Ella Mae Noffsinger, 84, who retired in 1991 as the senior museum scientist in charge of the UC Davis Nematode Collection, passed away March 22, 2018 in Woodland. She was a longtime resident of Palm Gardens Assisted Living, Woodland.
Noffsinger was instrumental in the development of the nematode collection, and collaborated with many nematologists in the description of species, said Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Active in the Society of Nematologists (SOM) when few women were participating, she served on the SOM executive board and as the editor of the Nematology Newsletter, as well as numerous other committees.
During her career, her research and work took her from Colorado to Wisconsin to Chile: from the Beet Sugar Development Foundation in Fort Collins, to the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, and to Santiago, Chile, from 1967 to 1969. She worked with UC Davis nematologist M. W. Allen for many years.
A native of Center, Colo., she was born into the rural ranching family of Doc and Ruth Noffsinger on March 15, 1934. She received her bachelor's degree at what is now Colorado State University, and her master's degree in 1958 from California State University in zoology.
After retiring, she spent most of her time along the coast of Brookings, Ore., enjoying fishing, and other coastal pursuits. She is preceded in death by her parents and brothers. Survivors include her many nieces and nephews, as well as her close friends in the Woodland and Davis area.
Memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army, "or the charity of your choice," her family indicated.
History of Nematology at UC Davis
DAVIS--Crowds will "explore the diversity of life" at 13 museums or collections during the seventh annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day on Saturday, Feb. 17. The event, set from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. is free and open to the public.
Displays will range from ancient dinosaur bones to live praying mantises, from hawks to honey bees and from California condor specimens to carnivorous plants. Last year's Biodiversity Museum Day drew more than 4000 visitors to campus.
This is a family friendly, science-based event, said Biodiversity Museum Day chair Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum of Entomology. All 13 museums or collections are within walking distance on campus except for the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road and the Raptor Center on Old Davis Road. Openings vary from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from noon to 4 p.m.
The following will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
- Arboretum and Public Garden, Good Life Garden, next to the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Science Institute, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus
- Bohart Museum of Entomology, Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane
- California Raptor Center, 340 Equine Lane, off Old Davis Road
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Room 1394, Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane
- Paleontology Collection, Earth and Physical Sciences Building, 434 LaRue Road
- Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus
- Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus
The following will be open from noon to 4 p.m.:
- Anthropology Museum, 328 Young Hall and grounds
- Design Museum, 124 Cruess Hall, off California Avenue
- Botanical Conservatory, Greenhouses along Kleiber Hall Drive
- Center for Plant Diversity, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive
- Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Bee Biology Road, off Hopkins Road (take West Hutchison Drive to Hopkins)
- Nematode Collection, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive
All participating museums and collections have active education and outreach programs, Yang said, but the collections are not always accessible to the public. In the event of rain, alternative locations are planned for the outdoor sites. Maps, signs and guides will be available at all the collections, online, and on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, @BioDivDay.
Capsule information about each museum or collection:
The Arboretum and Public Garden display will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Good Life Garden, next to the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Science Institute, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus. It will join two other collections: Phaff Yeast and Viticulture and Enology. The Arboretum activities will be interactive; Learning-by-Leading Students are creating the content that will be featured on the day of Biodiversity Day. Coordinator: Melissa Cruz, outreach and leadership program coordinator.
Bohart Museum of Entomology
The Bohart Museum of Entomology will be open from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, off LaRue Road. The Bohart is the home of a global collection of nearly 8 million insect specimens. Highlights will include the 500,000-specimen butterfly/moth collection, curated by entomologist Jeff Smith; display of praying mantises, including orchid mantises, by UC Davis entomology student Lohit Garikipati; and a Belize insect collection display by Smith and fellow Bohart Museum associates Fran Keller and Dave Wyatt from their latest expedition. "You'll be able to see the tremendous diversity of butterflies, moths and mantids, and talk to the scientists who have just returned from there," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. "There will be orchids and orchid bees connecting the Bohart Museum's work with plant biology and science."
California Raptor Center
The California Raptor Center on 1340 Equine Lane, Davis, just off Old Davis Road, will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A living collection of non-releasable raptors will be on exhibit. The center's educational ambassador birds will be out "on the fist" in the fenced yard by the museum, so visitors can get a close look at wild raptors while talking to the volunteers and learning about the magnificent birds of prey that live in this area, said Julie Cotton, volunteer and outreach coordinator. The on-site museum, recently renovated, features redesigned exhibits and a new touch-screen display. Coordinator: Julie Cotton, volunteer and outreach coordinator.
Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology
The Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, in Room 1394 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane (off LaRue Road) will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors can view the bird and mammal museum specimen taxidermy demonstrations; explore the research collections with museum docents; see the newly acquired California condors on display, and see other specimens on display, including Papua New Guinea birds and mammals, reptiles and amphibians, primates and marine fishes. Note that strollers are not allowed in classroom or museum, they can be parked them under adjacent stairwell. Visitors are also asked to wash their hands before entering museum. Coordinator: Andrew Engilis Jr., director.
The Paleobiology Collection will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Earth and Physical Sciences Building, 434 LaRue Road. Visitors can view fossil specimens dating from as old as 550 million years ago to more recent animal skeletons. Paleontology graduate students in invertebrate and vertebrate paleontology will answer questions and provide interesting factoids. Coordinator: Mark Deblois, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
Phaff Yeast Culture Collection and Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection
These collections will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, 392 Old Davis Road, on campus. Visitors can learn about the importance of microbes in research, biotechnology, and food and beverages, and about the proud history of two of the world's prominent microbe collections. The Phaff Yeast Culture Collection is part of the Department of Food Science and Technology department, and the Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection is part of the Department of Viticulture and Enology. Visitors can see and smell dozens of yeast species, learn how yeasts and bacteria are important for making fermented foods and beverages (even clothes can be made from microbes), taste vegemite, marmite and kombucha tea; learn about cutting edge research using these microbe collections; and tour the UC Davis teaching winery and brewery.
The microbe collection activities will be in the Robert Mondavi Institute Brewery, Winery and Food Processing building, which is in the southwest area of the complex of orange buildings at Old Davis Road and Hilgard Lane. Coordinators: Kyria Boundy-Mills, Phaff collection curator and specialist, Food Science and Technology, and Lucy Joseph, Viticulture and Enology collection curator and senior museum scientist.
The Department of Anthropology Museum in 328 Young Hall will be open from noon to 4 p.m. The Anthropology Museum curates collections of archaeological, ethnographic, biological and archival materials. The theme is "Year of the Dog" and there will be a scavenger hunt for kids to find all the hidden dogs in the exhibits, and people can test their skills as an ancient hunter and toss an atlatl dart or learn to make a tool from volcanic stone, says zooarchaeologist Christyann Darwent. The Anthropology Museum curates collections of archaeological, ethnographic, biological and archival materials. The museum maintains a teaching collection that includes casts and reproductions of artifacts from a variety of prehistoric human groups. Coordinator: Christyann Darwent, associate professor.
The Design Museum will be open from noon to 4 p.m. in Room 124 of Cruess Hall. Professor Timothy McNeil and curator Adrienne McGraw will staff the exhibit, It's Bugged: Insects' Role in Design, which explores the connections between people and insects. This is a special opening just for Biodiversity Museum Day. (The exhibit opened Jan. 8 and continues through April 22; regular hours are weekdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.) "It's Bugged" includes art from hornet nest paper; beetle-gallery sculptures, and insect-themed clothing from the Department of Design faculty and graduate students; and insect specimens from the Bohart Museum of Entomology and insect photos from UC Davis alumnus Alex Wild, curator of entomology at the University of Texas, Austin. Coordinators: Timothy McNeil, professor, and Adrienne McGraw, exhibition curator.
The Botanical Conservatory
The Botanical Conservatory, greenhouses on Kleiber Hall Drive, will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Visitors can expect a multi-sensory experience of a plethora of plants primarily from the tropical and subtropical biomes. Featured plants and displays include the always popular carnivorous plants, fruiting specimens of Chocolate (Theobroma) and Coffee (Coffea), various Amorphophallus species at various stages of leaf and possibly flowering individuals, an assortment of cacti, succulents and other desert dwellers, and finally an assortment of winter blooming South African Bulbs to further entice the senses. Coordinator: Ernesto Sandoval, collections manager.
Center for Plant Diversity Herbarium
The Center for Plant Diversity Herbarium, open from noon to 4 p.m. in Room 1026 of the Sciences Laboratory Building, central campus (off Kleiber Hall Drive), will exhibit Hmong medicinal and culinary herbs. Viewers can view and identify plants under the microscope and watch plant pressing and mounting demonstrations. A kids' area activity will include pressed plants/glue/paper. Coordinator: Ellen Dean, curator.
Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee demonstration garden next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, Bee Biology Road, will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Activities include catch-and-release bee viewing and making "Feed the Bees" seed cookies. The haven was installed in the fall of 2009. A six-foot-long bee sculpture, Miss Beehaven, by artist Donna Billick, co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, anchors the haven. Other art, coordinated by entomology professor Diana Ullman, co-founder and director of the Art/Science Fusion Program, and Billick, also graces the haven. Guests will see bee condos occupied by leafcutter bees and mason bees. Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology, has recorded more than 80 different species of bees in the garden. Coordinator: Christine Casey, academic program management officer.
The nematode collection will open from noon to 4 p.m. in the Science Laboratory Building, central campus (off Kleiber Hall Drive). Visitors can expect to see live and preserved nematode specimens. Highlights include the huge jars of whale intestinal worms. Nematodes, also called worms, are elongated cylindrical worms parasitic in animals or plants or free-living in soil or water. They exist in almost every known environment. The many different species eat everything from bacteria and fungi to plant and animal tissue. Coordinator: Corwin Parker, nematology doctoral student.
For further information about the Biodiversity Day, access the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day website.
The Society of Nematologists (SON) will present him with its Teaching Excellence Award at its 55th annual meeting, set July 17 – 21 in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Caswell-Chen, who joined the UC Davis Department of Nematology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology) in 1989, was praised as being an “exemplary teacher who loves to teach and interact with his students.”
“Ed is known for his enthusiasm, dedication, high-quality instruction and keen interest in helping his students understand and appreciate nematology—from the undergraduate level to the graduate level and beyond,” his nominators said.
“If I had to distill my endorsement of Ed into a single sentence, it would be that he has unbridled passion and dedication when it comes to getting undergraduates excited about science,” said nematologist Steve Nadler, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Nematology. “His dedication to teaching is truly altruistic, and although he has maintained a solid program of research, his major effort in recent years has involved teaching undergraduate and graduate students.”
Over the last five years, Caswell-Chen has taught 24 undergraduate courses, enrolling some 2400 students. His commitment to teaching includes five years of service as associate dean of the Graduate Program, UC Office of Graduate Studies. He is a former chair of the UC Davis Department of Nematology, and the Graduate Group in Ecology.
Caswell-Chen, who considers teaching his No. 1 priority, says the classroom is “an important forum for communication with students, and an opportunity for outreach with respect to the Agricultural Experiment Station mission, especially when lecturing to undergraduates in nematology, animal biology, and science and society courses.” His students describe his courses as informative, interesting and engaging.
Caswell-Chen said his philosophy of teaching “is that to be effective, teaching must engage students by highlighting the relevance of course material, and instructors must capture student attention through enthusiasm and supportive stimulation of student creativity. Interaction helps students learn how to think, ask questions, and form connections among the diverse facts they learn in their courses.”
“If students are participating and engrossed with the topic in the classroom, they don't immediately realize that they are learning—they are carried along by their thinking and engagement with the material,” he said. “All of these features of effective classroom instruction are relatively easy to attain when the subject matter is nematology—and biology, for that matter—because of the field's many fascinating and relevant aspects. In a nematology course, one can incorporate a wide range of intriguing topics, from nematode biodiversity and the deep, hot biosphere to soil ecology, to the fascinating interactions between nematodes and other organisms, to the importance of animal parasites and means for their management, to plant parasites, nematicides, and genetic engineering of crop plants for nematode resistance, to topics in aging and neurobiology from research on the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.”
Caswell-Chen is known for his research on the life history and ecology of C. elegans, a free-living or non-parasitic nematode that lives in temperate soil environments.
His interest and dedication to undergraduate education is reflected in his current service as the chair of the UC Davis Academic Senate Undergraduate Council, membership on the UC system-wide Educational Policy Committee, and his recent appointment as vice chair of that same Educational Policy Committee for the coming academic year.
UC Davis researcher Kristi Sanchez, former undergraduate student who received her doctorate from him in 2014 and served as his teaching assistant, described him as “the best professor I've ever had.”
“I have not met another professor at UC Davis who not just focuses on his research but enjoys, loves and wants to make teaching classes a priority for undergraduate students,” Sanchez said. “He is always about the students and making sure they understand the material. He always goes out of his way to provide more office hours so they can learn the material better or ask questions. And he is a professor who has the students text him instead of emailing him. The students love it.”
She credited him with inspiring her to pursue her degree and career in nematology. “Ed has given me many opportunities to pursue research questions that I would like to investigate, provides great advice and not just as a major professor but a father figure. He has pushed me to follow my goals and with my hard work, anything is possible.”
Said graduate student Chris Pagan, who has known Caswell-Chen for 12 years, beginning as an undergraduate student and then as a lab technician: “Ed makes the classroom a comfortable place. He is always approachable, and always genuinely interested in hearing what students have to say. Ed is always revising his lecture material and methods. He is constantly seeking new ways to keep students engaged.”
Nematologist Becky Westerdahl, UC Davis professor of entomology and nematology, praised Caswell-Chen for his excellence in teaching and as “one of the first professors at UC Davis to embrace the use of World Wide Web technology for teaching…He was instrumental in obtaining, establishing and maintaining the first web server for teaching in the Department of Nematology.” She said Caswell-Chen provides his students with “an excellent foundation, not just as future researchers, but as future educators as well.”
Caswell-Chen also teaches animal biology courses and Science and Society courses. He sometimes teaches freshman seminars by using the Campus Book Project selections, such as “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria” and “Half the Sky.” He has also taught his own selection of topics, including “The Ancient Middle East: Cradle of Civilization, Religion and Science” and “Protest Songs.”
Caswell-Chen received his bachelor's and master's degrees in botany and plant pathology from Michigan State University in 1979 and 1982, respectively, and his doctorate in 1985 in plant pathology from UC Riverside. He began his academic career in 1985 as an assistant professor in the University of Hawaii's Department of Plant Pathology before joining the UC Davis faculty in 1989.
"The average grocery store must dispose of more than 600 pounds of meats and produce every day when the products pass their sell-by date," Lewis says. "Where does it go? Currently, most waste food from groceries ends up in landfills. This costs grocery stores significantly, and wastes food and energy."
"A start-up company in this area, California Safe Soils LLC, is developing a novel solution to this problem by turning this wasted food into an agricultural product for soil nutrition. Nutrient management is a serious challenge to agriculture in California. Coupled with the need for providing the necessary nutrients to grow crops is the increasing concern of nitrate contamination of ground and surface water that comes from agricultural uses. A new product, called Harvest to Harvest, is in the testing phase as a soil amendment that aids in nutrient management."
"In this seminar, I'll describe the manufacturing of the material, the business plan of the company and the role of agricultural and ecological research in the research and development of this new product."
Of his research, Lewis says on his website: "My research program is wide-ranging in the scope of the questions asked and in the taxa that are studied. There is, however, a common thread to the work that takes place in my laboratory; we seek to understand why and how organisms find, recognize, assess and exploit resources. We ask questions about how insects and nematodes make decisions about resource utilization and what the fitness outcomes of the decisions are. To answer these kinds of questions, we engage in studies of behavior, population ecology, community ecology and evolutionary biology with several groups of insects, nematodes and bacteria. There are also intentional links to more practical pursuits including biological control of crop pests, predicting the impact of crop management on pest and beneficial organisms and restoration ecology. I see no difference between what is traditionally called 'basic' and 'applied' research, thus the links of nearly all of the work in the laboratory to agricultural or environmental concerns is explicit."
Lewis, who joined the UC Davis faculty in 2004, received his doctorate in entomology from Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; his master's degree in entomology from the University of Missouri, Columbia; and his bachelor's degree in natural resources from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
He served as a post-doctoral research associate for the UC Davis Department of Entomology, Rutgers University, from 1991 to 1994; assistant research professor at Rutgers from 1994 to 1995. He joined the Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, in 1995 as a research associate and then served as an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, from 1998 to 2004 before joining the UC Davis faculty.
A past president of the former UC Davis Department of Nematology, Lewis is active in the Entomological Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Society of Invertebrate Pathology and the Society of Nematologists. His professional service includes editor-in-chief of Biological Control; North American editor of Biopesticides International; and trustee of the Society of Invertebrate Pathology.
Lewis' seminar is the second in a series of spring-quarter seminars hosted by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in 122 Briggs and are coordinated by assistant professor Brian Johnson. The seminars are video-recorded for later viewing on UCTV.
Dr. Raski, known for his research on nematodes in the vineyards and sugarbeet fields, made great strides in establishing relationships between nematodes and the plant viruses they transmit. He and other campus researchers pioneered alternative approaches to nematode control that support sustainable agricultural practices.
He authored the book, “The Biology and Morphology of the Sugar-Beet Nematode, Heterodera schachtii (Schmidt)” and was the main author of the book, “Nematodes and Their Control in Vineyards.” He retired from UC Davis in 1987.
Dr. Raski received his doctorate in entomology in 1948 from UC Berkeley. He began his academic career on the UC Berkeley faculty that same year and then transferred to UC Davis in 1954 to establish the teaching and research program on campus. He chaired the UC Davis Department of Nematology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology) from 1959 to 1964, and from 1969 to 1973.
In 1998, he received a UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Award of Distinction. He was a founding member of the Society of Nematologists, bringing representation of the discipline in California to the attention of national and international nematologists. In India, he served as the catalyst that developed its first department of nematology, modeling it after UC Davis.
Dr. Raski was the lead author of “A History of Nematology in California,” with colleagues Ivan Thomason, John Chitambar and Howard Ferris. In the document, they related how they and fellow researchers sought to reduce the impact of nematodes on California's agricultural production, and to foster safer pest control that promotes sustainable agricultural practices by decreasing agricultural impact of plant and animal parasitic nematodes and reducing use of toxic pesticides; advancing knowledge of fundamental nematode biology; and promoting the beneficial uses of nematodes, including the biological control of insect pests.
Born Dec. 12, 1917 in Kenilworth, Utah, Dewey was three years old when he moved with his family to Los Angeles. He graduated from UC Berkeley in entomology in 1941. The start of World War II interrupted his graduate studies. He and two fellow students drove to Sacramento to enlist in the then Army Air Force: Dewey for pilot training, Phil Crane for gunnery training and Harold Reynolds for navigator training. All three returned to Berkeley and entomology after the war ended in 1945.
At first, there were few or no job opportunities, he recalled in “A History of Nematology in California.” Professor E. O. Essig, then chair of the UC Berkeley Department of Entomology and Parasitology, advised most of the returning students to continue their education toward a doctorate of philosophy.
Beginning in 1948, Dr. Raski taught a formal course in plant nematology at UC Berkeley. In 1954 he was transferred to UC Davis to establish “teaching and research on the campus” in the newly created Department of Plant Nematology. He taught formal courses in general plant nematology, principles and techniques of nematode taxonomy and morphology, nematode taxonomy and comparative morphology.
"The evolution of nematology at Davis was slow but sure, gaining wider acceptance every year and ultimately succeeded as a full-fledged department for research and teaching,” Raski wrote in the “A History of Nematology.”
On Jan. 9, 1954, Harrison “Harry” Wellman, then UC vice president for agricultural sciences announced plans for a statewide Department of Nematology and selected Dr. Raski of UC Davis as the chair, with the vice chairs at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside.
At UC Davis, “there was, from the beginning, a constant flow of national and international visitors of every sort and for variable periods of time,” Dr. Raski said. “The shortest period must have been one chap who arrived at the door asking for a briefing of what we knew about nematodes. He requested that this be done in less than one hour as he had a tight schedule! Some were post-doctorals or visiting scientists more likely to be three months to a year in collaborative research with a prearranged and agreed-upon subject. The collaborative research projects carried out at UC Davis covered a wide range of subjects the results of which made significant contributions to nematology.”
Dr. Raski recalled that space was tight in his first years at UC Davis. The Department of Entomology faculty “occupied a building that had previously served as the garage for University cars and trucks. Imposing three more faculty into that tightly crowded facility was an unreasonable burden on that department. The answer was found in a tiny corner room used for storing cans of old insecticide chemicals, diluents, lubricants, etc. That storage room was cleared, then together with a small adjacent area which served mostly for coffee breaks was thoroughly cleaned and painted. Finally a temporary wall and door were added and the resulting space proved barely adequate for three desks and chairs. It served as office quarters for Raski, (Bert) Lear and (B. F.) Lownsbery for several years in the early humble beginnings of Nematology at UC Davis.”
“Fortunately the special appropriations by the State Legislature provided funds for a full greenhouse and headhouse/laboratory. The site chosen to build these facilities was conveniently in the central part of campus and fully equipped to carry out various research projects. Later, campus plans designated this site as within the 10-minute zone, so-called to define the central part of campus within which students could walk between classes from one to another anywhere within that zone. Greenhouse work was to be located in a more distant area to the west and Nematology’s greenhouse itself was moved and reassigned to another department. The original headhouse/laboratory was reassigned to the Department of Botany but Nematology was privileged to redesign completely new, up-to-date facilities and equipment.”
Dewey Raski and his wife, Evelyn (Calmett), celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on April 20, 2013. The couple raised four children: Carole Juergenson of Oakdale, Paul Raski of Dixon, Maya Bodine of Davis and the late Bill Raski. A Davis Enterprise news article of May 16, 2013 related that they had 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, with “two more on the way.”
“My grandparents are loved by many; they have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that may not be blood, but are as dear to them as family,” granddaughter Angela Raski said in the news article. “They are some of the kindest, most compassionate, loving, faithful, and generous people you will ever meet. Seventy years of marriage is a rare and priceless jewel, and only becoming more so!”
Dr. Raski was also a humanitarian. Responding to a need for affordable housing in Davis, Raski helped organize the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.
Said colleague and emeritus professor of nematology Harry Kaya: "Dewey Raski led a wonderful life as a caring husband, father, grandfather, scientist and chair of the Department of Nematology. I believe he was a
wrestler in college and I do know that he trained pilots during World War II. He is known in India as the scientist who was instrumental in bringing nematology to the fore front and trained many Indian scientists. He was an excellent nematode systematist and taxonomist, but also did significant work in nematode control. He was involved in the research that showed that grapevine fanleaf virus was transmitted by a nematode."
Sources: “A History of Nematology in California” (as of January 2003); UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Outlook publications, and the Davis Enterprise. Special thanks to nematologists Steve Nadler and Harry Kaya.