UMass Professor: Farmland, Solar Arrays Can Co-exist
What if you could use open space to generate solar electricity and farm it at the same time?
Stephen Herbert, a professor of agronomy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says this is more than a pipedream. A demonstration plot at a research station in South Deerfield is doing just that. "We have shown that we can get 90 percent of the yield of a pasture with solar panels compared with not having them as long as we leave enough space between clusters of panels,” he said. (Hampshire Gazette 7/16/14, Recorder 7/17/14)
Boston on the Barbie: Searching for New England’s Spot in the BBQ History Books
David Sela, a professor of food science at UMASS Amherst, comments in a story about the popularity of barbeque in the Boston area. He points out that grilling, cooking on an outside grill, and barbeque, slow cooking, are two different ways to prepare food. (DigBoston.com, 7/3/14)
4-H Science Camp Attracts Students Across Commonwealth
More than 50 young 4-H members from around western Massachusetts are spending three days at UMass Amherst for “4-H Science Days,” June 29 through July 1. One of four tracks they can choose is “Exploring Veterinary Sciences,” which introduces them to animal sciences and pre-veterinary student activities and discussions. The events take place at the Hadley Farm. (WGGB-TV 40, 6/30/14; News Office release)
UMass Amherst faculty members named “Highly Cited Researchers 2014”
A new list announced recently by Thomson Reuters names four UMass Amherst faculty members associated with the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment among “the world’s leading scientific minds.” Their publications are among the most influential in their fields. They include Eric Decker, David Julian McClements, Yeonhwa Park, all of food science and Baoshan Xing, environmental soil and chemistry. (Recorder, 6/29/14; News Office release)
Scientists discover new tick-borne illness
People have another reason to watch out for the tiny deer tick that transmits Lyme disease.
Scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst this spring detected the presence of a newly recognized disease in 12 deer ticks found on or near state residents — including six people from Cape Cod.
Still so new it doesn't have its own name, Borrelia miyamotoi is being known by the species of bacterium that causes a relapsing fever type of illness. (Cape Cod Times 06/30/14)
Hundreds Gather for Largest Beekeeping Event in Northeast
Beekeepers from across Massachusetts and NE states meet at UMass Agronomy Farm for annual field day. (Recorder, 6/23/14; WGGB-TV 40, WSHM-TV 3, 6/21/14)
Home gardeners can help save the bees — and our food supply
Many people who are interested in gardening and sustainability have become familiar with the term “colony collapse disorder.” While no single cause has been identified, local bee experts attribute the loss of bees in recent years to a mix of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and more typical predation by mites and diseases that destroy hives. (Hampshire Gazette 6/20/14)
Recent Federal National Climate Assessment Report Discussed
Professor Michael Rawlins, Manager Climate system Resource Center at University of Massachusetts discusses recently released federal National Climate Assessment Report. (WGBY 5/19/14)
State Initiative Shows Brockton Residents How to Eat Better
An event, which kicked off a healthy food initiative by Mass in Motion Healthy Market Program, is intended to promote the importance of eating healthy.
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s NIFA awards $495,950 grant to improve food safety
A research team led by UMass Amherst food scientist Sam Nugen has received a $495,950 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to improve food safety by developing faster methods for detecting and separating microbial contamination out of food. New techniques designed by Nugen and fellow food scientists Amanda Kinchla and doctoral student Juhong Chen, with nanochemist Vincent Rotello, should help food manufacturers avoid costly waiting for safety tests before products can be sold. (Springfield Republican/MassLive, 6/4/14; Azonano.com, 6/4/14; Phys.org, Nanowerk, 6/3/14)