NEWS BRIEFS: Stebbins Closed Again Amid High Temps

Stebbins Cold Canyon reserve landscape
Too hot for hiking at Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve — so the popular trails are closed this week. (KCRA)

Quick Summary

  • Unitrans ride count in 2017-18 exceeds 4 million
  • This is the ‘instant’ time to order calendars
  • New sessions of ‘Gatekeeper’ Training
  • Equestrian, cross country coaches named

As planned, UC Davis Natural Reserves officials closed the Stebbins Cold Canyon trails as the weekend came to an end, seeking to protect hikers from heat-related illness as temperatures soar to around 100 degrees all week.

Officials also closed the trails last Monday through Friday (July 16-20) after the prior weekend saw two hikers having to be rescued after suffering heat stroke. Check the Stebbins Cold Canyon website to see the latest trail advisories.

In one of the July 14 rescues, a helicopter carried the female victim off the trail to a nearby landing pad, where she was transferred to an ambulance; and, in the other incident, rescuers brought the female victim to the landing pad, where a helicopter took her to a hospital. Chief Howard Wood of the Vacaville Fire Protection District reported both women had gone home.

The trails reopened last weekend (July 21-22) when high temperatures dipped into the range of the low- to mid-90s. Read more about heat concerns at Stebbins Cold Canyon — and the precautions you should follow when hiking there in summer.

Unitrans ride count in 2017-18 exceeds 4 million

Unitrans — the city of Davis and UC Davis public transportation service operated by the Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD) — carried more than 4 million passengers in 2017-18, a milestone achieved only once before in the transit system’s 50-year history.

“All of us at Unitrans would like to thank our customers for their support, as well as our drivers and conductors, for making our 50th year such a memorable one,” said Jeff Flynn, general manager. “We look forward to serving our growing community.”

For the year ending June 30, Unitrans tallied 4,020,000 riders, an increase of 2 percent over the year before. Flynn attributed the increase to a growing university population and to having an operations team, supported by more than 200 undergraduate employees, that delivered extra-capacity bus service to minimize the number of people left behind at bus stops during periods of high demand.

Unitrans, which had annual ridership of under 1 million in 1990 and hit the 4-million mark for the first time in 2015-16, is one of the few national examples of increasing bus transit ridership.

ASUCD President Michael Gofman said, “We believe this shows ASUCD and Unitrans’ value to the community and that our campus and community can rely on Unitrans on a daily basis.”

With 4 million annual boardings and continued high demand, Unitrans has the third highest bus ridership on a per-service-hour basis in California, behind only large urban services San Francisco Muni and Los Angeles Metro.

This is the ‘instant’ time to order calendars

The 2018-19 campus poster calendar is destined to be an “instant” hit, considering the images will be from Instagram (the UC Davis account and student accounts)Preorders are being taken now through Aug. 13.

You may have already received the preorder form (UC Davis Stores sent it July 16 to a “calendar” email list); if you didn’t get one, send an email to, and store staff will send one. Fill out the form (it’s a fillable PDF) and return it by email.

The calendars are priced at $2.49 apiece (flat and rolled, or folded) with the following discounts available: 10 percent department discount for all orders paid by recharge account or P-Card, and 20 percent discount for orders of 100 or more calendars billed to a single account or P-Card.

If you’re paying by recharge, your order must be accompanied by a Bookstore Purchase Order available through UCDBuy (search for catalog No. 71461-198).

The calendars are due to arrive from the printer in mid-August. If you are preordering, the fastest way to get your calendars is by picking them up at the Campus Store (Memorial Union). Free delivery is available for orders of 25 or more calendars going to campus-associated locations in Davis and Sacramento.

Flat, rolled calendars will be sold at the Campus Store, Welcome Center Store and Downtown Store, corner of Second and F streets, Davis.

New sessions of ‘Gatekeeper’ Training 

“Gatekeeper" Training  is back for three sessions on the Davis campus in August — to equip staff and faculty with skills and knowledge “to comfortably and confidently speak to students about mental health concerns and then refer them to appropriate mental health resources.” The term “gatekeeper” derives from the fact that faculty and staff often serve as students’ gateways to help.

The free training is offered as part of a study sponsored by the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Student Health and Counseling Services, and the Division of Student Affairs.

Here is the schedule:

  • Thursday, Aug. 9 — 8:50-11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 21 —  1:50-4 p.m.  
  • Tuesday, Aug. 28 — 8:50-11 a.m.

If you or your department is interested in a training, send an email to the study team, specifying one training date and time. In return, you will receive an email from “Support UCD Wellness Study” with the subject line, “Invitation to a UC Davis Pilot Study of Training to Support Student Mental Health,” and instructions for completing a pretraining questionnaire.

For more information, contact Professor Carolyn Dewa by email, or you can send an email to her research assistant, Bushra Shaikh.

Equestrian, cross country coaches named

Intercollegiate Athletics announced the appointment of two new head coaches, one for cross country and the other for equestrian — the latter being one of two new women’s teams starting in 2018-19 as UC Davis brings men’s and women’s athletics opportunities back into balance as required by Title IX. Athletics previously announced a head coach for the other new team, beach volleyball.

EQUESTRIAN — Jessie (Highfill) Weisinger has traded one Aggie university for another in making the move here from an assistant coaching job at her alma mater, Texas A&M. She took up her new post Monday (July 23).

Weisinger led Texas A&M’s horsemanship squad and assisted head coach Tana McKay with the reining team during her tenure from 2014-15 to this past season. In 2017, the Aggies won the National Collegiate Equestrian Association championship and Weisinger guided three student-athletes to NCEA All-Championship Horsemanship honors. Earlier this year, the Aggies captured the NCEA reining event championship.

Weisinger oversaw 20 head of horses for her horsemanship crew, securing the donations and leases for the Aggies. She also handled recruiting, event management and riding camps during her years in College Station.

She was an original member of Texas A&M’s equestrian program as well as a member of its first national championship team in 2002. She lettered from 1999 to 2002.

Read more in this athletics news release.

Read about UC Davis' first beach volleyball coach.

CROSS COUNTRY — Emma (Reed) Petersen, a former graduate assistant at Florida State and most recently an assistant at Pepperdine, took over July 9 as head coach of the UC Davis Aggies’ men’s and women’s cross country teams.

In addition, she will assist Rahn Sheffield, director of cross country and track and field, during the winter and spring as the distance coach for the women’s indoor track and field program, and the outdoor track and field teams. Her duties also include assisting with recruiting efforts for all teams that she coaches.

Petersen served one season with the Pepperdine Waves under the direction of veteran mentor Robert Radnoti. She worked with Florida State’s distance runners from 2015 to 2017 while earning her master’s degree in sports management.

As a collegian, Petersen first competed at Boston University, where she helped her team finish second at the America East Conference cross country meet. She then transferred to New Mexico, helping the Lobos to three Mountain West Conference titles and an 18th-place showing at the NCAA cross country meet. She placed seventh in the steeplechase at the 2011 MWC championships.

Read more in this athletics news release.

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