Rich says the biggest health threat from mosquitoes is the spread of West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, which is very rare but untreatable and often fatal. (Gazette 12/13/17)
News from the Media
This year, the balmy weather has scrambled the classic autumn script.
As a result, some tree species, particularly Norway maple, oak, and pear, are “not giving up the ghost in terms of winding up the growing season,” said Richard W. Harper, extension assistant professor of urban forestry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Globe 12/8/17)
University of Massachusetts professor, Prashant Shenoy, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his “efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.” Professor Shenoy is the Principal Investigator of the Massachusetts Energy Extension Initiative. (Gazette 12/5/17, News Office 11/20/17)
According to Richard Harper, professor in the Environmental Conservation department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, warmer nights can certainly delay and even mute the color of fall leaves. (Crain's New York Business 11/7/17)
Tracy Allen, supervisor, UMass Soil Laboratory, explains that soil properties are not going to change much in the winter because soil processes slow way down in the cold, so soil test results and recommendations that offered this fall will be accurate and useful for the whole growing season in your garden next year.
In the spring, the lab is deluged with requests and that can cause a backlog. "It could take twice as long to get your results back and that is valuable time in the planting season," Allen said. (MassLive 11/1/17, News Office 11/1/17, Recorder 11/4/17)
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, led by Lili He, Ph.D., found a baking soda and water combination was the most effective way to reduce pesticides on apple skins. (Agriculture and Food Chemistry, International Business Times, Mother Nature Network 10/30/17, Chemical and Engineering News 11/3/17, Healthline 11/8/17, NY Times 11/10/17, Well and Good, 11/13/17, Emax Health 11/30/17)
A team of environmental chemists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst led by Baoshan Xing, report that triclosan, an antibacterial agent in some over-the-counter toothpastes, accumulates in toothbrush bristles and is easily released in the mouth if the user switches toothpaste types. (Chem Info; Boston Globe; News Office, Time magazine, Infection Control Today, Science Codex, Health Day, Chemcial & Engineering News, UPI 10/25/17 )
BELCHERTOWN — The University of Massachusetts Cold Spring Orchard Research and Education Center — its full name — is a facility where researchers are hard at work addressing sustainability, pest management, and climate change, in the name of growing the best possible fruit. (Boston Globe 10/10/17)
An editorial praises two UMass Amherst agricultural initiatives in South Deerfield—a dual-use farm, combining solar panels and crops, and a student-run vegetable farm. “Both farms are providing an impressive demonstration of successful, practical education for an occupation as old as the earth but in a modern world,” the editorial states. Amanda Brown, Stockbridge School of Agriculture and director of the Student Farming Enterprise program, is quoted. (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 9/28/17)
Scott Jackson, extension associate professor in environmental conservation, explained new online tool to area leaders at a Creating Resilient Communities forum. (The Recorder, Greenfield, 9/28/17)