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News from the Center

Tick held in a tweezer
May 15

“One Deer Tick Bite Can Change Your Life…”

As spring explodes into bloom in Massachusetts, residents are eager to get outside and reconnect with their yards, great hiking trails or a sweet-smelling meadow. A very timely reminder for all of us: while hikes are inviting, remember what may be lurking in the woods and grasses: those dangerous ticks. Be careful.

Kathleen Arcaro, environmental toxicologist in the University’s Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

The work of a UMass Amherst environmental toxicologist and an air quality scientist are featured in two new "Research That Matters" videos released this week by the University’s Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE). CAFE director Jody Jellison says, “Meaningful research being conducted at UMass that impacts our lives in positive ways is of great interest to the public. These short videos, with links to more information, are intended to get the word out.”

Used farm equipment for sale from UMass Farms
February 13

CAFE’s enterprising interim farm manager, Bob Skalbite, is actively working on a much-needed project at several of the university farms. He is tackling a task that many of us put off, but would benefit from in our own homes: cleaning house and holding a tag sale.

Nicole Foley wins 3rd place poster award at iPiPE conference in NC
February 13

In early February, Stockbridge School of Agriculture (SSA) and UMass Extension attended the fourth annual meeting of The Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (iPiPE) at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. At this iPiPE Mixer, SSA was represented by graduate student Elizabeth Garofalo and undergraduate intern Nicole Foley. UMass Extension was represented by educators Jon Clements, Katie Campbell-Nelson, and Genevieve Higgins. iPiPE Mixers focus on training researchers, extension agents, and student interns on using this information platform.

Rapid bacteria test for spinach developed by Lili He
January 22

The work of a UMass Amherst food scientist and a University tree fruit extension educator are featured in two new videos released this week by the University’s Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE). CAFE director Jody Jellison says, “We want to let the public know about meaningful research being conducted at UMass that impacts our lives in positive ways. These videos are intended to get the word out.”

Mass ECAN conference room with speaker and audience
December 5

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.

Marvens LaPointe and Guerschon Noel, Brockton High School, identify tree branches
November 28

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.

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.
October 31

“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
September 18

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
August 14

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)

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