The heat is on across N.J. Will records be set?

If you’re drenched with sweat when you’re walking or working outside on Friday, just remember how bad it was exactly five years ago. That’s when New Jersey was sweltering through a brutal summer heat wave, and the mercury on July 22 climbed to a record-shattering 108 degrees at Newark Liberty International Airport… That was, and still is, the hottest temperature on record in Newark and just two degrees shy of the highest temperature ever recorded anywhere in the Garden State – 110 degrees, according to New Jersey State Climatologist David Robinson at Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at The Star Ledger »

Americans support GMO food labels, don’t know much about safety

Americans widely support the mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods, which is required in a bill approved by Congress on July 14 and sent to the White House to await President Obama’s signature… William Hallman, a 2016-17 visiting scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and professor of the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University, noted that while nearly 60 percent of Americans reported having only a fair or poor understanding of GMOs, the new labeling law might ultimately change this if consumers are willing to use QR codes to find out more about the products they buy.

Read the entire article at Ag Professional »

Female Golf Course Superintendents: New Jersey Leads the Way With Several Rutgers Grads

Tammy Stephens, head super at Warrenbrook Golf Course in Warren, NJ.

Tammy Stephens, head superintendent at Warren Brook Golf Course in Warren, NJ.

When Jo-Ann Eberle became head superintendent in 1984 at Sunset Valley Golf Course in Pequannock, she was a rarity—first female head super in New Jersey and the Northeastern United States.

More than 30 years later, New Jersey boasts all of three female head supers in Rebecca Hawkins at Darlington Golf Course in Mahwah, Diane Elwood at Bel-Aire Golf Course in Wall and Tammy Stephens at Warren Brook, but three more ladies are serving as assistant superintendents and are members of the New Jersey section of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

They are Jessica Hall at Rockaway River Country Club n Denville, Valerie Lawrence of Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown and Jennifer Torres, who works for New Jersey’s Spirit Golf Management at Makefield Highlands in Yardley, Pa.

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‘Excessive’ heat expected this weekend in N.J.

There’s no doubt it’s been hot, humid and sticky – but when is it a heat wave? In the Northeast, a heat wave is typically three or more days in a row where temperatures at a particular weather station hit 90 degrees or above. Monday marked day five of 90-degree-plus days in a number of New Jersey towns, according to weather data from NJ Climate and Weather Network, part of the Office of the State Climatologist at Rutgers University.

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New peach and nectarine varieties help Eastern growers compete

Peach growers and shippers in the Northeast who market to large retailers are seeing increasing competition from shippers in California, Georgia, South Carolina and even countries in the Southern Hemisphere… Traditionally, the market has hung its hat on yellow-fleshed peaches, said Jerry Frecon, a Rutgers University emeritus professor  ‘said there are plenty of new peaches and nectarines being developed. Many in the Mid-Atlantic states are coming from Rutgers University’s Tree Fruit Breeding Program, under the direction of plant biology and pathology professor Joseph Goffreda, at Cream Ridge, New Jersey.

Read the entire article at Good Fruit Grower »

Balancing Passions, a Rutgers-trained Scientist Heads for the Future

Talia Young, on a research trip to Mongolia. Photo: Talia Young.

Talia Young, on a research trip to Mongolia. Photo: Talia Young.

Acquiring new knowledge and sharing it with high school students have marked Talia Young’s journey

Talia Young, a newly minted Rutgers Ph.D. in ecology, studies fish and their relationship to the people and communities that depend on them.

She’s also passionate about acquiring new knowledge and sharing it with young people, which is what has led her to move between research and teaching since her undergraduate days at Swarthmore College. Now preparing for postdoctoral work at Princeton University, Young spent her last several weeks as a Rutgers graduate student co-teaching, with help from Kristin Hunter-Thomson in 4H Youth Development, a mini-course on mathematics applications in fisheries science in a Philadelphia high school – the same one she taught biology in before going to graduate school. The course was partly funded by the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources and the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

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How to make a yummy, consistent beer: Rutgers team is on a mission

There’s a lot of science that goes into making a tasty beer. But not all brewers and hop farmers — especially the small ones — have access to the tools and information they need to arrive at the perfect product… “What we really wanted to do was try to respond to what breweries and growers were asking of Rutgers,” said Jim Simon, principal investigator of the project. “They were asking: how do we position ourselves to level the playing field, to try to get the same type of information that some of the big breweries have?”

Read the entire article at NJ 101.5 »

This Year’s Record Arctic Melt Is a Problem For Everybody

If your life has felt like a hot mess this year, you’re not alone. Same goes for the Arctic, which month after month has seen its ice cover contract to new lows. By late September, Arctic sea ice may reach its lowest extent since satellite record-keeping began… There could also be more global effects. Some evidence indicates that Arctic warming – which is causing a change in the temperature gradient between the equator and the poles – could be shifting the polar jet stream, causing it to meander more north and south rather than traveling a straight line. A recent study from Rutgers University linked a wavier jet stream to an uptick in extreme weather events, noting that "these are the types of phenomena that are expected to occur more often as the world continues to warm and the Arctic continues to lose its ice."

Read the entire article at Gizmodo »

Climate tipping points: What do they mean for society?

The phrase “tipping point” passed its own tipping point and caught fire after author Malcolm Gladwell’s so-named 2000 book. It’s now frequently used in discussions about climate change, but what are “climate tipping points”? And what do they mean for society and the economy?.. “I hear from a lot of people in the general public who wonder whether we’ve passed a tipping point with respect to the climate, but frequently they don’t know precisely what the term means,” said Robert E. Kopp, the study’s lead author and an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers. “And that’s on the scientific community. Oftentimes, we use the term in a way that doesn’t quite jive with popular understanding.” Study authors also include, among others, Rachael L. Shwom, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers.

Read the entire article at My Central Jersey »

We could be days away from a drought

Earlier this year, parts of New Jersey were under a drought watch. The watch was discontinued in March, but the state Department of Environmental Protection could soon issue a new one, perhaps in the next few days… "During the summer there is no real way to project the amount of rainfall that will hit a particular region, or even a municipality," he said. "One side of town versus another can differ by several inches when it comes to an individual storm or storms over a couple of days," says Dave Robinson, the state climatologist at Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at NJ 101.5 »