Christmas Day 2014 Marks 50th Anniversary of Rutgers Professor’s Groundbreaking Innovation in Ag

The air inflated plastic greenhouse increases food security in third world countries where it is used extensively to extend their growing seasons. Locally, the flowers we buy in full bloom, the flats of vegetable and herb transplants for springtime planting and local vegetables grown in plastic covered greenhouses to extend the early or late seasons, can be produced locally and economically.

The air inflated plastic greenhouse increases food security in third world countries where it is used extensively to extend the growing season. In the US, the flowers we buy in full bloom and the flats of vegetable and herb transplants for springtime planting can be produced locally and economically in these greenhouses.

It was Christmas morning of 1964 when Bill Roberts was tinkering in his basement when he was supposed to be doing something else. The now retired Rutgers NJAES specialist in agricultural engineering was building a model greenhouse in his basement when he used an aquarium air pump to separate the two layers of the plastic film covering. As innocuous as it may seem, what Roberts did was actually an innovation that would be a boon to the agricultural industry and revolutionize the use of greenhouses worldwide. Back from winter break, the work commenced on campus in 1965 with a structure on Cook campus that served as the first ever air-inflated, double-layer polyethylene greenhouse. That original structure still stands on campus and in 2004, the American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE), dedicated the structure as an ASABE Historic Landmark. Read the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association’s anniversary tribute and more about this historic innovation that was developed at Rutgers.

Vorsa Named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his Pioneering Work with Cranberries

Nick Vorsa.

Nick Vorsa.

Nicholi Vorsa, research professor and developer of high-yielding cranberry varieties with enhanced fruit chemistry attributes, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Vorsa is also the director of Rutgers’ Marucci Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center.

The academy, which was founded four years ago, announced its 2014 fellows on December 16. Included among all of the NAI Fellows are 61 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes, as well as 21 Nobel Laureates.

“Because his work has helped New Jersey’s cranberry growers for years, in a profound way, Professor Vorsa has made valuable contributions to a vital part of our state’s economy,” said Christopher J. Molloy, senior vice president for research and economic development at Rutgers. “We are pleased that he is receiving such prestigious national recognition for his accomplishments as an inventor.” [Read more…]

RCE Personal Health and Finance Quiz Can Guide Your New Year’s Resolutions

Barbara O'Neill.

Barbara O’Neill.

Each year, almost half of Americans develop New Year’s resolutions to improve different aspects of their lives. Often these resolutions involve health and personal finances. Specific examples include saving money, reducing debt, losing weight, quitting smoking and increased physical activity.

According to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the top five New Year’s resolutions for 2014 were: 1. lose weight, 2. get organized, 3. spend less, save more, 4. enjoy life to the fullest and 5. stay fit and healthy. Three of these top five resolutions (#1, #3, and #5) directly involve health and personal finances while the other two (#2 and #4) are indirectly related (e.g., organized people are likely to keep their finances on track and healthy and financially secure people are able to live life to the fullest). [Read more…]

Adapting to Shifts in Marine Species Due to Climate Change Research Available on New Website

Malin Pinsky

Malin Pinsky

During the past 18 months, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolution Malin Pinsky has published two papers documenting and exploring the implications of the trend of marine species shifting to cooler waters as a result of climate change. He and his team have found that the shift northward is happening at different rates among the species not because of their biological differences but due to the rate and direction of climate change in their waters. A new website has been created with the data behind this research available to explain how the ecology, business and economics of sport and commercial fishing are connected to the effects of global warming and the difficulty in adapting to the resulting changes. Read more at Rutgers Today.

Big Ten Network Spotlights Rutgers Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club

The four legged students attending Rutgers earn a special degree. Watch the Big Ten Network “LiveBIG” YouTube feature of the Rutgers Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club.

Video: 2014-15 LiveBIG: Rutgers Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club