Honoring a student’s ‘tremendous potential to become a scientific leader in her field’

Doctoral student and advisor are selected for the highly competitive 2020 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship, a program that funds graduate research and diversity in science  Nadia Fernandez of Elkhart, Indiana, a Ph.D. student in Environmental Conservation, with her advisor molecular ecologist Lisa Komoroske, are one of 45 advisor-student teams to receive a coveted 2020 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study.    This award identifies emerging scientific leaders in biomedical and life sciences and supports the student’s research and professional goals, aims to improve faculty mentoring skills and promote diversity and inclusion in the sciences. It supports up to three years of the doctoral student’s dissertation research and provides the advisor an allowance to support diversity and inclusion efforts at the graduate and professional levels.  Fernandez says of the honor, “I’m incredibly humbled and honored to be awarded the HHMI Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study. I’m excited to network with other incredible scientists who are committed to increasing diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice in...
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Introducing: Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Building Construction

Introducing: Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Building Construction

BCT is now offering a graduate certificate in sustainable building construction to professionals seeking an opportunity to pursue in-depth studies in sustainability in building design and construction without needing to complete a full degree program. This certificate’s topics comprise sustainable (green) building systems and materials, energy and conservation, building technologies, and construction management. 16 credits of flexible coursework can be completed through a combination of online and in-person courses*, with in-person courses offered in Amherst, Newton (on our Mount Ida campus) or both. If you are considering applying to the Professional Masters in Sustainable Building Systems program after completing the certificate, all 16 course credits will transfer toward your degree. Benefits Who Should Apply? This certificate is for you if you intend to learn more about any of these topics: Building energy assessment and modeling Design of wood structures, including mass-timber High-performance building design Sustainable building certification systems Building Information Modeling (BIM) Managing sustainable building projects Apply and Enroll Applications are accepted on a rolling basis here but you can always start this...
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New breeding behavior for Boreal birds

Scientists review data on 43 seasons of Boreal bird breeding and find that breeding time and duration have changed  In a new study, a team including forest ecologist Malcolm Itter at the University of Massachusetts Amherst reports finding “clear evidence of a contraction of the breeding period” among boreal birds in Finland over a 43-year span for which good quality data were available.    The study was run by researchers within the Research Centre for Ecological Change (RCEC) at the University of Helsinki, led by Maria Hällfors with Itter and Laura Antão, all postdoctoral researchers at the time. They were joined by additional researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Finnish Museum of Natural History. Details appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Itter says that for most of the 73 species studied, “we saw an advance in the beginning of the breeding period,” an average 4.6 days, and the breeding period ending earlier, an average of 6.3 days. The average breeding period contracted by 1.7 days over...
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Honoring ‘excellence and extraordinary service’ in CNS

Each year, the College of Natural Sciences honors its faculty, staff and student leaders who have made important contributions to their discipline, department, college and university by presenting them with the Outstanding Achievement Awards.     Recipients are nominated by colleagues within the college and chosen by committees chaired by designees appointed by Dean Tricia Serio, who may include past awardees. Of this year’s recipients, Dean Serio remarked, “These leaders continue to enrich our college community with their exceptional work. I am tremendously grateful for their efforts to demonstrate academic excellence, enhance the student experience, and create a more inclusive and accessible learning environment.”  Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion  BRiDGE — BRiDGE is a student-led initiative at UMass Amherst aiming to highlight scholars from a variety of backgrounds with exceptional broader impacts.  "Building BRiDGE has made us realize that student-led initiatives are critical to supporting underrepresented students. Creating this program from scratch gave us crucial leadership skills. BRiDGE also gave us the agency to build spaces where the conversations we wanted to have about identity, visibility...
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Researchers to Fan Out on Seaward NJ Beach in July to Seek Tiger Beach Beetle Larvae Relocated from Cape Cod

Researchers to Fan Out on Seaward NJ Beach in July to Seek Tiger Beach Beetle Larvae Relocated from Cape Cod

Courtesy of UMass News and Media June 30, 2020 Contact: Rodger Gwiazdowski     AMHERST, Mass. – As thousands of hopeful coronavirus shut-ins look forward to heading to Atlantic beaches for the July 4 holiday, University of Massachusetts Amherst entomologist Rodger Gwiazdowski and colleagues are also heading to the beach – but they’ll visit the last quiet natural one protected by the National Park Service at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. There, Gwiazdowski and a team of biologists will visit part of the Gateway National Recreation Area to survey the beach above the tide line for what they hope is the beginning of a new population of the federally threatened Northeastern Beach Tiger Beetle. In early May they had released almost 200 grub-like larvae at Sandy Hook, which is about 15 miles south of Staten Island with a clear view of Coney Island. On their early July re-visit, the researchers hope to find the larvae emerged as adult beetles. In collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies,...
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