The Recorder (Greenfield) reports on outbreaks of Phtopthera capsici (a water-borne mold) on farms in Sunderland and Deerfield. Quotes UMass Extension vegetable specialists Katie Campbell-Nelson and UMass diagnostician Angela Madeiras. The Recorder, 11/12/15.
News from the Media
Water-mold blight killing crops in Conn. River ValleyNovember 12, 2015
Should Massachusetts moose roam free? UMass adjunct prfoessor commentsNovember 12, 2015
Stephen DeStefano, adjunct professor, environmental conservation, says there are between 1,000 and 2,000 moose in Massachusetts and they can be dangerous if involved with car accidents because they are such large, heavy animals. (Republican, 11/11/15)
Massachusetts Towns Support UMass Amherst Tick Testing ProgramNovember 5, 2015
AMHERST, Mass. – The recent popular success and high demand for a tick testing service provided to Massachusetts residents by the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has led LMZ director Stephen Rich to extend the program, despite loss of state funding, by offering towns a co-pay model. (11/4/15 UMass News Office)
Building Privacy Into Smart BuildingsNovember 5, 2015
AMHERST, Mass. – As more smart grids and buildings are fitted with digital electric meters, Web-enabled appliances and lighting, programmable outlets and switches, and intelligent HVAC systems that rely on Internet-connected sensors, experts increasingly worry that smart sensors and other Internet-connected devices may leak sensitive private information, or hackers might take such data for malicious purposes. David Irwin, electrical and computer engineering, and Prashant Shenoy of the College of Information and Computer Sciences direct this project. (10/30/15 UMass News Office)
Oysters, aquaculture, slowly gaining some love on SouthCoastOctober 28, 2015
With 75 percent of global fisheries overfished, there is a renewed interest in boosting aquaculture as well as great demand. Moreover, cultured seafood is safer to eat as the industry is heavily regulated at this time, experts said. The Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) funds three aquaculture centers at Salem State University, the Barnstable County Cooperative Extension, and the Center for Sustainable Aquaculture at UMass Amherst. (SouthCoast Today 10/28/15)
Climate change: Heat may drive cranberry industry northOctober 26, 2015
University of Massachusetts Cranberry Station director Carolyn DeMoranville said there hasn’t been much change in annual rainfall totals in the past 20 years, but the station has noted one significant change in the past six or seven years: The rain comes in big rain events with long dry periods in between. Those torrential rains tend to run off the land instead of soaking in and replenishing diminished groundwater supplies, making irrigation costly. (Cape Cod Times 10/26/15)
Massachusetts Writes Plan to Boost Local Food and FarmersOctober 26, 2015
Massachusetts state officials released a plan for boosting locally grown food – the first such plan since 1974.
"We have brought together an incredibly diverse and broad range of people involved in the food system, everyone from anti-hunger advocates to farmers to truckers to policy advocates, to try to figure out how we can build on the strength of the state's food system and collaborate in ways we haven't collaborated before," said Winton Pitcoff, the project manager overseeing the plan and a Plainfield resident. (Masslive 10/25/15)
Physical Activity Has Greater Impact on Body Composition in Postmenopausal WomenOctober 20, 2015
CLEVELAND, Ohio--Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, regardless of your age. But a new study coming out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst shows that some types of physical activity have a greater impact on body composition in postmenopausal compared to premenopausal women. (Science Newsline, 10/20/15; Science Codex, 10/19/15)
New England Foliage Season Delayed, but Spectacular, UMass professor commentsOctober 19, 2015
BOSTON (AP) — New England residents and visitors to the six-state region hoping to catch a glimpse of its celebrated fall foliage may have been a little disappointed so far in seeing more green than blazing orange, scarlet and gold. This year's foliage season was delayed slightly because of weather conditions but is likely to end up being just as spectacular. Paul Catanzaro, an extension assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts explains. (Hawaii Tribune 10/18/15; New York Times, ABC News, Houston Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Daily Mail [U.K.], Yahoo Singapore [all from AP], 10/14/15)
Apple's DNA determines crispness says Wesley Autio, UMass professorOctober 7, 2015
Whether the apples in your pie bake into tender, well-defined slices or turn shapeless and mushy is built into the fruit’s DNA. What gives apples a firm texture is the structure and thickness of the fruit cell walls, says Wesley Autio, professor of pomology and directorof the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Boston Globe 10/7/15)
UMass researcher finds way to fight cheatgrass, a western scourgeOctober 7, 2015
Cheatgrass could vie for the title of the most successful invasive species in North America. The weed lives in every state, and is the dominant plant on more than 154,000 square miles of the West, by one estimate. When it turns green in the spring, “you can actually see it from space,” said Bethany Bradley, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who studies biogeography, the spatial distribution of species. (New York Times 10/5/15)
Local farms reflect changes in pumpkin productionOctober 5, 2015
BRIDGEWATER - At Peterson’s Farm Greenhouse on South Street in Bridgewater, the farm stand is lit up by a display of blazing orange due to the dozens of pumpkins for sale at the stand.
“In a lot of ways, it was an ideal growing year,” said Katie Campbell-Nelson, a vegetable specialist for the UMass Extension School’s Center or Agriculture, Food and the Environment. The dry weather meant certain diseases were less prevalent in pumpkin plants. (Enterprise News 10/5/15)
Thre's a New Tick in Town: UMass professor reportsSeptember 27, 2015
Stephen M. Rich, UMass microbiologist and director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, comments in a story about lone star ticks on Martha’s Vineyard. He says the insects have been present for a couple of years and now are well established on at least part of the island.
Flies released to combat winter moth problemSeptember 27, 2015
University of Massachusetts Amherst professor and entomologist Joseph Elkinton is working to curb the high numbers of winter moths in New England with a very specific fly called Cyzenis albicans.
“If you had them in your yard, you would never even notice them,” said Elkinton, and you definitely want them in your yard. “They only attack winter moths, which is a real advantage. We don’t want them on our native moths or butterflies.” (Sippican Week, 9/27/15)
UMass participates in discussion on Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate changeSeptember 22, 2015
Craig Nicolson, environmental conservation, took part in a panel discussion of Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change held Sept. 21 in Northampton. “No matter who you are and where you come from, this is an encyclical that is for you,” he said, noting that the pope directed the message to every person on the planet. (Gazette, 9/22/15)
Cranberry Country: The A, Bee, C's of pollination, Anne Averill advisesSeptember 21, 2015
UMass Amherst and the UMass Cranberry Station are studying the decline of bees that pollinate cranberry crops. Anne Averill, environmental conservation, is examining bumblebee colony growth in pesticide-free unmanaged conservation sites versus managed bogs.
Downtown Temporary Parks Educate Pedestrians: UMass students participateSeptember 18, 2015
Students from landscape architecture and regional planning created a small park in downtown Amherst on Sept. 16 as part of Park(ing) Day, an international event when people transform parking spaces into parks. As part of their project, they built a demonstration bioswale that they say could send cleaner water into the Campus Pond. (Gazette, 9/18/15)
UMass Watershed Scientists Offer National Flood and Runoff AssessmentSeptember 19, 2015
The first continent-wide, multi-factor analysis of climate and land cover effects on watersheds in the United States, provides a broad new assessment of runoff, flooding and storm water management options for use by such professionals as land use and town planners and water quality managers. (Environmental Protection, Storm Water Solutions, 9/15/15; Waterbucket.ca, 9/19/15; News Office release)
UMass Amherst students create ice cream flavor for Hadley creamerySeptember 23, 2015
There may not be a sweeter college graduation assignment than making ice cream. That was the challenge this spring for 26 seniors in the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students who developed the winning flavor saw it produced and sold by neighboring Maple Valley Creamery. (Boston Globe 9/22/15)
UMass Amherst Faculty among "World's Leading Scientific Minds"September 21, 2015
AMHERST, Mass. – Seven University of Massachusetts Amherst faculty members are among “the world’s leading scientific minds,” whose publications are again among the most influential in their fields, according to a survey by leading multinational media and information firm Thomson Reuters.
The Thomson Reuters compilers, who set out to identify “some of the best and brightest scientific minds of our time,” recognized UMass Amherst food scientists Eric Decker and David Julian McClements, and soil chemist Baoshan Xing of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, among others. (News Release 9/18/15)