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Rawlins speaks about climate change on Academic Minute

Michael Rawlins, Geosciences and manager, the Climate Systems Research Center, was featured on the Academic Minute radio program talking about climate change in the context of last winter, one of the coldest on record for the northeastern United States. Inside Higher Ed

Elkinton efforts to control winter moths is featured in the Boston Globe

The efforts of Joseph Elkinton, Environmental Conservation, to control population of winter moth caterpillars is featured in the Boston Globe.

King and Federico named UMass Amherst Rising Researchers

Javier King ’15 (left), Physics, and Anthony Federico ’15, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, have been named Rising Researchers. King has created an essential tool for EXO-200, a particle physics collaboration among 100 scientists worldwide, says professor Andrea Pocar. Federico, whose advisor is Alice Y. Cheung, has discovered a link between a cell membrane receptor and a type of mustard green that should shed light on how plants develop, reproduce, and respond to stress.

Nugen wins international award for rapid pathogen detection in food

Sam R. Nugen, Food Science, was one of two winners of the 2015 Future Leaders Award from the International Life Sciences Institute’s (ILSI) North America division, for developing methods of engineering viruses to rapidly detect and separate microbial contaminants from food. The two-year, $15,000 per year award goes to promising nutrition and food scientists to allow new investigators the opportunity to add to an existing project or to conduct exploratory research that might not receive funding from other sources. Nugen’s new techniques should help food manufacturers avoid costly waits for safety test results before products can be sold.

Pipeline study from Jackson and Bradley is released

An assessment of the proposed pipeline in Massachusetts has been released by the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. The report was compiled and written by Scott Jackson, Bethany Bradley, and Thomas Cairns, MS candidate, all from Environmental Conservation: “A Natural Resources Assessment of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company’s Proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project’s Pipeline Route Within Massachusetts."

Venkataraman awarded Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award

Dhandapani "D.V." Venkataraman, Chemistry, was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award at the Graduate School Commencement on May 8. News release

Agriculture students and faculty inducted into national honor society

Fifteen seniors, two juniors, and two faculty members were inducted into the campus chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the National Agricultural Honor Society, on May 1, 2015. The two faculty inductees were Baoshan Xing and Duane Greene, both in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. The director of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, Wesley Autio, who was inducted into the society in 1979, presided over the ceremony. This chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta was formed last year, joining more than 50 chapters worldwide.

Stockbridge School of Agriculture holds 93rd commencement

Stockbridge School of Agriculture celebrated its 93rd commencement on May 9. The students in six majors received associate of science degrees. Degrees were awarded to 10 graduates in arboriculture and community forest management, seven in equine management, 11 in sustainable food and farming, 10 in sustainable horticulture, 11 in landscape contracting, and eight in turfgrass management. News release

Decker coordinates supplement for Advances in Nutrition on fats and oils

Eric Decker, Food Science, co-coordinated a scientific supplement for the peer-reviewed journal Advances in Nutrition that examines a range of issues surrounding dietary fats and oils. Medical News Today

Whitbourne blogs about bystander programs

A new blog post by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, examined the effectiveness of active bystander programs, such as the one implemented by UMass Amherst, to prevent sexual assault on college campuses. Psychology Today

Snyder featured in Gazette article about Mass. Envirothon

A news story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette about the Massachusetts Envirothon notes that Will F. Snyder, UMass Extension, is the chairman of the event’s steering committee. About 250 high school students from across the state test their environmental knowledge, fieldwork and problem-solving skills at the event, held at the Quabbin Reservoir.

Jackson featured in Gazette article about western Mass. pipeline

Scott D. Jackson, Environmental Conservation, was featured in the Daily Hampshire Gazette in an article about the new report on the proposed route of a gas pipeline through parts of western Massachusetts that he prepared with the UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment at the request of Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst.

Faculty awards include significant grants

Several faculty have been awarded significant grants. Science and Technology Initiative Fund grants have gone to Robert DeConto and Raymond Bradley, Geosciences, and Elizabeth Vierling, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. A Faculty Research Grant/Healey Endowment grant has been awarded to Erika Saalau-Rojas, UMass Cranberry Station. Carlos Gradil, Veterinary and Animal Science; Derek Lovley, Microbiology; and Vincent Rotello, Chemistry have been awarded grants from the OCTV Technology Development Fund (formerly CVIP).

Rich featured in article about lone star tick on the Cape

Stephen Rich, Microbiology, is featured in a Cape Cod Times article about the lone star tick.

CNS 2015 Faculty Staff Awards

Congratulations to the 2015 CNS Faculty/Staff Award winners: Outstanding Teaching: Lisa Harvey, Psychological and Brain Sciences; Outstanding Advisor: Julie Pahl, Psychological and Brain Sciences; Outstanding Service/Outreach: Allen Barker, Stockbridge School of Agriculture; Outstanding Research: Scott Garman, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; and Outstanding Staff: Laura Hall, Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

Tyson publishes article on arsenic in food

An article by Julian F. Tyson, Chemistry, about the potential danger of arsenic in food was published in The Conversation and Gizmodo.

McClements wins Babcock-Hart Award and named IFT fellow

David Julian McClements, Food Science, has been given the Institute of Food Technologies (IFT) Babcock-Hart Award for contributions to food technology that result in improved public health through nutrition. He also was elected a fellow of IFT, the U.K.’s Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society. McClements, who came to UMass Amherst in 1994, has won numerous national and international awards and recognition. He is one of the most cited authors in the agricultural sciences, with an H-index of 70, and has mentored more than 30 graduate students, 16 postdoctoral researchers, 18 exchange students, and many undergraduates.

Brun wins CAREER award

Yuriy Brun, Computer Science, has received a five-year, $550,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for his project “Improving Software Quality using Dynamically Inferred Models.” Brun received a 2014 Microsoft Research Award from the Software Engineering Innovation Foundation and a 2013 IEEE TCSC Young Achievers in Scalable Computing Award. The CAREER award is the NSF's most prestigious award supporting junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of their organizations.

Platt writes feature story about NYC's High Line, in Gazette

Rutherford H. Platt, Geosciences professor emeritus, wrote a feature story about New York City’s High Line, an abandoned elevated rail viaduct that has been converted into a walkway and park on the Lower West Side. Daily Hampshire Gazette

Vierling comments on issues involved in labeling GMO food

Elizabeth Vierling, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, wrote a column where she discussed the issues involved in the effort to label genetically modified ingredients in plants and foods. Daily Hampshire Gazette

Routine surveillance is critical to tick and disease understanding, Rich tells WCAI

Stephen M. Rich, Microbiology and director, the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, says routine surveillance is critical to understanding the state’s tick population and the variety of diseases they carry. WCAI

Briseño, Crosby, and Reyes-Martinez improve organic transistors; advance strain effects on performance

Alejandro Briseño and Alfred Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, with doctoral candidate Marcos Reyes-Martinez, now a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton, reported results of their recent investigation of how micro-scale wrinkling affects electrical performance in carbon-based, single-crystal semiconductors, in Nature Communications. They are the first to apply inhomogeneous deformations, that is strain, to the conducting channel of an organic transistor and to understand the observed effects. New Electronics, Nanotechnology Now, Science Daily, Solid State Technology,, Research & Development magazine, Product Design & Development, Lab Manager magazine, Science Newsline, Wireless Design & Development, Innovations Report, Space Daily, News release

Han and Qiu find lab sponge highly absorbent of bisphenol A

Jie Han and Wei Qiu, postdoctoral associates at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and colleagues have found that a common sponge used to clean laboratory surfaces has a very high capacity to absorb the chemical bisphenol A. Chemistry World

DeConto finds sea levels rose 17 meters from melting ice sheets 3 million years ago

Robert DeConto, Geosciences, has found that around three million years ago, melting of the ice sheets in Antarctica over thousands of years caused sea levels to rise by about 17 meters, as published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. International Business Times

11 CNS subjects ranked in the top 200 globally according to QS World University

For a second consecutive year, the University of Massachusetts Amherst ranked among the top 200 programs worldwide in 18 academic disciplines, according to the QS World University Subject Rankings, and 11 of those were in the College of Natural Sciences. Agriculture and forestry ranked 28th. Computer science at UMass Amherst joined the top 100 programs worldwide. Environmental sciences and chemistry were in the top 150 programs. Biological sciences, psychology, earth and marine sciences, physics, and astronomy were all ranked in the top 200 subjects worldwide. News release