Rutgers Alumna Finds Thousands of Creepy Crawlies Live in our Homes

marmorated stink bug isolated on whiteNancy Brill earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management from Rutgers in 2000. After completing a master’s degree in horticulture at North Carolina State University (NCSU), she returned to Rutgers as a field researcher in vegetable pathology at Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Upper Deerfield, NJ. Brill, who later earned a Ph.D. in Entomology at NCSU, conducted a  study as a postdoc that sought to reveal the arthropods that can be found in our homes. The result? Over 10,000 specimens were collected from just 50 houses. The New York Times published Brill’s inside peek into just what kind of creepy crawlies lurk inside our homes.

Note: While she conducted field research at Rutgers, she found time to publish an essay spilling the dirt on being a woman working in agriculture, which was published in Newsweek in 2007. Brill is currently an Agronomic Service Representative at Syngenta Crop Protection.

Rutgers Master Gardeners Care for Historic Cherry Trees in Branch Brook Park

Cherry blossom time at Branch Brook Park in Newark, home to the largest collection of flowering cherry trees in the U.S.

Cherry blossom time at Branch Brook Park in Newark, home to the largest collection of flowering cherry trees in the U.S.

Editor’s Note: Two alumni have been instrumental in the care and maintenance of the remarkable cherry tree collection in Essex County. Paul Cowie is a consultant to the Branch Brook Park Alliance. He graduated in 1985 with a B.S. in Natural Resource Management with a concentration in Forestry. He cooperates with the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County and their advisor Jan Zientek of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex County. Zientek is himself an alum – a 1982 graduate with a B.S. in Forestry and Wildlife Biology. The story of their work is featured here.

The emergence of cherry blossoms is renowned in Japanese culture as representing the end of the winter, the beginning of new life and the start of the spring growing season. Throughout Japan, cherry blossom festivals are celebrated under the trees with singing, dancing and elaborate tea ceremonies. While profuse and beautiful, cherry blossoms are relatively short lived. It is said that the Japanese use the example of the short lifespan of the cherry blossoms that vividly burst into life and then proudly whither to symbolically reflect on, and as a metaphor for, their lives. [Read more...]

Alumni Story: Anthony Broccoli (Cook ’77, GSNB ’79, ’98): Studying the Bigger Picture of Climate Change

Ever the outdoorsmen, Tony hiked the trail in the Swiss Alps above Zermatt this past summer.

An avid outdoorsman, Tony hiked the trail in the Swiss Alps above Zermatt this past summer.

“Many of the important turning points in my life took place at Rutgers,” says Anthony J. Broccoli, an alumnus and professor of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. “I came here as an undergraduate to study meteorology because of a fascination with the weather that began in my childhood. My professors showed me that there was more to meteorology than just forecasting the weather; they introduced me to scientific research.”

A dedication to research and teaching shaped Broccoli’s future. “I’ve followed a career path that was different from most university faculty. I came to Rutgers in the 1970s to study meteorology and left with my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. I was on the staff here as an instructor and lecturer for a couple of years before leaving to work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Princeton at its Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, where I was a research scientist.”

“About 10 years after I began at NOAA, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. at Rutgers as a part-time student. I completed my degree in 1998 and continued working for NOAA until the opportunity to return to Rutgers came along in 2003. So the road has taken a few turns before leading me to where I am now.” [Read more...]

Alumni Profile: Ralph Brinster (AG ’53): Veterinarian and Human Health Revolutionary

Ralph BrinsterThe principle of “one medicine” or, as it is sometimes called, “one health” deems that the relationship between human and animal medicine and public health and the environment is inseparable. Ralph Brinster, V.M.D., Ph.D., exemplifies the concept.

A 1953 graduate from the Department of Animal Sciences of what was known then as Rutgers’ College of Agriculture, he received his veterinary degree and his doctorate in physiology from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology with the School of Veterinary Medicine and the Graduate School at Penn. Throughout his brilliant career at Penn, he says he still feels “strong ties to Rutgers.”

Three years ago, he was honored at the White House, under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, with the 2010 National Medal of Science, the highest honor the U.S. government bestows on scientists. It is one of many prestigious honors that Brinster has received over the years. [Read more...]

The Tipping Point: Alumnus Lester Brown

Lester Brown
Photo by Nick Romanenko

When he arrived as a freshman at Rutgers, alumnus Lester Brown (AG ’55) had planned to continue farming tomatoes in South Jersey. Instead his path led him to exposure to global issues that he was able to identify as potential environmental crises, and so began his fundamental role in the global environmental movement. Read more at On The Banks.