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News from the Media

  • Efforts to combat winter moth

    May 19, 2014

    Joseph Elkinton, UMass Extension, comments in two stories about efforts to combat the winter moth, a destructive insect that is damaging trees in eastern Massachusetts and has now been found in part of Connecticut. (The Day [New London, Conn.], 5/16/14; Wicked Local Marlborough, 5/10/14)

  • The emerald ash borer spreading throughout region

    May 8, 2014

    The emerald ash borer, an insect that kills ash trees, is spreading throughout the region and kills the trees in about two or three years, says Paul Catanzaro, UMass Extension. The insect is spread primarily by humans who move infected firewood from one region to another. (WWLP-TV 22, 5/6/14)

  • Alumnus John Organ, division chief of the Wildlife and Sport Fishing Restoration Program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recieves Award

    May 8, 2014

    Alumnus John Organ, division chief of the Wildlife and Sport Fishing Restoration Program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is profiled. He is also an adjunct professor of environmental conservation. Organ recently received the Wildlife Management Institute’s 2014 George Bird Grinnell Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resources Conservation. (Gazette, 5/7/14)

  • Michael A. Rawlins, manager of Climate System Research Center, says more change coming for Massachusetts

    May 8, 2014

    Michael A. Rawlins, manager of the Climate System Research Center, says in response to the new federal climate report that Massachusetts is already seeing changes and can expect more. “Here in Massachusetts, we can expect moving forward, increases in the growing season period, warming, an increase in heavy precipitation events.” In winter, he says, “We can expect wetter winters, not necessarily more snow.” (WWLP-TV 22, 5/6/14)

  • Raymond S. Bradley, Climate System Research Center, says the new federal report on climate change is “sobering.”

    May 8, 2014

    Raymond S. Bradley, geosciences and director of the Climate System Research Center, says the new federal report on climate change released this week is “sobering.” He calls for action by Congress to “follow the strong example set by Massachusetts to move the country away from a carbon-based economy toward renewable energy, efficient energy distribution systems and energy conservation measures.” (Globe, 5/7/14)

  • Residents of 32 Massachusetts towns can receive free, expert identification of ticks

    April 30, 2014

    Residents of 32 Massachusetts towns can receive free, expert identification of ticks and the disease-causing pathogens they carry, with testing provided by the Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ) at the UMass Amherst. The two-year, free tick-testing program funded by the governor’s Community Innovation Challenge Grant helped to establish the state’s first Tick-Borne Disease Network (TBDN) for surveillance of ticks and tick-borne diseases. The LMZ identifies, tests and reports ticks and associated diseases to residents, local boards of health and the state Department of Public Health. (Republican 4/30/14)

  • Acid Rain Monitoring Project’s 30-year record shows little recovery in Massachusetts

    April 30, 2014

    Though acid rain has begun to fade from public consciousness since environmentalists, scientists and even legislators rallied around the issue in the ’80s and ’90s, the problem still persists. One of the longest running volunteer monitoring corps in the country is keeping track of the issue in waterbodies across Massachusetts.

    Since 1983, volunteers have been grabbing water samples for the Acid Rain Monitoring Project coordinated by UMass Amherst’s Water Resources Research Center

    Environmental Monitor April 24, 2014

  • Northampton celebrates farmers market 40th anniversary

    April 29, 2014

    In 1974, UMass Extension vegetable specialist John Howell visited area farmers to talk them into coming to Gothic Street on Saturday mornings to sell their produce directly to customers at a little thing he was trying to start called a farmers market. Forty years later they are celebrating success as one of the first in the state.

  • ReGreen Springfield leads tree planting in Upper Hill neighborhood

    April 10, 2014

    Rick Harper, University of Massachusetts assistant professor of urban forestry, center, with help from High School of Commerce students Breyonno Jones, left, and Kelen Dessources, right, and Alexandra Santiago, behind them at left, plant a tree on Rochelle St. in Springfield Massachusetts Thursday, April 10, 2014. Commerical and school volunteers planted 41 trees here and on Annawon St., part of a regional effort to reforest urban areas.

  • Schloemann Gives Informative Talk on Berries

    April 4, 2014

    Sonia Schloemann, fruit specialist, UMass Extension, recently gave an informative talk to the Garden Club of Amherst about growing berries.

  • Dairy Farmers Mention Extension at Public Hearing on Regs

    April 4, 2014

    Dairy farmers spoke up at public hearing in Springfield about proposed nutrient management regulations, mentioned the statutory connection to UMass Extension Best Management Practices.

  • A Campaign to Grow UMass Farming Site

    April 3, 2014

    As the demand for locally produced food continues to grow, a proposal gaining traction in the Legislature would provide $20 million to help rejuvenate the University of Massachusetts agriculture extension site in Waltham, which has lacked funding for decades. State legislators are in the beginning stages of considering a $1.7 billion environmental bond bill that includes earmarking funds to revitalize the UMass site, which spans 58 acres over two plots along Beaver Street. The project is dubbed the UMass Center for Urban Sustainability.

  • Decker Comments on Drop in Frozen Food Sales

    March 13, 2014

    Eric Decker, UMass Amherst food scientist, comments in a story about why consumers are buying fewer Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. He says people believe the dinners have little nutritional value and they are often put off by a “long and scary” list of ingredients, such as calcium propionate, sodium tripolyphosphate and sorbic acid.

  • ‘Seed libraries’ attemps to save the world’s plants

    March 9, 2014

    A feature story seed libraries, including one at Hampshire College, includes a mention of Katie Campbell-Nelson, UMass Extension, who says she planted some kale too close to collard greens and the plants cross pollinated, creating a bitter tasting plant.

  • Super Lice are Chemical-Resistant

    March 9, 2014

    John Clark, UMass Amherst veterinary and animal sciences, comments in a story about how head lice are developing a resistance to the over-the-counter chemicals used to kill them. He says recent tests show that almost all head lice are now genetically resistant to the medicine.

  • Don't Want GMO's? Eat Certified Organic Food

    March 4, 2014

    Eric Decker, UMass Amherst food scientist, says most foods contain some genetically modified organisms and the only way to completely avoid them is to purchase certified organic foods. He says much livestock food also contains the GMOs. Decker says the risk from eating foods with GMOs is very small and he believes they are going to continue to be part of the food system.

  • Elkinton says Sub-zero Weather Helped Battle Wooly Adelgid

    March 2, 2014

    Joseph Elkinton, UMass Amherst environmental conservation, says the recent sub-zero cold may be annoying to humans, but it is also helping to battle the wooly adelgid, a insect that kills hemlock trees. He says when temperatures drop to 15 degrees below zero at night that is cold enough to kill most of the insects.

  • As Hubs for Bees And Pollinators, Flowers May Be Crucial in Disease Transmission

    February 24, 2014

    Flowers are common gathering places where pollinators such as bees and butterflies can pick up fungal, bacterial or viral infections that might be as benign as the sniffles or as debilitating as influenza. But “almost nothing is known regarding how pathogens of pollinators are transmitted at flowers,” postdoctoral researcher Scott McArt and Professor Lynn Adler at UMass Amherst microbiology, write. “As major hubs of plant-animal interactions throughout the world, flowers are ideal venues for the transmission of microbes among plants and animals.” In a recent review in Ecology Letters with colleagues at Yale and the University of Texas at Austin, McArt and Adler survey the literature and identify promising areas for future research on how floral traits influence pathogen transmission.

  • Thomas Waskiewicz Says Hadley Police Chief Always Put Town First

    February 4, 2014

    Thomas Waskiewicz, a 4-H extension educator, says Dennis J. Hukowicz, the police chief in Hadley who died last weekend, was a fellow farmer and had the best interest of the town in mind as he ran the police department. He says Hukowicz was also a strong supporter of 4-H.

  • Hang Xiao Receives Grant to Study Biochemical Fate of Nanoemulsion-Based Food Delivery Systems in the GI Tract

    January 17, 2014

    UMass Amherst food scientist Hang Xiao recently received a four-year, $491,220 grant to study the biochemical fate of nanoemulsion-based food delivery systems in the gastrointestinal tract, hoping to re-shape them and enhance the absorption of beneficial food components encapsulated in delivery systems. Food biochemists like Xiao believe that if taken up in appropriate amounts and forms, certain food components known as nutraceuticals might benefit human health by providing anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer effects. Nutraceuticals include flavonoids and carotenoids in fruits and vegetables, for example.

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