- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
It's no secret that Bruce Hammock, distinguished professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, loves the water.
Well, there's white-water kayaking for one.
And, two, his water balloon battles.
Every summer for the past 10 years, he's hosted a water balloon battle on the Briggs Hall lawn. In a show of camaraderie, Hammock, his colleagues, graduate students and undergraduate students gather on the lawn and douse each other with water balloons--and sometimes heaping buckets of water. It's basically 15 minutes of aim because that's how long it takes. This year's event took place July 13 and ended in record time: 10 minutes.
Hammock doesn't have far to walk to the Big Balloon Battle at Briggs. His office and some of his labs are on the "garden level" of the three-story building.
That would be the basement.
Well, no thanks to the huge rainstorm last weekend, he experienced another kind of water--a flood.
He walked into his office Sunday morning only to see "lots of water and lots of mud." He sent us the photo below.
"Most things were off the floor, but of course, some were not," Hammock said. "Some equipment loss. Could be a nightmare if we get mold in the walls."
Some of his colleagues in the Briggs Hall basement also reported water in their offices and labs.
"We've had worse floods over the last 10 years," Hammock said. "We've had the water level above our head in the bike pit (the bicycle parking lot below the front steps)."
As for the water balloon battles, the Hammock lab is known for working hard and playing hard. Hammock, who holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, directs the campuswide Superfund Research Program, the National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Training Program and the NIEHS Combined Analytical Laboratory.
He is a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of the 2001 UC Davis Faculty Research Lecture Award and the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching.
But last weekend, Hammock was the recipient of one of Mother Nature's unexpected "gifts."
The kind of water nobody wants.