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A Lesson in Team Work

Chris Brunner, December 12, 2017

It was a unique educational experience for students, professors, and lecturers attending the “Integrating One Health for Animal and Veterinary Sciences Conference,” held July 31 – August 18, 2017, on the UC Davis campus.  This was a first-of-its-kind conference which combined students and teachers in one conference focused on the relationship between veterinary medicine, animal science, and the health of people, animals, and the environment.

Team Harmonious Trust discusses project

Team “Harmonious Trust” prepares for final-day presentation

The conference was the ideal setting to bring together faculty and students with mutual concerns for the health of the planet and the animals and people on the planet.  One Health’s approach of using teamwork to solve complex problems that arise at the interface of animals, humans and the environment, unified the undergraduate students from Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU), and professors and lecturers from Jiangsu Agri-animal Husbandry Vocational College (JAHVC).

The conference featured lectures given by select UC Davis faculty from both veterinary medicine and animal science that had relevance to One Health issues.  Field trips included animal science laboratories, the veterinary teaching hospital, the dairy goat and poultry facilities, and the bee biology facility.

On a field trip to the Sonoma area the group visited an organic dairy to see first-hand how dairies manage animals without the use of antibiotics and hormones. In addition to visiting the dairy, they visited a veterinary specialty practice in San Anselmo and a large animal practice in Cotati. Also on the docket was a visit to UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory where they learned more about issues addressing human health, environmental impacts, and marine animal health.

Lectures, combined with field trips, and team-building discussions increased participant’s understanding of the interrelationship between people, animals, and the environment. Students and teachers worked together to solve a One Health problem which they identified the first week. Together they developed presentations identifying the area of greatest risk, the cause of the disease, and the

strategy for prevention of emergence of these diseases in the future. It does, after all, take team work.

Group Photo Integrating One Health for Animal and Veterinary Sciences Conference

Group photo celebrating final day of conference. Photo by Don Preisler/UCDavis © 2017 UC Regents