New Jersey Educator Donates Historic U.S. Soils Collection to National Agriculture Library

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service formally transfers the 1916 U.S. soil collection and publication, “Important Soils of the United States” to the USDA National Agricultural Library for safekeeping and archival purposes in Beltsville, MD on Aug. 19, 2015. USDA photo by Anson Eaglin.

On Aug. 19, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service formally transferred the 1916 U.S. soil collection and publication, “Important Soils of the United States,” to the USDA National Agricultural Library for safekeeping and archival purposes in Beltsville, MD.

On Aug. 19, fifty people including staff from the University of Maryland, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Agriculture Library (NAL), members of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Professional Soil Scientists, Rutgers University, and the Firman E. Bear Soil and Water Conservation Society gathered at the NAL for a ceremony to convey a historic 1916 U.S. soils collection. The donor, Jill Guenther, a Vineland, NJ educator, donated a historic collection of U.S. soils to the Library where the collection will be archived for safekeeping, included in Library exhibits, and available upon request for onsite inspection. [Read more…]

Sustainable Options For Controlling Brown Marmorated Stink Bug In Vegetables

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is here to stay. Found in the U.S. in the late 1990s, this pest attacks peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, sweet corn, apples, peaches, and several other fruits and vegetables. Plus, it can be found in virtually all states – from Virginia to Washington. To help you battle this pest, American Vegetable Grower spoke to Brett Blaauw, a research associate at Rutgers University, who works on sustainable pest management practices to control BMSB. He offers insight on scouting techniques, sustainable control options, and more… The benefits and costs for each type of control often will be dependent on grower needs and interests. As part of a multi-state grant lead by Anne Nielsen of Rutgers University and funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative grant, we have investigated these methods for BMSB management.

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State-of-the-Art Radon Training Facility Built at Rutgers

State-of-the-art radon training slab at Rutgers.

State-of-the-art radon training lab at Rutgers.

Rutgers recently redesigned and constructed a cutting-edge radon training lab for hands-on learning.

For over 25 years, the Eastern Regional Radon Training Center (ERRTC) at Rutgers University has been providing professionals throughout the country with training in radon measurement and mitigation. To offer students an even better learning experience, the ERRTC opened a brand-new, state-of-the-art training facility on Cook Campus in July 2015.

“Watching the new radon training facility being built from the ground up has been really interesting,” said Program Coordinator Pamela Springard-Mayer. The new facility was used for the first time by students attending a Radon Mitigation class this summer.

In the past, the hands-on portions of the Rutgers three-day Radon Mitigation Proficiency Course were taught at Rutgers’ Environmental Health and Safety Building in Piscataway, affectionately known as the “slab.” For many years, the mock crawl space and attic at the slab did a great job of mimicking the conditions of real-world vapor intrusion situations; however, the building was getting dingy and dusty with age. Regardless of its interesting military history, the slab needed a face-lift. [Read more…]

Two Solutions That Cut Down on Fossil Fuels

This article was written by Paul Falkowski, professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences… The headline in the New York Times reads "Lebanon’s Garbage Crisis Underscores Government’s Disarray." It seems that the Lebanese government is unable to collect and dispose of the garbage in Beirut and the waste is piling up across the city… Garbage smells bad, and in the heat of summer, with wafts of rotting meat and vegetables blowing across the city, it is hardly surprising that the citizens of Beirut are getting very frustrated at the lack of leadership… In preparing a short "TED talk" type lecture for the upcoming Positive Economy conference in France, I gathered some slides from the recent National Academy of Science report on geoengineering climate. I sat on the panel that issued the two reports. There were two because there are two "solutions" for continued, unabated burning of fossil fuels. And if you really need to know — we aren’t running out of fossil fuels anytime soon — at least not for a century.

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Tracking a Rarely Seen, Endangered ‘Ninja’ Shark in the Philippines

ShutterShark300Rutgers marine scientist Thomas Grothues’ expertise is featured in a Discovery Channel documentary on sharks that have developed adaptations to help them become effective predators. Read more at Rutgers Today.