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LAURELS: Mitloehner Earns Communications Award

By Dateline Staff on April 30, 2019 in University

Quick Summary

  • Cameron Carter to receive Society of Biological Psychiatry’s George N. Thompson Award
  • European Geosciences Union awards Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal to Isabel Montañez
  • Engineering team of Heather Bischel, assistant professor, and Hannah Safford, Ph.D. student, win top prize in water treatment challenge
  • Pacific Sociological Association honors Caitlin Patler for journal article

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, or CAST, announced that it will present its 2019 communication award to Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science.

He is UC Davis’ third recipient of the Borlaug CAST Communication Award in its 10-year history, following Alison Van Eenennaam in 2014 and Carl Winter in 2012. Van Eenennaam is a Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology, Department of Animal Science, and Winter is a Cooperative Extension specialist in food toxicology, and director of the FoodSafe Program, Department of Food Science and Technology.

The award, dedicated in part to Norman E. Borlaug, “The Man Who Fed the World” and author of CAST publication No. 1, is presented annually to a scientist, engineer, technologist or other professional in the agricultural, environmental or food sectors, for contributing to the advancement of science in the public policy arena, with primary consideration given to candidates who are actively engaged in promoting agriculture through research, teaching, extension or mass communication.

Mitloehner does all four in disseminating science-based evidence of the livestock industry’s true impact on climate — as when he corrected the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization for its miscalculation, in a 2006 report, of the livestock sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. By overstating the emissions, Mitloehner said, the FAO had set people off on the wrong solutions — such as cutting back on meat and milk consumption — that would only stymie efforts to feed a growing world population.

His research aims at more efficient livestock production, especially in developing countries, to lessen emissions.

“Being recognized with the Borlaug CAST Communication Award is not only a high honor, it’s an affirmation of the importance of sharing research and academic pursuits well beyond labs, classrooms and universities.”

Since he joined UC Davis in 2002, Mitloehner has given more than 800 presentations at conferences and meetings, and has contributed to news stories published by CNN, PBS, Newsweek, The Washington Post and other media outlets.

His @GHGGuru Twitter account has nearly 7.750 followers (GHG stands for “greenhouse gases”) and, late last year, he launched the GHG Guru Blog to deliver the “latest, most accurate research” focused on the intersection between animal agriculture and the climate.

“Science for science’s sake has no role in making our world more sustainable,” Mitloehner said. “Sharing what we know — and backing it up with facts — leads to discussions and solutions,” he said.

Cameron Carter mugshot

The Society of Biological Psychiatry announced it will present its George N. Thompson Award to Cameron Carter, professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and director of the Imaging Research Center at UC Davis Health.

The award, named after one of the society’s founders, recognizes members for outstanding service to promote the welfare of the organization.

The award presentation is set for the society’s 74th annual scientific meeting to be held in Chicago in mid-May.

Isabel Montanez mugshot

Professor Isabel Montañez of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has been awarded the 2019 Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal by the Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Palaeontology Division of the European Geosciences Union.

The medal, presented annually in honor of the 18th-century French naturalist and early proponent of evolution, recognizes Montañez for her work using sedimentary geochemistry to investigate climate in the deep past.

In her Lamarck Medal Lecture at the EGU’s general assembly in Vienna in April, she addressed the topic, “Reconstructing the Earth System in Deep Time.”

Hannah Safford mugshot
Heather Bischel mugshot

Heather Bischel, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Hannah Safford, one of Bischel’s Ph.D. students, recently won the top prize of $40,000 in a competition seeking proposals to optimize the design and operation of advanced water treatment facilities.

Specifically, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation sought proposals for improved pathogen detection and monitoring in the production of high-quality, potable water from wastewater.

Bischel and Safford, in their entry in the Pathogen Monitoring Stage 1 Challenge, proposed a computational tool that would rapidly quantify viruses in raw or treated wastewater.

Read the Bureau of Reclamation’s article about the challenge results.

Caitlin Patler mugshot

Caitlin Patler, an assistant professor of sociology, whose research focuses on migration, inequality and “crimmigration,” recently received the Pacific Sociological Association’s Distinguished Contribution to Sociological Perspectives Award.

The award recognized “To Reveal or Conceal: How Diverse Undocumented Youth Navigate Legal Status Disclosure,” the paper she published in the association’s journal last year.

The paper stemmed from Patler’s research on when and under what circumstances diverse undocumented youths reveal or conceal their status from school-based adults and peers, what factors influence those decisions, and how they are linked to social and educational outcomes.

Patler is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Poverty Research, Migration Research Cluster, Social Control Cluster and Human Rights Studies in the College of Letters and Science.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or