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News from the Center

Massachusetts Ecosystem Climate Adaptation Network (Mass ECAN) Begins
Mass ECAN conference room with speaker and audience
Dec 5, 2017

On November 30, the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosted a one-day conference for the start of Massachusetts Ecosystem Climate Adaptation Network (Mass ECAN). Participants gathered at the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Headquarters in Westborough.

Mass ECAN is a new community of practice for climate change adaptation practitioners and researchers who are interested in ecosystem resilience and natural resources conservation.

Kicking Off Envirothon 2018: Students and Coaches Meet Up at UMass
Marvens LaPointe and Guerschon Noel, Brockton High School, identify tree branches
Nov 28, 2017

Your future conservation commissioner may already be an active member of an Envirothon team in your local high school. Your current commissioner may have been one back in high school. For 30 years, enthusiastic students and their coaches throughout Massachusetts have gathered each fall to get ready for the spring Massachusetts Envirothon competition. While Envirothon’s annual topic changes from year to year, the support for these young people to understand the environment around them has not.

“Make-It Springfield” Receives $50,000 in Grants
John Scibak State Representative; Aaron Vega State Representative; Alex Morse, Mayor of Holyoke; Yanhua Lu UMass Alumnus; Michael DiPasquale Extension Assistant Professor and Co-Founder Make-It-Springfield; Lara Furtado Co-Founder Make-It Springfield; Jay Ash, Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Development.
Oct 31, 2017

“Make-It Springfield,” the downtown Springfield collaborative design and makerspace co-founded by Michael DiPasquale in June 2016, was awarded $50,000 in funding to support its growth. The funding includes $25,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts “Collaborative Workspace Program” administered by MassDevelopment and a matching grant of $25,000 provided by the MassMutual Foundation.

UMass Extension Holds Research Tour and Roundtable for Vegetable Growers
Sue Scheufele, UMass Extension educator, examines leaf scouting for insects
Sep 18, 2017

On a perfect late summer evening, farmers from Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire hopped on a hay wagon to catch a ride to the UMass Extension research field plots.  UMass Extension educators and specialists met with over 40 growers on a tour of ongoing research trials at the UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield, Mass.  Growers like Maureen Dempsey from Intervale Farm in Westhampton, Mass., and Tom Petcen, owner of Pop’s Farm in Hatfield, Mass., zeroed in on harmful insects. Petcen said, “This twilight meeting is always interesting and some of their trials are very successful.” 

UMass Amherst Geoscientist Awarded Top International Lectureship
David Boutt, awarded top international lectureship
Aug 14, 2017

AMHERST, Mass. – Hydrogeologist David Boutt, an associate professor and geoscientist the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2005, has been named the Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer for 2018 by the Geological Society of America’s (GSA) hydrogeology division. It is now typical for the lecturer to give 40 or 50 talks, mainly in the U.S. and Canada. Boutt says he already has lecture tour stops planned in China, Chile, Argentina and South Korea and he hopes to add many more. (News Office 8/10/17)

UMass Cranberry Station Has New Director
Hilary Sandler
Jul 7, 2017

Hilary A. Sandler, an extension associate professor of cranberry integrated pest management (IPM) and weed science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been named director of its Cranberry Station...

4-H’ers Explore What UMass Has to Offer
4-H camper holds drone
Jun 28, 2017

If you had been looking out across the UMass Amherst campus on a recent late June afternoon, you would have seen young 4-H’ers undertaking some unexpected projects.  Drones lifted off the ground (operated by 8th grade students). DNA was extracted from their own bodies.  Pond organisms were scrutinized beneath the fine lens of a microscope. These were some of the activities on tap during a three-day event called Explore UMass, part of 4-H’s “Summer of Science.”

Joe Major Selected for National 4-H Award
Joe Major, Mass 4-H volunteer and national award-winner with lamb
May 24, 2017

National 4-H Council announced that Joe Major of Walpole has been selected as the 2017 National 4-H Salute to Excellence 4-H Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer honoree. He is the main leader of the Sunnyrock 4-H Club at Wards Berry Farm in Sharon. 

Gypsy moths bring unwelcome rash for some: UMass Extension entomologist comments
gypsy moth caterpillar-By Materialscientist at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10552862
May 24, 2017

The gypsy moth caterpillar’s hairs are typically not an issue for most individuals. Tawny Simisky, entomologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension, comments. She said, "For the majority of the population, gypsy moth caterpillars do not cause allergic reactions. This can be dependent upon an individual’s amount and duration of exposure, as well as their own sensitivities."

Lexington teens take top honors at 30th annual Mass. Envirothon
Field testing at MA Envirothon
May 22, 2017

LINCOLN, Mass., May 18, 2017 – The message from teenagers who participated in this year’s Massachusetts Envirothon environmental education program was clear: local agriculture is booming in Massachusetts. For the past school year, they’ve been researching farming in their communities – from urban community gardens to rural orchards and pastures, from row crops to working forests – and assessing its benefits and its effects on local land and water resources, ecosystems and biodiversity.

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