Davis study shows nutrient decline in garden crops

Bruce Auld, a former Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent, is writing the history of Burroughs High School. The articles that are being published are excerpts from his upcoming book, exclusive to The News Review. “Study Suggests Nutrient Decline in Garden Crops over Past 50 Years” by Dr. Don Davis (BHS 1959)

In 2004, UT News reported, “A recent study of 43 garden crops led by a University of Texas at Austin biochemist suggests that their nutrient value has declined in recent decades while farmers have been planting crops designed to improve other traits… Emerging evidence suggests that when you select for yield, crops grow bigger and faster, but they don’t necessarily have the ability to make or uptake nutrients at the same, faster rate. For more information on Dr. Davis’ landmark study, search, ‘Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?’ In the April 27, 2011 Scientific American.”

Donald Davis graduated from Burroughs with the Class of 1959. He was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by his classmates and was awarded the prestigious Bank of America Award for Science. (1959 El Burro) While at Burroughs, Donald was fortunate to participate during his junior and senior years in the Burroughs and China Lake Work-Experience Program. “ Donald Davis, sponsored by Donald W. Moore, Chemistry Division, Research Department, working on liquid chromatography…. Some X-ray diffraction experimentation is planned. Davis is one of ten Burroughs students who participated in the Work-Experience Program last year, accomplishing materials evaluation under Robert Weinhardt.” (February 27, 1959 Rocketeer)

Donald earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Caltech in 1962 and Ph.D. in Chemistry from UCLA in 1965. Dr. Davis was a National Institute of Science (NIS) Cooperative Fellow, Instructor in Chemistry from 1965-67. From 1967 to 1974, Dr. Davis was an assistant professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). (ORCID)

“One of my Chem 1 students at U.C. Irvine (UCI) gave me a book on nutrition in about 1969 and I became so impressed with the neglected opportunities in this field that I began teaching it at UCI. Then in 1974 I moved to the University of Texas at Austin in order to pursue research with Roger J. Williams, discoverer of two B-vitamins and well-known author of Nutrition Against Disease and The Wonderful World Within You.” Dr. Davis contributed to both of these works. Dr. Davis would spend the next four decades as a research scientist in the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Davis is also a research consultant with the Bio-Communications Research Institute in Wichita, Kansas. (ORCID)

An avid sailing enthusiast, Dr. Davis avoids the hot Austin summers by returning to Irvine and Newport Beach. (Excerpted from the Burroughs Class of 1959 20th Reunion Book)

Dr. Kristin Highberg Berry (BHS 1960) recommended this profile.

Artic Seabird Expert

Kathy Kuletz has served the US Fish and Wildlife Service for over thirty years. Graduating from Burroughs in 1970, Kathy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. She earned her Master’s Degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Irvine and her Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Victoria.

Since 2014, Kathy has been the Principal Investigator for studies on seabird distribution and abundance, population trends and status, habitat and prey use and risk assessments. (Linkedin) “I have studied seabird ecology since 1978, primarily as a biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), based in Anchorage, Alaska. My formative years were spent in in Prince William Sound and Kachemark Bay, both before and after the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. These early studies examined distribution, productivity, diet and foraging of Brachyramphus murrelets and Pigeon Guillemots. I gradually migrated from colony and land-based seabird studies to the sea. I have also worked on seabird bycatch issues and endangered species. Since 2006 I have been the At-sea Coordinator for USFWS seabird surveys in Alaska. I have been the principal investigator on a variety of seabird studies that examine patterns of seabird distribution and abundance throughout Alaskan waters, from southeast Alaska to the Artic. I am currently engaged in several multi-disciplinary projects and long-term monitoring efforts, with most of the current at-sea field work in Artic waters.” (Kathy Kuletz)

Kathy is slowly transiting into retirement, while wrapping up some long-term projects with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Like Dr. Kristin Highberg Berry, Dr. Florence Haseltine and Anajane Gey, Kathy has been recruited into post retirement work. Kathy has been recruited by the Farallon Institute to co-author three scholarly publications funded by the North Pacific Research Board on seabird abundance and distribution within environmental conditions in Alaska’s oceans. Kathy has authored and co-authored numerous scholarly articles on seabirds and their habitats.

Amy Licwinko Prentice (BHS 1970) recommended this profile.

Courtesy Photo: The carrot you eat today have very little nutrition in them. Fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today

Story First Published: 2022-04-22