Recap: Seminar honoring the retirement of Professor David Smart

Dr. Bruce Bugbee of Utah State speaking at the symposium.
Dr. Bruce Bugbee of Utah State speaking at the symposium.

 On December 3, 2019, UC Davis V&E Extension hosted a viticulture seminar titled "Honoring the retirement of David Smart: From root biology to carbon sequestration.”  

It was a poignant day, kicked off by V&E Department Chair, David Block, welcoming all attendees and introducing Professor David Smart as his colleague over the last 20 years. Christine (Teena) Armstrong (Stockert), regaled the audience with what life was like being Dave Smart’s lab manager (She started in July 2000).  Many happy memories were shared, which set the stage for fascinating research presentations from past students, research collaborators, and colleagues.

The overall theme could be summed up in four words, “the future of viticulture” with sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions as the overarching theme. As David Block mentioned, Smart’s research was progressive and working towards solving problems that only received major attention years later.  Cooperative Extension Specialist Kaan Kurtural (UC Davis) showed how he is using some of Dave Smart’s research findings in his own work.  Dr. Smart’s research clearly had a large footprint, impacting current decisions, from nitrogen management to irrigation decisions, as discussed by Maria del Mar Alsina Marti, Research Scientist at E&J Gallo Winery, Arnold Bloom, Distinguished Professor at UC Davis, Patrick Brown, Professor at UC Davis, Michael Wolff, Sr. Environmental Scientist, CDFA, Larry Williams, Emeritus Professor, UC Davis, Joshua Viers, Director, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and Associate Professor, Water Resources Engineering, UC Merced, and Professor David Eissenstat from Penn State University.   

Another highlight was the interesting work, sponsored by NASA, focusing on regenerative life support, presented by Professor Bruce Bugbee from Utah State University.  Dr. Smart was a post-doctoral fellow in Prof. Bugbee’s lab, working on developing a new short stem wheat that could be grown on the space station.  The day showcased how basic science can lead to real applications in sustainable agriculture.

Thank you to those who traveled, presented, and shared the day with us, honoring Professor Smart. 


View the symposium program here: David_Smart_program.pdf