The tick census is unpredictable. Too many variables affect population size — variables so numerous and hyperlocal that one person’s yard can be teeming while the next door neighbor’s is pristine. UMass microbiology professor, Steve Rich, comments on upcoming season. (Globe 3/20/17)
News from the Media
An editorial supports land preservation in Pelham. Town and state officials comment as well as Paul Catanzaro, an assistant professor at UMass whose forest measurements students helped catalog trees, other plants and wildlife. (Gazette 2/27/17)
Unseasonably high temperatures this past week warmed up winter-weary New Englanders, but they also gave a dose of spring to trees. Wesley Autio, the director of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst, said that’s not a problem unless it’s followed by a sudden and severe drop in temperature. (WFCR 2/28/17)
Some 20 people tried their hands at pruning grapes at a workshop at the University of Massachusetts Cold Spring Orchard Research & Education Center on Saturday morning. Participants carefully snipped and shaped vines that will produce the orchard’s wine grapes, led by Sonia Schloemann, fruit specialist at UMass Extension. (Gazette 2/25/17)
AMHERST -- All that snow that fell over the past few days, and threatens to fall in the coming weeks, is made of water.
But Christine Hatch, assistant extension professor, UMass Amherst, said it may not be enough by itself to solve Massachusetts' persistent drought. Timothy Randhir, a UMass hydrologist, said, "We need more snowpack like this to melt slowly. If it melts away quickly, we will lose it." (MassLive 2/15/17)
The Acid Rain Monitoring (ARM) Project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Water Resources Research Center needs volunteers to collect water samples at selected sites in Essex County on Sunday, April 2.
Volunteers are needed to sample Mystic Pond in Methuen, Upper Attitash Pond in Amesbury, the Ipswich River in Ipswich and Black Brook in Hamilton. (Eagle Tribune 2/14/17)
The growing trend for functional foods that include 'good-for-you' ingredients is changing and improving the way in delivers neutraceuticals to consumers. David J. McClements, food science, says hydrogel beads can help. (1/20/17 Nutraingredients)
UMass Amherst has pared the applicant pool to three finalists for the extension faculty position to be located at its Gloucester Marine Laboratory. It has established a special seminar series in Gloucester for local stakeholders to meet the three candidates and listen to presentations on their vision for the laboratory. (Newburyport News, 1/18/2017)
As a whole, the nation’s stone fruit growers are really looking forward to 2017. The results from a national State of the Industry survey regarding their production plans for the coming year show growers are brimming with confidence. Fully 43% plan to increase production in 2017, while 49% plan to stay the same. Those results are very similar to 2016 — back-to-back years of positive vibes. (1/3/17 Growing Produce)
GREENFIELD — It’s taken a bit longer than originally projected, but the town has succeeded in its goal of reducing energy use by 20 percent. In fact, according to preliminary estimates, it has cut municipal energy consumption by 22 percent. Ben Weil, assistant professor of environmental conservation at UMass Amherst, worked with town officials to assess how buildings performed and made recommendations. (1/3/17 Recorder)