CNS News

Subscribe to the CNS News RSS feed

Bhowmik Honored at International Weed Science Congress

Prasanta Bhowmik, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, was honored with a 2016 Outstanding International Achievement Award at the International Weed Science Society 7th International Weed Science Congress in June in Prague. IWSS President Nilda Roma Burgos cited Bhowmik's leadership roles in the international arena of weed science: "You have a commendable record of teaching and research achievements. Your sustained active involvement in the regional, national and international weed science societies has helped promote the science of agriculture in general and weed science in particular."

New Design Building will be featured in National Building Museum exhibit

The new Design Building under construction at UMass Amherst will be featured in September as part of the "Timber City" exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Architect

Institute for Applied Life Sciences-Anika Therapeutics partnership highlighted in Forbes article

A business story in Forbes about Anika Therapeutics, a small biotech company in Bedford and its expected earning potential for investors, mentions that the company entered into an agreement with the Institute for Applied Life Sciences last year to develop a therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. The new drug being developed could be commercialized by 2017, the story says. Forbes

Gartner's Deerfield River area study aims to improve rivers’ natural health

John Gartner, a postdoc in the Geosciences department, has received a $50,000 renewable grant from NSF's National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics (NCESD) to study the effects of large floods on rivers and the processes at work when such stresses hit. The investigation should show how to help land, ecosystems and communities recover from disturbances such as floods and humans re-arranging streams. Using the Chickley River in the northwest Massachusetts town of Hawley and stretches of the Connecticut River in Vermont as natural laboratories, postdoctoral geosciences researcher Gartner will investigate how floods reverse human efforts to straighten, or channelize, rivers, and what controls a river’s process of returning to a naturally more sinuous and complex state. Christine Hatch and Isaac Larson, Geosciences, are mentors for Gartner’s fellowship. Read more

Kuras, MS student, to receive William B. Stapp Student scholarship

Evan Kuras, MS student in Environmental Conservation, has been selected to receive the William B. Stapp Student scholarship for the North American Association for Environmental Education. He will receive the scholarship at the association's annual conference in October in Madison, Wisc. Read more

Video highlights the Aquatic Research Center’s microscopic focus

Alison Roy, Envrionmental Conservation, and CNS students are featured in a video about the newly re-purposed Aquatic Research Center in Sunderland, Mass. UMass Amherst staff and students work with fisheries specialists to increase colonies of endangered freshwater mussels in the Connecticut River basin and the wider northeastern U.S. Watch video

New fluorescent mineral display lights up the Rausch Mineral Gallery

A new fluorescent mineral display is just one of the many treasures in the Rausch Mineral Gallery, located in the Geosciences wing of the Morrill Science Center. The gallery's display cabinets are full of specimens representing all the major mineral groups. Most of the more than 250 minerals on display were the bequest of Marvin Rausch, professor of chemistry at UMass Amherst from 1963 to 2001. Rausch amassed one of the finest mineral collections in New England. The gallery is open to the public.

Brigham-Grette named fellow of American Geophysical Union

Julie Brigham-Grette, Geosciences department head and chair of the U.S. National Academy Polar Research Board, was recently named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), an honor given to individual members "who have made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences." Brigham-Grette says, "It is a tremendous honor to become an AGU fellow and I share this with all of the colleagues I have worked with over the years on polar science especially in understanding the land bridge with the Russian Arctic."

4-H Summer of Science Camp

The UMass Extension 4-H Youth Development program engaged 59 students from across the state in active hands-on learning on the UMass Amherst campus in June. Each year young people have the opportunity to select a track of study where they spend the day exploring a field of science with faculty, staff or a professional in the field. Their experience is rounded off with short workshops and other activities that expose these middle and high school students to a wide array of scientific fields. Another benefit for 4-H campers is that they get a taste of college life as they sleep in dorms and eat in campus dining halls. Read more

Clouston profiled about her work designing the new timber-framed Design Building

Peggi Clouston, Environmental Conservation, is profiled regarding her work designing the new timber-framed Design Building on campus. Daily Commercial News

Alumnus Crosby featured about his mushroom growing business, Fungi Ally

Willie Crosby '10 AS Turfgrass Management, '12 BS Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences, is featured in an article and video about his mushroom growing business, Fungi Ally. Republican

Spencer and Pearson writes about the UMass Amherst STEM family travel initiative

Rebecca Spencer, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Barbara Z. Pearson, linguistics and Office of Research Development, write about the STEM family travel initiative at UMass Amherst that helps faculty parents travel and attend career-building events such as conferences. Association for Women in Science

Dasgupta's research cited in story about a lawsuite around a Title IX violation at the Univ. Of Cincinnati

A story about a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court claiming that a University of Cincinnati professor is violating Title IX by segregating students by gender in his class cites research conducted in 2014 by Nilanjana Dasgupta, Psychological and Brain Sciences. She found that undergraduate women in engineering participate more and show less anxiety in solving problems in a group if they are a majority in the group. Science

Boutt finds that Chilean salt flat drains a surprisingly vast area

David Boutt, Geosciences, is a lead researcher on a report about one of the largest lithium brine and salt deposits in the world in Chile’s Atacama Desert that is the first to show that water and solutes flowing into the basin originate from a much larger than expected portion of the Andean Plateau. The astonishingly massive evaporite deposit, 3,900 feet (1,200 m) thick, appears to be draining an area far larger than a map-based or topographic watershed would suggest, says Boutt. The brine volume present, contrasted with the relatively small surface drainage in such an arid area, poses fundamental questions about both the hydrologic and solute budgets at plateau margins, that is the relationship between input and accumulation, the authors say. Their answers should aid understanding of the water and mineral resources in one of the world’s driest regions. Read more

Alexandra Pope featured in article about working with the Girls Inc. "Eureka" program in Holyoke aimed at getting girls interested in science and mathematics.

Alexandra Pope, Astronomy, is featured in Western Mass News about working with the Girls Inc. "Eureka" program in Holyoke aimed at getting girls interested in science and mathematics. Western Mass News

Nelson says drought conditions in Massachusetts have been hurting local farmers

Katie Campbell-Nelson, UMass Extension, says drought conditions in Massachusetts have been hurting local farmers. She says, "Some farmers are abandoning crops because it's not worth the financial risk of harvesting them." Sun Chronicle (from AP)

Rich's study demonstrates that tick-borne disease Powassan more widespread in Mass. than previously thought

Stephen M. Rich, Microbiology, and director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, comments in a story about a survey he collaborated on this spring that found the tick-borne disease Powassan was more widespread in Massachusetts than scientists had previously thought. The disease is one of several carried by and transmitted by deer ticks. Truro was the site that had the most infected ticks, about 10 ½ percent while other sites on the Cape had smaller percentages. Scientists believe the virus may have been present on the Cape for a number of years. Boston Globe

Eureka! program welcomes girls to STEM fields

Now in its fourth summer, the Eureka! program, a partnership between CNS and and Girls Inc. of Holyoke, offers girls 12-18 a chance to explore STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) on campus with academic experts four days a week for four weeks. Offering exposure to microbiology, neuroscience, astronomy, information technology and other fields, the program is addressing the gender gap in STEM fields and encouraging girls to consider all possibilities in higher education. Martha Baker, CNS Associate Dean, said most of the participants are from public schools in the cities of Holyoke and Chicopee. "It's important that the university is seen as a partner with these schools," she said.

Constantino President-elect of Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy

Michael Constantino, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and director of the Clinical Psychology graduate program, has been voted president-elect of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, a division of the American Psychological Association. His term as president-elect will begin in 2017 and as president in 2018. This will be Constantino's second time serving as president of a professional organization; he was president of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research from 2013-2015. Constantino says, "Among my initiatives, I will develop work groups to translate cutting edge research findings into newer psychotherapy training molds, and create platforms to tout 'disruptive innovations' that extend the reach of psychosocial services."

Jercinovic honored with Microanalysis Society Presidential Science Award

Michael J. Jercinovic, Geosciences, recently was named the 2016 recipient of the Microanalysis Society Presidential Science Award, which honors a senior scientist for “outstanding technical contributions to the field of microanalysis over a sustained period of time.” Society president Thomas Kelly wrote, “Your pioneering efforts in geochronology with electron microprobe have been both excellent and sustained for many years." Jercinovic is director of the UMass Geosciences Electron Microprobe/Scanning Electron Microscope facility. His general research interest is on electron probe micro-analyzer (EPMA) in minor and trace element applications, useful in such diverse fields as tectonics, igneous and metamorphic petrology, meteoritics, chemical engineering, and climate science.

Study finds some bird species’ climate niche changes over time

A new study of population trends among 46 ecologically diverse bird species in North America conducted by avian ecologist Joel Ralston and UMass Amherst colleagues overturns a long-held assumption that the climate conditions occupied by a species do not change over time. Read more

Video about Tyson's research: Measuring Arsenic in Bangladesh’s Rice Crops

Julian Tyson, Chemistry, and student Ishtiaq “Rafi” Rafiyu are partnering with Chemists Without Borders to develop a low-cost, easy-to-use test kit to measure naturally occurring arsenic in Bangladesh’s rice supply, offering consumers information on exposure. Watch video

Campus installing more than 15,000 solar panels to cut costs, emissions

UMass Amherst has embarked on a major solar energy initiative that will cut its electric bills by $6.2 million over 20 years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 31,000 non-metric tons of carbon dioxide. Read more

McClements working to commercialize foods that enhance the body’s ability to absorb drugs and vitamins

D. Julian McClements, Food Science, has teamed up with Kayon Partners, an investment group and business development firm, to commercialize foods that enhance the body’s ability to absorb drugs and vitamins.

Ohman '16 featured in Cape Cod Times

John Ohman '16 Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and a Dennis resident, was profiled in the Cape Cod Times. He was diagnosed with autism at age 3 and is considered "high functioning" on the spectrum. He earned degrees in equine management and canine therapy. Cape Cod Times