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Academic Federation honors Jeff Loux, adjunct faculty and UC Davis Extension stalwart

By Dave Jones on October 22, 2013 in University News

Where in the world is Jeff Loux and what’s he doing?

The adjunct associate professor could be teaching environmental design or water policy to undergraduates and graduate students on campus. He could be teaching a UC Davis Extension class in Sacramento. He could be across the Atlantic Ocean, bicycle touring with 26 undergrads on a Summer Abroad program called “Sustainable Cities of Northern Europe.”

He could be taking care of administrative business as a UC Davis Extension department chair and program director; or attending a meeting of the Graduate Council (as the Academic Federation’s representative) or the Geography Graduate Group, or the advisory council for the Center for Regional Change.

But we know for sure where to find him on Friday, Nov. 1: at a campus dinner where he will receive the Academic Federation’s 41st annual James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award. See dinner details below.

Federation members can receive no higher honor than the Meyer award from their colleagues — more than 1,000 academic appointees in all: lecturers and adjunct professors, researchers and scientists, librarians and Cooperative Extension specialists, academic administrators and program coordinators.

Loux, adjunct faculty since 2002, teaches in the Landscape Architecture-Environmental Design Program, in the Department of Human Ecology, and previously taught in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, and the Community Development Graduate Group.

At UC Davis Extension, he is co-director of the Land Use and Natural Resources Program and chair of the Science, Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, overseeing hundreds of courses, seminars and conferences aimed at working professionals — with some 6,000 enrollments a year.

Extending his reach

Loux was a working professional himself when he started teaching UC Davis Extension courses in 1992. Back then, he was community development director for the city of Davis (1992-98). He worked in the private sector as an environmental planning consultant before and after his stint in City Hall.

He joined UC Davis Extension full time in 2000, as director of Land Use and Natural Resources. The program has since grown from about 50 courses to more than 120 with some 4,000 participants, a budget of $1.3 million to $2 million annually, and partnerships and contracts with numerous California state agencies involved in water, environment and land use policy.

In nominating Loux for the Meyer award, two of his UC Davis Extension colleagues, Julia Lave Johnston and Tara Zagofsky, described him as a “leader and innovator” in the urban-environmental planning, water policy and sustainability professions for more than 30 years, inside and outside the university.

As a teacher, he brings his “real-world” experience into the classroom to better prepare his students to be effective in both their academic and professional pursuits, Johnston and Zagofsky wrote.

As an academic, Loux’s applied research and scholarship has grown to national and international status with his books, lecture and other speaking engagements around the world, and dozens of journal articles and professional reports.

A recent example is the “New River Strategic Plan” (2012), as requested by the California Legislature to recommend cleanup strategies for the highly polluted waters of the New River as it crosses the U.S.-Mexico border and makes its way through the Imperial Valley to the Salton Sea.

His books Water and Land Use and The Open Space and Land Conservation Handbook came out in 2004 and 2010, respectively, and he has two more in the works, one on community involvement and the other on ecologically based urban districts.

‘Breadth, impact, energy’

In an attempt to sum up Loux’s career, Johnston and Zagofsky settled on three words: breadth, impact, energy.

• His unique expertise bridges the fields of planning, environmental science, water policy and public engagement.

• He pioneered concepts of water-wise community design and has participated in California legislative efforts on integrated regional water planning, growth management, and implementation of agricultural conservation easements as mitigation for urban development.

• And, as for energy, consider that in a typical year he teaches 10 to 15 extension classes, each from one to four days long, in addition to his research and writing, administrative work, and various courses for undergraduates and graduate students on campus and abroad.

Johnston and Zagofsky credited Loux for “nurturing and expanding” the UC Davis Extension Land Use and Natural Resources Program, “bringing the university to professionals and creating a strong relationship between the university and state agencies.”

Under his stewardship, his nominators continued, UC Davis Extension has created “a more educated and informed professional cohort in this region,” a cohort that “strongly supports extension’s mission of helping professionals reach their personal goals and improve the communities we serve.”

“We strongly believe that Dr. Loux is an ideal candidate for this award based on his service to the university, the Academic Federation and the professional community,” Johnston and Zagofsky wrote. “His commitment to innovation and education is well balanced with his efforts to use this knowledge to improve the long-term sustainability of the Sacramento region, California and the world.”

Loux responded: “I am deeply honored and, frankly humbled, to receive this recognition. In my view, it is really an honor that goes to my family for all of their support over the years, and to my amazing staff and colleagues at UC Davis Extension and on campus who make it possible to do the valuable work we do.

“It is about improving people’s lives and their environment, one person and one place at a time.”

Award dinner

A dinner in Loux’s honor is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, in Ballroom B at the Conference Center. RSVPs are requested by Friday, Oct. 25.

The cost is $35 per person. Payment may be made by credit card by calling Ceremonies and Special Events, (530) 754-2262; or by check made payable to “UC Regents,” delivered to Ceremonies and Special Events, UC Davis Conference Center (second floor), One Shields Ave., Davis 95616.

For more information, call Ceremonies and Special Events, (530) 754-2262.

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Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,