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News from the Center

Research Profile: Simi Hoque’s Urban Modeling
Simi Hoque, PhD, Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

Dr. Simi Hoque is passionate about improving the ways in which buildings use the earth’s resources.  She teaches environmental systems and sustainable design principles in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst. Her research, partially funded by the Center’s Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station, is focused around the application and development of energy-efficient buildings. Dr. Hoque specializes in energy modeling, resource efficiency, and systems design. She is co-author of a recent online publication (October 2013) intended to provide a quantitative approach to assessing sustainability indicators in a city.

Tasty Ways to Support Agricultural Research
Kristen Hanley makes jams and jellies at Cold Spring Orchard

Jams and Jellies and Fruit, Oh My!

Kristen Hanley has always loved to preserve fresh food. She now parlays that love into delicious ways to extend the season for the fruits of UMass Amherst’s Cold Spring Orchard Horticultural Research Center in Belchertown, Mass., about 15 miles from the Amherst campus. If you visit the orchard, you can buy one of the 1,500 jars of mouth-watering jams and jellies that she has made this season; beware though, wait too long and they will be sold out, they always are. 

First Tour of On-Campus Student Gardens a Success
UMass Students Neev Blume and Cole Lanier lead tour of SFE

UMass Amherst held its first Student Garden Tour on September 28, 2013 under brilliant skies.  Five unique gardens right on campus were hosted by the students who manage them.  One of our main goals was to make students aware of myriad opportunities for growing food without leaving campus. 

Information on Nutrient Best Management Practices
Soccer field
Sep 5, 2013

UMass Extension has recently taken the opportunity to collect and update information about Nutrient Best Management Practices.

UMass Amherst: Our Not So Secret Gardens
UMass Amherst Demonstration Gardens
Aug 27, 2013

A stunning floral display is ready for your viewing pleasure: the UMass Amherst Demonstration Gardens in front of Durfee Conservatory. This garden features several new annual plant cultivars recently introduced by plant breeders. The gardens are intended for observation of new plants under local growing conditions followed by reporting back to the breeders.

Master Plan Update for UMass Amherst Agricultural Learning Center
View of ALC from North Pleasant Street
Aug 14, 2013

Master Plan Update for UMass Amherst Agricultural Learning Center

It all starts with a vision.

Several years ago, Dr. Stephen Herbert, Director of the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, began considering how to create a place for students interested in agriculture to “learn by doing” in a living outdoor laboratory. As the new ALC gains momentum, the university’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP) has contributed by developing a Master Plan for the Learning Center.

Hero of the Bogs Retires
Frank Caruso with Ocean Spray actors
Jul 11, 2013

For the last thirty years or so, Frank Caruso has been the “go-to” guy for disease problems with the plants in your bogs, if you are one of those who farm the state berry of the Commonwealth. Last week, Dr. Caruso retired as Plant Pathologist with the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham. As late as his final days on the job, he was out in the bogs, looking at...

Learning by Doing: Summer Internships at the Agricultural Learning Center
Cassie Sefton, UMass student intern plants urban garden at ALC
Jul 9, 2013

With memories of the April groundbreaking ceremony still in mind, the stakes are (literally) in the ground as farm work gets underway at the new Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) at the north edge of the Amherst campus. The purpose of the ALC is to train the next generation of farmers and other agricultural entrepreneurs by using a hands-on approach: translating classroom knowledge into practical experience in the fields.

Dr. Haim Gunner discovers and develops microorganism to protect plants
Dr. Haim Gunner discovers and develops microorganism to protect plants
May 29, 2013

Microbiologist, Dr. Haim Gunner, professor emeritus at UMass Amherst has discovered and developed a microorganism that naturally combats fungus as part of an eco-management approach to plant disease protection.

Groundbreaking Held for New University Ag Facility
Officials Break Ground for Agricultural Learning Center

Against the backdrop of a picture perfect spring day, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for UMass Amherst’s new Agricultural Learning Center on April 25 on the former Adams-Wysocki field at the north end of the campus.  The guests included farmers, students, university officials, legislative representatives, neighbors, current and former staff and agricultural dignitaries.


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