- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The 12th annual Bruce Hammock Lab Water Balloon Battle will take place at 3 p.m., Thursday, July 24 on the north side of the Briggs Hall lawn.
Christophe Morisseau, associate research scientist, said the lab has 2000 water balloons to fill; anyone who wants to be a water warrior must participate in the filling, which starts at 1 p.m. by the Briggs loading dock.
All are invited. “Whoever wants to get wet,” Morisseau said. “Children and spouses are always welcome.”
In the past, the water warriors, led by Bruce Hammock and Morisseau, have included professors, researchers, visiting scientistis, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and undergraduate students.
In addition to the water balloons, some favor squirt guns and toy pressurized water blasters. Others hoist half-filled buckets of water for sneak attacks.
So proficient are the water warriors that the “15 minutes of fame” often turns into “10 minutes of aim.”
Hammock, a distinguished professor of entomology who holds a joint appointment with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, launched the water balloon fest in 2003 as a way to build camaraderie and gain relief from the heat.
The Hammock lab works hard and plays hard. Hammock, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, directs the campuswide Superfund Research Program, National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Training Program, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Combined Analytical Laboratory.