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News from the Media

  • Reports Detail the Health of School Cafeterias, UMass Food Scientist Comments

    February 5, 2018

    According to state law, local health inspectors must inspect school cafeterias at least twice a year. Amanda Kinchla, a food safety expert in food science, says corrective actions are the most important item to note when reviewing inspection reports.(Western Mass News 2/5/18)

  • Massachusetts Success Stories Featured in USDA SNAP-Ed Connector

    January 29, 2018

    UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program (NEP) program partnered with Pernet Family Health Service of Worcester. Various program elements are showcased in national online publication. (SNAP-Ed Connection 1/2018)

  • Hurricane Irene: It Wasn’t the Wind, it was the Water, UMass Professor Explains

    January 29, 2018

    Christine Hatch, UMass extension associate professor of water resources and climate change, pens editorial about the devastating weather event of August 28, 2011.“Tropical Storm,” Irene’s official designation, doesn’t do justice to what occurred in watersheds along the mid-Atlantic coast, Connecticut River Valley and tributaries: a catastrophic flood. (Gazette 1/26/18)

  • UMass Food Scientists Developing Low-cost Tool to Detect Bacteria in Food, Water

    January 23, 2018

    Food scientist Lili He and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report that they have developed a new, rapid and low-cost method for detecting bacteria in water or a food sample. Once commercially available, it should be useful to cooks using fresh fruits and vegetables, for example, and aid workers in the field responding to natural disasters, He says. ( 3/1/18, 2/23/18, wellandgood 2/22/18,  WFCRKPCC 2/19/18, NEPR 2/6/18,  Wonderful Engineering 1/27/18,  Cooking Light, News Medical Life Science 1/25/18, The Tribune [India], 1/25/18, The Health Site, Morning Ag Clips, The Baltimore Sun, Swiftnary, Deccan Chronicle [India], R & D magazine, Feedstuffs, 1/24/18, Science Codex,, Daily Meal 1/23/18)

  • Katie Kahl Named Extension Assistant Professor at UMass Amherst’s Gloucester Marine Station

    January 22, 2018

    Gloucester resident Katie Kahl was named to a newly created position, extension assistant professor in sustainable fisheries and coastal resilience, at UMass Amherst’s School of Earth and Sustainability at the Gloucester Marine Station. Kahl will serve as a contact between community interests and the university’s research resources. (Globe 1/19/18; News Office)

  • Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association Names First Female President

    January 16, 2018

    The Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association elected Joanne M. DiNardo as its first female president at its recent annual business meeting. UMass Extension educator Jon Clements, said, “In this day and age, gender difference is not what it used to be, although farming and apple growing were largely male-dominated. That is changing now and most apple growers just view Joanne as an extremely competent, well-versed advocate of apple growing.” (Telegram 1/3/18)

  • Experts Dash Hopes That Frigid Temps Will Kill Local Ticks

    January 13, 2018

    Ticks have a natural antifreeze system that helps them survive cold — even severe cold — weather. "Ticks lying underneath the snow pack could be larvae, nymphs or adults,” said Dr. Stephen Rich, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Adults will be active as soon as the snow melts and temps warm,” he said. “Nymphs will follow in late May/June.”  (Cape Cod Times 1/13/18)

  • MassWildlife Proposes Limits on Dogs in Preservation Areas, UMass Professor Weighs in

    January 10, 2018

    After repeated complaints regarding negative and unsafe encounters with unleashed dogs and issues with dog waste, MassWildlife is now taking action. They’ve proposed regulations that require dogs to be leashed and their waste to be removed from wildlife management areas. UMass professor Paige Warren offers comments. (Hampshire Gazette 1/9/18)

  • Release of 1 Million Gallons of Sewage into Nantucket Harbor a 'Serious Concern,' UMass Professor comments

    January 8, 2018

    The release of over 1 million gallons of raw sewage into Nantucket Harbor following a sewer main break on Thursday could cause significant harm to the harbor's ecosystem and shellfish populations, according to a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor of environmental conservation, Timothy Randhir. (Masslive 1/6/18)

  • Winter Moth May Become a Non-Pest Says Professor Elkinton

    January 3, 2018

    “We are in the process of turning the winter moth into a non-pest,” said Joe Elkinton, professor in the Agricultural Engineering Department at UMass Amherst, who heads an effort to control the winter moth with the Cyzenis albicans fly. (Wicked Local Ipswich 12/27/17)

  • CAFE’s Clean Energy Extension Works on Large Battery Project at UMass Amherst

    UMass Amherst has been awarded a $1.1 million state grant from the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage project to work with Tesla Energy to construct a large battery at the Central Heating Plant. Working with Tesla and the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment’s Clean Energy Extension, the goal is to reduce peak energy demand on the Amherst campus and related costs. (Business West12/8/17, Energy Manager Today 12/8/17, Masslive/Springfield Republican 12/7/17, Commonwealth magazine 12/7/17, WBUR 12/7/17, State House News Service 12/7/17, Electrek 12/10/17, Framingham Source 12/8/17, Daily Hampshire Gazette 12/13/17, Greenfield Recorder 12/14/17)

  • Sylvia Discusses Wild Cranberry Bogs

    November 22, 2017

    Martha Sylvia, a research technician at the University of Massachusetts Cranberry Station in Wareham and scientists have studied the wild bogs in Provincetown and Truro for the last 25 years, in part to learn how a bog behaves without the cultivation practices used in cranberry farming. (Cape Cod Times11/22/17)

  • Sandler Discusses Cranberry Growing on Public Radio

    November 23, 2017

    Technology in cranberry farming has come a long way in just a handful of years. Hillary Sandler, director of the Cranberry Station at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, explains how drones, lasers and smartphones are used to grow and harvest cranberries. (WUMW 11/23/17)

  • UMass Amherst Food Scientists Find Transient Effects on Gut Microbiome

    December 20, 2017

    Antimicrobial compounds added to preserve food during storage are believed to be benign and non-toxic to the consumer, but there is “a critical scientific gap in understanding the potential interactions” they may have with the hundreds of species of microbes in our intestines, say David Sela, a nutritional microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and colleagues. (Globe, 12/20/17; Technology Networks, 12/19/17; News Office release)

  • UMass Chemist Tracy Allen and Staff Analyze Soil Across the U.S.

    December 18, 2017

    Tracy Allen, chemist and supervisor, UMass Soil Laboratory, discusses soil samples the lab tests for and amendment recommendations made across the country. (Gazette 12/15/17)

  • Developing a New Mosquito Control District in the Pioneer Valley, Stephen Rich Comments

    December 13, 2017

    Rich says the biggest health threat from mosquitoes is the spread of West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, which is very rare but untreatable and often fatal. (Gazette 12/13/17)

  • Some Trees Are Not Dropping Leaves, Richard Harper Explains Why

    December 11, 2017

    This year, the balmy weather has scrambled the classic autumn script.

    As a result, some tree species, particularly Norway maple, oak, and pear, are “not giving up the ghost in terms of winding up the growing season,” said Richard W. Harper, extension assistant professor of urban forestry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Globe 12/8/17)

  • Prashant Shenoy named to Fellows of American Association for Advancement of Science

    December 5, 2017

    University of Massachusetts professor, Prashant Shenoy, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his “efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.” Professor Shenoy is the Principal Investigator of the Massachusetts Energy Extension Initiative. (Gazette 12/5/17, News Office 11/20/17)

  • Why This Autumn Has Been Less Colorful Than Previous Ones

    November 6, 2017

    According to Richard Harper, professor in the Environmental Conservation department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, warmer nights can certainly delay and even mute the color of fall leaves. (Crain's New York Business 11/7/17)

  • Test Soil Now for 2018 Spring Planting

    November 6, 2017

    Tracy Allen, supervisor, UMass Soil Laboratory,  explains that soil properties are not going to change much in the winter because soil processes slow way down in the cold, so soil test results and recommendations that offered this fall will be accurate and useful for the whole growing season in your garden next year.

    In the spring, the lab is deluged with requests and that can cause a backlog. "It could take twice as long to get your results back and that is valuable time in the planting season," Allen said. (MassLive 11/1/17, News Office 11/1/17, Recorder 11/4/17)