Student Filmmaker Documents Jim Simon’s Horticultural Innovation Work in Zambia

Jeanpaul Isaacs, right,  recently went to Zambia to make a documentary about the work of James E. Simon, left. Photography: Nick Romanenko

Jeanpaul Isaacs, right, recently went to Zambia to make a documentary about the work of James E. Simon, left. Photography: Nick Romanenko

Rutgers Center for Digital Filmmaking recent graduate Jeanpaul Isaacs (SAS ’14, SC&I ’14) spent the final semester of his senior year working on a documentary on SEBS Professor of Plant Biology and Pathology Jim Simon’s work with African women farmers to develop markets for their indigenous crops in Zambia. Isaacs previous work was awarded best picture at Campus Moviefest 2013, leading him to a rare stint as a student filmmaker member of Team Oscar at this year’s Oscar award ceremony.  Simon also has been highly awarded for his work, receiving both an AIARD Special Service Award and the Scientific Excellence Award by the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development this year. Read more on Isaac’s activities at Rutgers Magazine.

Rutgers Plant Biologist Jim Simon Recognized by International Agriculture Association

L-R: Mike McGirr, AIARD President, Jim Simon and Albert Ayeni, AIARD Awards Committee Chair. Photo: Susan Schram.

L-R: Mike McGirr, AIARD President, Jim Simon and Albert Ayeni, AIARD Awards Committee Chair. Photo: Susan Schram.

Rutgers Professor James (Jim) Simon, Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, has won the 2014 AIARD Special Service Award in recognition of his collaborative research in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere for over 20 years and his ability to use innovative and transformative approaches that lift people out of poverty. This recognition was bestowed upon him at the 50th anniversary meeting of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development in Washington, D.C. on June 2.

Simon is internationally known as a leading global researcher for his work in horticulture, medicinal and aromatic plants in which he specializes in plant natural products and new crops. [Read more...]

In Vietnam, Paying Communities to Preserve the Forests

Before the patrollers spotted the interlopers, they heard the sounds of illegal logging. When the two groups finally met, violence erupted and rocks flew, according to one of the patrollers, Huynh Van Nghia…Mr. Nghia and the other patrollers, a band of about 30 farmers, essentially work as freelance park rangers under a 2010 law that established a nationwide incentive program in which companies – mainly state-owned hydropower operations – pay communities to protect watersheds…So far, the payments are "not really paying for environmental services – they’re essentially labor contracts," Pamela McElwee, a professor at Rutgers University who studies environmental policies in Vietnam, said recently in Hanoi.

Read the entire article at NYTimes.com »

University of Sao Paulo Undergrads Present Research at George H. Cook Honors Symposium

USP students and their advisor (L-R): João Henrique Ribeiro Dainezi, Hernan Franco Romera Fazzio, Debora Rejane Fior Chadi, Marcela Bittar Araujo Lima, and Lilian Mayumi Chinen Tamashiro

USP students (L-R): João Henrique Ribeiro Dainezi; Hernan Franco Romera Fazzio;  USP student advisor Debora Rejane Fior Chadi; Marcela Bittar Araujo Lima and Lilian Mayumi Chinen Tamashiro

In a longstanding and well-established exchange with the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, four undergraduate students from the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil, visited Rutgers University to present their research at the George H. Cook Honors Symposium on April 22. It is a great achievement for the four USP students selected to present their research at Rutgers. They were among a pool of more than 1,500 candidates to be selected following a highly competitive process at their university. The delegation from University of Sao Paolo included Marcela Bittar Araujo Lima, João Henrique Ribeiro Dainezi, Lilian Mayumi Chinen Tamashiro, Hernan Franco Romera Fazzio and their professor Debora Rejane Fior Chadi. The students made their research presentations to SEBS faculty in fields ranging from health and nutrition to Gibbs Phenomenon. [Read more...]

Converging factors: New project to use radar array to determine how ocean currents affect food web

The phrase "going with the flow" takes on a different meaning for scientists studying how tides along the Antarctic Peninsula influence where Adélie penguins go to forage for food during their breeding cycle. Previous research in the region – analyzing 10 years of data from satellite-tagged penguins, an autonomous underwater vehicle and historical tidal records – was the first to link changes in tide cycles to where penguins would find their main prey, Antarctic krill…"Understanding the links between some of the physical drivers and connections throughout the entire system, going from the primary producers to the zooplankton and the top predators, will allow us to have a better understanding how these shifts in climate might impact the system," noted Josh Kohut, an assistant professor at Rutgers University External Non-U.S. government site and principal investigator (PI) on the CONVERGE project.

Read the entire article at antarcticsun.usap.gov »