Removing Maine River Dams Can Boost Eco-connections

Removing Maine River Dams Can Boost Eco-connections

Courtesy: Umass News & Media Relations  10/2/2019 From their modeling study of fishes and ecosystems in the Gulf of Maine earlier this year, researchers led by graduate student Beatriz dos Santos Dias and her advisor Adrian Jordaan, environmental conservation and director of the Gloucester Marine Station, report that modeling demonstrates that improving river-ocean connectivity by removing dams not only makes more food available to larger species, but would enhance overall ecosystem functioning. They believe this is the first study to use historical, landscape-based estimates of anadromous fish species – those that return from the ocean to freshwater rivers to spawn – in the Gulf of Maine to model ecosystem responses. Increasing the numbers of forage fish such as river herring and Atlantic herring could promote energy flow in the gulf and benefit many other species, such as Atlantic cod, flounder and wildlife including marine mammals and seabirds, they note. Details are in a recent issue of PLOS ONE. “Our study highlights the benefits of increased...
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Graduate Student, Lucas Griffin’s Tarpon Research Featured

Graduate Student, Lucas Griffin’s Tarpon Research Featured

By Mark Wilson, FOX 13 News Posted Aug 02 2019 02:43PM EDT Video Posted Aug 02 2019 02:50PM EDT Updated Aug 02 2019 02:53PM EDT ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (FOX 13) - With the tarpon population believed to be in decline, a non-profit group is employing new state-of-the-art trackers to better understand and protect Florida's most-prized sport fish. In the waters off Little Gasparilla Island and Boca Grande, charter fishermen like Captain David Hutcherson hook up with the silver kings, get their photos, then allow them to be tagged and tracked. "They're beautiful, they're so powerful," said Hutcherson. "It really is amazing and it's worth conserving." On a steamy July morning, Hutcherson has a full boat, with FOX 13 cameras and JoEllen Wilson and Lucas Griffin of the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. Hutcherson spots a tarpon, casts quickly and hooks up in mere seconds. What follows is a heart-pounding, awe-inspiring dance of the silver king as the 100-pound fish leaps out of the water, twisting and turning until it eventually frees itself of the hook. "Awww, so close,"...
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Lisa Komoroske Co-Leads Team While Following Breeding Green Sea Turtles in Remote Islands of Brazil

Lisa Komoroske Co-Leads Team While Following Breeding Green Sea Turtles in Remote Islands of Brazil

Courtesy of Office of News & Media Relations | UMass Amherst UMass Amherst ecologist, team will study reproductive and migration patterns July 24, 2019 Contact: Lisa Komoroske 413/545-2491 AMHERST, Mass. – The National Science Foundation this month announced that assistant professor of environmental conservation Lisa Komoroske will co-lead a four-year, $1.4 million, multi-institution grant to study how reproductive behaviors will influence the effects of climate change on green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). Her team will spend months in the field at turtle nesting beaches on Fernando de Noronha, a marine reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site composed of archipelago of 21 islands about 220 miles off the coast of Brazil. She and collaborators at Florida State and Oregon State universities will also work with the Brazil-based non-profit conservation organization PROJECTO TAMAR on the project. Komoroske and her colleagues believe this work will be the first comprehensive examination of resilience to environmental change among these turtles and will provide insights relevant to other temperature sex-determined species. Komoroske, an expert in the use...
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UMass’ World Librarians Program launches new initiative in Kenya

UMass’ World Librarians Program launches new initiative in Kenya

Professor Charlie Schweik recently traveled to Nairobi Kenya to present at the Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa conference [1] on the World Librarians Program he developed along with SPP MPP 2019 graduate Pammy Eisner, other UMass students from across campus, UMass librarian Jeremy Smith, and collaborator Carl Meyer in Malawi. After describing the operational World Librarians program in Malawi -- which now supports 20 schools and libraries -- to the entire conference audience, Schweik was approached by conference attendees interested in expanding the World Librarians program into other African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda. During this visit, a new World Librarians Kenya Chapter was formed and launched [picture from left and right]: Wachira Warukira, founder and executive of Waruks Productions; UMass Professor Charlie Schweik; Daniel Patrick Muigai of Waruks Productions; Verah Owiti of Sustainable Rural Initiatives (www.srikenya.org); Ezekiel Chemwor of Banda Primary School; and Gladys Nyambura of Kangubiri Girl's High School. The World Librarian Program is...
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