THE DOWNLOAD: Student Story, Saudis, Surprise

How does someone go from the Marine Corps to researching DNA repair at UC Davis? Hear chemistry graduate student Robert Van Ostrand tell his story in the above video, and see more on the YouTube channel for UC Davis Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Saudi firefighters train, tour

Firefighter climbing during training
Adnan Mohammed Alshehri, a Saudi Aramco firefighter, during a day of survival training in West Sacramento. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Firefighters from the other side of the globe have completed their stay on campus.

Eight firefighters from Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, trained with the UC Davis Fire Department for two weeks ahead of a six-month stay with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

"Regardless of how any of us may differ from another, with an open mind and welcoming heart, together we accomplish great things," UC Davis Fire Chief Nate Trauernicht tweeted Friday (Jan. 12), the group's final day in Davis.

Members of the Saudi Aramco Fire Protection Department have trained with U.S. departments from San Diego to Miami in recent months, and while on campus they got lessons in first aid and operating in high-rise buildings, and toured nearby facilities like the Golden 1 Center. The program is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, or IAFC, and provides opportunities for training and cultural exchange.

"These two weeks were enjoyable and very informative," Thamer Al Enezi, one of the visiting firefighters, tweeted.

Saudi firefighters pose for a group photo.
The visiting Saudi Aramco firefighters (in protective gear), along with UC Davis and West Sacramento fire personnel, from left: Back row — Yousef Ali S. Alghamdi; John Heilmann, West Sacramento fire chief; Steve Binns, West Sacramento deputy chief; Nate Trauernicht, UC Davis fire chief; Farzan Saad M Alsubaie; Thamer Al Enezi; and Arif Shammari. Front row — Hassan Mohammed H. Alhajjaji, Khalid Faisal A. Shahen, Ayman Abdulrahman S. Alghamdi and Adnan Mohammed Alshehri. (UC Davis Fire Department photo)

Chemistry class pranked with fake lecturer

Chemistry lecturer Bryan Enderle decided to have a little fun on the first day of the winter quarter, swapping places with a stand-in who frightened students with a new textbook, heavily weighted final and more. Watch how the prank unfolded in the above video.

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