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News from the Media

UMass Amherst research tackles major highbush blueberry disease
June 6, 2016

AMHERST, Mass. – As New England's blueberry season approaches, University of Massachusetts Amherst doctoral candidate Matt Boyer says a fungal pathogen of highbush blueberries known as mummy berry is a common threat to growers, and if left untreated can destroy up to 50 percent of a crop. It is so named because it produces dead-looking, berry-shaped lumps instead of healthy berries. (Scienmag 6/2/16)

UMass Landscape Ecology Lab Develops New Interactive Mapping Tool
June 9, 2016

A new interactive mapping tool developed by Kevin McGarigal and his graduate students at the UMass Landscape Ecology Lab is available to land trusts as they make strategic decisions about a major conservation vision for the Connecticut River watershed. “Connect the Connecticut” will help conservation groups in four New England states prioritize and coordinate land acquisition efforts within the 11,250 square-mile watershed, with an eye toward habitat resiliency in the face of climate change. (Republican 6/7/16)

Gypsy Moth Invasion
June 28, 2016

Gypsy moths are defoliating trees on Cape Cod and across southern New England, increasing fire risk. Tawny Simisky, UMass Amherst entomology specialist, comments. (fox25boston 6/27/16)

Making it in Downtown Springfield
June 27, 2016

The lights are finally on in a small storefront on Worthington Street in downtown Springfield, just in time for the official June 8 kick-off gala for Make-It Springfield, the “pop-up makerspace” that’s aimed not just at refurbishing the empty storefront it moved into, but also providing opportunities for residents that they might not otherwise get.

Michael DiPasquale, the director of the UMass Amherst Design Center in Springfield and one of the people responsible for making the project a reality, has been making the rounds. (Valley Advocate 6/16)

Gypsy moth caterpillar populations surging, chewing up local leaves
June 20, 2016

“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. I don’t think it’s anywhere as bad as it was in 1981, but it’s more widespread than in recent years.”  (Taunton Daily Gazette 06/18/16)

UMass lab to offer reduced-cost testing of ticks for disease
June 20, 2016

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass Amherst is home to a laboratory that tests ticks from around the country, but a local program called Tick Report partners with cities and towns to subsidize the costs of tick testing. The town pays $1,500 and up to 100 residents can pay just $15 to get a tick tested. Normally it’s a $50 fee.

Stephen Rich, Director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, told 22News, “More deer means more ticks and more ticks mean more disease. You have basically up to 24 hours in the case of Lyme disease to pull the tick off and prevent exposure. (WWLP.com 06/16/16)

Make-It Springfield opens downtown 'makerspace' with do-it-yourself bike clinic
June 2, 2016

"Make it Springfield started as an idea of how to revitalize vacant space," said Michael DiPasquale, an assistant professor in the University of Massachusetts  Extension and Program Director of the UMass Design Center in Springfield. "We wanted to have a presence on the street. This is the first time we've had a chance to take over a storefront on the street. We are piloting some ideas here." (MassLive 6/1/16)

Smartphone apps help growers fight fruit crop pests
May 31, 2016

Erika Saalau Rojas, an Extension plant pathologist at the University of Massachusetts Cranberry Station, said a mobile-diagnostic tool for growers had not been available in her state before MyIPM.

“What’s amazing about this app is that it’s very user-friendly,” she said. (Thetandd.com 5/30/16)

Peak Season for Ticks is Now
May 31, 2016

Stephen Rich, director of the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Laboratory of Medical Zoology, says this is peak season for ticks and offers advice for protecting against the pests. (Recorder, 5/30/16)

What's bugging cranberry growers this month
May 31, 2016

Thresholds for determining when a pest insect in a cranberry bog requires a treatment response have been set by the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham, according to a monthly column for growers. (Wicked Local Carver, 5/30/16)

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