Polar vortex in NJ soon? Nope, expert says

Is the polar vortex, which often brought frigid air to New Jersey this winter, planning a mid-July invasion? Nope, said David A. Robinson, the New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University. "This polar vortex (talk) is like out of control," Robinson said. But the summer jet stream will be a little wavier than usual, dipping a little farther south than normal in the Midwest area, he said. "Along the Atlantic coast, not such a big deal."

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RU sparks science interest among girls, minorities

While most high school students stay far from the classroom in summer, 15-year-old Shayla Needham was excited to spend a week at Rutgers University as a Samsung Scholar studying STEM – science, technology, engineering and math…"The program gives them the opportunity to explore different STEM skills and fields and find something that possibly sparks a future career," said Chad Ripberger, the Mercer County 4-H agent who six years ago co-founded the program with Janice McDonnell, the state 4-H science agent.

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Eat to live: Latest trends in food safety and quality

Stevie Shutman came to Dean’s Natural Market looking for lactose-free cream cheese for her son, but she’s a regular shopper there because she knows she’s not getting a side of pesticides with her organic fruits and vegetables…Like Brown and Shutman, more Americans are concerned about the health of their food, with 71 percent saying it impacts their decisions about what they buy, according to a study released in May by the International Food Information Council Foundation…GMOs are created through a process where scientists transfer specific traits from one type of plant or animal to another in a way that they wouldn’t normally be able to do through traditional crossbreeding, said William Hallman, a professor of human ecology and former director of the Food Policy Institute at Rutgers University who studies how consumers think about food risks.

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Gardening: patience is key

The weather’s (slowly) getting warmer, but that doesn’t mean you should be out in the garden digging holes for tomatoes. Although this is the traditional time for planting the tasty fruit, this spring has been unusually cold and wet, and eager beavers may be disappointed when plants don’t thrive or die…If dig you must, local garden centers and websites have a multitude of cold-weather seedlings ready to go into the ground now. Just be careful when you dig, advises Bruce Crawford, director of Rutgers Gardens…"Don’t dig until a day or two after it rains, or you may do some damage to the soil," he said. "Wet, cool springs can be a challenge, and the soil may become compacted."

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Shore’s back bay areas struggle with flooding as sea level rises

It doesn’t take a superstorm, just a steady rain to flood Frank Santora’s street. Water runs down Bayside Terrace into the lagoon and when it rises above the stormwater valve, which it frequently does, it bubbles back into the street where it sits until it evaporates, he said…"They have had to struggle with flooding from low-lying areas around Barnegat Bay. It’s going to get worse with rising sea level. We know that. We’re anticipating that and there needs to be strategies put in place," said Michael Kennish, a Rutgers University research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Science in New Brunswick.

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