A Wildflower Meadow Blooms at IFNH and Cook Campus Gains a New Outdoor Classroom

IFNH Wildflower Meadow. Photo: Jennifer Simon.

IFNH Wildflower Meadow. Photo: Jennifer Simon.

You’re going to have to burn some calories regardless of which direction you approach the main floor of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health. But whether hoofing it up a long flight of stairs or a shorter jaunt from the courtyard, you’ll likely be distracted by the view and not even mind the workout. Students, alumni and faculty in the Department of Landscape Architecture (LA) have had a hand in creating the eyecatching views that grace the ascent to the building. First came the alumni-designed EcoWall flanking a long interior staircase. Then came the student-designed landscaped garden along the gentle slope of the courtyard, planted in the spring. And finally, the glorious meadow in summer bloom along the steep slope at the front entrance of the building, designed by an alum and used as an outdoor classroom.

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Turfgrass Breeder William A. Meyer Named the First C. Reed Funk Endowed Faculty Scholar

Dean Goodman & Dr. William Meyer cropped 2William Meyer, professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, has been named the first C. Reed Funk Endowed Faculty Scholar in Plant Biology and Genetics at Rutgers University. This is a tremendous honor for Meyer and the Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Executive Dean Bob Goodman presented the award to Meyer at the Rutgers Golf Classic Fundraiser at Fiddlers Elbow Country Club on May 2 in front of over 350 golf industry professionals from eight states and Canada. This is an annual event that has raised over $1.5 million for turfgrass research over the past 20 years.

Meyer joined the Center as director of the Turfgrass Breeding Program in 1996 after 21 years spent as a commercial turfgrass breeder and corporate president. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading breeders of cool-season turfgrasses. “Since coming to Rutgers in 1996, Bill Meyer has taken the Rutgers Turfgrass Breeding Program to a whole new level,” said Bruce B. Clarke, director of the Center for Turfgrass Science. “The turf breeding program was already recognized as the top program in the world during Reed Funk’s tenure, but Bill has really raised the bar in terms of developing new turfgrass cultivars with enhanced pest and stress tolerance that require less fertilizer and water.”

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New Landscaped Garden Another Great Reason to Visit the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health

SEBS Students Planting the IFNH Garden.

SEBS students planting the IFNH Garden.

IFNH Amphitheater Garden Design.

IFNH amphitheater garden design

Besides enjoying a healthy, delicious, responsibly-sourced meal — which is reason enough to visit — now you have something on which to feast your eyes…a beautiful, landscaped garden. In conjunction with the Rutgers’ 250 celebration, SEBS deans Rick Ludescher and Judy Storch supported the creation of this new garden near the outdoor dining terrace. The garden changes the formerly empty space into a gently-sloping grass pathway that descends from the terrace at the IFNH building between curving beds of ornamental grasses and perennials.

Students in Holly Grace Nelson’s Planting Design class in the Department of Landscape Architecture were challenged to create a design to transform the existing lawn amphitheater into a campus gathering area. Each participating student did a design using information from the nursery to make sure that their plant selections were available and within budget.  An exhibition of the proposals was attended by the students and dean Ludescher, associate dean Lisa Estler (Planning and Budget), Pat Harrity (Facilities Maintenance Services), assistant director Tony Sgro (Facilities Maintenance Services) and assistant professor Richard Alomar (Landscape Architecture), who then voted to choose the winning design. [Read more…]

Students, Prospective Health and Wellness Professionals, Participate in Intergenerational Project for Older Adults

SEBS student Linda Dragun, at left, and colleagues Saige Gomez and Morris Kim play a game of modified pong with the senior citizens.

SEBS student Linda Dragun, second from left, and fellow Rutgers students Saige Gomez (center) and Morris Kim (second from right) play a game of ‘modified pong’ with the seniors.

Students from Rutgers, including four from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences who are pursuing careers as physical therapists, doctors, occupational therapists and nurse practitioners specializing in the aging community, hosted an intergenerational event for Springpoint Senior Living residents at the Loree Gymnasium on the Douglass Campus on April 13.

Susan Kaplowitz, professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, along with 25 of her students, welcomed 30 residents from Monroe Village and Meadow Lakes, both Springpoint Senior Living continuing care retirement communities, for a fun-filled afternoon of physical, mental and creative exercises.

The seniors participated in activities designed by the students, including interactive stations with fitness testing, creative arts, balancing activities, memory games, sport games: Wii bowling, water pong and corn-hole. Tactile exercises using everyday household items included towels, chairs, sand-filled water bottles and rubber bands to stretch and strengthen hand muscles. [Read more…]

All Senior IFNH Student Ambassadors Successfully Matched for Dietetic Internships

From the left: Bill Cornelius, Taylor Palm, Cortney Flynn, and Rebecca Tonnessen

L-R: Bill Cornelius, Taylor Palm, Cortney Flynn and Rebecca Tonnessen

April 3 was the highly anticipated “Match Day” for senior dietetic students to find out whether they get matched for a dietetic internship, a requirement to become a registered dietitian. The Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) Student Ambassadors work diligently over the course of their undergraduate careers to achieve their dreams of becoming dietitians. All the hard work has paid off for the 2016 class of IFNH Student Ambassadors, all four of whom received a match on “Match Day.”

Congratulations to Taylor Palm, who was matched to Sodexo-Allentown Dietetic Internship, and to Bill Cornelius, Cortney Flynn and Rebecca Tonnessen, all three of whom were matched to the Rutgers University Dietetic Internship.

These programs are highly selective and receiving a match is a major accomplishment for dietetic undergraduates who wish to become dietitians. The process is competitive, with the national match rate to a dietetics program at only 52 percent.

Statewide Efforts of Family and Community Health Sciences Gain Recognition

FCHS Chair Kathleen Morgan accepted the Culture of Health Award on behalf of the department. Photo: Jeff Heckman.

FCHS Chair Kathleen Morgan accepted the Culture of Health Award on behalf of the department. Photo: Jeff Heckman.

The work of the Department of Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) was recognized by the YMCA Alliance, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with a Culture of Health Award.

The award, presented at the Culture of Health Conference in New Jersey, “honors individuals and communities that are creating partnerships and deep commitments to drive local change, ensuring all residents have an opportunity to make healthy choices in their schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.”

According to Kathleen Morgan, chair of FCHS, who accepted the award on behalf of the department, these “Culture of Health” communities have worked through the development of deliberate policies, programmatic, environmental and systems changes designed to help each community sustain these changes over time, with the overall goal of improving health. [Read more…]

Rutgers Revolutionary: Cracking the Genetic Code of Plants

Joachim Messing at his investiture as Chair of Molecular Genetics at Rutgers.

Joachim Messing at his investiture as Chair of Molecular Genetics at Rutgers.

Prof. Joachim Messing, among the world’s top experts in molecular genetics, became famous for developing a genetic engineering technique used in laboratories to create plants that have produced disease-resistant crops considered vital to feeding the world’s population. Instead of cashing in on his discovery, he gave this scientific blueprint away for free to his fellow scientists around the world. Read more on this Rutgers Revolutionary at Rutgers Today.

Prof. Benjamin Horton Wins European Geosciences Union Award

Prof. Ben Horton teaching a Byrne Seminar, a one-credit course designed to introduce first-year students at Rutgers-New Brunswick to academic life.

Prof. Ben Horton teaching a Byrne Seminar, a one-credit course designed to introduce first-year students at Rutgers-New Brunswick to academic life.

Benjamin Horton, professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, was named the winner of the Plinius Medal by the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The award, which honors scientists for their important contributions to the Earth, planetary and space sciences, will be presented at the EGU 2016 General Assembly to be held in Vienna in April.

Horton’s research concerns sea-level change. He aims to understand and integrate the external and internal mechanisms that have determined sea-level changes in the past, and which will shape such changes in the future.

“It’s such a big moment for me,” said Horton. “As an American scientist, to be recognized by the European Geosciences Union is a great honor.” [Read more…]

Rutgers EcoComplex Awarded USDA Grant to Study Feasibility of Renewable Energy from Food and Animal Waste

L-R: Howard Henderson, USDA; Dave Specca, Rutgers EcoComplex; Douglas Fisher, NJ Secretary of Agriculture; and Rob Fulper III, Fulper Family Farm.

L-R: Howard Henderson, USDA; Dave Specca, Rutgers EcoComplex; Douglas Fisher, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture; and Rob Fulper III, Fulper Family Farm. Photo: Cynthia O’Grady.

 

The Rutgers EcoComplex was awarded a Rural Business Development Grant of $19,000 by the USDA Rural Development Office to perform a technical and economic feasibility study of co-digestion of food waste and dairy manure at Fulper Family Farms, located in West Amwell Township.

Announcing the grant was Howard Henderson, the state director of USDA Rural Development Office, who was joined by New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher at Fulper Farm on Nov. 23 to also award a $250,000 USDA grant to Fulper Family Farms to expand its dairy product line.

While the ultimate goal is to spur rural development and job creation in Hunterdon County, the grant to the EcoComplex, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), will study the feasibility of mixing food waste and animal manure in an anaerobic digester to produce renewable energy in the form of biomethane, explained Dave Specca, assistant director of the EcoComplex, who accepted the grant on behalf of Rutgers. [Read more…]

Award-Winning Journalist Andrew Revkin Launches SEBS 250th Anniversary Focusing on the Anthropocene

Journalist and SEBS Executive Dean’s 250th Anniversary speaker Andrew Revkin picks up on Executive Dean Goodman’s question: will Rutgers be here in 250 years?

Journalist and SEBS Executive Dean’s 250th Anniversary Lecture speaker Andrew Revkin picks up on Executive Dean Goodman’s question: will Rutgers be here in 250 years?

As we celebrate Rutgers 250th anniversary, will Rutgers see its 500th anniversary? This was one of the questions Executive Dean Bob Goodman challenged the audience to consider as the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences launched its 250th Anniversary celebration events under the theme, “Exploring the Anthropocene: The Age of Us,” on November 12.

Tony Broccoli, co-director of the Rutgers Climate Institute and professor in the Depatment of Environmental Sciences, introduced the speaker, Andrew Revkin, adding that Revkin “did his homework.” Broccoli went on to say that Revkin has played a very important role in reporting science topics and climate science to the public since the mid-1980s.

Andrew Revkin, an award-winning science journalist, New York Times blogger @dotearth, and senior fellow at Pace University, delighted the audience in Trayes Hall during the first Executive Dean’s 250th Anniversary Public Lecture Series. At times conversational and reflective, and at other times more serious but never confrontational, it was clear that Revkin had a message to share. [Read more…]