Research on composite lumber could expand use of sustainable material

"Two campus researchers are developing computer models to predict the strength of structural composite lumber (SCL), which could broaden the use of the sustainable material in large building projects. Peggi Clouston, associate professor in Wood Mechanics, and Sanjay Arwade, assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, are creating the computational tools with a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation." http://www.umass.edu/loop/talkingpoints/articles/77011.php...
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Fall 2008 Seminar Series Schedule Announced

Fall 2008 Seminar Series Schedule (PDF) September 12: Historic Stone Walls as a Conservation Issue Robert Thorson, University of Connecticut September 19: Winter Moth: A New Invasive Defoliator in New England Joe Elkinton, University of Massachusetts September 26: Land Conservation and the Design and Planning of Sustainable Open Space Elizabeth Brabec, University of Massachusetts October 3: Understanding Mechanisms that Guide Avian Community Responses to Urbanization Amanda Rodewald, The Ohio State University October 10: Water Policy Issues in South Africa Craig Nicolson, University of Massachusetts October 17: Reflections on the Holy Grail of Integrating Social and Natural Science: The Case of Climate, Land Use, and Nutrient Cycling in Coastal Zones Colin Polsky, Clark University October 24: TBA October 31: Canada Lynx in Maine John Organ, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service November 7: Dams in the Connecticut River Valley Brian Graber, American Rivers November 14: TBA November 21: Turtles in Sprawlville: Conservation of Eastern Blanding's Turtles Brad Compton, University of Massachusetts November 28: Thanksgiving break December 5: Hermaphrodites in Your Backyard: The Landscape Ecology of Amphibian Intersex David Skelly, Yale University...
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Paul Fisette’s Energy Conservation Tips Featured by WFCR

WFCR, the five-campus National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, has broadcast an interview with Paul Fisette, Department Head of NRC, on the topic of home insulation. While summer is still in full swing, Paul Fisette says homeowners should use this time to make their homes more energy efficient. Click on the link below to hear the entire piece (by WFCR's Bob Paquette). Links: MP3 recording of interview WFCR page on the interview  ...
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EPA to Fund Wetlands Assessment Work

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be providing $300,000 in additional funding for an important research and extension project led by Kevin McGarigal and Scott Jackson of the Department of Natural Resources Conservation. The project is a collaborative effort involving the Department’s Landscape Ecology Program, UMass Extension and state agencies to use the Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS) as the basis for a comprehensive wetlands monitoring and assessment program. CAPS is a computer software program and a method to prioritize land for conservation based on the assessment of ecological integrity for various ecological communities (e.g. forested wetland, shrub swamp, headwater stream) within a particular landscape. CAPS provides an objective and scientifically credible approach for assessing ecological integrity and supporting decision-making for land acquisition, ecological restoration, project review and permitting to protect habitat and biodiversity. The approach has been under development by UMass researchers over the past several years. The CAPS Project Team includes Kevin, Scott, Brad Compton, Kasey Rolih,...
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UMass Amherst Scientists Collaborate to Understand Animal Migrations with $533,000 NSF Grant

The movements of all animals are affected by their need for resources, and in particular, food. Where and how grazing animals move often depends on where the best vegetation resources can be found, and how predictable this food is from year to year. Some ungulate species with predictable environments (caribou in Alaska and wildebeest in Africa, for example) migrate seasonally. Other species (gazelles in Mongolia, for example) appear to make large-scale, long-range movements that are seemingly unpredictable. This “nomadism” likely occurs when the availability and location of resources vary considerably by season and by year. The National Science Foundation has awarded UMass Amherst’s Todd Fuller and Craig Nicolson $533,000, and their collaborator Bill Fagan at the University of Maryland College Park another $147,000, to make sense of these seasonal and annual movement strategies for individual gazelles in Mongolia (new field studies) and caribou in Alaska (historical data). The researchers will combine theoretical computer models and landscape-scale satellite images of vegetation with...
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