NEWS BRIEFS: Solar Farm Comes to Campus, Sort Of

Graphic: An outline shows the size of UC Davis' solar farm.
Suns will be drawn in chalk on the ground, encompassing 62 acres — the size of UC Davis’ solar farm.

Quick Summary

  • VC-CFO Lawlor to hold HR ‘Listening Sessions’
  • Lost and quickly found on Picnic Day
  • Police Accountability Board meets Wednesday
  • TRANSITION: Hopmans to lead World Food Center on interim basis

Earth Day is Friday (April 22), but, at UC Davis this week, we’re celebrating Earth and Sun Day, shining a light on the university’s 16.3-megawatt solar plant that went into operation late last year.

While you may have heard about the solar farm — it is, after all, supplying 14 percent of the Davis campus’s electricity — chances are you’ve never seen it, given that it’s a couple of miles south of Interstate 80. So, to show you just how big it is, the Sustainable Resource Operations student organization is bringing the solar farm to the core campus, sort of. Students will draw large suns, in chalk, to create an outline that matches the solar farm’s 62-acre size (see map above).

The outline, due to be in place Wednesday (April 20), will stretch from Aggie Soccer Field on the west to the Social Sciences and Humanities Building on the east, and from North Quad Avenue on the north to Hutchison Drive on the south. Signs will be posted at intervals, to explain the outline and how the campus’s huge array of solar panels is cutting our carbon footprint by 9 percent.

More about the solar farm: news release (with video) here and slideshow (upper right).

VC-CFO Lawlor to hold HR ‘Listening Sessions’

Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Dave Lawlor, who oversees Human Resources for all of UC Davis, announced a series of lunchtime “Listening Sessions” where employees are welcome to talk with him about HR topics. The roundtable meetings will be held on the Davis and Sacramento campuses.

The first roundtable is scheduled for this Friday (April 22), on the topic of recruitment. All roundtables are scheduled from noon to 1 p.m., and lunch will be served. RSVPs are requested, by email to Michele Hassett.

Here are the topics, date and locations:

Lost and quickly found on Picnic Day

An alert campus staff member saw a WarnMe alert come across about a missing child, spotted her and, before you know it, the 9-year-old was back with her parents on Picnic Day.

Police sent the WarnMe message by text and email at about 1:20 p.m., about a half hour after the child went missing on the Quad. The alert gave this description: name (Makayla), Asian female in a pink shirt with white flowers, 3 feet tall.

Nicholas Villarrael, of Student Housing Dining Services, saw the child just after receiving the text, contacted authorities, and police quickly sent an alert to say the child had been reunited with her parents.

The campus’s WarnMe and Aggie Alert system automatically includes phone numbers and email addresses from the university’s online directory listings for all faculty, staff and students. All such UC Davis affiliates are encouraged to add additional contact information, say, for their personal phones and email addresses. People off campus also are welcome to sign up.

Police estimated Picnic Day attendance at 70,000 to 80,000 people, and reported two arrests and seven alcohol citations during the day. From the police log, there were another four arrests and eight citations during the evening.

Police Accountability Board meets Wednesday

The independent Police Accountability Board will split up for simultaneous public meetings Wednesday (April 20) on the Davis and Sacramento campuses.

The meetings will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the DeCarli Room, Memorial Union (second floor), Davis campus; and 3225A/B Education Building (4610 X St.) on the Sacramento campus.

The board holds public meetings quarterly during the regular academic year. Up until now, the board has alternated between the Davis and Sacramento campuses, and held its meetings at night.

Each public session starts with board member introductions and information about the board's purpose and how complaints can be filed. The board then invites public comment.

TRANSITION: Hopmans to lead World Food Center on interim basis

Jan W. Hopmans will serve as interim director of the World Food Center effective May 1, on a partial appointment while he still serves as associate dean for International Programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He is a professor of soil hydrology in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, and a former department chair.

The World Food Center’s founding director, Roger Beachy, continues as a World Food Center senior fellow, while Josette Lewis remains in her role as associate director.

The search for a permanent director is proceeding, and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi expects to have an announcement soon.

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