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News from the Center

  • 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.

    “Make-It Springfield” Receives $50,000 in Grants

    October 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.
  • Sue Scheufele, UMass Extension educator, examines leaf scouting for insects

    UMass Extension Holds Research Tour and Roundtable for Vegetable Growers

    September 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.” 
  • David Boutt, awarded top international lectureship

    UMass Amherst Geoscientist Awarded Top International Lectureship

    August 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)
  • Hilary Sandler

    UMass Cranberry Station Has New Director

    July 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 camper holds drone

    4-H’ers Explore What UMass Has to Offer

    June 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, Mass 4-H volunteer and national award-winner with lamb

    Joe Major Selected for National 4-H Award

    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 moth caterpillar-By Materialscientist at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10552862

    Gypsy moths bring unwelcome rash for some: UMass Extension entomologist comments

    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."
  • Field testing at MA Envirothon

    Lexington teens take top honors at 30th annual Mass. 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.
  • lilacs bloom on UMass Amherst campus

    UMass Amherst Campus Awash in Spring Color

    May 15, 2017
    In mid-May, Professor Amanda Bayer, who specializes in plant materials at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led a campus tour of over 35 ornamental trees and shrubs. The two-hour tour left attendees surprised and amazed at the botanical treasures and landscape beauty the campus offers.
  • Mary Ratnaswamy and Melissa Ocana accept 2017 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award

    Award-Winning: Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool Partnership

    May 9, 2017
    The Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool partnership was awarded a 2017 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award at the National Adaptation Forum in St, Paul, Minnesota on May 8. University of Massachusetts project manager, Melissa Ocana, accepted the award on behalf of the partnership.   
  • Gypsy moth egg hatch has been observed at a location off US-202 in Belchertown, Mass. as of 4/26/17. Tiny, hairy caterpillars may be seen resting on top of egg masses at this time as shown here with arrows. (Simisky, 2017)

    This Year’s Gypsy Moths Have Started to Hatch in Massachusetts

    April 28, 2017
    Entomologists at UMass Amherst report that some of the first gypsy moth egg masses to hatch in the state in 2017 have been observed on Wednesday, April 26 in Belchertown, Mass.
  • Cris Wein and Amanda Reilly assist with delivery of 5 lambs to 1 ewe at Hadley Farm

    Counting Sheep at UMass: Rare Birth at Hadley Farm Equine and Livestock Research and Education Center

    April 11, 2017
    Dorset sheep, the type that roam around the UMass Hadley Farm, are known to give birth to one, two or maybe three lambs at once. However, on April 7, one of the farm’s ewes delivered not three or four, but five healthy lambs! Students from the Animal Sciences program in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (VASCI), Cris Wein (‘18) and Amanda Reilly (‘18), both on a pre-vet track, were ready to help deliver the lambs and assist in catching them, but the lambs sorted themselves out and were delivered one at a time.
  • Paul Catanzaro teaching Keystone Cooperators in Harvard Forest

    Keystone Project Honored for Outstanding Environmental Education

    April 6, 2017
    The Massachusetts Keystone Project has been awarded a prestigious Environmental Service Award by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions.  Led by UMass Extension a 3-day training workshop at Harvard Forest has been held every April since 1988. The award, given for outstanding environmental education, is well-deserved. Since 1988, Keystone Project leaders David Kittredge and Paul Catanzaro have led 26 training workshops, with over 500 Massachusetts community members participating as Keystone Cooperators.
  • Chilli thrips

    Non-Native Insect Confirmed in Mass. for First Time

    March 24, 2017
    The non-native, exotic chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis) has been recently confirmed from two samples of damaged Hydrangea spp. foliage from two residential landscapes located in Barnstable County, Mass. submitted to the UMass Plant Diagnostics Laboratory. 
  • Congressman Joe Kennedy with Sonia Schloemann and Ken Nicewicz at recent CARET meetings in Washington, DC.

    The View from Capitol Hill: March 2017 CARET visits

    March 16, 2017
    Representatives of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE) recently returned from a hectic trip to Washington, D.C., where they met with the state’s legislative delegations. CAFE’s volunteer champion Ken Nicewicz along with Extension educator Sonia Schloemann held annual “CARET” meetings with Massachusetts legislators in early March to discuss the work of the Land Grant units at UMass Amherst. 
  • Stockbridge Hall, UMass Amherst campus

    Utilities, Communities and Urban Trees: Tree Conference 2017

    March 13, 2017
    Nearly 200 arborists, professors, town officials, utility employees and students attended this year’s tree conference held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on March 7. While they came to learn about current tree issues of importance to communities (such as pests and diseases), the main emphasis of the day was on partnerships between communities and utilities.  This topic was chosen as a result of last year’s survey requesting input from arborists on their preferred focus.
  • NEP Farmers' Market Demonstration

    SNAP–Ed and EFNEP: Helping Tens of Thousands of People Learn About Good Nutrition

    February 2, 2017
    The annual report for fiscal year 2016 from the University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program (NEP) is full of impressive statistics.  Through the power of numbers, one quickly gets a rundown of how many people are making healthier choices through direct work within communities. Bottom line: we are helping a whole lot of people in need find their way to healthier nutrition.
  • Blueberry pruning

    Mass Aggie Seminars: Spring Gardening Series

    February 13, 2017
    Each year the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment offers a workshop series for homeowners and small scale farmers. All workshops have a hands-on component that will help participants gain new skills that they can use in their own gardens or landscapes. Locations and registration fees vary.
  • Dr. Rakesh Chandran, NEWSS Past-President presents award to Dr. Hilary Sandler

    UMass Amherst Cranberry Expert Wins Lifetime Achievement Honor

    February 15, 2017
    Dr. Hilary Sander, extension associate professor at the UMass Cranberry Station, has received the Northeastern Weed Science Society’s (NEWSS) highest award on January 4, 2017 at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Plant, Pest, and Soils Conference in Philadelphia. She was elected “Fellow,” the highest honor that can be conferred upon a member. This life-time achievement award recognizes her steadfast dedication to research in the field of weed science.
  • Eve Vogel and Christine Hatch at Deerfield River for release of River Smart Report

    Confronting New England's Legacy of Devastating Floods: River-Smart Recommendations

    December 5, 2016
    On a quiet Friday afternoon in early December, two UMass Amherst professors, authors of the just-released booklet Supporting Communities to Become River-Smart, discussed their policy recommendations with a gathering of planners, state officials from Massachusetts and Vermont, community members and others. Celebrating the new publication at a location alongside the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls, site of significant flood damage during Hurricane Irene in 2011, seemed particularly appropriate. Eve Vogel, UMass associate professor of geography and lead researcher, along with Christine Hatch, extension assistant professor of geology, shared five target policies from the new 90-page report, “Supporting Communities to Become River-Smart.”

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