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News from the Media

  • Peak Season for Ticks is Now

    May 31, 2016

    Stephen Rich, director of the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Laboratory of Medical Zoology, says this is peak season for ticks and offers advice for protecting against the pests. (Recorder, 5/30/16)

  • What's bugging cranberry growers this month

    May 31, 2016

    Thresholds for determining when a pest insect in a cranberry bog requires a treatment response have been set by the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham, according to a monthly column for growers. (Wicked Local Carver, 5/30/16)

  • UMass lab steps up tick testing efforts

    May 26, 2016

    BOSTON — A University of Massachusetts laboratory that tests ticks that people find on themselves or their pets for diseases that could possibly be passed on is stepping up its efforts as tick season kicks into high gear.

    The Laboratory of Medical Zoology in Amherst is partnering with about two dozen towns in the state to offer discounted tick testing that lab director Steve Rich said can help treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.  (Globe 5/22/16, Herald 5/22/16,  Republican, Recorder 5/22/16, Berkshire Eagle 5/22/16, CBS Boston, WFXT-TV (Fox 25) Boston 5/22/16)

  • Make-It Springfield pop-up community 'makerspace' workshop coming to downtown

    May 26, 2016

    SPRINGFIELD — Amateur crafters and do-it-yourselfers will soon be able to "make it" in downtown Springfield.

    The University of Massachusetts Design Center in Springfield, MassDevelopment and the Springfield Business Improvement District plan to open Make-It Springfield in a vacant storefront at 168 Worthington St. next month. (MassLive 5/20/16)

  • Local peach crop is the pits this year

    May 16, 2016

     "We haven't seen any blossoms yet, but I think a lot of our peach blossoms are dead... It doesn't look like we'll have much of a crop this year," said Peter Morton, manager of Autumn Hill Orchards in Groton. Because there are many farms that grow peaches in Massachusetts, the extent of the loss is hard to track, but for Jon Clements, a tree fruit specialist working for UMass Amherst's Extension Fruit Program, the damage could affect the entire state, as well as Connecticut and Rhode Island. (Nashoba Valley Voice 5/16/16)


  • Can a Pan Add Iron to Your Diet?

    May 9, 2016

    Wall Street Journal article on use of cast-iron cookware and "fish" to add iron to diet quotes Fergus Clydesdale, food science. Wall Street Journal, 5/9/16

  • Plymoutheans named Keystone cooperators

    May 2, 2016

    The Keystone Project holds an annual training for volunteer champions for conservation in their communities, held in April at the Harvard Forest in Petersham. It is sponsored by UMass Extension and the UMass Department of Environmental Conservation. Plymouth Wicked Local, 5/2/16

  • 'Grass' is here: Fresh asparagus appearing

    April 29, 2016

    Katie Campbell-Nelson, UMass Extension Vegetable Program and Tom Waskiewicz, UMass Extension 4-H Youth Development Program, comment on this year’s asparagus crop. Campbell-Nelson says during the recent cold weather that farmers were irrigating their asparagus at night to keep it from freezing, but she expects there will be a bountiful supply in the next few weeks. Republican, 4/29/16

  • Cold Threatens Peach and Apple Crops

    April 5, 2016

    A winter of extreme warmth and cold, combined with recent roller-coaster conditions, could reduce this year’s apple crop, and will more than likely result in a much smaller peach crop, according to fruit growers looking out this week on snow-covered orchards. UMass tree fruit experts offer observations. Worcester Telegram and Gazette, 4/5/2016, WFCR/NEPR,  4/5/2016

  • Canadian lynx expanding New England territory, comments by UMass Amherst environmental conservation

    March 8, 2016

    The deep green eyes of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) have the advantage in the region’s dark spruce-fir, or boreal, forest. They see without being seen. Alexej Siren, a biologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, environmental conservation, comments on sightings in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. (National Geographic, March, 2016)

  • Mass Net Zero Data Center in Holyoke aims to make Green High Performance Computing Center carbon neutral

    March 1, 2016

    HOLYOKE — Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (professor Prashant Shenoy, College of Information and Computer Sciences) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing battery technology at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center that could make the hydropowered city even more carbon neutral. (Data Center Knowledge 2/29/16;  masslive 2/26/16)

  • UMass Amherst Offers Online Associate of Science in Sustainable Food and Farming

    February 16, 2016

    AMHERST, Mass. – The Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is now offering a fully online associate of science degree in sustainable food and farming. Starting in September 2016, the 60-credit associate degree will allow students to study sustainable food and farming from anywhere in the world. (News Office 2/11/16)

  • UMass Researchers Studying Climate Change Impact on Maple Syrup Quality

    February 11, 2016

    AMHERST, Mass. – As maple sugaring season approaches, plant ecologist Kristina Stinson, assistant professor of environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, recently received a two-year, $149,800 grant to study the impact of climate change on the quantity and quality of sugar maple sap, including its chemical composition, and of sap from red maples, a species less sensitive to climate change. (Red Lake Nation News, 2/11/16;, Recorder, Republican, 2/10/16; News Office release, 2/10/16)

  • Tick-borne illnesses: Grant provides for discounted testing of ticks from Cape Cod

    February 8, 2016

    State funding for free tick testing ran out in June, but now Cape Cod Healthcare is helping scientists continue efforts to track infected deer ticks on the Cape by underwriting the cost of tick testing at UMass through a grant to the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension program.

    The $20,000 donation from the 2016 Community Benefits Annual Strategic Grants program will help reduce the cost of the tests from $50 per tick to $15 per tick, said UMass microbiologist Stephen Rich. It runs through September. (Cape Cod Times 02/08/16)

  • Cranberry farmers adjusting to warm weather, UMass Cranberry Station Director notes

    February 1, 2016

    Carolyn J. Demoranville, director of the Cranberry Experiment Station in Wareham, talks about how cranberry farmers are adjusting to the warm winter this year. She says growers traditionally flood their bogs in winter to protect the plants from damage. (Wicked Local Kingston, 2/1/16)

  • UMass Amherst Food Scientist Studies Reducing Saturated Fats in Popular Foods

    January 19, 2016

    AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientist Eric Decker has received a three-year, $469,775 grant to explore ways to improve the nutrition of foods high in saturated fats. Results should help food producers address recent new dietary guidelines recommending that Americans eat fewer of those fats to reduce heart disease risk. (1/13/16 UMass News Office)

  • UMass Amherst-led Global Teams Win Funds for Agricultural, Air Pollution Research

    January 11, 2016

    Two teams of international researchers led by Om Parkash, agriculture biotechnologist at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and Richard Peltier, environmental health sciences, have been awarded funding from the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) to initiate global projects designed to ultimately impact millions of people in the developing world. (12/22/15 UMass News Office)

  • Brook trout study identifies top climate change pressure factor

    January 6, 2016

    Ben Letcher, adjunct faculty in environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, believes that a better understanding of the effects of climate change on Eastern brook trout may help the fish avoid an untimely demise. (1/5/16 Environmental Monitor)

  • The secret to making people care about climate change

    January 5, 2016

    Ezra Markowitz, assistant professor, Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-author, Lisa Zava, Columbia University, research American attitudes about climate change and what can make a difference. Spoiler alert: Their legacy. (1/5/16 Washington Post)

  • Meet the Cranberry Queen of Massachusetts

    January 4, 2016

    Industry expert Carolyn DeMoranville discusses local heirloom varieties, and shares timeless recipes for making the most of our state berry. (12/28/15 WGBH)