Three UC Davis-affiliated communication specialists won a total of six writing or photography awards in a global competition hosted by the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences (ACE).
Steve Elliott, communications coordinator for the Western Integrated Pest Management Center, Davis, won one silver (second-place) and two bronze (third-place) for his writing and photography; Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, two silvers for her writing and photography; and Diane Nelson, communication specialist for the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, won a bronze for her writing.
Elliott's entries and the categories:
- Writing for the Web, silver award for “IPM in Yellowstone”
- Photo Essay, bronze award for “Growing in Guam”
- Social media, bronze award for single blog post, “To Communicate Better, Start with Audience”
Garvey's entries and the categories:
- Writing for Newspapers, silver award for “Paying It Forward,” about the successful career of award-winning academic advisor Elvira Galvan Hack
- Picture Story, silver award for “Kira Meets a Stick Insect” (at Bohart Museum of Entomology)
Nelson's entry and category:
- Writing for the Web, bronze award for "Can Science Save Citrus?"
The awards will be presented during ACE's virtual conference June 24-25. ACE is an international association of communicators, educators and information technologists who focus on communicating research-based information. The organization offers professional development and networking for individuals who extend knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences.
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center, also known as the Western IPM Center, is housed within the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program and funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It promotes "smart, safe and sustainable pest management to protect the people, environment and economy of the American West," which includes 17 Western states and Pacific island territories.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology is world-renowned for its quality research, education and public service. Faculty are globally recognized for their expertise in insect demography, systematics and evolutionary biology of ants, pollination and community ecology, integrated pest management, insect biochemistry, molecular biology, and the systematics and evolutionary biology of nematodes. The department is one of 14 in the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
The UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) is one of four colleges on the UC Davis campus. It is dedicated to "solving real-world problems in the agricultural, environmental, and human sciences to produce a better world, healthier lives, and an improved standard of living for everyone." It is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 1 in the world for agricultural sciences and forestry by QS World University Rankings; ranked No. 1in the world in plant and animal sciences by U.S. News & World Report; and ranked No. 1 in agricultural economics and policy research by the Center for World University Rankings.
They brought home five gold or first-place awards: three silver or second-place awards; and two bronze or third-place awards. “That was quite a haul!” commented an ACE member on Facebook.
Diane Nelson, communication specialist with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, won two golds. One was for promotional writing, “Weighing Pig Personality” (https://bit.ly/2KDdYmQ), featuring animal science professor Kristina Horback's pioneering research examining the role personality plays in the welfare and sustainable production of pigs. The second gold was for web writing, “The Last Stop: When There's Nowhere Colder to Go” (https://bit.ly/2M6iOOR), spotlighting research by animal science professor Anne Todgham who studies how climate change affects polar species. Both of Nelson's submissions drew perfect scores from the judges.
Jim Downing, executive editor of California Agriculture, the peer-reviewed journal of UC ANR, won gold in the magazine division (http://calag.ucanr.edu/). California Agriculture is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal reporting research, reviews and news on California's agricultural, natural and human resources. First published in December 1946, it is one of the country's oldest, continuously published, land-grant university research publications.
Steve Ellliot, communication coordinator for the Western Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center, won two silvers and a bronze: a silver for his photo essay, “America's Arctic Agriculture: Growing Crops, Managing Pests and Monitoring Invasives in Alaska” (https://bit.ly/2OS2Vtc); silver for the diversity awards video category, “Gold Spotted Oak Borer: A Threat to California's Oaks” (https://youtu.be/In2e5atd3ZY); and a bronze for the Western IPM Center's monthly newsletter, “The Western Front” (https://bit.ly/2M5mL6s). The Center, a USDA-funded program, aims to promote smart, safe and sustainable pest management to protect the people, environment and economy of the American West, encompassing 17 Western states and territories.
Gregory Watry, science writer for the College of Biological Sciences, won a bronze award in the “Writing for Diverse Audiences” (https://bit.ly/2M4Nq3o) in a diversity awards category. It dealt with undergraduate research opportunities in the Rebecca Calisi Rodriguez lab.
ACE, a worldwide association of communicators, educators and information technologists, offers professional development and networking for individuals who extend knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences. At the Scottsdale conference, the ACE members joined forces with U.S. crop and livestock media professionals at the 2018 Ag Media Summit.
Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won a gold or first-place award for her photograph, "It Tickles," of two youths getting acquainted with a rose-haired tarantula last April at the “Take Your Daughters (And Sons) to Work Day” at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. It was published in Garvey's blog, Bug Squad, on the UC Agricultural and Natural Resources website; on the Entomological Foundation's website, and in the Bohart Museum newsletter, among other sites.
The image shows Joel Fuerte, 6, of Woodland, and Roxanne Bell, 7, of Davis, reacting to a rose-haired tarantula named Peaches. The UC Davis event drew Roxanne's mother, Jenna Bell, who works at the Mondavi Center, and Joel's mother, Gabby Sanchez Fuerte of the School of Education.
Garvey also won a silver or second-place award for her feature story on entomology Jeff Smith, who curates the butterfly and moth collection at the Bohart; a silver or second-place award for her photo series, “Miracle of Life,” depicting a monarch butterfly egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and adult, and a bronze or third-place award for a feature photo of two praying mantids mating, also published in Bug Squad.
“California's aquifers are shrinking as more growers pump groundwater to keep crops alive,” she began. “But that fertile farmland may also provide the means for replenishing groundwater to benefit everyone in the drought-stricken state.” Nelson scored a perfect 100 from the judges.
Steve Elliott, communications coordinator for Western Integrated Pest Management Center, won a silver or second-place award in the newsletter category, for the monthly Western IPM Center's electronic newsletter, “The Western Front.” The Western IPM Center is a USDA-funded regional program housed within the UC ANR Statewide IPM Program.
“The Pest Wheel helps the user identify and manage 12 common pests, including ants, snails, powdery mildew, and scale insects,” according to Pests in the Urban Landscape blog on the UC ANR web site “The Weed Wheel covers 12 common garden and landscape weeds, including crabgrass and yellow nutsedge.” (The Pest and Weed Identifier Wheels can be purchased for $4 each; this includes tax, shipping and handling. For more information or to place an order, please contact Scott Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 858-822-6932.)
The UC communicators will receive the awards at the ACE conference, to be held June 13-16 in Memphis, Tenn. ACE, an international association of communicators, educators and information technologists, offers professional development and networking for individuals who extend knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences.
Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won a gold or first-place award in “Writing for Newspapers”; a silver or second-place award for “Writing for the Web” and two bronze or third-place awards for her photographs, one for a feature photo and the other for a service photo.
They will receive the awards at the ACE conference, set for June 8-11 in Charleston, S.C.
Nelson's winning article, “When Good Oil Goes Bad,” looks at the award-winning biosensor a team of UC Davis students built to help ensure olive oil quality for producers, retailers and consumers. Nelson won the 2010 ACE outstanding skill award for writing.
Garvey's winning article for best news writing was a light feature on forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey's plans for a field trip to Alcatraz, a day that happened to fall on Super Bowl Sunday. It was titled "Football Game? What Football Game?" The judges gave the story a perfect score, 100 out of 100.
The judges' comments:
- “VERY clever lead. The tie-in with the football game undoubtedly drew in more readers but was not forced--it was backed up by the faculty member's quote about getting back in time for the game. The creativity of the approach and the writing cast a wide net to all readers, showing that anyone can be excited about learning and discovery - no matter their age or education level or their interest in science or insects (or football, for that matter)."
- "Word choice expresses concrete imagery--"pigskin," "rat bait," "black lights." Metaphors work-- all the bird analogies, for instance. Information is spoonfed to the reader in the most enjoyable way. Sentences pack a lot of information, movement and progression. Every sentence offers something to celebrate, including the one that ends "just like scorpions," which gives a nod to the reader, assuming that he or she does, of course, know that scorpions glow under ultraviolet light! The work-play relationship of scientist to student comes through and adds interest to the piece. The writer makes the reader feel that they are being let in on a conspiracy of discovery rather than being talked at. A certain joy and passion spring from this piece, setting it apart from the others."
- Cool topic, and the writer makes its newsy
Garvey's silver award for web writing, “What's for Lunch?”, focused on a lady beetle eating aphids. It appeared on her Bug Squad blog on the UC Agricutural and Natural Resources website. She writes the blog every night, Monday through Friday, and has never missed a post since launching it on Aug. 6, 2008.
Wrote one judge:
“I admire anyone who can write a blog a day. Congratulations. I love that that the author replies to comments from readers and is active on multiple social networks. And again, kudos on the photography.”
Garvey received a bronze award for a feature photo on her Bug Squad blog. It depicts a praying mantis eating a western tiger swallowtail.
In addition, Garvey received a bronze award for a service photo, of two participants at the 2014 “Bugs and Beer” event sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. It showed a UC Davis student and his friend sharing a bug: one photographing it and one ready to eat it.
Since 2008, Garvey has won a total of 13 gold awards from ACE for her writing and photography. She was named the recipient of the Outstanding Professional Skill Award for Writing in 2011 and the Outstanding Professional Skill Award for Photography in both 2012 and 2013.
Kathy Keatley Garvey, Diane Nelson and Alison Van Eenennaam are being recognized for their stories, photos and a video highlighting UC Davis’ work in agriculture and the life sciences.
The recognition is from the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences, or ACE, specifically its annual Critique and Awards Program.
The awards presentation is scheduled to take place at the annual ACE conference, scheduled this year from June 11 to 14 in Indianapolis.
Garvey is classified as a senior writer in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, but she is known as much for her writing as her insect photography — for which she is receiving the ACE Outstanding Professional Skill Award for the second year in a row (she won it last year with a bee sting photo).
Her 2013 skill award goes along with two gold awards (first place) in photography, one for a feature photo and the other for a picture story. The feature winner shows a praying mantis lunging at a honeybee (taken in UC Davis’ Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven), in a photo titled Missed! (the caption begins with the word “Danger!” in this post on Garvey’s Bug Squad blog). The picture story shows a gulf fritillary butterfly laying an egg (in Garvey’s back yard); see the picture story on Garvey’s blog.
Garvey received a silver award (second place) in writing for newspapers and an honorable mention in writing for magazines.
The silver recognizes her work in reporting on a doctoral candidate who answers questions on the online site Quora and who received an award for one of his answers, to the question: “If you injure a bug, should you kill it or let it live?”
Matan Shelomi’s answer went viral, according to Garvey’s story, and netted him recognition in the 2012 Shorty Awards, honoring the best in social media — in this case first place for the best answer on Quora.
Nelson, senior writer, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is the recipient of a gold award for promotional writing, for “Hope Dawns for UC Davis Feed Mill,” exploring UC Davis’ effort to replace its aging mill, and why that matters to the people of California, the nation and the world. Nelson won the 2010 ACE outstanding skill award for writing.
Van Eenennaam, a Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology, Department of Animal Science, is the recipient of an ACE honorable mention for a video that she wrote and directed: Were Those the Days, My Friend? It previously received the most votes in a contest sponsored by the American Society of Animal Science. Read about the video and see it here.
The competition for the 2012 calendar year also recognizes three editors with UC’s Agricultural and Natural Resources: Janet White, Hazel White and Janet Byron, for their work on “Analysis reveals potential rangeland impacts if Williamson Act eliminated,” which appeared in the October-December 2012 issue of California Agriculture.