- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
That's about all it takes to toss 2000 water balloons.
The annual event, coordinated by researcher Christophe Morisseau of the Hammock lab, begins at 3 p.m., Friday, July 22 on the north lawn of Briggs Hall, Kleiber Hall Drive.
Tabbed the alliterative "Bruce's Big Battle at Briggs," the water balloon battle draws professors, researchers, visiting scientists, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and undergraduate students and their friends and families in showcasing what the internationally known Hammock lab does for camaraderie and fun.
Temperatures are expected to reach 97 degrees.
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.
A member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, he directs the campuswide Superfund Research and Training Program, an interdisciplinary program funded by the National Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIEHS) that has brought in almost $60 million to the UC Davis campus. The Hammock lab is also the home of the National Institutes of Health Training Grant in Biomolecular Technology. The lab alumni, totaling more than 100 graduates, hold positions of distinction in academia, industry and government as well as more than 300 postdoctorates.
Balloon filling starts at 1:15 in Room 82 of Briggs Hall. All are invited to participate, but "no filling/no throwing," Morisseau said. Many are expected to watch.
The event was canceled last year due to the severity of the drought.
In 2014, the water warriors took drought-conservation precautions.
“We did try filling the balloons differently this year to conserve water,” Hammock lab program manager Cindy McReynolds said that year. “We devised a filling station out of drip line and valves so we could fill the balloons outside and also turn off the water when not in use. Water conservation was a big topic surrounding the event, so we also used it as an opportunity to discuss ways we have changed our daily routines to conserve water."
As an extra bonus, the annual battle provides a little water for the thirsty Briggs Hall lawn, which is used by campus wildlife, including ducks, turkeys, squirrels, birds, butterflies and bees.