earth. But their growth wasn’t steady over the millennia; instead, filter-feeding whales like the blue whale only ballooned in size starting about 2.5 million years ago. Whales’ grass-gobbling relatives, such as sea cows, also expanded in size during this time.

UC Davis Big Part of Small Books on Everyday Objects

olb

August 12, 2016 — Starting out the size of a hippo some 50 million years ago, whales have since evolved into the largest animals on Earth. But their growth wasn’t steady over the millennia; instead, filter-feeding whales like the blue whale only ballooned in size starting about 2.5 million years ago. Whales’ grass-gobbling relatives, such as sea cows, also expanded in size during this time.

Evolution of Biggest Whales Linked With Ocean Productivity

Right whale

The full range of music-making at the University of California, Davis, got a big boost in September with the opening of the Ann E. Pitzer Center. The state-of-the-art building houses classrooms, practice rooms and an acoustically pristine 399-seat recital hall that will host dozens of concerts each year. The center’s grand opening Sept. 23-25 included composer Philip Glass, the  Anderson & Roe Piano Duo; and concerts showcasing UC Davis faculty and students.

New Center Will Enhance Music at UC Davis

Opening in September

July 25, 2016 - Matthew Nesvet, who is pursuing a doctorate in anthropology at UC Davis, studies organized crime and has been researching a syndicate that plunders gold mines in South Africa. But recently his attention has been on a controversial art show he organized in Johannesburg. The exhibition “Post Its #1” aims to challenge the meanings of “post” in post-apartheid and post­colonial South Africa.

Anthropology Student Curates Controversial Art Exhibit In South Africa

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July 21, 2016 — The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment, which operates beneath a mile of rock at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has completed its silent search without detecting the missing matter of the universe.

LUX Dark Matter Detector Comes Up Empty

LUX Dark Matter Detector

July 19, 2016 — Sociologist Chris Smith and a colleague have brought modern network theory to the Roaring Twenties, compiling a database of the relationships in Prohibition-era Chicago and mapping out the links that held together Al Capone’s criminal empire.

LUX Dark Matter Detector Comes Up Empty

lux

The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment, which operates beneath a mile of rock at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in the Black Hills of South Dakota, has completed its silent search without detecting the missing matter of the universe.

Network Science Meets Al Capone

historic photo of Al Capone with associates

July 16, 2016 - Like many retirees, UC Davis professors don’t quit working when they retire. Some say they’ve done their most significant work since retiring. Emeriti contributions to the scholarly world are examined in the recent study "A Virtual Eleventh Campus" by John Vohs, a UC Davis senior lecturer emeritus of communication. 

Emeriti Faculty Continue Scholarly Work

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