Research Shows We Can Understand Ecology by Connecting the Dots

Research Shows We Can Understand Ecology by Connecting the Dots

UMass Amherst study shows demography is the key to managing habitat loss and fragmentation   City sprawl and road development is increasingly fragmenting the habitats that many plant and animal species need to survive. Ecologists have long known that sustainable development requires attention to ecological connectivity — the ability to keep plant and wildlife populations intact and healthy, typically by preserving large tracts of land or creating habitat corridors for animals. New research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst argues that it’s not enough for ecological modeling to focus on the landscape. If we want the best-possible ecological management, we should consider when and where individuals are located. “Everybody needs a place to live,” says Joseph Drake, a graduate student in the department of environmental conservation and the organismic and evolutionary biology program at UMass, and the lead author of the research that appeared recently in Ecography. “Humans build roads, but animals and plants have pathways. Movement along the pathways are essential to the...
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Research Reveals Invasive Plant Management Requires Communication

Research Reveals Invasive Plant Management Requires Communication

UMass Amherst study shows inconsistent regulations across states are hindering attempts to control propagation As summer unfolds, more than 500 species of invasive plants will be taking root in fields, lawns, and gardens across the U.S. And as plants continue to move north driven by climate change, the number of invasives will only increase. Unfortunately, inconsistent regulations that vary from state to state means that invasive plants have an edge on our attempts to control them. However, new research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology suggests that we already have an answer in hand: communication. “We know that invasive plants are causing both ecological and economic harm in the U.S.,” says Emily Fusco, one of the paper’s lead authors and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass. One of the best tools that invasive-species managers have are prohibited plant lists, which are compiled and maintained by state and county-level officials to...
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New Recreational Angling Technologies May Pose Risks to Fisheries

New Recreational Angling Technologies May Pose Risks to Fisheries

UMass Amherst co-authored study shows scientists need to work closely with resource management agencies to assess impacts. New developments in recreational fishing technology — from the use of aerial drones and social media scouting reports to advances in hook design — are creating challenges for fisheries management and effective policy making, according to a new study co-authored by University of Massachusetts Amherst researcher Andy Danylchuk. With the opening of the spring fishing season, millions of recreational fishing aficionados across North America are dusting off their tackle boxes, fitting together their rods, and heading to the bait and tackle shop to purchase the latest in fish-catching gear. But what impact does all that new technology have on the fish themselves? “There are still so many unknowns,” says Danylchuk, professor of fish conservation in the UMass Amherst department of environmental conservation, and co-author of a new paper that investigates the relationship between fishing technology and fish ecosystems. “There’s more attention paid to products we use with our pets than...
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We congratulate our 2021 Natural Resources Conservation graduates!

We congratulate our 2021 Natural Resources Conservation graduates!

Congratulations Natural Resources Conservation graduates! We are so very proud of you and all of your accomplishments these past years. Good luck out there, in the workforce, graduate school, or on other life adventures. Keep in touch, and keep us as part of your professional network. We wish the best for you and will continue to be here for you. Find our Senior Celebration page here with a recording of our spring 2021 Awards ceremony, where students were recognized for exceptional work and accomplishments....
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Congratulations to our graduating Environmental Science seniors – Class of 2021!

Congratulations to our graduating Environmental Science seniors – Class of 2021!

We are tremendously proud of you, and we wish you all the best for the future. Some of you are heading directly to graduate school and many of you are heading out into the environmental workforce. As the environmental challenges facing the world continue to grow, we know that you are ready to make a positive impact. Best wishes on behalf of our entire interdepartmental EnviSci faculty group, from Environmental Conservation, Geosciences, and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Everyone in the EnviSci class of 2021 is of course now part of the ever-growing group of UMass Amherst EnviSci Alumni, so be sure to stay in touch by Connecting with our alumni group on LinkedIn. If you missed our Virtual Senior Celebration you can watch a video of it on our blog, where you will also find our EnviSci 2021 Virtual Yearbook, along with congratulatory messages from faculty, and a list of EnviSci seniors recognized for their outstanding accomplishments with end-of-year awards....
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