Back to top

News from the Media

  • UMass report details impact of Tennessee Gas Pipeline on environmentally sensitive areas in Franklin County

    June 11, 2015

    f the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline is built across 35 miles of Franklin County, it could affect a greater share of fragile landscape than in other parts of the state.

    Here, at least 42 percent of the pipeline’s total Massachusetts length is along environmentally sensitive regions and aquatic buffers, states a report by the University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. The report on the permanent effects of the project on protected open space emphasizes lands dedicated to agriculture and conservation, primary habitat for rare species, wetlands, wildlife habitat and communities of biodiversity. (6/11/15 Hampshire Gazette)

  • UMass Amherst hosts new stream-crossing database for regional network

    June 6, 2015

    AMHERST, Mass. – A partnership of federal and state agencies, plus nonprofit conservation groups today launched a new, uniform protocol for citizen scientist volunteers and professional fish and wildlife managers to use in assessing the state of stream-crossing culverts in 13 Northeast states. The assessments will help identify culverts, for instance, that block turtles, trout, salamanders and other wildlife from moving up and down streams.

    Scott Jackson, professor of environmental conservation at UMass Amherst, which will host a database, says, “We know that these ecosystems must be reconnected to be healthy. As climate change alters habitat conditions, some vulnerable species like Eastern brook trout and Blanding’s turtles really need to be able to move freely. This new aquatic connectivity collaborative will bring people together in a unified network to address the issue in a coordinated, collaborative and systematic way.” (6/9/15 Red Lake Nation News, News Office Release)

  • Growth Opportunities: Attitudinal Shift in Food Movement says UMass Faculty and Staff

    June 3, 2015

    Joe Shoenfeld calls it “an attitudinal shift.”

    That’s how he chose to describe a movement, for lack of a better term, that has made terms like ‘fresh,’ ‘healthy,’ ‘organic,’ ‘sustainable,’ and especially ‘local’ not just adjectives that dominate the lexicon — and also the marketing materials — of those who grow, sell, and prepare food, but also part of this region’s culture.

    “I think we’ve definitely moved beyond something that could be called a fad or a trend regarding local purchasing and local food,” Shoenfeld, associate director for the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment in the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst, told BusinessWest. 6/2/15 (Business West)

  • Protecting South America’s Iconic Golden Dorado Fish

    May 27, 2015

    A new study launched this month by University of Massachusetts Amherst fisheries biologist Andy J. Danylchuk, in collaboration with Argentina's Ministry of Environment and regional partners including Juramento Fly Fishing, Tigres del Rio, Fish Simply, and Patagonia Inc., is the first to assess the impact of catch-and-release fishing and other human and environmental pressures on the golden dorado, a fish of high economic and recreational value across South America. (5/27/15 phys.org)

  • Caterpillars of winter moths threaten region’s trees, says UMass entomologist

    May 27, 2015

    It’s the annual attack of the tiny, very hungry winter moth caterpillars. Over the past few days, the green inchworm caterpillars have begun ballooning down out of trees by the thousands, dangling on a wisp of thread and leaving behind a tattered, frayed canopy of leaves.

    “There’s a tattering of the leaves. A lot of this comes from the caterpillars feeding on the buds before they open,” said Joseph Elkinton, a professor of entomology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who has for a decade been releasing a parasitic fly that has begun to have success in controlling the population of hungry caterpillars. (5/27/15 Globe)

  • UMass Amherst Food Scientist Wins International Award for Rapid Pathogen Detection in Food

    May 27, 2015

    AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Amherst food science researcher Sam Nugen is one of two winners of the 2015 Future Leaders Award from the International Life Sciences Institute’s (ILSI) North America division, for developing methods of engineering viruses to rapidly detect and separate microbial contaminants from food. (5/27/15 UMass Press Release)

  • Editorial: Buzz Surrounding Pollinators in Peril: UMass Researchers Referenced

    May 26, 2015

    There’s a growing threat across the agricultural spectrum that has the area’s farmers, orchardists, beekeepers, scientists and researchers at such places like the University of Massachusetts Amherst worried: The loss of pollinators, like the honey bee. (5/23/15 Recorder, Hampshire Gazette 5/23/15)

  • Complex roles of dietary fats and oils in health and innovation explored by Eric Decker, UMass, Professor

    May 20, 2015

    Are dietary fats and oils really good for us after all? And if so, what types and how much should we consume to achieve a health benefit? How realistic is the dietary advice about fats and oils? These questions and more are discussed in a scientific supplement published in the peer-reviewed journal, Advances in Nutrition. (5/18/15 Medical News Today)

  • 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)
     

  • UMass Food Scientist, David Sela, Studies Human Milk for Healthy Microbes

    April 14, 2015

    Breast milk seems like a simple nutritious cocktail for feeding babies, but it is so much more than that. It also contains nutrients that feed the beneficial bacteria in a baby’s gut, and it contains substances that can change a baby’s behaviour. So, when a mother breastfeeds her child, she isn’t just feeding it. She is also building a world inside it and simultaneously manipulating it.

    To Katie Hinde, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University who specialises in milk, these acts are all connected. She suspects that substances in milk, by shaping the community of microbes in a baby’s gut, can affect its behaviour in ways that ultimately benefit the mother. It’s a thought-provoking and thus far untested hypothesis, but it’s not far-fetched. Together with graduate student Cary Allen-Blevins and David Sela, a food scientist at the University of Massachussetts, Hinde has laid out her ideas in a paper that fuses neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and microbiology. (National Geographic 4/8/15)

  • UMass Amherst scientist and international team document songbird's migration

    April 13, 2015

    AMHERST, Mass. – For more than 50 years, scientists had tantalizing clues suggesting that a tiny, boreal forest songbird known as the blackpoll warbler departs each fall from New England and eastern Canada to migrate nonstop in a direct line over the Atlantic Ocean toward South America, but proof was hard to come by.

    Now, for the first time an international team of biologists report “irrefutable evidence” that the birds complete a nonstop flight ranging from about 1,410 to 1,721 miles (2,270 to 2,770 km) in just two to three days, making landfall somewhere in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the islands known as the Greater Antilles, from there going on to northern Venezuela and Columbia.

    First author Bill DeLuca, an environmental conservation research fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with colleagues at the University of Guelph, Ontario, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and other institutions, says, “For small songbirds, we are only just now beginning to understand the migratory routes that connect temperate breeding grounds to tropical wintering areas. (4/14/15 PRI; 4/10/15 Deccan Chronicle; 4/1/15 News Office)

Pages