Some 200 freshmen at the University of California, Davis will present their research posters on career explorations from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13 in Freeborn Hall.
The students will stand by their posters and answer questions from interested persons. At the end of the event, the audience will vote for the best poster, along with the second- and third-place winners.
“The students enjoy presenting their posters to interested viewers,” said entomologist Diane Ullman, associate dean for undergraduate academic programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) and professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Ullman, known for innovative teaching strategies, has played a fundamental role in developing CDG. In addition to her many other roles, she advises graduate students in both entomology and plant pathology.
Ulllman said the CDG students will present their research on a variety of topics, including animal/wildlife, food science/nutrition, biotechnology, and ecology/environment. The posters are part of the Career Discovery Seminar course led by the Internship and Career Center and Career Discovery fellows (graduate student mentors in the CDG Program).
David Rizzo, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, directs the Science and Society Program.
The CDG program is geared for:
--Undeclared/exploratory students who want to explore an array of career pathways and gain decision-making skills.
--Students with a declared major in CA&ES who want a head start on career development skills in their area of interest.
In the past, students have expressed a wide range of interests from becoming a forensic entomologist to becoming a super model (textiles and clothing program), Ullman said.
What better way to explore those careers with a poster and tell others what they've learned?
Speaking of careers, we remember when UC Davis student Heather Wilson entered her original video, "I Wanna Be an Entomologist," in the 2011 Entomological Society of America's You Tube Contest. Wilson, a UC Regents scholar and a technician/researcher in Frank Zalom's integrated pest management lab in the UC Davis Department of Entomology, meant it to be a parody of Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars' (I Wanna Be a) "Billionaire" video.
It didn't win, but it drew lots of attention! And so will the posters displayed tomorrow in Freeborn Hall.
Cobey is the lead author of a chapter in the newly published Honey Bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable Solutions, a 21-chapter book edited by research entomologist Diana Sammataro of the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Tucson, Ariz., and professor Jay Yoder of Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio.
Just as stock improvement has served the poultry, dairy and swine industries well, the beekeeping industry needs access “to stocks of origin or standardized evaluation and stock improvement programs,” said Cobey, who has a dual appointment at the University of California, Davis and Washington State University (WSU).
“The many problems that currently face the U.S. honey bee population have underscored the need for sufficient genetic diversity at the colony, breeding, and population levels,” wrote Cobey and colleagues Walter “Steve” Sheppard, professor and chair, WSU Department of Entomology, and David Tarpy, associate professor and Extension apiculturist North Carolina State University.
“Genetic diversity has been reduced by three distinct bottleneck events, namely the limited historical importation of a small subset sampling of a few honey bee subspecies, the selection pressure of parasites and pathogens (particularly parasitic mites) and the consolidated commercial queen-production practices that use a small number of queen mothers in the breeding population,” Cobey pointed out.
The honey bee, Apis mellifera, originated in the Old World where it diverged into more than two dozen recognized subspecies, they related. However, only nine of the more than two dozen Old World subspecies ever made it to the United States and only two of these are recognizable today.
What with colony collapse disorder (CCD) and the declining bee population, there's definitely a crying need for genetic diversity in honey bees. Read more about what Susan Cobey has to say, and what this important book is all about, on the UC Davis Department of Entomology website.
If you want to learn about what bees do, and how gardeners can support healthy pollinator populations through simple gardening practice, then this is for you: Your Sustainable Backyard: Pollinator Gardening.
Sponsored by the California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH), it's a workshop set from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 28 on the UC Davis campus. It's for all who love gardening, says coordinator Melissa "Missy" Gable, program manager of CCUH.
"This workshop is designed both to inspire gardeners and equip them with all the necessary tools to provision pollinating insects in their own landscape," Gable says. "Without the pollination services of European honey bees and native bees, what fruits and vegetables would be accessible to us?"
The first part will include talks by entomologists, horticulturists and design experts from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Room 101 of Giedt Hall.
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis, and Dave Fujino, executive director of CCHU, will welcome the crowd from 8:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, will speak on "Bees 101: Species Diversity and Behavior" from 9 to 4:45 a.m. Then , pollination ecologist Neal Williams, assistant professor of entomology at UC Davis, will discuss "Importance of Pollinators and Conservation."
Ellen Zagory, director of horticulture at the UC Davis Arboretum will cover "Bee Plants" from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The last workshop speaker, Vicki Wojcik, associate program manager of Pollinator Partnership will zero in on "Pollinator Gardening: Design and Maintenance" from12:30 to 1:15 p.m.
Following the formal presentations, participants are invited to (1) tour the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, and (2) visit the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery, where they can see the pollinator demonstration beds and have an opportunity to buy plants at a specially held sale inside the nursery. Members of the Friends of the Arboretum will receive a 10 percent discount.
Both the haven and the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery will be open from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Thorp and Gable will be at the haven to answer questions during the self-guided tours, and Zagory will be on hand in the teaching nursery's demonstration gardens to field questions.
The registration fee of $45 registration includes parking, morning coffee/tea, scones and a gourmet boxed lunch. See registration site.
This definitely is "the place to bee."
With that, Pamela Marone, entomologist turned entrepreneur, will provide an overview of what she calls "the market drivers toward sustainable food production and where different technologies fit in."
The occasion: her seminar on Friday, March 9 at the University of California, Davis.
Marrone, the CEO and founder of Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) of Davis, will speak on "Overview of Discovery and Development of Natural Products for Pest Management and the Entrepreneurial Experience."at 11 a.m. in Room 1022 of the Life Sciences Building, located on the corner of Hutchison Drive and Kleiber Hall Drive.
Sponsoring the presentation are the UC Davis Biotechnology Program, the College of Biological Science-Section of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the College of Engineering.
Marrone, who holds a bachelor of science degree in entomology from Cornell University and a doctorate in entomology from North Carolina State University, is an innovator supreme. An international expert in agricultural biotechnology and bioscience, she founded three natural product pest management companies in Davis.
Marrone founded MBI in 2006 "to discover and develop effective and environmentally responsible natural products that fill unmet needs for pest, weed and water resource management." She raised $40 million in venture capital to fund the company.
Along the way, she and her companies have won scores of awards and she's been featured in the national media, including front-page coverage in the Wall Street Journal (November 2005). Her vision: "We will be the world leader in natural product innovation. We will make natural, effective, safe, environmentally friendly products the mainstream future of pest management." (See her biosketch and values on her website.)
Pamela Marrone has been there, done that and she's still doing it. Magnificently. That's why we're all looking forward to her talk on Friday.
If you're planning to hike the hills around Bodega Head in Sonoma County, watch out for the bears.
The woolly bear caterpillars, that is.
Last Sunday, with the temperature hovering around 70 degrees, the woolly bears were everywhere. They were munching on the gray-green leaves of Lupinus arboreus (yellow bush lupine), not yet blooming. We also spotted them on yellow mustard and wild radish, both members of the Brassicaceae family and both abloom.
If you look closely at these little caterpillars, they seem to be having a bad hair day. They look as if they just encountered a jolt of static electricity.
They're also known as the larvae of Ranchman's Tiger Moth (Platyprepia virginalis). Once they become moths, they do not resemble woolly bears any more.
Rick Karban, professor of entomology at UC Davis, has published a number of research papers on these herbivores.
"Platyprepia virginalis caterpillars are dietary generalists and feed on multiple host species within a single day," he wrote recently in Ecological Entomology. "We conducted field experiments to evaluate their performance on diets consisting of only their primary food, Lupinus arboreus, or diets consisting of L. arboreus plus other acceptable host species."
"We found that relative growth rates and rates of survival were higher when they fed on mixed diets compared to lupine only."
That feeding behavior we saw, too. A lupine lunch, with a touch of mustard and radish.