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News from the Media

  • Northeast in for Peachy Summer, UMass comments

    May 15, 2017

    BOSTON (AP) — A year after the peach crop in the northeastern United States hit the pits, growers and agricultural experts are anticipating a healthy rebound in 2017. "There was no peach crop in Massachusetts last year," said Jon Clements, a fruit specialist at the University of Massachusetts Extension. (5/14/17 USNews, Boston Herald, Concord Monitor)

  • Spray away gypsy moths? Two UMass Amherst professors give advice: let nature try first

    May 7, 2017

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Should New England states spray insecticides to kill gypsy moths before they cause another year of widespread tree defoliation? Some politicians want the government to help eradicate the pests, though entomologists, including Joseph Elkinton, entomology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, say forests will be better off if nature takes care of itself. (5/7/17 Sun Chronicle)” Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension, says a natural fungus has been killing some of the gypsy moths since 1989. (WWLP-TV 22, 5/8/17)


  • What Are Those Flowering Trees/Bushes I Drive By Every Day?

    May 5, 2017

    Photo feature shows flowering trees in bloom now in western Massachusetts. Author credits UMass Extension Assistant Professor Amanda Bayer. (Advocate, 5/5/17)

  • Tick-borne illnesses can include rare Powassan virus

    May 4, 2017

    AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – They are known for spreading Lyme disease, but ticks can also spread another serious illness. It is called Powassan virus, and it affects the brain. Dr. Stephen Rich, director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass Amherst explained for 22News the danger that this disease poses.

  • Mass. bill would ease tax hit on inherited farmland

    May 1, 2017

    Under legislation proposed by Rep. Kate Hogan, D-Stow, and Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, farmland that is transferred upon the death of a farm owner would be assessed at its agricultural value as long as it stays farmland. Analysis of agricultural census on CAFE website is cited. (Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 5/1/17)

  • Season's First Gypsy Moth Hatch Reported

    April 28, 2017

    Entomologists at UMass Amherst report that some of this season’s first gypsy moth egg masses have begun to hatch, as observed on April 26 in Belchertown at a location off Route 202. Extension entomologist Tawny Simisky reports that a single egg mass can hold as many as 1,000 eggs. Gypsy moth is a non-native invasive insect in North America. (TV22, 4/28/17; WBZ4TV; WHDH-TV 7; San Francisco Chronicle; CBSBoston; Recorder; Telegram & Gazette;; Western Mass. News)

  • UMass Amherst tick testing lab joins national ecology tracking project

    April 12, 2017

    AMHERST, Mass. – The Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a national tick testing lab, recently was chosen to conduct pathogen tests on thousands of ticks collected from 47 sites across the country as part of National Science Foundation’s 30-year National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) project.  LMZ director Stephen Rich says these tests will detect pathogens. (WWLP-TV 22, 4/11/17; News Office)

  • Only one sure thing about deer ticks: They will be out there

    March 20, 2017

    The tick census is unpredictable. Too many variables affect population size — variables so numerous and hyperlocal that one person’s yard can be teeming while the next door neighbor’s is pristine. UMass microbiology professor, Steve Rich, comments on upcoming season. (Globe 3/20/17)

  • Kestrel forest project has many benefits

    March 1, 2017

    An editorial supports land preservation in Pelham. Town and state officials comment as well as Paul Catanzaro, an assistant professor at UMass whose forest measurements students helped catalog trees, other plants and wildlife. (Gazette 2/27/17)

  • Fruit Tree Expert Comments on Temperature Variations

    March 1, 2017

    Unseasonably high temperatures this past week warmed up winter-weary New Englanders, but they also gave a dose of spring to trees. Wesley Autio, the director of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst, said that’s not a problem unless it’s followed by a sudden and severe drop in temperature. (WFCR 2/28/17)

  • UMass workshop lets grape lovers garden, play

    February 27, 2017

    Some 20 people tried their hands at pruning grapes at a workshop at the University of Massachusetts Cold Spring Orchard Research & Education Center on Saturday morning. Participants carefully snipped and shaped vines that will produce the orchard’s wine grapes, led by Sonia Schloemann, fruit specialist at UMass Extension. (Gazette 2/25/17)

  • UMass professors comment on snow pack effect and drought

    February 15, 2017

    AMHERST -- All that snow that fell over the past few days, and threatens to fall in the coming weeks, is made of water.

    But Christine Hatch, assistant extension professor, UMass Amherst, said it may not be enough by itself to solve Massachusetts' persistent drought. Timothy Randhir, a UMass hydrologist, said, "We need more snowpack like this to melt slowly. If it melts away quickly, we will lose it." (MassLive 2/15/17)

  • Acid rain sampling needs volunteers

    February 14, 2017

    The Acid Rain Monitoring (ARM) Project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Water Resources Research Center needs volunteers to collect water samples at selected sites in Essex County on Sunday, April 2.

    Volunteers are needed to sample Mystic Pond in Methuen, Upper Attitash Pond in Amesbury, the Ipswich River in Ipswich and Black Brook in Hamilton. (Eagle Tribune 2/14/17)

  • Boosting bioavailability: David J. McClements comments on delivering nutraceuticals

    January 23, 2017

    The growing trend for functional foods that include 'good-for-you' ingredients is changing and improving the way in delivers neutraceuticals to consumers. David J. McClements, food science, says hydrogel beads can help. (1/20/17 Nutraingredients)

  • Gloucester Lab is Location for Candidates' Seminars

    January 18, 2017

    UMass Amherst has pared the applicant pool to three finalists for the extension faculty position to be located at its Gloucester Marine Laboratory. It has established a special seminar series in Gloucester for local stakeholders to meet the three candidates and listen to presentations on their vision for the laboratory. (Newburyport News, 1/18/2017)

  • Jon Clements, UMass Extension, Comments About Optimistic Peach Growers

    January 4, 2017

    As a whole, the nation’s stone fruit growers are really looking forward to 2017. The results from a national State of the Industry survey regarding their production plans for the coming year show growers are brimming with confidence. Fully 43% plan to increase production in 2017, while 49% plan to stay the same. Those results are very similar to 2016 — back-to-back years of positive vibes. (1/3/17 Growing Produce)

  • Greenfield Surpasses Goal to Reduce Energy Use, UMass Professor Ben Weil Assists

    January 3, 2017

    GREENFIELD — It’s taken a bit longer than originally projected, but the town has succeeded in its goal of reducing energy use by 20 percent. In fact, according to preliminary estimates, it has cut municipal energy consumption by 22 percent. Ben Weil, assistant professor of environmental conservation at UMass Amherst, worked with town officials to assess how buildings performed and made recommendations. (1/3/17 Recorder)

  • UMass Entomologist Comments on Emerald Ash Borer's Destructive Path

    December 19, 2016

    Although the emerald ash borer is killing ash trees around the state, it has done the most damage so far in Berkshire County, according to Tawny Simisky, entomology specialist with the UMass Extension program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.   (12/19/16 Berkshire Eagle )

  • UMass Amherst and Boston-based PCL, Inc. Offer New Tool for Biotech Research

    December 15, 2016

    AMHERST, Mass. – A group of University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers who are stewards of the campus’ plant cell culture library (PCCL) recently announced a new collaboration with the South Korean biotechnology company PCL, Inc. of Seoul and Boston, to provide users worldwide with a new technology for accurate, highly sensitive target-molecule detection in chemically complex plant samples.  (EurekaAlert 12/15/16)

  • The "Keep 'em Wet" Study

    December 8, 2016

    April Vokey, a well-known angler, interviews some of the most influential people involved in the fishing world today. Andy Danylchuk, associate professor of environmental conservation at UMass Amherst, describes his research on the ways in which fish respond to angling events as examined through blood tests. (12/2/16 April Vokey Fishing Podcasts)