About Our Outreach Programs

Here at the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, we take our mandate as a land grant institution – to provide quality higher education and address the needs of society - very seriously. The problems and solutions evolve, but our commitment stays the same: We address those things that matter most to California to transform the world.

Outreach is central to that mission. We partner with growers, ranchers, residents, consumers, communities and others to better understand the needs – both regional and global – and to provide research-based solutions to those problems.

Historical examples abound. In 1934, the Agronomy Division at Davis organized the California Approved Seed Plant to ensure a steady supply of pure seed of standard and improved field crops. In the 1940s, vegetable crop researcher Jack Hanna started breeding new tomato varieties that ripened uniformly and could withstand mechanical harvesting - a move that helped rescue the California tomato industry. In the late 1940s, Cooperative Extension researchers released weed-eating beetles, which – to this day - help ranchers and others control the aggressive Klamath weed from overtaking their land.

Research & Information Centers (RICS)

The Research and Information Centers are focal points for interaction between external stakeholders, California consumers and the research and educational resources of the University of California. The RICs represent a collaboration among researchers to distribute knowledge to benefit agriculture and preserve natural resources.

The RICs are funded, in part, by the Ralph E. Myers Fund, which was established in 1952 to support agricultural research. UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) administers the endowment and partners with the RICs to conduct their research and extension activities. Additional funding comes from the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences and funds generated by the individual RICs. 

RIC areas of expertise include agronomy, fruits and nuts, nursery and floriculture, postharvest, rangelands, seed biotechnology, vegetables and weeds. The RICs are housed at the UC Davis campus and are closely engaged with UC research and extension personnel at county Cooperative Extension offices, Research and Extension Centers, and other UC campuses (UC Riverside, UC Merced and UC Berkeley). These collaborations are vital in advancing UC’s land grant mission.

Other Centers and Institutes

The role of centers and institutes is to:

  • Serve as interdepartmental focal points to address emerging and critical issues
  • Advance the research and outreach goals of the college and its many researchers and units
  • Facilitate engagement of stakeholders
  • Serve as information centers for industry partners, alumni, donors, and other stakeholders

Full List