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News from the Media

Lone star tick the new pest in town, UMass microbiologist discovers
May 18, 2015

BARNSTABLE — Imagine a tick that travels three times as fast as the black-legged deer tick, has excellent vision and hatches in stinging swarms that can put fire ants to shame. The arthropod in question is the lone star tick, which scientists say has meandered northward and established a foothold at Sandy Neck Beach Park in Barnstable and Cuttyhunk in the Elizabeth Islands chain.

“It’s pretty clear that the lone star ticks are established (at Sandy Neck) now,” said Stephen Rich, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who is finishing a year’s sabbatical on the Cape. (5/8/15 Cape Cod Times)

Massachusetts students join the fight to save the planet
May 18, 2015

BELCHERTOWN – A cloudless sky, light breeze and the distinctive “teacher, teacher, teacher” song of the ovenbird welcomed some 260 students from 31 high schools across the state to Quabbin Reservoir last Friday morning for the 2015 Massachusetts Envirothon.
The picture perfect day for the environmental competition in no way diminished the fervor with which teams from Springfield to Sandwich tackled this year’s current issue: climate change, its impact on local cities and towns, and measures to counter it.
In opening remarks, Will Snyder, UMass Extension and chairman of the Mass. Envirothon Steering Committee, cited climate change as the greatest environmental challenge ever to face humanity, and one where results are measured a step at a time rather than an overall solution. 5/18/15 Worcester Telegram)

Massachusetts Envirothon Takes on Issue of Climate Change
May 13, 2015

Some 250 high school students from across the state will gather at the Quabbin Reservoir Thursday, May 14, to participate in a unique competition that will test their environmental knowledge, field work, problem-solving abilities and communication skills, as they take part in the 28th annual Massachusetts Envirothon. (Hampshire Gazette 5/13/15)

Massachusetts Dedicates No Money to Lyme Disease Prevention, UMass Laboratory Director Comments
May 13, 2015

The predawn rumble of pesticide-spraying trucks is a rite of spring in almost 200 Massachusetts communities. Some $11 million is spent in the state each year controlling and counting the pests and educating residents about how to avoid contracting mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus.

Yet no state funds are dedicated to tick-borne diseases, one of which, Lyme, infects at least 5,500 residents a year in Massachusetts and likely many more. (NECN 5/11/15)
 

UMass Amherst study shows ‘hydropeaking’ can reduce downstream river flows
March 31, 2015

AMHERST, Mass. – In the first-of-its-kind study of the environmental effects of hydropeaking, that is releasing water at hydropower dams to meet peak daily electricity demand, two University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers say their unexpected findings suggest that about 10 percent of released water may be permanently lost, making that water unavailable to downstream users and wildlife. Hydrogeologist Brian Yellen says, “The most interesting thing we found is something we weren’t looking for. That is, in this 13-mile stretch of the river, about 10 percent of water released from the dam every day gets pushed into the aquifer and is lost permanently.” (3/31/15 UMass Press Release)

UMass Amherst students win ice cream flavor contest with 'Cherry Bomb'
April 30, 2015

Forget the No. 2 pencil, UMass students took this final exam with a spoon -- mouthful after mouthful of delicious ice cream. Welcome to the University of Massachusetts Amherst's "scooperbowl", where teams of food sciences majors, mostly seniors set to graduate in a few weeks, submit the flavors they have developed all semester as part of assistant professor Sam Nugen's food science class to a panel of experts and to an assembled throng of hungry students. (April 30, 2015, MassLive)

‘No smoking gun’: Pipeline environmental impact report cite positives, negatives of route
April 22, 2015

A new, detailed report on the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline route through western Massachusetts points to its impact on protected open space dedicated to agriculture and conservation, and especially on Franklin County’s primary habitat for rare species habitat, wetlands wildlife habitat and communities of biodiversity. (4/22/15 The Recorder; 5/13/15 Hampshire Gazette)

It’s tick time: Stephen Rich, UMass professor offers advice
April 28, 2015

Northampton, MA--Spring has sprung, baseball season’s first pitch has been thrown, April’s rains have been falling, and the ticks are back. Even if you can’t see them. Just ask Michael Noonan of Florence.  On a Thursday, a couple of weeks ago, Noonan, 62, noticed a red spot the size of a half dollar on the inside of his elbow, with a small dot in the center. The dot was a deer tick. His wife removed it with a pair of tweezers.

“It looked like a little piece of wood,” Noonan said, “except it was moving.” His arm had been hurting all week — since cleaning up leaves in his driveway on Sunday — but Noonan figured he had a spider bite and didn’t think much of it until his wife did some online research. (4/27/15 Hampshire Gazette)

Downtown Springfield features urban designs created by UMass students
April 23, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mass — Every day pedestrians, drivers and bike and bus riders cruise through downtown Springfield often overlooking abandoned buildings or small side streets, each with a story to tell.

Students from the University of Massachusetts Graduate Urban Design Studio have staged six installations throughout downtown Springfield all using tactical urbanism, an emergent form of urban design that looks at new ways to enliven cities with temporary interventions that are inexpensive and easy to install, according to Frank Sleegers and Michael Di Pasquale, urban design professors at University of Massachusetts Amherst.  (The Reminder, MassLive 4/23/15)

UMass Amherst Food Scientist Wins National Award, Fellowships
April 16, 2015

AMHERST, Mass. – David Julian McClements, professor of food science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an internationally recognized expert in the encapsulation and delivery of bioactive components, recently was honored with the Institute of Food Technologies (IFT) Babcock-Hart Award for contributions to food technology that result in improved public health through nutrition.  (4/16/2015 News Office Release)
 

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