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News from the Media

  • UMass Professor: Farmland, Solar Arrays Can Co-exist

    July 16, 2014

    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

    July 3, 2014

    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. (, 7/3/14)

  • 4-H Science Camp Attracts Students Across Commonwealth

    July 1, 2014

    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”

    June 30, 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

    June 30, 2014

    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

    June 24, 2014

    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

    June 24, 2014

    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

    June 24, 2014

    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

    June 23, 2014

    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

    June 4, 2014

    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;, 6/4/14;, Nanowerk, 6/3/14)

  • Researchers from UMass Amherst will discuss bee health and pollination issues

    May 29, 2014

    Researchers from UMass Amherst will discuss bee health and pollination issues at the fourth annual Bee Fest from 10 a.m. to noon, June 7, on the town common in Greenfield. (Recorder, 5/29/14)

  • Compact orchards growing in Greater Boston

    May 27, 2014

    Today, with the fresh emphasis on local food and sustainability, experts say they are seeing a renewed interest in planting backyard orchards. For an investment of about $400 for a 10-tree orchard and a little time, urban and suburban dwellers can discover the joys of growing their own fruit — even in small backyards. (Globe 5/27/14)


  • A Gathering With Mother Nature

    May 21, 2014

    When it comes to promoting sustainable local agriculture, what could be more sustainable than preparing the next generation to understand and act on issues that affect local farms?  (Leominster Champion 5/9/14)

  • In these games, Earth’s the big winner

    May 19, 2014

    At Leominster’s Sholan Farms, student competitors bring Massachusetts Envirothon front and center.

    (Sentinel  & Enterprise 5/16/2014)

  • 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)