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News from the Media

Certain wildlife species could benefit from pipeline, while others suffer, says UMass professor
August 11, 2015

NORTHFIELD — The Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct project, in some cases, may benefit certain species but could cause significant harm to others.

Scott Jackson, associate professor of wetlands and wildlife conservation at the University of Massachusetts, has developed a Natural Resource Assessment report, outlining core habitats susceptible to harm from the installation of a pipeline and compressor station. (Recorder 8/11/15)

Trans fat replacements an ‘experiment' on public says Head of Food Science at UMass
August 10, 2015

With trans fats on the way out, Americans can expect to see new shortenings in their snack foods. But will the replacements be any better?

In the future, customers can expect to see monounsaturated or “high oleic” oils in their foods.

“This is going to be the next trend. We’ll see our consumption of monounsaturated fats going way up,” said Eric Decker, head of the Department of Food Science at UMass Amherst. “This is the next big experiment on the United States population.” (The Commercial Appeal 8/7/15)

Orchards expect apple bumper crop, UMass Extension comments
August 10, 2015

Jon Clements of UMass Extension, who works at the university’s Cold Spring research orchard in Belchertown said he has every reason to believe that this year’s crop will be above average.

“There hasn’t really been anything that’s had an adverse effect on it,” Clements said. “There was no spring frost, and the bloom was normal. We actually had a heavy bloom, there were lots of flowers. There was just no stress to the trees this year, there’s plenty of fruit out there.” (Recorder 8/7/15)

UMass biochemist, Elizabeth Vierling Secures $682,982 NSF Grant to Study Plants Under Stress
August 6, 2015

AMHERST, Mass. – Biochemist Elizabeth Vierling at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently received a three-year, $682,982 National Science Foundation grant to study how plants respond, at the molecular and cellular level, to stress in their environment and the role of a regulatory protein called S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR). (8/5/15 News Release, 8/5/15 4-Traders.com, 8/6/15 Republican)

High school students spend week at UMass exploring world of farming, food
August 6, 2015

AMHERST – In recent years, the University of Massachusetts has offered a number of summer programs, but until this year a program in sustainable agriculture was missing. Ten students from around the country came to campus to the one-week program the last week of July. Their only regret was it wasn't two weeks long.

UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture instructor Sarah Berquist taught the program on sustainability and food systems. She said the summer is perfect for a program like this because "harvest is abundant." And she said the program "is a great opportunity to spread the word about our great program." (8/6/15 Mass Live)

Lessons On The Birds And Trees: UMass adjunct professor, David Bloniarz, interviewed
July 30, 2015

A new program about environmental awareness kicks off in western Massachusetts today. The US Forest Service along with the University of Massachusetts, the city of Springfield, and the nonprofit Regreen Springfield will hold a series of workshops to highlight the importance of trees, birds and water in urban neighborhoods.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with David Bloniarz, a researcher with the U.S. Forest Service. To listen, click here.

Scientists, lawmakers seek solution to honeybee crisis. UMass professor comments
July 29, 2015

Massachusetts honeybees are disappearing without a trace. Hives are left barren of bees, save for a small cluster of larvae, nurse bees, and an abandoned queen.The question is: Why?

Tuesday on Beacon Hill, scientists and lawmakers convened to explore the phenomenon of colony collapse disorder and to seek ways to protect decimated bee populations.

“We saw a 40 percent loss in bees this year in Worcester County,” Kenneth Warchol, program director of the Worcester County Beekeepers Association, said in an interview. “Bees are like canaries in a coal mine — they’re sending us a message that something’s wrong here.”

UMass Amherst Food Scientists to Work with Small Farms and Growers on Food Safety
July 16, 2015

The USDA recently awarded a five-year, $241,000 grant to a team of food science researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to create a graduate training program that will combine laboratory research and practical application to help producers and processors improve the safety of fresh produce in the food supply.

UMass Agricultural Field Day Showcases Research
June 25, 2015

Faculty and graduate students offered presentations on a variety of research topics including growing malt barley, cover crops in potato production, hardwood biochar in agricultural soils, effects of bee disease on hedgerow plantings, dual-purpose cover crops and much more.

The 358-acre agronomy and vegetable farm conducts research on vegetable crops, agronomic and bioenergy crops, organic agriculture and pasture. The farm has both a student-run vegetable project as well as a project that researches cattle, offering students hands-on experience with livestock. Faculty, extension staff and graduate students conduct applied research and are assisted by technicians, field staff and undergraduate students. (6/24/15 WWLP Channel 22)

13 States Catalog Culverts: UMass Amherst hosts new database for regional network
June 22, 2015

Bridges get a lot of attention when they fail, but scientists are working to eliminate what they say can be an even greater scourge, because of their sheer numbers and their effect on wildlife: culverts.

These passages that carry smaller streams under roads and driveways number in the thousands across the East, and their importance came into sharp focus during storms Irene and Sandy in the past few years, when floodwaters washed many of them out and cut off access for days or weeks. (6/21/15 Burlington Free Press, 6/8/15 News Office)

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