News from the Media
While energy policy debates continue in the Massachusetts House and Senate, many city and town governments are charging ahead with local efforts to boost the use of renewable power sources.
“In Massachusetts, we can get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources,” said Ben Hellerstein, state director of the Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center. (Wicked Local Needham 8/2/16)
UMass Extension vegetable specialist Katie Campbell-Nelson comments on how drought is affecting vegetable farmers, in story about effect in New England. (The Sun Chronicle, 7/25/16)
D. Julian McClements, food science, is teaming up with Kayon Partners, an investment group and business development firm, to commercialize foods that enhance the body’s ability to absorb drugs and vitamins. (CNBC.com, 7/18/16)
Wildlife ecologist Curt Griffin at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a three-year, $469,513 grant from the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC) to study the mechanisms by which species respond to climate change. “Changes in climate are causing animals to either adapt, move or die,” says Griffin, an expert in biodiversity and endangered species management who is chair of the environmental conservation department and head of the campus’ new School of Earth and Sustainability. (UMass News Office 7/18/16)
Make-It Springfield, Springfield's downtown community makerspace, is establishing more permanent roots in the City. Make-It Springfield began as a temporary pop-up project on June 1, 2016, a collaboration between MassDevelopment, the University of Massachusetts Design Center in Springfield, and the Springfield Business Improvement District. "We are excited to see a broad array of UMass faculty and students participate in Make-It Springfield next semester." said Michael DiPasquale, an assistant professor in the University of Massachusetts Extension and Program Director of the UMass Design Center in Springfield. facebook.com/MakeItSpringfield/
Maple Valley Creamery in Hadley, Massachusetts, has joined forces with University of Massachusetts Amherst to have a contest every April for inventing a new ice cream flavor. This year's winning flavor was brown-butter, salted caramel with chocolate flakes. (BizBash 7/11/16)
Massachusetts is in the midst of the worst plague of gypsy moth caterpillars since 1981, said Joseph Elkinton, an entomologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “It’s everywhere,” Elkinton said. “You can hear the frass falling,” he added, using the scientific term for caterpillar droppings. “And you can hear the chewing; it’s quite a dramatic phenomenon.” (Boston Globe 6/30/16)
Every two years, UMass Extension offers it's popular Green School, a comprehensive 12-day certificate short course for Green Industry professionals taught by UMass Extension specialists and University of Massachusetts faculty.
This year, Green School runs Oct. 24–Dec. 12, twice weekly from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, 11 Beaver St, Milford, Massachusetts. This course will not be offered again until 2018. Pre-registration is required, as space is limited. (Lawn and Landscape 6/29/16)
Welcome to the year of the gypsy moth caterpillar. The tiny critters are feasting on leaves and wreaking havoc on trees, mostly oak, but not exclusively. “I would say almost surely this is the largest outbreak we’ve seen since 1981,” said Joe Elkinton, professor of entomology in UMass Amherst’s department of environmental conservation. “This is unprecedented. It’s been 35 years." (Enterprise News 6/28/16)
Gov. Charlie Baker declared June 20–26 as “Massachusetts Pollinator Week.” In support of this declaration, a celebration was held at UMass Amherst’s Agricultural Learning Center to open the first state apiary.
John Lebeaux, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources; Daniel Sieger, Massachusetts assistant secretary for the environment; and Kim Skyrm, state apiary inspector, examined full Langstroth bee frames. (Lancaster Farming News 6/24/16, Republican 6/24/16)