Experts Weigh in on Climate Change Impacts in Campus Discussion and Screening of “Shored Up”

Panelists discussing the film screening of "Shored Up" from left to right include Tim Dillingham, American Littoral Society; Jeffrey Gebert, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Benjamin Horton, IMCS; and Norbert Psuty, IMCS. The moderator is Anthony Broccoli, Environmental Science.

Panelists discuss the film screening of “Shored Up.” From left to right,  Tim Dillingham, American Littoral Society; Jeffrey Gebert, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Benjamin Horton, Rutgers IMCS; and Norbert Psuty, Rutgers IMCS. The moderator is Anthony Broccoli, professor in the Department of Environmental Science.

What will a rising sea do to our homes, businesses and the survival of our communities? Can we afford to pile enough sand on our shores to keep the ocean at bay? Beach engineering has been our only approach so far but is there something else out there to be explored? In Long Beach Island in NJ and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, surfers, politicians, scientists and residents are racing to answer these questions. While answers to these questions are yet to emerge, what’s generally agreed upon is that the development of our coastlines has put us in a tough predicament and it’s time to start looking for solutions. Shored Up is a documentary that asks tough questions about our coastal communities and our relationship to the land. [Read more…]

Mosquito Menace: Rutgers Research Helps Reclaim Our Backyards

Photo: mosquito

Asian tiger mosquito
Photo by: Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org

Every year, during the third week of June, mosquito control awareness gains nationwide focus as the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) sponsors National Mosquito Control Awareness Week to focus the public’s attention on the work of suppressing mosquito and other vector-transmitted diseases.

This national campaign focuses the spotlight on mosquito control and the role of the AMCA, but what may be less well-known is the pioneering role of Rutgers in the formation of the AMCA and its predecessor organizations, and the university’s role in the development of mosquito control in the U.S. [Read more…]

“Bare-bones” Equine Research at Rutgers

Photo: horse skeleton delivery

(l. to r.) Melissa Varcoe; Clint Burgher, who directs the Rutgers Animal Care Program Farm; and Walter Varcoe, creator of the skeleton, oversee delivery to the campus.

In 2012, the Department of Animal Sciences at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences celebrated the addition of its most unique member of the equine research herd, an authentic articulated horse skeleton!

Carey Williams and Sarah Ralston, professors in the Department of Animal Sciences, were instrumental in acquiring the equine skeleton, which was purchased through a joint grant with Gloucester Community College (GCC). The skeleton has served as a teaching tool through the “Supporting Equine Education Development” initiative, a bridge program that provides GCC students access to Rutgers facilities and faculty as they pursue an associate’s degree in equine science.

Since its debut at Rutgers, the skeleton has received much public interaction. During its first Ag Field Day at Rutgers Day, the Equine Science Center held a naming contest for visitors to compete for the honor of suggesting a new moniker for the skeleton. After a highly-competitive voting process, the equine skeleton was dubbed: “RU Wish Bone.” [Read more…]

Two More Tools For Your Garden

Our Plant Diagnostic and Soil Testing Labs Are Here to Help

examining turf samples

At the Plant Diagnostic Lab Sabrina Tirpak examines a turf sample for disease symptoms.

Spring is here, and with it, “green” dreams! Whether you tend to your yard to showcase the vitality and energy of vigorous plants and nature, to attract compliments as well as the seemingly inevitable wildlife, or to become more self-sustainable with a productive vegetable garden, it pays to know how your plants are doing and what your soil consists of. The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) provides two important tools for Garden State residents looking to improve the quality of their soil and help their gardens flourish.

The Rutgers Plant Diagnostic Lab and the Soil Testing Lab, both located on the George H. Cook Campus, cater to commercial farmers, small businesses, and individual residents. The labs diagnose and mitigate existing problems related to plants and diagnose soil needs to assure optimal growth. With the knowledge and expertise of these two Rutgers-based labs, farmers and recreational gardeners have everything at their fingertips to make their farms, gardens, lawns, and groves thrive, at a minimal cost.
[Read more…]

New Jersey Waterways Under Stress

Case Study: Barnegat Bay

Photo: Mike Kennish collecting samples

Mike Kennish (right) obtains a seagrass sample in Barnegat Bay from Christopher Huch (research assistant, IMCS).

How is it that one of the most wonderful estuaries on the east coast, Barnegat Bay in Ocean County, is now one of the most impaired coastal water bodies in the nation?

Designated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as a National Estuary Program site in 1995–one of 28 such estuaries of significance in the U.S.–Barnegat Bay hosts a variety of environmentally sensitive habitats such as sand beaches, bay islands, seagrass meadows, finfish nursery areas, shellfish beds, and waterfowl nesting grounds. [Read more…]