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Accident victims remembered

By Amy Agronis on October 12, 2001 in University

A ceremony in the campus Arboretum on Wednesday will dedicate a commemorative grove in memory of five UC Davis and Japanese scientists who died last year on a research trip in Mexico.

Family and friends will dedicate a grove of five trees and a memorial plaque bearing text in English and Japanese, said Neal Van Alfen, dean of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

"The friends and collaborators we lost made significant contributions in their scientific fields. We always will be grateful for what they taught us. This grove will be a place where many people can come to remember them," said Van Alfen.

The scientists who died in the boating accident on the Sea of Cortez on March 27, 2000, were the chair of the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy, Gary Polis, 53, and his postgraduate researcher, Michael Rose, 27, and three scientists from the Center for Ecological Research at Kyoto University – Takuya Abe, 55, an animal ecology professor; Masahiko Higashi, 45, a mathematical ecology professor; and Shigeru Nakano, 37, an associate professor of aquatic ecology. Three UC Davis students and another postgraduate researcher survived the accident.

The ceremony will begin at 12:15 p.m. at the grove, which is near Putah Creek Lodge. Speakers will include UC Davis officials and relatives of Gary Polis and Michael Rose. After the ceremony, a reception with light refreshments will be held at the lodge.

RSVPs are requested but not required. If you will attend, please respond by Monday to Amber Welsh, Ceremonies & Special Events, 757-3219,

Media contact(s)

Amy Agronis, Dateline, (530) 752-1932,