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Community & Economic Vitality

The 4-H Sustainable Communities Project will engage young people in the city of Springfield in the out of school time hours to provide educational enrichment and promote life skills development. An area of national and local need that has been identified by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, National 4-H Council and UMass Extension 4-H is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education (STEM). Education in the STEM disciplines is critical for preparing a globally and regionally competitive workforce.

The food industry is being transformed by two important changes. It has recently been characterized by rising concentration, partly due to a number of large mergers since the beginning of the new millennium.[1] In addition, the advent of the internet is affecting the source of advertising and the method of purchase for many food products. Firms in the industry must devise strategies to adapt to and capitalize on these changes that have the potential to affect market structure and performance.

Plants are an ancient, rich and sustainable source of natural chemodiversity in the form of alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins and other classes of small-molecular-weight compounds (phytochemicals). Lacking the adaptive immunity of animals, plants evolved to rely on small molecules for their survival, proliferation and reproduction.

The causes of climate change are global, but the impacts are experienced locally. Communities across the New England region and the country are facing challenges from climate change including more extreme storms, hotter and longer-lasing heat waves, more rain in winter and less in summer, as well as the slower but significant effects of sea level rise. Given the incremental development and long lives of the built environment, changes in municipal regulations take years to significantly change the buildings and infrastructure that make up our cities and towns.

This project addresses the needs for IPM programming to serve the Massachusetts urban population. Through partnerships and collaborations, educational and service programs will be provided that encompass the structural pest control industry, bed bugs, Lyme disease, and IPM in K-12 schools, institutions of higher learning and the health care industry.

Tree growth, post-establishment [defined as a resumption of pre-transplant growth rate (Struve and Joly 1992)], will be determined by measuring caliper of the established 48 research oak (Q. bicolor, Q. rubra) trees, annually for the next four years (preferably longer, but contingent upon funding). Annual increment will be analyzed using piecewise regression.

A male factor is responsible for about half of the cases of equine infertility: this fact highlights the need for a better understanding of the molecular basis of male equine infertility both at the genetic as well as at the biochemical level.This project is relevant for the study of male infertility from several perspectives: 1) results of the experiments will provide a significant advance in understanding at the molecular level the mechanisms of the causes of male infertility.

The aim of this collaboration between the UMass College of Natural Sciences and the Massachusetts Envirothon is to encourage high school age young people to develop the science literacy, citizen skills, and knowledge of routes to further education and careers that will allow them to participate responsibly and effectively in natural resource conservation and land use decisions in Massachusetts communities.

Little research is available regarding energy use and sourcing decisions among lower-income households, particularly with respect to the efficacy of various behavioral interventions (e.g., providing social norms information; financial vs. social incentives). There is a similar lack of research that examines the barriers to and facilitators of lower-income households adopting small-scale renewable energy technologies (e.g., rooftop solar).

Rates of obesity and poor nutrition continue to increase for both adults and children in the United States. This is especially prevalent among low-income populations, as parents frequently turn to calorie-dense but low-nutrient foods when family food resources are limited. Eating habits that are formed during childhood are critically important as they lay the groundwork for future patterns that can affect lifelong health. Families need guidance to get the most nutrition from their limited resources in order for their children to grow and thrive.


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