AMHERST, Mass.— A coalition of research institutions and fish and wildlife agencies this week unveiled a new online tool for use by local decision-makers, conservation managers, land trusts, regional planners, landowners and community leaders in Massachusetts who are interested in taking action in response to climate change. Users of the Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool can look up different species and habitat types to see what beneficial climate actions they can take. (USGS 11/23/15; UMass New Release 11/23/15
News from the Media
Cranberries in a variety of culinary creations are everywhere this time of year, a staple of the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner table.
But for Carolyn DeMoranville, the tiny, tart fruit is her life year round. She is director of the Cranberry Experiment Station in Wareham, part of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where all-things cranberry are studied, and she said this year’s harvest in Massachusetts -- where the cranberry is the state’s largest food crop -- will be robust, at more than 2 million barrels. (Boston Globe 11/23/15)
Frank Mangan, Professor in UMass Amherst’s Stockbridge School of Agriculture, works with Food Zone on a project to encourage Latinos to make their own sofrito versus buying it in cans from corner stores where contents are high in sugar, sodium and fat. (Valley Advocate 11/09/15)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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)