Science ‘for the benefit of society’

Largest graduating class ever enlists as science advocates A record-setting 1,776 new graduates were honored at the College of Natural Sciences Senior Celebration May 11. Addressing a full house of 10,000 friends, families, and community members at the Mullins Center, Dean Tricia Serio emphasized the need for scientists to be communicators and advocates. “The acceptance of scientific knowledge by the public and its integration into policy and practice are both essential components of realizing the potential of our discoveries for the benefit of society,” Dean Serio said. “I call on each one of you to be a public advocate for science by sharing what you’ve learned. Share your knowledge to dispel the perception that science is too difficult for a lay person to understand.”   "The next generation of innovations are yours to make." Graduates from 14 departments and programs were recognized with commemorative medals and celebrated their new status as alumni with a hat toss. “The next generation of innovations are yours to make,” said Dean Serio, “and I can’t wait...
Read More

Birdwatching — for science

What fish, mammals, and birds can tell us as they respond to climate change  Many researchers and amateur naturalists keep track of dates for the first robin of spring, the first peepers or ice-out on ponds, and such records can offer decades of data on the timing of plant and animal life cycle events known as phenology.     While such observations are common in terrestrial systems, a new report by first author Michelle Staudinger, environmental conservation, and others at the University of Massachusetts Amherst shows there is limited understanding of similar events in the oceans. They urge more researchers to increase observations and use more phenological datasets to understand how marine species are responding to climate change through phenological shifts in the Gulf of Maine and other coastal regions.   Staudinger says, “We only found 20 studies documenting shifts in phenology in the Gulf of Maine. This topic appears to have received less attention in the region compared to other responses to climate change. We provide a summary...
Read More

UMass graduate students again top ranks for grant funding

UMass Amherst graduate researchers top the list of state's NSF grant recipients, behind only Harvard and MIT For the third time in the last four years, UMass Amherst is the third leading institutional producer of National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipients among Massachusetts colleges and universities. Nine UMass representatives—including eight graduate students and one undergraduate—have won the fellowships in the 2019 competition, placing the university behind only Harvard and MIT in the statewide rankings. Barbara Krauthamer, dean of the Graduate School, says these are some of the most prestigious and competitive awards available to students. The Graduate Research Fellowships are three-year awards providing an annual stipend of $34,000 to recipients and a yearly $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to their graduate institutions. They support the master’s and doctoral training of academically talented students pursuing careers in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Read the full list of the NSF Graduate Research Fellows for 2019 here» “I am delighted that UMass students have once again done very well...
Read More

Marine Protected Reserves Do More Than Restore Fish

In a new analysis of the effectiveness of marine protected areas worldwide, University of Massachusetts Amherst marine ecologist Brian Cheng and colleagues report that reserves not only replenish target fish populations, they also restore ecological functioning. However, not all reserves performed equally well. Ecological functioning is a measure of the activities that maintain life, Cheng points out. In this case, it involves rates of predation and herbivory, or when animals eat other animals or plants, he adds. Without these activities, these ocean habitats would be radically different, providing fewer benefits to society. Analyzing field experiments from across the globe, he and collaborators at the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Florida say their findings reveal that marine reserves increase predation rates by protecting predators that were once heavily fished by humans, allowing their numbers to thrive. Their study appears online in the current issue of Ecology, the flagship journal of the Ecological Society of America. "We are trying to rebuild many, many communities like this...
Read More
BCT Summer and Fall Continuing Education Courses and Events at Mount Ida Campus in Newton Announced

BCT Summer and Fall Continuing Education Courses and Events at Mount Ida Campus in Newton Announced

BCT is again offering continuing education courses and professional-focused events at UMass Amherst's new Mount Ida Campus in Newton, MA. Extend your knowledge and expand your professional horizon with BCT’s continuing education courses. Join us for convenient after-work in-person courses or learn online at your own pace. Continuing Education Courses and Academic Programs Our upcoming courses (at Mount Ida, online, or in Amherst) are: Sustainable Building and LEED Certification (Summer 2019) Online| BCT 414 (undergraduate) Instructor: Ho-Sung Kim | 3 credits | Course details | Register Sustainable Building and LEED Certification (Summer 2019) Online| ECO 697DL (graduate) Instructor: Ho-Sung Kim | 3 credits | Course details | Register Introduction to Building Energy Modeling (Fall 2019) Mount Ida Campus | BCT 597BE Instructor: Peter Levy | 3 credits | In-Person | Course details | Register Legal Aspects of Architecture, Engineering, and the Construction Process (Fall 2019) Mount Ida Campus | BCT 597N Instructor: Steve O’Neill, Esq. | 3 credits | Hybrid (In-Person + Online) | Course details | Register Legal Aspects of Architecture, Engineering, and the Construction Process (Fall 2019) Amherst Campus | BCT 597N Instructor: Steve O’Neill, Esq. | 3 credits | Hybrid (In-Person + Online) | Course...
Read More