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Jim Cooper of Cal Poly Talks University Enology Programs at WiVi Central Coast 2013

Posted on February 27, 2013

Jim Cooper will join wine industry icon and staunch advocate of wine education Jerry Lohr in a panel discussion regarding the importance and relevance of university viticulture and enology programs at WiVi Central Coast 2013, held in Paso Robles, March 19-20. The panel discussion will mark the first time department chairs and professors gather to discuss the latest research and the benefits of the university system for the wine industry. James Kennedy, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at California State University, Fresno; Jim Cooper, Ph.D., director of the Wine and Viticulture Program at Cal Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo; and David Block, professor for the Department of Viticulture and Enology at University of California, Davis will sit on the panel.

Jim Cooper earned his BS degree in biology from Lebanon Valley College, and his Ph.D. in plant biology from Washington University in St. Louis. From 1983 to 1988, he conducted postdoctoral research at ARCO Solar and Stanford University, and worked was a faculty member in molecular, cellular and developmental biology at UC Santa Barbara from 1988 to 2012. He received a Young Investigator Award from President George Bush in 1989, and served at UCSB as director of the BioMolecular Science and Engineering Program (interdepartmental program with faculty from 8 science and engineering departments) from 1998-2000, and as associate dean of mathematical, physical and life sciences from 2000 to 2006. He joined the wine industry working for Tensley Wines in Los Olivos, California from 2008 to 2012, and founded a small enology testing and consulting company in 2010. Cooper joined the Cal Poly faculty in July 2012.

Cooper's research interests include plant cell wall biochemistry, plant-microbe interactions, and data-mining from large multidimensional datasets using bioinformatics. His wine research interests at Cal Poly include understanding the determinants of grape and wine chemical attributes, characterizing the role of rhizosphere microbiology in grapevine establishment, and applying modern genetic technology to develop drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant, and disease-resistant rootstock.

About WiVi Central Coast 2013

California's Central Coast is quickly becoming one of the world's most popular and celebrated wine regions. Since December 2009, 95 new wineries popped up in the Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz counties. In 2012, nearly 7 million cases of wine were produced in the region. This burgeoning area faces many unique issues in its wine-growing and winemaking efforts, and WiVi Central Coast 2013, a new symposium and trade show hosted by Wine Business Monthly and Precision Ag Consulting, has been created to address those topics.

WiVi will be held March 19-20, 2013 at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, California. It is the only trade show and symposium to address the issues facing the Central Coast wine industry, one of the fastest growing regions in the country. For more information, visit

Region: Central Coast

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