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NEWS BRIEFS: Marine and coastal science — it’s our newest major

By Dave Jones on November 12, 2013 in University News

UC Davis is launching a new undergraduate major in marine and coastal science. Affiliated with the new Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, the new, interdisciplinary major draws on expertise from across the campus, with special emphasis on the land-ocean interface, coastal issues, and human impacts on marine and coastal environments.

Students can get their feet wet with a broad education in the science of oceans and coastlines as well as diving into one of four focus areas: coastal environmental processes, marine ecology and organismal biology, marine environmental chemistry, or oceans and the Earth system. Students are encouraged to carry out fieldwork through courses at the university's Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Current students can enroll in the major now. Lead adviser for the program is Tessa Hill, associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, which is the administrative hub for the program.

Theme, marshals set for Picnic Day No. 100

We know the date for the 100th Picnic Day (April 12), and now we know some other important details.

  • The theme — “100: A Timeless Aggie Tradition”
  • Parade marshals — Hal ’52 and Carol ’04 Sconyers, longtime UC Davis supporters, members of the Chancellor’s Laureates; and Sandy Holman ’87, director of the Davis-based Culture C.O.-O.P. (it stands for caring, optimistic, open-minded people), offering cultural diversity training and related services.

The Picnic Day board announced the theme and marshals during a reception last week at the Gunrock Pub.

The Picnic Day board began the tradition of naming parade marshals in 1962; here’s a list of all the marshals from 1962 to 2013. Past themes are listed here.

Prized Writing: Hear from 3 of the student authors

The 2012-13 edition of Prized Writing is out, and you’re invited next week to hear from three of the students whose works are included.

The Undergraduate Writing Program produces Prized Writing annually, showcasing works in two categories: essays, and science and technical writing.

The upcoming program is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in 126 Voorhies Hall. Here are the featured student writers and their works:

  • Jessica Liu, a premed student, fourth year in human development: “Resting State Functional Connectivity as a Pre-Clinical Diagnostic Tool for Alzheimer’s Disease.”
  • Megan Mateo, who is nearing graduation in evolution and ecology, and biology, “Settlement Patterns of the Invasive Tunicate, Botrylloides violaceus, as Affected by Substrate Type.”
  • Brian McGarry ’13, biochemistry and molecular biology with an English minor, “Part Human, Part Machine: The Artificial Pancreas Automates Insulin Therapy for Type 1 Diabetics.”

For more information, contact lecturer Karma Waltonen,

Everyone wins in this Causeway Classic

Between UC Davis and California State University, Sacramento, nearly 3,200 people participated in the 2013 Causeway Classic Blood Drive — and the BloodSource blood bank netted 2,491 pints of blood as a result.

“That is huge, be proud,” said a BloodSource representative, Felicia Roper, said in a thank you note.

The winner of this friendly competition is based on the number of people who turn out for the football season blood drives on each campus (UC Davis held its drive Nov. 5 and 6), or who designate either school when giving blood at any BloodSource clinic or mobile collection site.

Sacramento State tallied 1,768 participants and collected 1,381 pints, while UC Davis counted 1,408 participants and collected 1,111 pints. (Not every participant ends up giving blood, accounting for the difference between number of participants and number of pints collected.)

With Sac State’s victory this year, the Causeway Classic Blood Drive series is now tied: UC Davis won the first three years, and Sac State won the last three years.

The Aggies still lead in the Causeway Classic football series, 40-19, and will go for win No. 41 when the teams meet Saturday, Nov. 23, at Hornet Stadium. Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. Tickets (buy general admission and sit in the Aggie section, east side of the stadium).

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Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,