NEWS BRIEFS: Ag health and safety center to honor farmworkers advocate

UC Davis’ Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety is honoring a longtime advocate for farmworkers, Don Villarejo, who played a role in the center’s founding more than 20 years ago.


A reception and ceremony are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 10, as part of the center’s monthly seminar series. The seminar that evening features John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, addressing the topic: “Passionate Partners Are What Makes Government Work (At All).” The program, scheduled from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Genome and Biomedical Sciences Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Villarejo founded the California Institute for Rural Studies in 1977 and served as its executive director until retiring in 1999; the institute concerns itself with farm labor practices, food systems and rural health, among other, related issues.

Subsequent to the institute’s founding, he taught at UC Davis for several years, and, in 1990, he began working with Marc Schenker and other UC faculty members on an initiative devoted to occupational health risks in farm work. That effort led to the founding of the Western Center for Agriculture Health and Safety, in which he participated as a researcher for many years.

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'Connecting' wildlife to their habitats

The system of roads that crisscross the country may make it easier for people to get from one end to another, but it often creates barriers for wildlife in getting to their habitats.

The animals need connected habitats, or “connectivity,” a subject that will bring academics, conservationists and others together next week for a daylong forum co-sponsored by the UC Davis Road Ecology Center and the Felidae Conservation Fund, and held at the David Brower Center in Berkeley.

This will be the third California Connectivity Forum (UC Davis hosted the first two, in 2008 and 2010), exploring the movement of wildlife — from large predators to marine animals — and ways to repair lost connections.

Next week’s agenda includes lunchtime “speed training” sessions on topics that may include wildlife cameras and highways, cameras and biodiversity tracking, tracking and track plates, radio collars, and transportation planning and funding opportunities for wildlife crossings.

Forum organizers are Fraser Shilling, co-director of the Road Ecology Center, and Zara McDonald, executive director of the Felidae Conservation Fund.

The registration form and agenda are available online.

Save a life with PulsePoint on your phone

The campus Fire Department and the Davis Fire Department already share dispatch services, run by the city, and, as of tomorrow (Dec. 1), they will have another dispatch service — one that calls on ordinary citizens to help victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

The new service, PulsePoint, works with GPS and smartphone technology to dispatch people who have indicated a willingness to help.

To be a citizen responder, you need to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, you need to download the free PulsePoint app (for Apple or Android operating systems) and allow GPS to track your phone.

Then, when a cardiac distress call comes in, the dispatch center will send emergency units as usual — and, if the call came from a public place, activate the PulsePoint system. It uses global positioning satellite technology to find PulsePoint volunteers in the vicinity of the emergency (usually within walking distance), and sends an alert to their phones advising of the nearby emergency.

The application also directs citizen rescuers to the closest publicly accessible automated external defibrillator (of which there are about 60 on the Davis campus, 50 of them accessible to citizen responders).

Read the campus Fire Department’s news release.

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Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,

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