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UMass Amherst shares in $810,000 NSF grant to create sustainable agriculture programs for students

UMass Amherst will share in an $810,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in partnership with
Holyoke Community College and Hampshire College to create collaborative programs combining clean energy studies with sustainable agriculture and for students at all three schools. Part of the grant will go toward a micro-farm greenhouse demonstration and training facility at the Agricultural Learning Center that will be managed by Amanda Brown, Extension, and student farmers, and used year-round as an outdoor learning laboratory. Daily Hampshire Gazette,, Republican, News release

Alcott's research on river herring migration is featured

Derrick Alcott, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology doctoral candidate, is studying impediments to river herring migration in Wellfleet. Wicked Local Wellfleet

Geography Club wins NESTVAL World Geography Bowl

The Geography Club won the Association of American Geographers' New England-St. Lawrence Valley Division World Geography Bowl and will compete at the national championships in April. From left: Spencer Weinstein, Vitya Romanov, Will Kostick, Tyler Maren, Steve Bailey, and Ronan Lucey, all Geography majors in the Geosciences department.

Albertine interviewed by about findings suggesting an increase in grass pollen due to climate change

Jennifer Albertine '13 PhD, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and a postdoctoral researcher in Environment Conservation, was interviewed by about a new study that she was first author on that strongly suggests there will be notable increases in grass pollen production and allergen exposure leading to a significant, worldwide impact on human health due to predicted rises in carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) caused by climate change, as published in PLOS ONE. News release

Tropp releases report on why discrimination persists in education and health and how to change it

Linda R. Tropp, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and director, psychology of peace and violence program, has with colleagues released the first in a series of reports about why discrimination persists in education and health care and science-based interventions to change it. The report is called “The Science of Equality Volume I: Addressing Implicit Bias, Racial Anxiety and Stereotype Threat in Education and Health Care”. News release

Stein column in Gazette explores fracking

Richard Stein, emeritus professor of chemistry, looked at the debate over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a method used to free oil and natural gas from underground rock formations, in a Daily Hampshire Gazette column.

Rosenberg asks Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment to report on proposed pipeline

The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, at the request of Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg, is preparing a series of reports looking at how a proposed 128-mile gas pipeline might affect the state’s environment. Scott Jackson, Environmental Conservation, was interviewed. Republican

Crosby and Irschick featured in story about university startup companies

Alfred Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, and Duncan Irschick, Biology, the inventors of Geckskin, the artificial adhesive based on gecko feet, and founders of Felsuma, a company that is commercializing the product, were interviewed for an article about six new startup companies cited by the UMass President’s Office as among the six firms spun off from university campuses in the past year. Also interviewed was Tony McCaffrey '11 PhD Psychological and Brain Sciences, the founder of Innovation Accelerator. Republican, Republican, Providence Business Journal, Boston Business Journal

Brewer featured in Wall Street Journal article about Esperanto-based B and B's

Steven D. Brewer, Biology, was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about Esperanto-based bed-and-breakfast sites around the world.

Lutcavage and Vanderlaan awarded $145,694 NOAA grant

Molly Lutcavage, Environmental Conservation and director, Large Pelagics Research Center, with postdoctoral fellow Angelia Vanderlaan and colleagues, have been awarded a $145,694 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to design, conduct and analyze the first autonomous aerial vehicle surveys of Atlantic bluefin tuna to provide fishery-independent regional estimates of their numbers. World Fishing, Portland Press-Herald,, Marine Technology News, WGBH-TV 2, Times-Union, WSHM-TV 3, The Republic, Fosters Daily Democrat, Boston Globe, The Fishing Wire,, Maine Public Broadcasting, WWLP-TV 22, Telegram & Gazette, news release

Jackson interviewed in Recorder about reports about proposed state's gas pipeline

Scott Jackson, Environmental Conservation, is interviewed in an article about a series of reports being prepared by the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment about the proposed 128-mile gas pipeline in Massachusetts. Recorder

Stengle discusses rattlesnakes on ABC's Ocean Mysteries

Anne G. Stengle, Biology doctoral candidate, was a guest on the ABC television program “Ocean Mysteries” to talk about her timber rattlesnake research. UMass Amherst alumnus Jeff Corwin hosts the show. Daily Hampshire Gazette

Burrell book "Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole" reviewed in Hampshire Life

The book “Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole,” coauthored by Brian David Burrell, Mathematics and Statistics, was reviewed by Hampshire Life.

Kirkpatrick develops new model of star formation

Allison Kirkpatrick, Astronomy doctoral candidate, and colleagues including Alexandra Pope, Daniela Calzetti, Gopalakrishnan Narayanan, F. Peter Schloerb, and Min S. Yun, all Astronomy, have provided the most precise picture yet of what happened four billion years ago that suggests galaxies of all types may have a known, stable relationship between gas and dust, which means that scientists can infer a galaxy’s gas properties simply by studying its dust emission. This is the first scientific paper based on data collected by the Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano (LMT) and its Redshift Search Receiver, a joint project between UMass Amherst and Mexico. The findings are now online and will appear in the December 10 issue of the Astrophysical Journal., Science Daily, News release

Dumont analyzes 70 million-year-old Vintana sertichi fossilized skull

Elizabeth Dumont, Biology, and colleagues have analyzed the surprising discovery of a fossilized skull of Vintana sertichi, a 66- to 70-million-year-old, groundhog-like creature on Madagascar, the largest known mammal of its time, and agree that the discovery shakes up evolutionary biologists' views of the mammalian family tree, as published in Nature. Science Newsline,, Science Codex, news release

With Reinhart at the helm, IALS will create a "pipeline of innovation"

Veteran biopharmaceutical executive and researcher Peter H. Reinhart named the founding director of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) has received coverage from the Chronicle of Higher Education and BusinessWest, which says IALS is "building a pipeline of innovation" between the university and industry by accelerating life-science research and collaboration in order to reduce the gap between scientific innovation and technological advancement. IALS was created in 2013 with $150 million in capital funding from the Mass Life Sciences Center and contributions from the university.

DaCosta featured about turf research in Golf Course Industry

Michelle DaCosta, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, was featured in an article about how researchers look at ways to improve overall plant health with inputs and maintenance practices inGolf Course Industry.

The renovated Paige Laboratory becomes the new home of Stockbridge School of Agriculture

The celebration of the $9.9 million renovation of Paige Laboratory into modern research and administrative facilities for the Stockbridge School of Agriculture included (from left) Provost Katherine Newman, Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, CNS Dean Steve Goodwin, State Sen. Stan Rosenberg, and Wesley Autio, director of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and was covered by 22

Manning, DaCosta, Albertine, and Stinson find climate change is leading to increasing airborne allergens

A research team that included William J. Manning, Michelle DaCosta, and Jennifer Albertine '13 PhD, all from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and Kristina A. Stinson, Environmental Conservation, has found evidence to suggest there will be notable increases in grass pollen production and allergen exposure up to 202 percent in the next 100 years, leading to a significant, worldwide impact on human health due to predicted rises in carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) due to climate change, as reported in Plos One. Worldwide coverage includes: Woman’s Day, Maine News,, Zimbabwe Star, Herald,, The Weather Channel,, Perth Now, The New Zealand Herald, Times of London, Irish Examiner, Perfect Science, Laboratory Equipment, U.S. News & World Report, Science Codex, Washington Post, Daily Mail, Tech Times, Nature World News, Counsel and Heal, Summit County Voice,, French Tribune, Times of Malta, news release

Chroniak gift to Biology is featured in UMass Amherst magazine

A $300,000 bequest from Dr. Walter Chroniak '43 will help the Biology department stay current with new developments, as featured in the fall issue of UMass Amherst magazine (PDF).

Woodruff shows kamikazes saved 13th century Japan from invading Mongol fleets

Jonathan D. Woodruff, Geosciences, says he has uncovered evidence that powerful ancient kamikazes, typhoon-strength winds that saved Japan from invading Mongol fleets in the 13th century, actually happened, as published in National Geographic. New Historian

"Raising Shrimp" documentary about Danylchuk is finalist in Blue Ocean Film Festival

“Raising Shrimp,” a second documentary film from executive producer Ted Caplow at Fish Navy Films that features Andrew John Danylchuk, Environmental Conservation, has been named an official selection of the highly regarded Blue Ocean Film Festival., News release

Nahmod Named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society

Andrea Nahmod, Mathematics and Statistics, has been named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) in recognition of what it calls her “contributions to nonlinear Fourier analysis, harmonic analysis, and partial differential equations, as well as service to the mathematical community." According to the AMS, the designation of fellow recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. Nahmod is one of 63 mathematical scientists from around the world chosen for the honor and the second member of her department.

CNS students win first place in Innovation Challenge MinutePitch and are most of the runners up

CNS students were big winners in the annual UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge MinutePitch. Team Acorn Drive won first place and $1,000 for their proposal of a two-layer cloud encryption application that secures user data and prevents cloud vendors or company employees from accessing the data. The team: Leo Xuzhang Lin, Computer Science, and Matthew Minafo, Accounting. Four runner-up teams each received $400: Team FogKicker proposed an antifogging coating based on renewable and biodegradable materials and included CNS students Yinyong Li and Chia-Chih Chang from Polymer Science and Engineering and Kristopher W. Kolewe, Chemical Engineering, and Rob Flanagan, Accounting and Economics. Team GeneRisk, Ajay Kumar, Neuroscience & Behavior Program, proposed a software and web database combination that allows clinicians to deposit raw genetic data to obtain a risk score for Autism Spectrum or related disorders. Team DeepPap, Venkatesh N. Murthy, School of Computer Science PhD Candidate, proposed building a low-cost, reliable, and efficient automated cervical cancer screening system using Pap smear images. Team Nanosense, Ngoc Le, Chemistry PhD candidate, proposed developing and commercializing test strips for rapid detection of microbes in drinking water and other public water sources. More about Innovation Challenge

Rudd Adoption Research Program honored by Chaplin gift

The Rudd Adoption Research Program was honored by a gift from Scott D. Chaplin '89, as featured in the fall issue of UMass Amherst magazine (PDF). .