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Letter from the Dean

Fall is always a time of rejuvenation for the College's missions of teaching, research, and extension. For this special issue, all three of those missions converge. Several UC Berkeley faculty and their graduate students, mainly from CNR, are coalescing around nothing short of a paradigm shift in the way the world produces food. Research related to an integrated agriculture and land-management approach they are calling "diversified farming systems" challenges the longheld convention that large-scale industrial monoculture, with its attendant environmental and ecosystem impacts, is the only way to feed the world's expected population surge. In fact, they contend, continuation of the status quo in agriculture is exactly what the world's hungry billions cannot afford (see How to Feed the World: Start Small).

With our focus on agriculture, conservation, and economic development, the College has always been a place for global thinking. Scratch a professor and she'll rattle off the names of past students who served in one of the nation's most venerable organizations with a similar global perspective: The Peace Corps. This year Cal has been helping the Peace Corps celebrate its 50th anniversary, and Breakthroughs joins in with remembrances and advice from a few of CNR's many Peace Corps veterans (see The Peace Corps at 50).

In addition to service, our alumni give back through philanthropy. With the state's ever-decreasing support of its public universities, we at UC Berkeley are fortunate to have a generous, passionate, and engaged alumni base to help keep us strong. David Knutson, '53, an Agricultural Science alumnus and a good friend of the College, has made the most of a very innovative giving vehicle (see College Support).

One last note on global thinking, and it's a note of welcome. I am pleased to announce that the University's internationally renowned Energy and Resources Group is now an affiliate of the College. With well-aligned missions and researchers who are already collaborators, we look forward to a rich and fruitful relationship (see ERG Joins the CNR Family). I welcome your comments at gilless@berkeley.edu.