Five SEBS Faculty Honored by Rutgers for Teaching, Research, Service and Diversity Initiatives

Siobain Duffy was awarded for scholarly and teaching excellence.

Siobain Duffy received Rutgers awards for both scholarly and teaching excellence.

Members of the university community who have made outstanding contributions in the classroom, to their disciplines, or for the benefit of the community or world were honored during a May 5 reception at the Rutgers Visitor Center. Five faculty members of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences received awards at the event.  They include Siobain Duffy, Ecology Evolution and Natural Resources; Ning Zhang, Plant Biology and Pathology; Tamar Barkay, Biochemistry and Microbiology; Mark Robson, Plant Biology and Pathology and Tom Rudel, Human Ecology. Those receiving awards span the range of faculty from pre-tenure to distinguished professor. Read more at Rutgers Today.

Planning Your Summer? Here’s the Best Guess at the Weather N.J. Can Expect

As Memorial Day heralds in the unofficial start to the summer season in New Jersey, the outlook for beach season is, well, hazy at best. But the best guess for what’s going to happen lies in the Pacific… Unlike winter, which delivered on its promise of cold and snow, an analysis of long-term forecast data shows that there isn’t a clear signal of what the summer weather will bring to the Garden State… "There’s nothing screaming for a continuation of warm, dry conditions, but there isn’t really anything to the contrary either," said David Robinson, the state climatologist at Rutgers University.

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Congratulations to SEBS Class of 2015

Class of 2015 graduates at SEBS Convocation.

Members of the Class of 2015 at the SEBS Convocation.

On a chilly, blustery May 18, the mist that blew across Passion Puddle did not dampen the spirits of the graduating seniors attending the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences 2015 Convocation. Dean of Academic Programs Rick Ludescher led the ceremony while Executive Dean Bob Goodman addressed the Class of 2015, which totaled 725 graduates.

The Dr. Barbara Munson Goff Teacher of the Year Award was presented to Tim Casey of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources. Biological Sciences major Ariel Booth presented the class remarks.

In an annual tradition that began in 1982, members of the Cook alumni association presented the graduates with red oak seedlings to take a living part of the George H. Cook campus with them as they embark on their next journey. View images of 2015 Convocation on the SEBS Facebook album.

Our Bodies Need Salt, But Not Too Much- Or Too Little

In the past, people thought that salt boosted health- so much so that the Latin word for "health"- "salus"- was derived from "sal," the word for salt. In medieval times, salt was prescribed to treat a multitude of conditions, including toothaches, stomachaches and "heaviness of mind."… "We humans eat more salt than is necessary. But we all do it. So the question is: Why?" says Paul Breslin, a professor of nutritional sciences who researches sodium appetite at New Jersey’s Rutgers University… Breslin believes there may be another evolution-based reason why we love salt: "Salt accelerates sexual maturation in animal models, resulting in more offspring," he says.

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State DEP Continues to Stall Release of Long-Overdue Draft Water-Supply Plan

Increasingly frustrated with the Christie administration for not releasing the latest draft of a water-supply plan developed three years ago, the state’s Water Supply Advisory Council once again called on the state DEP to release some of its findings so the council can get down to business… Dan Van Abs, a Rutgers professor who is a technical adviser to the Council, said New Jersey’s projected population by 2040 has risen sharply, mostly because of immigration, to 10.4 million from 8.9 million at the time of the last Water Supply Plan in 1996, and so the updated document needs to reflect that. Van Abs also is an NJ Spotlight columnist… The previous report contained a series of revisions based on the one previous edition, in 1982, Van Abs said. By contrast, the new document, whenever it is issued, will not reflect periodical updates. "That process did not continue," he said.

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