Just days after accepting the resignation of embattled California Department of Conservation Director Mark Nechodom, Governor Jerry Brown appointed former state official and current UC Davis Assistant Adjunct Professor of Animal Science David Bunn to the post.
The department administers programs to preserve agricultural and open space lands, regulates mineral, oil and gas development activities, and evaluates geology and seismology for the state. The department’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) has received heavy criticism for its cozy relationship with the industry it oversees and, most recently, the regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and injection of drilling waste water into protected aquifers.
Bunn has worked in the private sector, the state Legislature, the executive branch and academia. He received a Bachelor of Arts in wildlife biology in 1983, a Master of Science in international agricultural development in 1987 and a Ph.D. in ecology in 2012, all from the University of California, Davis.
While at UC Davis, Bunn was an associate consultant for the California State Senate Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee from 1984 to 1985 and executive director at the California Agrarian Action Project from 1985 to 1987.
Bunn returned to the public sector in 1997 as principal consultant and legislative director for Democratic state Assemblyman Fred Keeley. He moved to the executive branch in 1999 as deputy director at the California Department of Fish and Game (now the Department of Fish and Wildlife).
Bunn moved to academia in 2003 as a project director and researcher at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and has been associate director at the school’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Office of International Programs since 2011.
Bunn’s focus has been on “intervention strategies for improving animal health and production in developing countries, and improving human nutrition in rural communities.”
He has worked on village poultry health and extension projects in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Nepal since 2006. Bunn was a co-leader of the Global Livestock CRSP and USAID Flu School Program. He conducted avian flu workshops in eight African countries for health and agriculture ministry professionals.
Bunn’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate.